It is almost February and my heart bleeds out.
My heart is freshly ripped open…..again and again as I walk into a new month that holds many memories of pure JOY that I ache to have back…. I ache for how it was.
all I keep thinking is:
“This is not how it was supposed to be.”
Everything is so broken and bleeding out.
I had been doing ok walking with my grief legs under me….Recovering from the hard holy surrender of the holidays and Gianna’s 7th birthday without her here…Hard hard stuff no family should EVER have to go through.
The impending February month is hitting me in a new fresh way like a mack truck that won’t stop forwarding and reversing back and forth over my ripped and torn apart heart.
this is a month I used to love…but now it holds a lot of pain without my baby in my arms ..in our home…at our table….and in the middle of us all and giggling among our many fun celebrations….
So I find myself in a sacred solemn season this month….. which means I may be very quiet for a few weeks, and just disengage completely from Social media and social “things” all together.
It is just so hard and raw to see so many celebrating their hearts when my heart bleeds and a precious part of my heart is missing.
These are the times that I have to fiercely set my eyes on Jesus….These are the raw moments I have to choose to set my eyes on the things I can not see……because, when I look around, the things I do see can rip me so very deeply.
That is just the way grief goes…you have to pull away sometimes because everyone else’s celebrations just sting. You have to cling boldly to the only one who truly understands and can truly comfort.
February is SO special.
its The month of hearts, afterall.
Hearts are So special to us….because of our Gianna….
February is heart month….it is CHD awareness month.
The month we celebrate the miracles of those who walk around with broken hearts and battle each day to live so bravely.
So many Miracles in my close community of heart warriors. I will always honor and celebrate these precious warriors and all the mountain-moving moments we pray and battle for each day as a community on our knees. It is a fierce family of soldiers who I am honored to be a part of.
Not a day goes by that my family is not actively praying for a precious heart warrior in our tight village.
This month is also set aside to honor the precious brave warriors that have lost the battle with their earthly broken hearts.
and….it’s so terribly hard to not have MY warrior here in my arms …to no longer touch MY Miracle….. I now have to celebrate her beautiful life in a different way this year, with eyes of faith. I hate it.
My Gia is such a miracle even though she lost her earthly battle….but I desperately miss fighting for her brave broken heart. It is so hard to suddenly have that holy and sacred fight taken away from you……it feels like you had your daughter robbed from you.
…..like your whole life was basically hijacked.
We still will always fight and celebrate this month in her honor…but I miss pressing my ear up to the music of her miraculously paced heartbeat… I miss tracing my finger over her beautiful sacred heart scar that Always told a story of all her BRAVE battles.
I miss holding all the earthly Miracles in my fingers even when I know that no earthly miracle can EVER compare to the full healing that my Gia experienced and is celebrating at this very moment and each day dancing with her Jesus.
Whole and So perfect.
But It’s just not fair…. It all feels like an assault on my life from my broken human perspective.
From “my perspective”….my broken perspective.
February also holds our beloved Chinese New Year….a holiday that celebrates my babies’ birth land.
We traditionally dress them up in our beautiful Chinese silks (most of these have been gifted to us from our awesome China Sister, Tina)
and we have a super fast and giggly, frigid photo-shoot outside and then have a small party during our homeschool day and make lots of crafts and eat fun and totally delish Chinese food.
It is a fabulous time to honor my kiddies birth-culture…one that is so very special to us. Oh the fun that we have each year!
It all feels so hollow now without our Gia in-between the two of them to squeal and jump and get super excited.
This is NOT how it is supposed to be.
It is broken…. and makes us bleed.
but I’m not writing the story. God is the author. I may not understand Him….but I have to trust Him.
He sees beyond my perspective…. He sees the whole story.
….and now….it will soon be Valentine’s day and my birthday….
We all love Valentines Day here because it isn’t just my birthday, but it is a day that we celebrate LOVE…..and LOVE is what makes LIFE worth living!
