Five years ago today, less than 11 months after burying Koen, I was admitted to the hospital at 24 weeks pregnant with Tobin. We were told to prepare ourselves, that he was coming early. "It will be a miracle if you make it to 32 weeks", but if I could make it until then the pressure on my cervix would switch to my pelvic bones. Tobin was born at 37 weeks, and only then, because my body had proven to not be a safe haven. He needed to reside in me just long enough. Tobin arrived safe and healthy and full term, a miracle.
Koen has shaped me, my beliefs, my stance on different things. But my pregnancy with Tobin, and the miracle of his safe arrival, and the trial of each day praying he would stay safe, has also impacted me. I get to live with a miracle, a testament to faith, and living proof that "God is good" (just as his name suggests). And I also battle the anxiety, caused by the darkness I experienced with both those pregnancies. Such a juxtaposition. Holding death in my arms and fearing that I would again, both brought me closer to God and made our frailty on this earth so real, at the same time.
So I worry, even when I know I should trust, about myself, Kevin, my boys. In those moments I have to make a choice to turn to Jesus, and to get up, when I feel the weight of it all pulling me down. Some days that is easier than others. Some days that weight is so heavy, and it is difficult ti battle back. Yesterday was one of those days. I know its April that I spent in the hospital, but try not to hang on to the dates, but I think at my core I can feel the season of grief and anxiety approaching. It was no surprise when I saw in my memories that today was one of the scariest days I have ever experienced. Five years later, and there is still so much I have buried, unable to process.
And then Kevin walks in a reminds me that I can get up, and am strong. And Tobin's feisty spirit and cute smile remind me that he faced adversity before he even took his first breath, and won. And Hackett delivers me sunshine with his sensitive heart and love for his mom - walking by my side in a night time stroll, dribbling his basketball the whole way.
They help remind me to trust, to face the scary and deal with it, even when its hard and heavy. This is my reminder to you today too. We can do hard things and reach the other side, there may be bumps and bruises, but with God holding your hand, you can get there. The sun may set, but it always rises again in the morning.
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I am Jackie.