Saturday, March 9, 2013

Obedience and betrayal

Lately, I have been distracted by mulling over the details of what I was doing that morning, while Vienne was upstairs dying.  What led me there?  Where was my "mommy intuition"?  What was I doing and thinking about?

Was it just a coincidence that I just happened to decide to go downstairs to make breakfast and eat it all alone, this one morning of all mornings, when I never would normally do that?...or that I just happened to choose to text my mom and Eileen to pray for Vienne, that morning, because she had a slight fever?...or that I just happened to choose to sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee while reading Psalm 43?  I am feeling that it was not.

What I've been battling with, lately in my head, is that in those precise moments, without consciously being aware of it, I chose to betray my Daughter for God.  If you are a Believer and a Bible-reading person, then you understand and know that God expects us to put Him above all else...even our spouses and our children.  And, when I look back on that horrific morning, I realize that without even knowing it, I obeyed...I put God first.  And, my actions of putting Him first allowed Him to take her Home...away from me.  Crazy twisted...yet accurate thought, isn't it?

If God were to stand before you, right now, and ask you to choose - Him or your babies - could you?  (no one needs to answer that).

But, even though I obeyed and put my time with Him first, I still feel that I betrayed Vienne.  It is our nature and instinct to guard and protect our children.   I know that God doesn't call that betrayal...but that's how I feel, right now.

I haven't shared this with many people, yet, but I used to have a recurring nightmare a few years ago.  Almost three years, to be exact.  It was right after we moved from the Coast to live in the Portland area.  Over the past 6 months, I have obsessed over trying to figure out if I was ever given any "warning signs" or "heads up" that I wouldn't get to keep Vienne forever.  I realize, now, that these nightmares were probably just that.

          In this recurring nightmare/dream, God wanted me to give Vienne over to Him...and I absolutely       adamantly all-out rebelliously refused.  I gathered her up into my arms and ran to every corner of the earth, desperately trying to find cover and hiding from Him...and all the while frantically shouting "NO!!  She's MINE!!!!"  

I would wake in a panic.

Powerful, isn't it?  I had this dream many times...and I will tell you, now, I never have recurring dreams/nightmares.  Obviously, during this time, I was struggling with some severe anxieties over losing her.  I was so bent on protecting her and checking on her constantly.

And, I do know how much can be read into that dream.  Yes yes yes blah blah blah...I realize that God was requesting that I submit her care into His hands, because, ultimately she is His and really not mine.  That He was wanting me to trust Him with her.  But, I couldn't.  I remember waking from that dream, over and over, and just shaking my head...I just couldn't.  Perhaps, my subconscious knew what was to come?   Is this punishment for not submitting?  I know God doesn't punish anymore.  But, I certainly have felt punished in this.

So, rounding back to what I shared above about choosing God first...does it seem coincidental that He allowed an opportunity for me to subconsciously choose Him first so that He could take her into His care, on that morning?  For, I NEVER read my Bible alone, in the mornings.  Vienne was always either by my side, at the counter...or on the couch watching a morning show and finishing breakfast.  Always.  Was it coincidence?  Or was it orchestrated?

So, now, the next thing that I am starting to get curious about is what God was trying to tell me in Psalm 43....if anything at all.  Is there something orchestrated and significant about the specific passage I was reading at the very exact same time that Vienne's spirit left this world?  I read it with my new friend that I talk with (whom I will call *J*) this week, and she strongly believes that it is very prophetic for me...a life verse for me.  I guess this is my new come to fully understand this piece of scripture.

Here it is {I added in some of my own initial it might pertain to me}:

Psalm 43

Vindicate me, my God,    
{Clear me from blame...from the blame I hold over my head from Vienne's death}

    and plead my cause
    against an unfaithful nation.
Rescue me from those who are
    deceitful and wicked.     
{Rescue me from those who are not really my friends...who have abandoned me through this}
You are God my stronghold.
    Why have you rejected me?     
{Why did you reject my pleas for a miracle that morning?  Why did you say "No"??}
Why must I go about mourning,     
{Why am I chosen to live this life of mourning?}
    oppressed by the enemy?    
{oppressed by Satan}
Send me your light and your faithful care,
    let them lead me;    
{please, pursue me...I can't do this on my own}
let them bring me to your holy mountain,
    to the place where you dwell.     
{may Your light and Your care bring me into your presence}
Then I will go to the altar of God,
    to God, my joy and my delight.
I will praise you with the lyre,
    O God, my God.
Why, my soul, are you downcast?

    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God.

(a self photo of Vienne's feet...maybe she will lead me to where I am supposed to go... and what I am supposed to do with all of this...)