It makes my birthday DOUBLE fun for everyone!
The kiddies also get flowers and candy and usually a sweet new lovie stuffed animal from their adoring daddy (always my Gia’s fav!!).
We make gluey sparkly handmade Valentine’s for each of us in the family.
The more sparkle and glue….the better!
It is a day to celebrate giving and receiving LOVE and Our hearts are full of so much joy…..
but it is now so immensely painful when you no longer have the ability to tangibly show that kind of love to one of your babies here on earth.
It is just So broken.
its Just so Incredibly painful when half your heart is missing and your left with a gaping bleeding out wound…..
My birthday is also Valentines Day and this is my first birthday without my Gia-Bia.
This hurts goes beyond understanding…I can not even fully understand this pain that reaches so deeply inside my soul. It is indescribable.
I have no words to adequately describe my strangling heartache…. As It is incomprehensible ….and suffocating and cutting.
I always look for words to help others understand my pain…..I guess I find it therapeutic to try to find a translation to my deep unseen groans.
Yet, the irony of all of this is that I absolutely hope you NEVER EVER FULLY understand or comprehend this choking pain.
I pray that you NEVER EVER truly understand, because the only ones who truly understand are the ones who have also lost a child too and have had to experience the incredible and immense pain of going on with life without their baby physically being here on earth with them…those who also have had to learn to live with a broken and bleeding out heart.
….And if you are that friend…… I absolutley hate that you understand.
I ache with you.
the pain is so indescribable….going into a new birthday year without one of your children there to blow out all your candles for you and to sing at the top of their voice:
“HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MOMMY!!!!!!!”
and to give me the biggest birthday squishy-kissies ever…..along with the best handmade presents.
GOSH, I miss her.
My heart is bleeding going into this February….
It does not help that outside it is cold, dark and bitterly cold…..
February has always been the longest shortest month ever….but it has always been these celebrations that have helped make the month just absolutely SPARKLE and shine against the backdrop of a cold dreary long winter!
However, just like we know that no matter how dark and dead the winter is ….or how long it lasts, we always know spring will come again….It never waivers.
… in our deepest Pain, we ourselves also know a new sparkle will return to our life, ….. Though it can never ever compare with the past goodness…….We will always yearn and grieve for the old sparkle that we won’t get again until heaven.
However, we fight on.
Because we know God is victorious.
We choose to fight to keep living in HOPE…..because we can see glimmers of the far off radiance of a new Tova trying to break through the darkness….
We need Spring to sing this truth to us .
We need to see LIFE on earth repeating this sermon to our hearts.
the sermon of New Life.
I crave for The Spring of my heart…. as We all do.
because Our hearts were first created in a garden…all the way back in the beginning of time.
The fabric of our hearts were made for Spring and COLOR and sparkle.
I know we are promised SPRING again.
My soul yearns for the renewal of all things.
The cold dead winter has not been kind to my Gia’s Victory Garden. It makes me sad to look at it. It echoes my heart in so many way…
It aches for NEW LIFE.
It’s so fitting though.
Winter is such a picture of the soul in deep anguish and grief and absolute brokenness.
It appears dead….bare…and dry and lacking color and vibrancy and beauty.
In the middle of winter, it is as if the whole earth just aches and screams for redemption and restoration, and new growth…just like all humanity does.
Yet I find it so symbolic how the sun seems to come closer and shine brighter and be seen clearer when the trees of the woods are most dead and bare and not able to block its shooting rays.
God truly does draw so near to our bleeding hearts, with His love and HE become our strength in the harshest of seasons.
He is the only one who can carry a bleeding heart….and use it to bring about LIFE.
He carries us as we learn to walk again (even with a busted up heart and a severe limp) and He even enables us to leap to the scary heights of a new wilderness…a new abnormal where each corner in the new land can sting and penetrate…
He is our strength.
