I’ll Have New Novembers

Tomorrow marks two weeks since we lost our precious Marvel Israel. I still can’t believe it. I was pregnant for such a short time, and yet I keep forgetting I’m not pregnant anymore. Sometimes I think my body doesn’t even know it yet.

It’s been a really weird two weeks. With Thanksgiving thrown in there. And several nights of visitors bringing us meals. And Bash cut a tooth. Which means he and I were both up all night for a couple nights. Plus the blizzard. And the super early sunset.

Man. To be honest, I’m struggling.

This grief and loss are such weird things. They don’t manifest themselves through tears and anger. I wish they did. They manifest themselves though this general lack of motivation. No real desire to do the things I love.

I try to pick myself up by the bootstraps and move on, but it doesn’t work.

It’s been two weeks of incredible love and encouragement from people close to us, as well as people we haven’t heard from in awhile. It’s been two weeks of people checking in on me, making me feel so loved. It’s also been two weeks of not hearing from so many people who I thought I was close to – people whose silence has been incredibly evident and painful.

I’m wrestling with bitterness right now. I think in my mind, because I share every emotion I have so openly, I want my emotional needs to be met. And mostly, they are. But it’s those silences I’m struggling with.

Do I call people on it? Do I just silently take note, and see who was really there for me in my time of need and who wasn’t? I know the answer – I love like Jesus and put others’ needs before my own. My own emotional needs ARE being met, by my Savior and my husband and my close friends. I think I can acknowledge that some of my friends aren’t as close as I thought, yet still extend them grace. I can see that maybe they shouldn’t be in my inner circle, but I can still love on them and pray for them.

It’s hard to watch the boys play right now. Partly because I’m stuck in the clouds of my own head, and I can’t seem to get back down to earth. And partly because it’s painful to watch and see the gap where a third should be. My two adventurous babes are in a big wrestling phase. It seriously stresses me out the way they roughhouse! But I love it too.

But today, as they rolled around in the hallway, laughing and “bonking” each other and enjoying each other’s company…. all I could see was them growing up without Marvel to join in. I know Marvel is watching from above. And I know that one day ALL the Baggs babies (3? 4? more? Who knows!) will join that wrestling match. But I know that it will be incredibly difficult as a due date comes around… a first birthday… all these milestones that only a mama heart would remember. It’s a pain only a mom could understand, and only a mom could bare.

I like to tackle problems head on. I’m a fixer. I like to see the end goal and then implement the plan to get there. So my natural tendency is to handle this pain – this perceived “problem” – in that same manner.

But how do you fix pain like this? How do you manage a wound that will never go away. How do I move on, knowing that I will always think of my sweet baby in heaven? How do I heal when my body literally and physically aches with longings to feel pregnant. With a desire to feel the itty bitty weight of a newborn on my chest?

These are rhetorical questions, by the way – not looking for solutions, just looking to share.

I do know that I’m not alone. Sadly, so many have gone before me in this. If anything, I find solace that I now have another way to connect with hurting women and minister to those around me.

I don’t feel angry at God. Maybe a little indifferent. Although I know better than to let that fester. My faith has proven strong. Which is the goal, right? But I can’t help but wish my faith wasn’t being refined by such fire, so often, and so intensely. My faith is strong, but I thought my oldest son was going to die. Twice. My faith is strong because my marriage is constantly under attack, and I’m so grateful that Jake and I are as stubborn as we are about loving each other through the heartache. My faith is strong because God has given much and required much. And we have always given what was required, and He has always provided what He promised.

A dear friend reminded of Romans 8:18 today. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

This is one of those times where I worship in truth, but maybe not quite yet in spirit. I know the truth of God’s Word. I believe it to be whole and right. I would base my entire life on it – I have based my entire life on it. But I don’t feel it.

In these times, I honestly think that’s okay. I think it’s okay to speak God’s Word, over and over, in truth, until your heart matches your head – until your feelings match your knowings.

And that’s where I am today. I know I will heal. Even though it doesn’t feel like I will. November has historically been a terrible month for me. I thought this year would be different. That I would have a little baby in my womb to restore hope and joy in this month that often brings pain and hell. But this year won’t be it.

I will heal. I will regain Novembers. I will enjoy my children and playing and laughing again. I will forgive those who have made me feel alone and betrayed. And I will worship God with my whole being and my whole heart again. We will make more babies, our family will grow, and life will “get back to normal” again.

And in the meantime, I will rejoice over my blessings and my friendships. My babies and my husband. I will read God’s Word and speak truth into my life. And I will find my way again.

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