Tuesday, November 20, 2012

the handprints of God on Brody's second birthday

Two years ago today, my precious firstborn son, Brody Mark Wegener was born. Brody-man, Bro, or our intended nickname based on his initials, Beamer.

I have had thoughts running through my head of what I wanted to say to commemorate this day, and I can't quite settle on anything. The most important thing is that this day is so much better with Brayden, his brother, in our arms. His smile and the joy he brings to our lives makes this day extra special... because as I've said before, we wouldn't have Brayden if Brody had been full-term. Crazy.

One day I want to write about the flashbacks you experience when you go through sudden tragedy. I was dealing with that a lot last week, and even started to blog about it, but I haven't quite been able to post it yet. Right now, flashbacks are the toughest - when you think back to the moments of pain and difficulty you went through. I'm doing okay with them overall, but it's still a tender topic, so I'll wait to write about that until I'm ready. :-)

Instead, I'll just say that even though God wasn't involved in Brody passing away so early, God's handprints were--and continue to be--all over our lives before, during, and after the tragedy. I don't understand that statement, but I do stand by the statement and fully recognize that God's ways are not our ways and His thoughts are much higher than our thoughts. We won't ever understand His ways... many times, they are disguised, often unrecognizable to man, and only visible through hindsight, if at all. We see the fruit of Him working, but how the fruit came about or the way it appears to have grown will often baffle man.

So that leaves us to trust. Trust in the unseen God and His unseen ways. Trust Him that He'll show you His handprints and remind you He's there right when you need encouragement. Trust that He'll surpass the unsurpassable, and suppress the unsuppressable. He'll supply what is needed, and take care of you when you hurt the most.

I don't get it, but I am grateful that He is by our side through everything.

I was super happy this morning when I walked by my plant--the one that my friends got for me when I was in the hospital having complications during my pregnancy with Brody, and just a few days before he was born. This plant has lived on for two years--that is a miracle in my house! The buds on it have come and gone, and most recently, they have been gone. But this morning, on Brody's birthday, I found this:

One bloom in honor of my little boy. :-)

Happy birthday, Brody! We love you and are excited to meet you and see your personality and what you look like and all the things that make you you. (Uncle Brian and Grandma Doria, and all our relatives up there, be sure to give Brody an extra big hug from us!) Thinking of you so much~

Sunday, November 4, 2012

life's lime wedge

I've never been much of a soda drinker. I like soda/pop/Coke (whatever you prefer to call it) and will drink it on occasion, but generally, I'm a water drinker. Although, if I'm getting deep dish meaty pizza, that is often the perfect time for a nice cold glass of root beer.

I do know a lot of ladies at my church who love soda and drink soda, but they are very particular about their kind: Diet Coke with lime. (I'm picturing it with a lime wedge!) Not Coke. Not Pepsi. Not DC with lemon. Diet Coke with lime. Must be the particular taste the lime adds to the DC that makes it taste perfect. Since I know more than one person who has recommended that, I'm sure it tastes good! (I'm picturing it adds zest kinda like the lime you squirt onto Chipotle burritos - yum!)

Hungry yet? 

Well, that whole "lime wedge" thing came to mind in an interesting way today. I was getting ready for the day and lamenting how much I didn't feel like a Christian at the moment. To be honest, I've had a very up and down time since Brian and Brody passed about coming and spending time with the Lord. My individual time with Him has been scattered, because approaching Him one on one can be intimidating after you did so for so long and got such a strange result. 

I feel like my life has been redefined by Brian and Brody and I can't shake the feeling that I'm different because I lost these family members so early in life... and at times, I don't always know how to reconcile that with my relationship with God. (Some days are better than others!)

This morning, God reminded me that it isn't about what I feel. I might not feel like a Christian, but that's okay because it's not about me. God created me to be wholly me. My faults, my flaws, my family, my everything is who God made me to be. Even this off/on struggle with prayer is part of me. Granted there is an enemy in the world who is working to use me against me... if that makes any sense. But whether or not I feel like a Christian because I'm doing this or that doesn't change the fact that I am one. My beliefs about God and Jesus hasn't changed and my beliefs about who He is and what He has done for me hasn't changed. Sometimes my actions change because I make choices that aren't the best, but other days I make choices that are better. (Generally speaking, these are all choices that are relatively small, like did I read my Bible today or take too long working or not listen to enough worship music)

What has changed is my life. It's okay to be affected by death--there's no way around it. My family dynamic has forever been changed--both for good and for bad! Brian and Brody, of course, are the "bad" changes since they aren't here anymore, but Josh (Cristina's husband), Brayden, and Andrew are a few of the good changes. That, as I thought about it this morning, is my "lime wedge." My life was going along swimmingly and then I got this lime wedge handed to me. Tragedy. It stinks. I had a choice and I continue to have a choice on how this lime wedge of life will affect me. Will I suck on the lime wedge and have a stinky face because life is so sour? Will I let the lime wedge sit by glass of Coke and do nothing, perhaps in the hope that ignoring it will make the lime wedge disappear? Or will I squeeze the lime wedge into my Coke and let a new zingy flavor of my life unfold before me? 

I'm sitting here crying as I'm watching this words get typed out before me... this blog makes sense and is  encouraging me while just fifteen minutes ago I was thinking, "I'm a horrible Christian!" God uses everything for good. And it's not about what I feel. It's about what I know and walking that out and letting the feelings follow. 

As my pastor friend said during the whole time Brian was sick, God is faithful. That will never change. He is more faithful than the circumstances that we can validate naturally every day. God is more faithful than everything we see, and even though we can't see Him, we cling to that truth that He will always turn lime wedges into zests of life squeezed into our drink, if we dare to pick them up and embrace them as the flaws that make up our life. 

It's not about me. It's not about us. It's about God and Him using us to bring this world back to Him. 

(P.S. I did a quick image search for Coke with lime and apparently it's more than a lime wedge and a glass of Coke....)