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Sunday, April 24, 2011

We Still Sing (Makiah's Song)

Today is Easter. The Lord's tomb is empty and so is our Makiah's room. While most people are watching their little ones hunt Easter eggs or having a Sunday afternoon snooze, I am frantically cleaning house- trying desperately to divert myself. I have taken a bazillion pictures of the twins. We went back to church today, and I poured my energy into holding back the flood of tears as I looked at her empty chair and watched her friends without her. I made my lips mouth the words of the songs when I could manage it.

A friend of ours wrote a song for us when Makiah died. It has been almost the only worship song I could stand to hear since the accident. I have wept and yelled and groaned and sobbed and screamed and finally sung this song during the last 6 months. I have treasured the images it evokes. I think today it is time to share it. We were and are devastated, but somehow, we must still sing... worship is the only thing we can still do together as a family.   Thank you, Jim and Shannon, for reminding us of that.

We Still Sing (Makiah’s Song)
By Jim Thomaston

Verse 1
I read, in heavens light
All pain is gone
And all those who’ve gone before
Are gathered round the throne

Verse 2
And with one voice they sing
Worthy is the Lamb
Well I can almost hear you shout it
As you bow down

Pre Chorus 1
But hear I am with empty arms
A broken soul and shattered heart
But even here within the dark
I can hear you sing

He is Worthy, of all the glory
Clothed in splendor, King of Kings
Lift your hearts up, though they be undone
He can heal each one, just like He healed me

Verse 3
How I wish to just wake up
And see you nose to nose with me
To hear you laugh and make you smile
Death has stolen that from me

Pre Chorus 2
But its now I finally see
Death cant steal everything
Though parted we may be
Together we still sing

Sung over Chorus (next to last time)
I will bow down, broken I may be
I will lift my voice, for God is healing me
I will worship, with you and heaven sing
I lift this life to Him, creator of all things

Monday, April 18, 2011


    On Earth                                               In Heaven
May 11, 2006                                         Oct. 8. 2010

That's what my baby's headstone says.  It has finally arrived.  It's here in time for her birthday.  Not a gift I ever dreamed of giving her- especially not for her 5th birthday.  She is supposed to order my headstone one day.   Rather than the pool party she wanted, her sisters and I will be visiting her grave.  Maybe we will buy her some sod instead of presents.  Things are all turned on their head it seems.  I find myself bargaining with God.  Telling Him I will do anything if He would just undo this somehow... turn back the clock and let me make some different choices.  Give her back to me.  I know.   It is absurd.  As soon as the words leave  my mouth, I know they are ridiculous. 

Heaven.  We wrote that she is in heaven.  I read a beautiful children's book today that illustrates what scripture tells us about heaven.  I want so desperately to believe.  Is it really a real place?  More real than this keyboard I am typing on and the screen you are looking at?   More than just theology?  Am I hoping for a fairytale?   Is she physically there having fun and laughing?   Heaven has to be real or none of the gospel is true and life is pretty much pointless.  Our entire christian belief system, and in fact the world, hinges on the reality of heaven.  For something that is so critically important to our existence, we certainly don't talk about it very much.  I guess it's like that country song says, "Everybody wanna go to heaven, but nobody wanna go now!"   Why is that if it's so wonderful?  Why don't we know more about it... talk more about it... anticipate it?

I went somewhere briefly the night before Makiah died.  I had already told her goodbye, but she came running out the door after me and clung to my legs.  She made little whiny sounds like a puppy and did not want me to leave.  She never wants me to leave.  Not for work or church or even to take her to preschool.  Her whole life she has clung to me and wanted badly to always be with Mommy.  Is heaven so wonderful that she does not miss Mommy?  Can she be happy for so long while we are apart?  I know the answer is that God is enough.  Jesus love is complete enough that she does not need me or miss me or cry for me.  I know in my head that she has that now.  One day I will, too.   I suppose.  But I feel like doubting Thomas.  I just want to see with my real eyes and feel with my real hands.  Can heaven really be real?  Can He really be enough???

Saturday, April 9, 2011


She sat cuddled up in my lap as we prayed.  Her tiny hands pressed mine over her eyes, and she said after me, " Open the eyes of my heart, Lord, so I can see you!"  Off popped our hands, and giggles followed.  Then together mommy and Makiah's hands covered her ears and pressed on soft, blonde curls, and we prayed, "and open the ears of my heart so I can hear you speak to me!"  Tada!  The hands flew off her ears together.  "Mommy, I can't wait to see Jesus with my real eyes!"  she would sometimes exclaim.

I sit in the blackness by a tiny, yellow light.  The babies are fed and clean and swaddled tightly again.  Their breathing is even.  I sip my steamy mocha, and the words leap off the page at me.  "Then  the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring- those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus."  Revelation 12:17

A few days ago a small, hard back book fell off the shelf and almost hit my toe.  I picked it up, brushed the dusty jacket, and glanced at the title,  "Nevertheless" by Mark Rutland.  I haven't read the book, but the word instantly embedded itself deep in my heart.  I have been turning it over and over for a week now.  Nevertheless.  Nevertheless.  Like a single ray of light I feel it is bouncing through the darkness in my soul.  Nevertheless.

The enemy of my soul, and of yours too, is enraged and has made war against my family.  Nevertheless...
He has stolen what was most dear and precious to my heart.  Nevertheless...
He has trampled my insides.  They are dusty ashes now.  Nevertheless...
My life feels divided.  I remember things from before when my life was happy, and then there is now.  Nevertheless...
I cannot escape the aching.  Nevertheless...
My passion for God feels all but extinguished.  Nevertheless...
I know I once had purpose.  The path is dark now.  Nevertheless...

I wish I could complete those statements, but it takes all the courage I can muster just to write 'nevertheless.'  I don't know how to finish those sentences.  I don't know what comes next.   As I sit in the dark, all I know is that there is a 'nevertheless.'   I cannot see it.  I cannot hear it.  Lord, open the eyes of my heart so I can see and open the ears of my heart so I can hear...

Saturday, April 2, 2011

If Only

If only I could sleep.

The cool sheets press against me.  The dark shadows dance on the ceiling.  Soft breathing comes from the bassinets near my bed.  In the dim light Makiah smiles at me from the painting on my wall.   The hands on the clock creep by as minutes become hours.   My mind takes a turn down a slippery, treacherous path.  It wants to tread there.  No!  It hates to go there, but the pull of memories is like quicksand.  In the still of night, I am too tired to fight.  I am sinking. 

the accident- the scream- the crunch of metal- shattered glass- spinning- the blood- pulling me out-  her body hanging in the car seat-  people stopping- they won't touch her- horror- disbelief- my baby!- more screaming...

Pounding heart.  Oh God!  Oh God!  I moan.  If only I could forget.  If only we had taken the bigger car like we discussed.   If only I had buckled her in on my side like I usually did.  If only we had left early in the morning like I woke up contemplating.  If only we had not stopped in Jacksonville when Cameron had a bad feeling.  If only we had gone a different way home... which we almost did.  If only we had not stopped at McDonalds in Valdosta.  If only we had never gone to the beach, but the in-laws had said they would take care of her while I was on bed rest there.   If only I could go back.  If only we could make just one different choice. It's a terrible novel, and we choose the wrong ending- the wrong chapter. If only I could forget.  If only...  If only...  If only...

If only I could sleep.