Fear

As my friend and I were talking about how we often fear for the health and safety of our children, I told her that after losing Silas, I was terrified that a normal, ordinary moment would turn into the worst moment of my life…again.  Now, I could usually talk myself through these fears and differentiate between which were rational and which were irrational.  But, the logical approach still couldn’t ease my fears because we lost Silas out of nowhere, unexpectedly, in a controlled medical environment with all the equipment needed to stabilize his life.

I knew trusting in God was the answer.  I tried.  I didn’t want to hand everything over to Him, think I could block out my fears and become ignorant to the situations that need attention and quick action should one happen to us.  But, the hyper-vigilance the fear created was exhausting and I didn’t have the stamina to stand guard every moment of every day.  I was in constant “fight or flight” mode and no one’s nervous system should be taxed like that.

Finally, I asked God to give me peace in the moments that were fine, but to allow me to know with absolute certainty when something was a true emergency.  I started to be able to trust and hand over the fear knowing that He would help me in those times.

So often, I wonder what I would’ve done if we’d been at home when Silas slipped away.  Would I have had him in my arms like I did at the doctor’s office that day, or would I have looked at him in his bouncy seat and seen my worst fear?  Would I have been helping one of my other children and been unaware that he was leaving us?  When would I have known it was necessary to call 911, because, when I handed him to our doctor that day, he was still breathing, but something just didn’t feel right.  I didn’t know he was dying, and that  alone causes me fear of possible emergency situations.

For months and months I wished I had taken Silas out to the doctor just moments sooner, thinking I had dropped the ball, that I had missed the window of time in which he could have been saved.  I felt like I had failed him because I lack medical training.  Tonight, as I was thinking back on these thoughts, I wished that before that day, I had known to ask God to help me to recognize a true emergency.

But then, I felt a peaceful reassurance as He said to my heart:

But you did recognize and know something wasn’t right.  Not only did I show you that, but I placed you in the doctor’s office that day.  

I have always felt as though God held us in the palm of His hand and protected us by placing us in the office that day.  Many friends have said we couldn’t have been in a better place or in more capable hands at that time and that they were so grateful we were there that day.  Being there allowed us to have every reassurance that everything that could’ve been done for Silas was done.  It assuaged a small piece of the unfounded guilt I felt.  I knew that Silas had been taken home by his Heavenly Father.  I just didn’t know why.

Tonight, I saw that providence had not only placed us in the doctor’s care that day, but that God was also answering a prayer that I would ask of Him in the future, for He helped me recognize the need for help while providing that help for us.

I still fear for the lives of my children.  I constantly have to hand that fear back over to God.  But, my trust in God is growing…


Silas in the NICU

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I’m Giving My Son to God

I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.  So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” And he worshiped the Lord there.

1 Samuel 1:27-28 NIV

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I prayed many months for my son. I wondered if the Lord would bless us with a third child. I didn’t know the Lord’s plan for our family. I only knew I desired another child in our family, and believing that desire comes from the Lord, I continued to go to Him in prayer, searching for His will. I figured He would take the desire from my heart if it was not part of His plan. I clung to the scripture verse, “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him.”

I never knew how one day the next verse of that scripture would impact my life. While Hannah raised her son for a few short years, and I only did for six short weeks, we both were and are prompted to give our sons to God to do His work. However, my son’s work is heavenly.

The day we lost Silas, it was obvious that a greater power was in control. We were in the right place at the right time, and my son’s life could not be kept on this earth, despite the efforts of the doctor and the paramedics who began attempting to save his life while he was yet still breathing. His death was unexpected and unavoidable. I pleaded for his life, and that prayer was not answered in the way I had asked. I still don’t understand.

When the ministers came to the doctor’s office, we gathered for a prayer. As Randy prayed, he spoke of Mary giving her Son. I identified with her in a way I had never before understood. I looked up and my heart prayed a prayer of thankfulness that the Lord did not ask me to GIVE my son, but instead took him, for I was not strong enough to give him to God.

My sister, Brittany, shared the song “I Give You to His Heart” by Alison Krauss with me after I lost Silas. It’s a song for Moses, from his mother, as she gave him up to God in order to save his life from the Pharaoh who ordered the slaughter of male babes of Israelite and Hebrew descent in a vain attempt to keep one of the sons of Israel from overthrowing Pharaoh’s reign.

The wind is blowing down the quiet river
A shining road to carry you along
Oh baby boy, my love will last forever
If you’re to live, I must give you up to God

I know our God will guide, protect and keep you
Teach you faith and hold you by the heart
Though your mother’s heart is broken by your leaving
Our Father knows just who He is and who you are

I wish that life wasn’t always ending up this way
With Heaven’s love at stake and hell to pay
But you in God’s loving plan might be the missing part
You must live, so I give you to His heart

The wind, it blows you down the silent river
A shining road that leaves me all alone
A life for you is worth losing you forever
Someday we’ll stand in God’s fair land forever home

I wish that life wasn’t always ending up this way
With Heaven’s love at stake and hell to pay
But you, in God’s loving plan, might be the missing part
You must live, so I give you to His heart

At first, I could identify with only portions of this song. I couldn’t fully relate with it since Moses’ life was spared and Silas’ was not. As time has passed, I have come to understand that Silas’ death is not the end. It just can’t be. The promise of new life in heaven has never been so real, or so close, to my heart.

I wrestle with many thoughts. I know that life is not fair. Why do some live a long life? Why are some taken before even a breath has been breathed? We are not all promised the same things. Most of my friends will get to keep all the children they have borne, while I did not. Even though we lead similar lives, hold similar beliefs and ideals, and love God, I did not get to keep my son and there is nothing I have done that has caused this to happen. I don’t understand why this has happened. I don’t know why my heart has been shattered while others will never even understand a portion of this cruel pain. I would never wish this on my worst enemy. I only wish I had been able to keep my boy.

In my grief and on my road to healing, I have felt that acceptance is more important than answers. I have no choice other than to accept that I have lost my son. I try every day to accept what has happened, and accept that heaven holds my boy while I miss him endlessly.

A couple of months ago, when this song came to my mind, and I listened to it again. For the first time, I felt a sense that I will give Silas back to God.

I know that seems a little odd since he’s already been taken from my arms, but if Silas were here with me, I would be taking him to God for His watchful care and guidance in Silas’ life, even as I did in those six weeks, and the nine months prior.

I messaged my friend, Christy, and shared with her this song and my thoughts. She and I had been praying that month that I would be able to trust God and trust His plans for the future. Trust was the focus of our prayers that month, because it is hard to trust anything in life after such a traumatic loss. It makes you question when the good will turn to worse than bad. This song has shown me an element of trust. I know not what is next for Silas, but I can place my baby in His hands and trust Him where my knowledge fails.

My heart is broken. I feel alone without my baby. But, in my loss, my Silas has gained the riches of heaven. His body would not allow him to live on this earth, but in giving him back to God, he will live. The day his life left this world, he was born into a new life.

I will give Silas to His heart. Over and over again. For it is hard to trust what I cannot see.