  1. Hi Jenny,
    I read this post, and then read it again to my husband. I asked him what he thought about what you wrote. He said," Didn't God know us before we were created? Maybe He even knew us when He died on the cross. He knew who He was dying for. If He knows how many hairs are on our head, does He not also know how long He will keep us on earth. There is NOTHING that you are anyone else could do, to stop the plan God had for Vienne. You could have been sitting in the bathroom with Vienne, and He would still have taken her home." I don't know if that helps. It made sense to me. Hope this helps.
    <3 Donita

    1. Thank you, Donita ~ Your words and consistent encouragement mean a ton.

      My *head* KNOWS that I probably couldn't have done anything to prevent what happened...but my heart still wrestles with that. And, I believe that any mother who loses a child will always wrestle with that. It is our nature and job to care and protect. I failed. In my care, at home, in the safest place for her to be...
      I will always question the unknown...until He tells me, for sure.

  2. This post gives me quite the lump in my throat. All I know is that you are a better mother than I am, a better Christian, and knowing these things I have NO idea why this was God's plan for you. No idea whatsoever.

    1. I am not better than anyone, Lisa. And, it doesn't matter how "good" you are anyway.
      I love you, Dear Friend.

  3. I will never understand it either Lisa. We may never know the answers this side of heaven. My Pastor preached this morning, on almost exactly what my husband said above. We just looked at each other!!! Praying for you Jenny, Mark, Ivy and extended family!
    P.S. Does anyone else have to put in a security code, before posting comments here?

  4. Oh, my daughter. This is so powerful. You are courageous & wise. The eyes of your heart are open to receive what God has...I see that & rejoice in my broken heart...though it can feel so painful. Even so, I believe freedom will come in time. Not freedom from your intense love & longing for Vienne...that is a Mama's heart always...that will never alter, nor would we want it to. But freedom found in God's truth & light - releasing you from the tormentor's lies that desire to hold you in darkness, guilt & despair...freedom in your heart & mind & spirit. I am so thankful for "J" & her willingness to enter into your pain & help shed God's healing light & truth into it. She is truly a God-send.

    You are courageous in sharing this dream. What mother doesn't feel that way? And yet, we dedicate our babies to God before the "church", declaring that we will raise them in His love & truth, giving God control, signifying that we understand He knows best & we place their ultimate care into His hands. So, we dedicate them unto life...but unto death? I'm certain this does not occur to us at the time of dedication. But we know, whether here on earth or in the hereafter, in the hands of Jesus we are safest to abide. Vienne is safe and secure. We know that.

    Did God orchestrate that day just so? We do make choices that can change the day's direction & God works in the midst of that as well. As the two comments above concur...we do not know why this was God's plan, or why that day took such a drastic turn that is affecting our lives forever. And we do not like the plan. The sorrow feels so incredibly heavy to bear. I think we will not have adequate answers to our many questions until we meet Him face to face. I do pray we can have some sort of peace on earth until then, trusting that His plans are always for a greater purpose that will be revealed when we are there, with Him & with Vienne. And no doubt...we long for that day.

    I remember what one of my wise friends said right after VN left us...that VN would be the one to lead you back to Jesus in the midst of this. Perhaps it is so.

    I love you, my daughter, my friend. What a blessing you are to me. ~ Mama
    PS-And yes, Donita, I have to type the scripted words when I post!

    1. <3 beautifully written!! I too, felt that Jenny was being drawn back to Jesus side. I can't even begin to imagine your families grief. Yes, we do struggle with being in control of our babies, even when they are grown and have babes of their own. We too, gave ours back to God at birth, yet many times, I have tried to take them back. Praying for your precious family. I love to read your posts Julie!! God is definitely directing your hands. <3
      P.S. Thank you!

    2. Thank you, Mama. I love you.

      We are learning that there is much conflicting belief out there on how much God is involved in the course of things. Mark and I have been discussing it at great length and we've come to realize that we just need to determine what we believe and what we're comfortable with. Still figuring that one out....

  5. Dear Jenny, We don't know each other but I read your blog and wanted to tell you how sorry I am for the loss of your daughter. She is gorgeous, what a blessing to have such a sweetheart in your home. I hope you don't mind me sharing something with you. Back in 2001, I lost my baby at 22 weeks. I was consumed with guilt about what I did or didn't do that day. A few days later, our minister came over and asked how I was doing? Immediately I started saying how I should have done this or I should have done that or if only I hadn't stopped at this store or called the doctor earlier. My minister stopped me midsentence and said STOP! He asked me to look at him directly in the eyes as he spoke to me. He said, "Melissa, if the Lord wanted your baby to still be with us, then he would be here. But for some reason, he is not and IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT." He said that from this time forward, to not blame myself and to have faith in His plan for me and someday we will understand His purposes. So Jenny, I don't believe for a minute that you put yourself before your daughter that day. It was your sweet Vienne's turn to go, an angel too sweet and pure to endure the pains and wickedness of this world. I hope this helps and doesn't offend. You are in my thoughts and prayers! Love and hugs from sunny Arizona! Melissa

    1. I'm sorry for your loss, Melissa!! <3

    2. Your words actually do help, Melissa. Thank you for reading and taking the time to thoughtfully share your heart. I am definitely anxious to begin to understand the "purpose" to all of this".

