the prize...

 the sun keeps shining 
and life keeps happening.
and we make it through.  
it's a miracle really.
we shared easter weekend with my family
and attended their easter sunday church community celebration.
it was pretty hip and groovy and made me want to boogie, for the most part.
as part of the service, a couple shared 
what "hope," the kind that comes from jesus, looks like
after the heart break of loosing an infant
for unexplainable reasons.  

they told their story
 and it was really fun.
 not really.
it actually felt like a bad joke 
in our guts.
we writhed and 
wiped at our eyes like maniacs 
and kept giving each other 
"this is awesome" looks.  
that's what we do when we feel vulnerable.
it's comical.
(for the record, we love that couple now.
we love them for getting up there and being all bruised and naked
and praising jesus anyway. it truly did minister to us).   
for me
loosing my boys
has meant
that pain has moved into one of the spare rooms
of my heart.
and she is here to stay.
she's an interesting character - 
social skills are a bit off.  
we are getting along fine.
it hasn't gotten weird or anything.  

when any of the following things happen she opens her door
and holds my hand for a while: 

passing the baby section at the store.
seeing sweet sleeping baby boys on instagram 
because everyone seems to have one right now.  
seeing the soft swollen pregnant bellies of the women i meet and know and love. 
when one of the receptionists at the doctor office uses a patronizing tone with me.
when my new family doctor tells me to stop talking so he can give me a hug.
when bodhi asks me if i saw jesus when his brothers were taken to be with him.
my favorite thing the couple shared 
was that hope looked like being 
surprised at how well they really were doing with it all,  
surprised by the joy.
"yeah."  i thought.  
"me too."  

pain and joy are surprising good neighbours 
made possible because of hope in jesus.
 it's like a math problem that shouldn't work.
but it does.   

it works because hope in jesus says  
jesus is the prize.
he is not a means. 
he. is. the. prize...
(this is what i am learning at our church these days).
all of the things in life are the means to him.  
the peace and the storm,
the pain and the joy,  
the tears and the laughter,
they mean to lead us to the prize...  
i mean the Prize.  

so all of that to say,
we are doing well, surprisingly well.
and i'm learning to be ok
with my sometimes erratic, sometimes uncomfortable and reclusive bag-lady pain.
and i'd be ok with yours too.
if you ever see me squirmy and wiping away tears like a maniac,
you can be sure that she has me by the hand
and is leading me down they way made by hope to the
comfort found in jesus,
my Prize.

so there...

fyi, this post was made possible by the following:
mostly because of the line,
watch me fall apart, watch me fall apart.


  1. I don't know if
    has spare rooms
    in His mansion
    but if He does
    I've already bet my soul that
    isn't allowed
    in any of them
    so the next time she gives you
    a more-than-bearable hard time
    tell her what's in store for her
    that while she might be putting a few holes in the walls
    of a rental
    she'll be left in the cold dust
    when you move out
    so there, too

    albeit seemingly cliche and probably a bit trite at the moment
    you are prayed for

  2. Carleigh your words touch my soul. You have no idea. I know your loss is different from my loss. But I too have a friend of pain lodged in my heart. She won't leave. I'm learning to accept her and give her room too. When I lost my home and 3 dogs she moved in and won't leave. She comes out at random moments when I least expect it. We look forward to the hope that warms our souls. thank you for your words

  3. and if I thought I couldn't fall in love with you and your family any more than I already loved you - I was wrong. I just love you, sweet mama friend. So much. So very much. (and I think I might know who your family doc is... if he was our family doc before we left Abby. I *love* him. Him?) Love to you, sweet friend. So much big, big love.

  4. Thanks for sharing this - it's really beautiful. I'm totally going to mail you that thing now. Like, tomorrow.