Saturday, July 25, 2009

Wow, 5 Years

Today Tucker would be 5.
It doesn't seem possible that it's been 5 years since the most horrific day in my life. 5 years of the most incredible journey that God has ever placed my feet upon. 5 years of learning more about my beloved Heavenly Father and learning to trust Him and His plan in ways I never could have imagined 5 years and 1 day ago.
On the morning of July 25, 2004, I was laboring to bring forth our 7th child and 5th son. It was a glorious, beautiful morning. But when Tucker was delivered, his little body was lifeless. His cord had broken minutes before birth and he leapt from my womb into the waiting arms of Jesus. I have never felt such an overwhelming urgency and despair in my life. I learned what it was to walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. I learned how deep that valley can be, and yet, I also learned the truth of God's word. I learned not to doubt Him. I learned to trust even when it went against every instinct I had. I learned to rely upon Him to lift my eyes to the hills, for He who is my help comes from them.
I have recently spent some time reading some of the things I wrote in the weeks following Tucker's death. I would not willingly choose to walk through that kind of grief again, and yet, it was such a precious time of learning and being loved by my Father, that I can't wish it away. Throughout those first days and weeks, in particular, there were many evidences of God's love and care for us. Some were big and some were seemingly little.
My midwife had written a poem for Tucker. When I went to put it into his scrapbook, I could not find it. I looked and looked. I tore the house apart and I could not find that poem. I was devastated. It was something tangible and it was gone. I just knew that it had gotten thrown away with all the envelopes from the many cards we had received. I cried out to God to help me find it. After 2 weeks of searching for the poem, I was extremely weepy one morning. After Mike left for work, I began to clean the table off, and there was the poem ~ in a spot I had looked in repeatedly.
Mike's brother gave us a piece of granite to have cut for Tucker's headstone. I had a picture that someone had given me of Jesus holding a baby up against His chest. For me, that was a portrait of Tucker. I wanted it on his headstone so badly, but didn't think that I could ask for a "custom" order. I had resigned myself to finding a lamb or something to have engraved on it. When we went to the monument place and told them that we needed a headstone for our infant son, they got out a couple of books that had engravings for babies. I looked through the first one ~ nothing. I opened the second one and about 2 pages into it, there was the picture! I couldn't believe it. Seeing that picture, knowing that I could have that engraved on Tucker's headstone was like a hug from God. He knew how deeply I was hurting and how much these seemingly small things meant to me.
As I think back on how He cared for us throughout that first year, I want to encourage you that whatever you are going through, God cares. He knows what path you are walking on. He has ordained it for your life. He is sovereign and nothing catches Him by surprise. This is not random ~ it has passed through the loving hands of your heavenly Father and He has allowed it because He loves you. It will refine you in ways that nothing else will. Trust Him. Turn to Him.
If you are grieving a loss, I want to encourage you to extend love and grace to your husband. He is going to grieve differently than you, and if you try to box in how he should grieve, then it's going to cause problems. Thinking back, Mike did things that were hurtful to me, but he was in the midst of his own grief, and I know that he did not mean to hurt me. I had to just love him and extend grace towards him through that time ~ and he had to do the same for me. We made the determination within the first few moments of knowing that there would be no reviving Tucker that our grief would not drive us apart, and it would not drive us away from God. And I am so thankful! Our marriage is stronger because of our journey of grief, and we are so much more mature in our walk with the Lord because of it.
Happy birthday, Tucker ~ I miss you terribly, but I rejoice that you are in the presence of our Savior. I praise God that though we are apart for now, we will spent eternity together.


Stacy McDonald said...

Thinking of you today, Tracy. I so remember our tears for you that day. Praising God for you and your family. What a wonderful day it will be when we finally meet your little Tucker in glory! Love you, sister.

Janet said...

It's so hard to believe it's been five years, Tracy! I, too, remember very well the shock of hearing about Tucker's passing. One clear memory is the way you described a cloud of glory surrounded your house. Your faith in the goodness of God in spite of terrible loss was a shining example to everyone. ((((hugs))))

Squaw Creek Ranch said...

Tracy, I had never heard this before and it just broke my heart. I am so sorry and will be praying for your family this weekend. Your testimony was such a blessing to me tonight. Thank you, dear sister.

Kristen said...

Friend, what a journey the Lord has taken you on. And through it you now have such a wonderful ministry to other hurting mama's and papas, though not a ministry (or experience) anyone ever wishes for themselves (or anyone else for that matter).
Blessings to you this day, though late, as you remember your sweet, precious little son.



Beth Cook said...

Dear sister, we were expecting our children at the same time (mine was born one month before). I remember, too, the shock and terrible grief. I remember weeping and crying out, "Why?" Even as I held Arrena tighter, I wanted to know how it could possibly be fair that my story ended with tears of joy and yours with tears of sorrow. Your grieving and your precious words ministered deep truths to me at that time. How can that be?
I still grieve with you today. And I rejoice with you, too! We serve a mighty God and a loving sovereign Father who holds it all in His hands. All to grow us and all to His glory! I'm looking forward with great anticipation to the day when we all worship the Lamb with Tucker! I love you, Tracy!