I’m deeply yearning for Spring when all the magic and mystery that is happening in the deep mysterious underground (where no eye can see) will break out and bust forth from the cold underground and fill and overflow the Earth with exploding color and splendor and glory!
It is all a metaphor of LIFE, isn’t it?
I try to imagine the breaking and wrecking and crushing that has to happen to the underground seeds and bulbs hidden in the unseen Earth in order to birth a new living flower of beauty and goodness.
New Life always seems to come from a place of pain and brokenness….does it not?
Each year, the breaking newness of Spring time is a bold declaration about the RESTORATION of all things that we are promised.
It is a message to take a HOLD of!
IT IS HOPE.
I know my grief will always be a part of my life…..my sorrow will be a companion on this journey…to keep me yearning for my true home….
….it will be a beautiful day when Gianna’s Garden is exploding with life again this Spring. It will mirror HER joy and goodness in heaven and our growth around our hole ….
Her garden is a sacred symbol of the miracles that GOD does from brokenness.
And My heart yearns to hear this message loud and clear singing from the earth outside my kitchen window!
However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him–
(1 Cor 2:9)
Spring is a declaration and symbol of HOPE…. A testimony of beauty from ashes.
My heart is screaming for the restoration of ALL things….the PROMISE of Eternity where all pain is gone forever.
God gives us this gift because of the sacrifice of HIS very own son.
He brought us LIFE … a new life born from his death.
He gives us glimpses of these promises even on Earth. ….and it’s up to my bleeding heart to firmly take a hold of them.
..to boldly and bravely accept this gift.
It is a hard brave thing to choose LIFE when you feel so busted up inside.
But, It takes the deep earthly pain and loss to un-tether your hearts from a broken world that passes away and deeply anchor your soul to the Living HOPE that never fails…It changes everything….it IS what motivates TRUE beautiful LIVING!
I hold on….I press on and believe for BEAUTY…even when I hate the ashes.
You do not have to love or like the ashes to reach up and firmly grab a hold of the beauty that only God can create from all the smoldering smoke and shattered and broken pieces left behind.
It is in the tiny embers of the ashes that a new spark can cause a raging FIRE to burn!
By Gods Grace alone, my family made a choice a long time ago to not allow our hearts to become closed off. ….To keep our broken hearts OPEN to His light….
To boldly face the new sunrise while our hearts grieve the setting beauty of the sun.
It’s a courageous 180 degree turn to face the blackest of nights and position yourself for the new sunrise.
…to believe, even in the darkness, for New Mercies.
We promised God and our Gia that we would grow and LIVE bold in her honor, just as her brave life taught us so!
GOD teaches us so many life altering truths through our beautiful treasure!
We are changed forever.
But, basically ….what it really comes down to is that we are just a bunch of broken and busted up people taking God at His word.
He is the GOD who can take the dead bare tree and make it bloom and overflow with fruit again.
He grows LIFE around loss.
He brings LIFE from death.
His stories never EVER end in Ashes.
It is up to us to believe this.
Only God can shine light through the cracks of our bleeding hearts and make something so beautiful out of something so horrible.
We will always grieve until heaven, but we will always look and fight for beauty with eyes of faith while on this earth.
This is how to live with a bleeding heart.
I know He is good even when the story feels so terrible.
Our hearts choose to believe TRUTH!
Because He sees everything…and He sees the whole story. He wrote the story!!!
I’ve always said and believe that Gianna’s Miracles go on forever.
Her story is NOT done.
But I desperately miss the old chapters. I would do anything to get it all back!
It is a constant double life of living with pain and believing for JOY. You can do both. You can hold both.
You can grieve and celebrate at the same time.
Her brave heart forever beats to a beautiful song ….a song of redemption and LOVE that we will take with us forever that will continue to grow US forever.
The gift of her life will continue to grow our lives forever…
so it is a sacred choice….
And we choose to let LIFE win.
