Sunday, April 27, 2008

Peace: In the storms of life


Today is not only a Sunday but it is also the 27th. Sundays are always hard as it is a reminder each week that this is the day Tristan passed away and the 27th, well Sunday, January 27th is a day that will forever be etched in my mind. It's hard to believe that our precious little boy passed away 3 months ago. After Tristan passed away, we sat on the couch and I held him up against my chest for 6 hours. I tried to memorize every one of his little features, his touch, his smell and the feel of his little face against mine. Every part of my heart cries out for my little boy and I am longing for all of those moments again!!!! I just simply long to be "Tristan's mommy". I know there will always be a part of me that grieves for my little boy, one that is empty and one that no one can fill, however I am so grateful for Tanner and Tayden. They have truly been a healing for me. Although they will never replace Tristan, they are what gets me up every day to LIVE LIFE and they definitely keep me laughing, having fun and making memories which is great because there are days like today that I could have easily stayed home from church, pulled the covers up over my head and drowned in my sorrow as I thought about this day, exactly 3 months ago.

The days are so busy with finishing up the last few weeks of home school (even with Tanner not doing school Dec/Jan we're going to finish in record time!), soccer, piano, church activities and family functions - it's all back to normal. And the nights, which I have struggled with since the night Tristan passed away, they are 100% better. As we sat at the dinner table the other night with only one light on and just a quiet family conversation, I thought of how drastically I tried to fill the silence and void of Tristan's presence over the last 3 months and yet now have made our way back to the normal. I no longer sleep with the light on, I no longer cry myself to sleep, I no longer make Trayc wait until the sun comes up to go to work, I no longer insist on the TV being on during dinner - just so there's a lot of noise, I no longer keep every light on in the house so that when we return home it is bright and I no longer cry as we pass the hospital on Sundays. The darkness and quietness of our house was by far the hardest to overcome and at times I honestly did not know if I would ever feel the same way about our house. In fact, numerous times I told Trayc that we might have to move because I just didn't think I could live in the house with all of the memories of Tristan just constantly hitting me all day, every day. Obviously we cannot move, we moved into this new house a mere 7 months ago, but emotionally that is how I was feeling. I have come to see how this thing called "grieving" can be so different for everyone and it can be on so many different levels. But now, as time has slowly passed by, the pain of his absence has lessened a little which has allowed be to now be SO thankful for the memories we made with Tristan here in our home, every room was touched by his physical presence so now I want pictures everywhere I look. The refrigerator, the picture frames, the car dashboard, the dresser mirror, my Daytimer and we have just about finished the Tristan Asher wall, pictures of that will be coming soon! I am so grateful for the days we shared with Tristan. I have never taken for granted that the Lord blessed us with so much more than we ever prayed for. I still spend so much of my prayer time just thanking the Lord over and over for the 56 DAYS He blessed us with. Those days we were given will be used to encourage other girls along this Trisomy 18 road.

Even though Sundays are hard, it does help that we go to church in the morning and at night. It's great to worship in the house of the Lord being surrounded by our family and friends. This is the fourth Sunday our pastor preached in his series entitled "Shipwrecked: What do you do when life's toughest storms threaten to destroy you?" Today he continued in Acts 28 with verses 1-9. I just love these messages, they are exactly what we need right now because they are such an encouragement during this storm in our life. Dr. Brunson reminded us that everyone goes through storms regardless of who they are, no one is exempt because we live in a fallen world. The Apostle Paul was in a storm for 2 weeks. Paul faced the storm with peace, a peace that only comes from the Lord. Our pastor was saying as Christians we can act in faith in three ways: 1) Our lives should reflect an inner peace rather than one of turmoil, 2) Our lives should exhibit a consistent witness rather than that of constant confusion and 3) Our lives should express a heart for ministry rather than an apathetic resignation.

We can reflect that inner peace because of WHO our Father is. He is the one who gives a peace that is not of this world. If we do not have this peace then we have the tendency to focus on the storm which causes us to display the chaos around us therefore others will keep their distance because they do not need any additional stress which in turn causes us to become ineffective in ministry and certainly unable the encourage others. We need to use the storm we are in as a platform to rescue the lives of others instead of sitting back expecting others to rescue and comfort us.

Trayc and I have attended the same church our entire lives. Our church is considered one of those "mega-Baptist churches", therefore we not only have a large congregation but we also have many incredible ministries and forms of outreach. As most long time church members do, we got used to going to church 3x's a week and just sitting, sitting and expecting to be ministered to instead of stepping up and being the ones who actually minister. We were a part of the choir for 18 years but other than that we have never mentally and physically reached out to help someone in need. Our precious little boy changed us! The 56 DAYS we shared with him had a huge impact on us individually and it gave us a desire to reach out and minister to others. Without us even being aware we have been recalibrated, compelled to reach out to other families that have and will suffer the same heartache of losing a child. We want others to know we are here - we are here to walk this road with them every day. The Lord is using Tristan's story in some of the most incredible ways and we are so grateful! We did not chose this storm but we feel so honored that the Lord trusted us to be Tristan's parents knowing we would honor and glorify His name and that we would reach out to others in the midst of the most difficult storm of our lives.

We ask that you please continue to pray for us as we heal as a family, some moments like today are harder than others. Pray for us to patiently wait for the Lord to open the right doors regarding "The Tristan Asher Foundation" and the development of the website. Pray that we will have the right words to comfort and encourage the hurting families that the Lord will place in front of us through Tristan's life.


John 14:27 says: "Peace I give you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

Philipians 4:7 says: "And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

5 comments:

Kenzie said...

Yvette-

This is a great post about the responsibility that comes upon us when we fully trust the Lord to work in our lives, just like He said He would. Thank you for reminding our families that have walked this difficult road that with the heartache and grief comes joy in ministering to others through their own difficulty... probably through also losing a child. You are so wonderful and I thank you for reminding me that others are watching... they were watching before as we said we would trust (before the little ones were born) and now as we try to live it out each and every day. I love you and continue to pray for God's perfect timing in many areas of your life!

Love lots,
Kenzie

Karen said...

I will absolutely continue to pray. You didn't even need to put the request out there, but I'm so glad you did.

Laurie said...

Praying for you and Trayc, asking the Lord to lead you in all that you are doing. Tristan's ministry has just begun and I know many will be blessed with finding peace in the One who continues to bring you through and give you hope in the storm. Praying that every area you are in right now be covered by His grace. Love you guys.

Laurie in Ca.

Kathy said...

Dear Yvette,

What you speak about reminds me of the verse that tells us when we suffer we are suffering not so much as to be comforted but that we may comfort others.

(I am sorry that I have forgotten where the verse is located. Maybe someone out there knows.)

I know the Lord will bless you and your beautiful family for giving to others, for comforting others as you so willingly share this journey with them.

Praying for the foundation, for all the details and for your own peace and comfort as you walk through the grieving process. May the Lord bless you richly as you continue to celebrate the gift of Tristan's life.

Kathy

Kara Allred said...

i hadn't really read much on your blog the day i was told to come and check it out a few weeks back and never realized that tristan passed on jan. 27th. i just knew that he was alive for 56 days.
when you said in this most recent post that he passed on sunday the 27th, i got goosebumps. that was my husband's 27th birthday. and we too lost our baby from trisomy 18....
(don't know if you remember me from my last few comments to you)...