As I begin to write it is only one in the afternoon, but I have manage to spill many tears already today. I don't think of myself as a crier, although the last few years seemed to have brought out the waterworks in me.
My Hackett turned 8-years-old this week. I am struggling to come to terms with how quickly these years have raced by. This year I am feeling a wave of emotions and gratitude to God for bringing Hackett safely to me. I know more this year about my body, and how it handles pregnancy. I was an interesting case for the doctors, residents, and interns, during my hospital stay. They always asked specific questions about my pregnancy with Hackett. He arrived safely, at 39 weeks, without issue. It is a miracle. I was working and on my feet, carrying on like pregnant woman without any increased risk. No bed rest with Hackett, yet my cervix remained long enough to keep him safe. It shouldn't have by medical standards, but it did. He was not born premature, bacteria didn't enter his precious home at 27 weeks gestation. Hackett lived, thrived, and grew. He was kept safe against all odds. My first miracle.
When Hackett was born, I was 26, we owned our first house, and had been married two years. I felt so grown up at the time, but my goodness we were so young. The amount of personal growth that has occurred for me during Hackett's eight years of life is astounding. While I was pregnant with Hackett my parents marriage was dissolving. It was messy, difficult, and painful. I tried to protect myself for the sake of my little Hackett who was growing inside of me, but it was a struggle. I see now that God interceded and gave me my first miracle, He brought Hackett safe to my arms, when medically it just shouldn't have been. At that moment in my life I was not emotionally or spiritually strong enough to have my entire life collapsing around me. Knowing that my heart was already broken He saved me from having it shattered. Jesus held my baby safely in my womb. He held me, even when I had put distance between myself and Him. All the while He was calling me to come back closer to Him. He gave me a miracle, but sadly I didn't run back into His arms and snuggle in close. He didn't turn His back and walk away, instead He stood there with open arms and waited. He waited for me. He waited as I took slow cautious steps in His direction.
This year as we celebrated Hackett's 8th year of life I am overwhelmed. It could have been the 8th anniversary of his death. He is a miracle. God loves me so much that He gifted me with Hackett. My Hackett. My sweet, funny, tender, smart Hackett. My Hackett, who I can't physically bear to imagine my life without. My Hackett, who holds my heart. My Hackett, my miracle.
I am overwhelmed as I begin to grasp at the much bigger picture. I am now certain that Hackett was not the first miracle God worked in my life and Tobin won't be the last. How many times does God intercede without us even knowing?
This year we made it to midnight. Something that has not occurred in years, and a first for Hackett. Last New Years we rang in 2014 at 8:47, so excited to be done with 2013. 2014 was the year of hope for me, little did I know how desperately I would need to cling to hope at so many different moments. 2013 was low, a valley of darkness. I had thought 2014 was bound to be easier, but my faith and ability to hope continued to be pushed to its limits. I cannot believe what we endured. So many scary moments. So many times I braced my heart and prepared for the possibility of burying my second son in one year. I ached for months not being available to Hackett the way I wanted. 21 days away from home at the hospital, alone for most of it, unable to concentrate on reading anything but my bible. The delivery room, the unknown outcome. I needed hope. I needed my God and the hope that can only be truly be found through Him.
As I lay in bed and type on my phone (my main method for blogging these past months) I am in awe of how far we have come. Just a few feet away is my Tobin, lying in his crib, waking up often, not to eat, but for his pacifier and reassurance of my presence. I am sleep deprived, but it is my fault. I fought so hard for him, nap time snuggles are my reward, my paycheck. And momma is getting paid! We have no clear schedule, a pattern, but no schedule. I am not concerned with milestones, or other things that made me so anxious with Hackett. Maybe this is normal with your second or with a large age gap between kids? I am guessing those things play a role, but I also know I just want to be in each moment with him, not planning or looking to the future - present. Koen taught me that. I'm not great at that in all aspects of my life, but it is something I am striving for. Life is far too precious to have it pass right by your distracted eyes.
In 2015, I am praying for peace. I have grown accustomed to living on high alert. I need His peace to remind me that we have made it. I need to rest in Him. I had a front row seat as I watched Him carry me, now I need to trust that He's got me all the time, not just in the valley. Peace ... sounds so good.
I am Jackie.