Even when our hearts bleed….we choose LIFE. …. because I believe It’s the anointed and sacred act of bleeding that feeds a brave life.
I trust Him even when I do not like the perspective of the story that I see from my limited viewpoint….I trust the author.
I have to.
He is God and I am not.
Even when I just see a mess of a broken dark earth and a bare tree stump that once flourished with blooms….
yet…..He sees the fully finished Miracle of restoration….and we know many Seeds were planted even in the darkest earth that only HE could plant.
These are the promises of NEW life.
My God sees everything from the beginning all the way to our NEW beginning in heaven and HE says:
IT IS SO GOOD.
I know and believe we will learn to walk and even dance again to a new song…I believe that.
HE carries our bleeding hearts.
They are so precious to Him.
It is in this bleeding that NEW miracles of LIFE are nourished if we let it be so.
We will see fruit and blooms and color come back in full display because He is teaching my family to bravely keep our eyes and hearts open to a new goodness in the land of the living
….it’s a hard and courageous choice to stay open to goodness….and to let the flowing blood that spills out of our busted up hearts continue to feed this HOPE.
It is a brave choice to RISE up with a bleeding heart and keep fighting for what matters in the eternal realm of things!
Yet, for us ….it really is no choice at all.
Because when you have seen Jesus face to face… You are changed.
It is the only path worthy to walk in….and the only path that we desire to walk as a family …with eyes wide open.
I’ve heard you with my ears; and now I’ve seen you with my eyes.
To choose ETERNITY….and to invest in Eternal things.
It’s actually an easy choice when you see up close just how fleeting life truly is.
We get one life ….one life to invest in heavenly treasures.
It is a brave choice to continue to LIVE BIG and grab a hold of Beauty and dig for goodness with a busted up heart.
…there will always remain in our hearts a bleeding Gia-hole that reminds us that…
THIS IS NOT OUR HOME.
…and This can all be seen as a gift….if we let our eyes see it as so.
Because this gift makes everything matter that is supposed to matter and everything that isn’t supposed to matter fade away.
And in my tears, when I am too weak to even see goodness or feel the truths…and when I am drowning in despair…I throw rocks at the enemy who lies in my ear….and I choose to trust GOD.
I TRUST a GOD who pursues us.
I choose to offer a sacrifice of praise with my bleeding heart in full belief of a GOD who never stops (undeservedly) hunting us down with mercy, loving kindness and goodness and LOVE.
I trust, even when I can not see.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life (Psalm 23:8a)
He is our strength….Even when we bleed out.
When our souls feel like a dead dark winter….yet we can rejoice.
We will grow and live brave with poured out hearts and believe for a new SPRING that holds an abundance of Gia-Bia-miracles….even when we can not see it or feel it.
We cling to the TRUTH and the belief for NEW LIFE even while my arms ache to hold my baby again….
It is a messy and painful story and It hurts…
It hurts. like. HELL!
But….The hurt can’t be pushed aside.
It has to be felt to produce new life.
I hate the pain….the suffering…the sting…the bleeding.
But it is NOT wasted.
God wastes nothing.
The pain means our hearts love BIG and are still alive and open and can feel.
And we just can’t imagine living any other way.
The Pain is birthing the “NEW.”
Just as the smelly fertilizer feeds a busting and surrendered seed underground, we know our bleeding and messy hearts will feed new Life ….if we allow them to be poured out….
We believe for what we can NOT see. That is the fight of faith.
We have decided that we will always fight for LIFE because our precious warrior daughter continues to teach us how every day.
this is the only way to live with a bleeding heart…
We grow forever as we allow our bleeding hearts to be poured out to nourish the promises of NEW life and we press on to fight the good fight …
until the day we are all called Home!
….and in this, will I rejoice!!
In the deep dark seasons of pain…..
He alone is our strength!
We miss and love you so much, our sweet Gia-Bia…We always carry youwith us.
ALWAYS and FOREVER
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.” ( Hab 3:17-19)