      I am soooo very sorry for your tragic loss, as well. No mother should have to endure this. :(

      Love to you.

  6. Oh my gosh, tears and goosebumps. Friend. I love you so. I can only imagine the struggles you are feeling trying to find a purpose in this horrible suffering. Praying always for you.

    1. You are such a dear friend, Brooke. I love you and your heart. Thank you.

  7. I am so very sorry for the most horrific loss ever..your baby is beautiful. I lost my 5year old grandson 2 days after you lost your baby, from the same monster :( I am not the most religious person,but I was VERY angry with God for taking my baby. My sister told about a story she read, I would like to share it with you......a Rabbi believed if he was a good man,father,husband only good would come his way...until his young son died. The Rabbi questioned his faith, why God,why??? I have been a good person,good father,good husband,why would you take my son. The Rabbi struggled with this for several years, until he told his story to a man he just met and the stranger told the Rabbi...God didn't take your son,nature did,and God was the first to cry. I am so thankful to my sister for sharing.

    1. Thank you for reading and sharing your story. I am sooo sorry about your loss, as well! I am wondering if it is the same boy I read about on Facebook, recently. If not, what a strange coincidence, either way. The same heart condition, almost the same age, only two days apart?! Devastating.

  8. That's what I pray for, for you guys, all the time. "Please, Lord, pursue Mark. Pursue Jenny. Envelop them with your love. Meet them where they are." There is meaning to that scripture. Maybe it will be ever changing...

    1. Your prayers always mean so very much, my sister and my friend.

  9. Your faith is so beautiful Jenny, my heart continues to break for your loss. Thank you so much for sharing your sweet girl and your heart with us. Praying friend.

  10. Jenny, this sends shivers up my spine, in a good way. Reading this through many tears, I realize that your truthfulness is helping me to face the painful sorrow of Vienne being gone. I am so thankful you are near your Mama and her loving, insightful replies.
    Both of you shed such inner beauty (the aroma of Jesus)and truth by being so vulnerable.
    Thank you for sharing so deeply. My prayers are the same as Kinsey's and I'm seeing His answers begin, ...His light and His faithful care to lead you through this.
    I love you and Mark so very very much.

    1. Lynn ~ Thank you for leaving a comment. I love hearing from you. Your words are always so sweet and encouraging. Thank you for being such a loving and supportive mother in law.
      I love you.

  11. Dear Jenny,
    I’m so sorry for what you and your family are going through. I have been reading your blog but have not commented yet because I wasn’t sure what to say and how to say it...But I feel that Psalm 43 (together with Vienne’s cute little feet) will lead you to where you’re supposed to go. “Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?” You referred to the ‘enemy’ as Satan and some say that he is responsible for the guilt that comes with grieving (as you said “the blame that I hold over my head from Vienne’s death”). I have come across a story of another mourning mother, who talks about how she’s dealt with similar feelings. If you don’t mind, I attach the link as I hope it might help you in your journey.
    With Love,
    Just another mum whose life you touched...Thank you.

    1. Thank you so much for such a lovely comment and encouragement. It means so much to me.
      The link to the other Mama's site did not work. If you receive my response, would you mind resending me the link so that I may check it out?

      Thank you so kindly ...
      Love Jenny

  12. Dear Jenny,

    Yes, I also tried the link and it didn’t work for me either. So just go to, then click on ‘The Grief of Parents’ option, then click ‘First Hand: Guilt and Grief’. It worked for me that way.

    I also want to say that I don’t know you personally but I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately. Since I’ve been reading your blog my heart feels heavier. I must admit that some days I cannot even bring myself to read your blog. Simply because it makes my heart ache and it upsets my mind...and I instinctively want to avoid any pain and discomfort...I hope you don’t take it the wrong way that I talk about my pain because I know that how I feel doesn't even compare to what you are going through. All I want to say is that I keep coming back to your blog because despite the pain, it makes me feel connected to something deep and meaningful inside me...I can’t really explain it but wanted to thank you for sharing your pain with us.

    Love and warm hugs,

    1. Thank you, I will check out that link, again.

      And, thank you dearly, for sharing your heart with me. I know, first hand, how difficult it can be to be around someone who is grieving (before Vienne died, with my stepdad who lost his daughter). So, I thank you for your courage, though, to keep returning to just draw near and support in your own way. YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH THAT MEANS. Seriously. This is such a lonely life to live...and just knowing that I have support and love out there means the world. Thank you.


