“How blessed are those who dwell in Your house! They are ever praising You.” Ps 84:4

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Now What?

7 weeks. Seven is a relatively small number, and weeks doesn’t sound very long either, but today it feels like an eternity. And at the same time, a moment.

 Right now the world is contradictions. I want to be as far away as possible from what happened, to be able to forget that awful night and those surreal first days after Miguel’s sudden death. Yet, when I sense the time I had with my sweet baby floating further away, my heart cries out and my brain rushes for any memory of him possible.

Memories of the way he looked when he was just waking up.

 The way he laughed and giggled every time I changed his diaper, from the moment I laid him on the changing table, for Lord only knows what reason.

 The way he was completely enchanted when looking at himself in the mirror.

The way he scrunched up his tiny button nose when he started to cry every time I used the blender.

The way he watched with delight whenever his big brother walked in the room.

But I remember him in everything, in every place, and sometimes wish I weren’t reminded at every turn of the deep loss and ache in my heart. Contradictions.

 Like when I go grocery shopping at the store we went to that last time. He had been just big enough to sit in the front of the cart and was grabbing at everything his little hands could reach. We bought him a little spiderman toothbrush that he gummed all over before we ever got it to the till: it’s still sitting on the desk. Along with the bumbo tray I had ordered, and some bottle accessories that arrived the day after he left us. His car seat is still by the door, with the little sheep that he loved hanging from the handle as if one day we’ll wake up and everything will be ok again. He is everywhere, yet so permanently gone.

Contradictions. I don’t want people to ask me about him or what happened, yet I want them to be aware. I don’t want to be asked “how I’m doing” because I don’t know how to respond, yet I need people to care.

Contradictions. So many plans a person has for the future, but only if God is willing. Missing the times that were and aching for all of the things that will never be. Thinking of how old he would have been now, what he would have been doing, learning, delighting us with. Past. Future. And the inevitable question: Now what?

 How glad I would be to have an answer to that question, but it just isn’t ready to be answered. The wound is still to raw, the break to fragile to bear any weight.

 But God is faithful. And in Him we can know that there is no contradiction. We can have faith, can wake up in the morning and get out of bed knowing that beauty WILL rise from the ashes, that joy comes in the morning, that He really does work for the good of those who love Him. We can start new things, make new plans, knowing that the Lord of the Universe is directing them, and wait to see what He will do.

 We can remember our days with Miguel with joy, being thankful for each one. Look forward to seeing his sweet face again in paradise. Praise God that Miguel is fulfilled and perfect in love and will know no more pain, sadness or sin.

 And we let love grow - love past and love that will come in the future. Love is a risky business, as I know now more now than ever, but I also know that it’s worth it. To say the least. Every single child who lives in my home, whether for a few days or the rest of their lives, was bought with blood of Christ on the cross. In the context of that price, my sacrifice is really no sacrifice at all; the risk not all that risky. Contradictions fade away when we take in account the promises God has for us, that above all, He is faithful.

How we miss you sweet boy

Alex took a picture of Miguel and I - how could we have known it would be the last? 

A surprise dinner with my ministry family who wanted to celebrate my birthday as hard as it was 

At a friend's wedding in Rosarito

A new pastime: a sewing class taught by a friend has been a breath of fresh air

A new car: we traded the old faithful Jeep that has been doing little more than rusting in the past few years for a car that fits our needs and gets better gas mileage


  1. Oh Karen, my hearts hurts so much for your loss. I hate seeing your arms empty, it breaks my heart. I wish I could do more... I wish had I more answers.... Love you friend, I am always here fro you!

    1. Your friendship has been such a sweet gift Amber, and now more than ever I am so grateful for it. You are doing more than you can know - love u 2

  2. Thanks for sharing Karen. Love you.

  3. Amy EasterbrookMay 5, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    Oh Karen. I love you--I have a special place in my heart for you and for your ministry. I know that our contact is so incredibly infrequent, but I think of you often. ~amy

  4. Oh Karen....how beautiful you are! God really knew what he was doing when he chose you to 'mommy love' Miguel. Look at all the beautiful moments you gave Miguel in the short time he was with you. Those moments have become jewels of joy too numerous to count~~filling the treasure chest deep in your heart. How rich you are dear friend! Thank you for sharing. We can not say for a moment that we know or feel your pain....for we truly do not know. But we hurt because you hurt. Keeping you deep in our prayers. ((((hugs)))) Gail and Don Sullivan