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Saturday, April 25, 2009

To Be Held

Last night I was at the grocery store picking up a few items. When I turned down the ice cream isle, I found I was sharing it with another woman, her elementary-aged daughter, and their stroller. I glanced quickly at the sleeping baby as I reached for the Double Strawberry ice cream, only to then realize that her stroller was a double, cradling a second sleeping baby behind the first. Twins. My heart skipped a beat as I envied her abundance and wondered if she knew how blessed she was. There was a physical ache that seemed to run from my heart to my arms as I looked at her beautiful babies. I wanted to tell her how beautiful they were, but the way my heart's rhythm had suddenly increased, I knew that forming the words would initiate a total meltdown there among the ice cream. It all happened so fast, I'm sure she wasn't even aware that I was there, let alone the angst that was oozing out of my heart wishing to have my twins here, whose story is so much different than hers. 

I had to be very careful how I worded that last sentence. Our stories are different, this is true. But, I almost wrote "whose stories ended much differently." But, the truth that keeps my heart pumping is that our twins' story has not ended. And, while I clearly feel pain and sadness at how different my story is from this other woman's, there is another side to the bitter pain and heartache that gives our story an enviable sweetness.

Having experienced new depths of disappointment and agony, and having made it through some very dark and lonely nights, I now know things I didn't know before; things I couldn't have known any other way. I have experienced heaven's comfort in such tangible ways that have been burned into the fibers of my soul. There is no doubt in my mind or in my heart that through this nightmare I have been held, I have been carried, I have been understood, I have been loved and cared for by the One person who can truthfully say, "I know, because I have walked the path you're walking now."

I still have moments when shock and panic hit me with such a force that it feels like it all happened yesterday. And, I find myself getting trapped in wondering why things had to take the course they took and how I'm expected to survive living to a ripe old age with this pain of loss plaguing my heart. In some ways time does bring healing, and I have to hope that that'll continue to ring true. But, I have to constantly remind myself that it's only in falling, in losing, in suffering that I can truly learn the lengths the Savior will go to pick me up and make me whole again. And, recognizing that His lows far exceed any lows I have or will ever experience has only deepened my awe and gratitude towards Him.

The last year of my life has made me rich in experience and understanding of His love and atonement on a very personal level. And, though I'm still tempted with thoughts that I was denied a miracle, I am reminded that God has kept His promises to me. He never promised me that I wouldn't fall, that I wouldn't hurt, that I'd be free from disappointment and pain... BUT, He did promise that He would carry my burden, that He would run to me in my hour of need, that He would not leave me comfortless, that He would heal my broken heart. Even in my lowest of moments, not even then have I felt abandoned by Him. And, I know one day I'll get a much clearer glimpse of how much I really have been carried through this period.

Not too long ago I came across a beautiful song that expresses so much of what I've felt lately. I'm grateful for my hardest trials that have taught me what it means to be loved, to be held. Without them, I wouldn't know with the surety I know of the reality of a loving God. If there ever was doubt, there is none now.

Natalie Grant - Held

Two months is too little.
They let him go.
They had no sudden healing.
To think that providence would
Take a child from his mother while she prays
Is appalling.

Who told us we'd be rescued?
What has changed and why should we be saved from nightmares?
We're asking why this happens
To us who have died to live?
It's unfair.

This is what it means to be held.
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive.
This is what it is to be loved.
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell we'd be held.

This hand is bitterness.
We want to taste it, let the hatred numb our sorrow.
The wise hands opens slowly to lilies of the valley and tomorrow.

This is what it means to be held.
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive.
This is what it is to be loved.
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell we'd be held.

If hope is born of suffering.
If this is only the beginning.
Can we not wait for one hour watching for our Savior?

This is what it means to be held.
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive.
This is what it is to be loved.
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell we'd be held.
This is what it is to be loved.
And to know, that the promise was when everything fell, we'd be held
This is what it means to be held.


Allred Mom said...

Another beautiful post. You turned a heartwrenching experience into a love for our Savior.
My heart pained as I read of your coming upon the woman with the baby twins. I'm sure it was incredibly hard to hold it together as you saw them. You are so amazing and through this earthly life experience your relationship with the Savior has grown so much. The blessings of eternity will be so worth it!
I love you!

Andrea said...

Oh, I just started crying as I read you coming upon the those twins. It's so hard! I have those experiences all the time with little 5 1/2 month old boys...some that even look like my little Wyatt.
Thank you for this beautiful post. You are simply amazing! I love each and every word you said. Thank you for your incredible testimony of our Savior. Thanks for your amazing faith. I look up to you in so many ways. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings as they seem to be what I want to express but I'm just not able to express them like I would like. Sending my love your way.

Mindy said...

I love, love this song. I think I shall listen to it while at work today ... quietly, since it might not be appropriate. :)

Deetsgirl said...

Thanks again for sharing your journey. This past weekend was our March for Babies and I had to take a huge gulp of fresh air as I spied two identical twin boys being pulled in a wagon together. They were so adorable and I got through it by remembering that someday I would be able to see my two boys together again.

Michelle said...

Beautifully written. I echo every word of your testimony and the experience you have had of being held by the love of the Savior.
Thank you for reminding me of the real promise!

Amy said...

I just want to wrap you up in a big hug, Megan. I know that aching, panicked feeling even though I haven't experienced the same loss as you and Marc. All through Jeremy's little life we lived on the edge of losing him. I was a wreck all of the time - and so I, to an extent, can understand that pain and fear. You're such a beautiful person. You have hepled the testimony of so many through this blog. Thank you so much for being a light, with unwavering faith, to me and so many others. I just adore you, Megan, and know with ASSURITY that whatever blessings you and Marc have coming will just knock your socks off. You're wonderful - so just hang in there. Good times are coming, cutie. With love, Amy

brossettelewis said...

Thank you for sharing. In situations where I already am crying by your third sentence you turn it around and testify of your Father's love.

Kim said...

I love your words today, coming straight from your heart. Oh Megan, even though our stories are different, you have described in perfect detail some of the darkest feelings I have felt. I love this song, it has comforted me many times over the past year as well.

Thank you for sharing. THANK YOU.