the last I'll say for awhile

sweet baby Arrow, the baby we lost last year. All tucked safe & sound.

The story started in the Walmart bathroom, you know?
It was mothers day and I was taking a pregnancy test in walmart.
Just hours before I’d been writing and writing in Starbucks.
Thinking on arrows and weapons and how our children truly were them. I thought about how Elias’ life gave me a kickstart to seeing my selfishness and how his kindness teaches me daily still. I thought about Glory’s whole story. How no 23 year wants to hear her perfect daughter will mostly likely never live outside the womb and how no 26 year old wants to lie beside that same girl in a NICU three years later, watching her toes twitch and begging for her life. How the Lord taught me about faith through her. Big, capital FAITH. And Benjamin, even though it wasn’t him, but just the six arms and six legs and three mouths that suddenly filled my home and my heart. How that season of his coming and our family, how it led me to feeling utterly inept. And utterly overwhelmed with God’s ability when we failed.

They were weapons in our hands. In our unskilled, unwise, young little hands. But the Lord took those arrows and He did damage. He messed up our hearts and our worldview and our plans and I now am so comfortable with the idea that He used it in other people’s lives too. I don’t, I can’t boast for a second about those stories. But I’m learning that He sure does.

But there I was.
In Walmart.
There would be a fourth arrow. 

I can still remember the exact building that I was passing on the way home, jabbering and maybe crying a little, talking to my sister. She was saying, “It’s going to be great! It’s going to be great!” and all of a sudden, I believed her. And I said firmly back, 
“It’s going to be great. It’s. Going. To. Be. Great.”

Because the Lord had saw fit to give us another weapon to fight with.
And in return, we’d get a cuddly baby to hold.

And that’s where I operated from in that short pregnancy. There was no fear, no frustration, in my most private of moments, I couldn’t wipe the smile from my face. I felt special and expectant. I felt in love. I felt honored. I. I. I. I made it one of my new years resolutions to say “I feel” less and “I know” more. And here is what I know.

I know that though it is a temptation for me to operate out of insecurity over how much I have grieved over Arrow, my grief has never shocked the Lord. He has never thought I’m being overdramatic. When I’m private and alone and near to Him, I know that He gets it.
I know that they are right when they say it takes a year of seasons and events to process a loss. I know that twenty weeks was hard. I know that Christmas was hard. I know that his due date was hard. And I know that this season, the finding out on Mothers Day in the walmart bathroom and the losing on Fathers day in the hospital bed, has been the hardest of all seasons to approach. I know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him and I know that we could not have moved to Indiana if baby Arrow had lived and I know that on some days, I want to pitch a fit and go back to the tiny house in South Carolina and the life that didn’t seem to be moving forward so much, and just have my baby.

But you know what?
The other day, I was hit with this massive realization.
Elias, Glory, and Benjamin are my arrows and they have meant so much to me and they are this huge chunk in my story – but they are each separate souls. With separate memories. Separate fears and hearts and lives. And I’m most definitely at the point in mothering where it is selfish to dwell on them in relation to myself all day.
Because they’re Elias. Glory. And Benja.
And I get to shepherd them and love them, but it’s not all about me.

And Arrow wasn’t all about me either.
I believe he has a separate soul and a separate story.
And I have been blessed by it and hurt by the way it has unfolded.
But it’s almost been a whole year since my story with him ended and his story is all about Jesus now. It’s all about worship. And truth. And light. And life. And Jesus.
And I want to learn that from him.
I want to be more like him.
My Arrow. 

And that's the last I'll say about him for awhile.