  13. Hi Jenny,

    A peculiar late night search for interesting events on my birthdate (March 9) led me to this page. I’ve read several entries now and feel moved to share with you some thoughts from my heart, if I may.

    Let me first start by saying I’m so very sorry for the loss of your precious Vienne. My goodness, she’s beautiful. She was more than beautiful, she was angelic. Having a newborn child of my own, I can’t even imagine having him ripped from my life and my heart for any reason. The pain you must have felt, and continue to work though, must seem unbearable at times. How could it not? I can’t say I know how I’d respond if God tested me with that type of loss. The fact that you still believe and talk of God shows me that you are a resilient woman, and that our God is faithful. Incredible.

    My unshakable thought is this: You did not betray your daughter for God that morning. In my opinion, that’s an impossible dichotomy for a believer. Your daughter was a gift from God, entrusted to you and your husband for a time, but always belonging to Him. She belonged to Him because she came from Him, and her life was a picture of Him. Everything you adored about Vienne… her beauty, her spirit, her innocence, her laughter, her love and more… are glorious reflections of the God who created her, and whose image she bears. Vienne, and children like her, are treasures pointing us to our Creator. They help us see and know our Creator. With them, we better understand and worship Him. I’ve discovered that life is an ingenious maze of shadows and mirrors which reflect and point to the Giver of life, Jesus Christ. For He is the radiance of God’s glory, and the exact representation of His being.

    It can be far too easy to chase these shadows and fall in love with these gifts, I now know. They are so incredibly precious and valuable, and beautiful. They fill our souls. But then, how much more so must our Lord be these things, if they were given to us by Him in order to better know and love Him? I can only imagine.

    Therefore it is never God’s punishment to, at times, remove our hands from the temporal things we cling to so tightly. It is His mercy. To loosen our grip on the shadows of life that point us to Him, sometimes means the only thing of substance left to grab IS Him. He is our hope, and our salvation. He draws us close, through the giving of these gifts, and through the taking away. And in all these things He is faithful, He is wise, and He is good.

    Many these days try to rescue God by saying that death and evil exists outside of His control or plan. But His children know better. Satan, demons, darkness, and evil are indeed real, and opposed to the glory of God. But our God is far too big, too wise, and too powerful to just let them run amok in His creation, particularly with His children. Our God sits in the heavens, and He does what pleases Him. His eye is on the sparrow, and not one falls to the ground apart from His will. He can stop evil anytime He wants… and one day He will. One day, the final enemy will be defeated: death. There will be no more pain, no more suffering, no more sorrow. He will wipe away every tear from our eyes, and hold us closer with more love than any parent or child ever could. But until then, suffering serves a purpose. It serves us. It enables us in faith to hold onto Jesus more tightly than we ever would on our own. God will show the universe His glory, not only in His power to destroy darkness, but also in His wisdom to work all things together for the good of those who love Him. What the enemy intends for evil, God will wisely turn and use for good.

    That’s why the Psalmist in Chapter 43 says of these enemies: “let them lead me… let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell”. And that is my prayer for you and your family. That in all this satanic horror, you would be brought closer to the feet of the God who created you, saved you, and loves you.


  14. (...contd)

    And lest one wrongly thinks that only a sadistic God would ordain the cruel suffering of His creation while He sits comfortably in paradise, one event made it clear to the world that no one can ever bring this charge upon Him. For God gave His precious child, His only begotten son Jesus Christ, up to die a horrific death on a cross at the hands of cruel murderers, sinners like us. He knows the pain of searing loss far too well Himself, and so where He leads us is never to a place He hasn’t been already. And we take heart that just as His Son was raised up after three days, the bodies of all His children will be raised again in the resurrection. Rest assured, you WILL see Vienne again, more radiant than ever because she’s been with Jesus face to face.

    Just as our God used the death of His son to bring salvation and hope to a hurting world, I pray God will use your story to point people to Jesus, leading them out of their pain and darkness and into His marvelous light. Only His Spirit can enable you to do this, so I pray you and your husband seek to be filled with it each day. Thankfully, He’s available to draw upon anytime we’re in need. If a good father loves to bless his children with gifts, how much more so will our Heavenly Father give us His spirit if we ask?

    Never forget that you are God’s daughter.

    You are His precious Vienne.

    With Love

    1. Thank you so much for this incredibly thoughtful and sincere message. It gave me much to think upon. I appreciate challenges and I am very much aware of my somewhat "skewed" thinking, at present. It is a stage. I know.

      Thank much for your support and encouragement. It means so much.