Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Ginny & I have settled in after quite a bit of traveling. We visited New York City. We were able to create some great new memories and reminisce of past ones with our son. We took it all in: David Letterman, Mama Mia, and Ginny’s guided tours through the boroughs- until I was too sore to walk anymore. Being away and being together was good for us both. Ginny loves the city and I got to see her smile a little more often.

We then, through an incredible gift, were able to take six friends to the beach for a long weekend. This trip was a small thank you to a few close friends who we could never adequately thank. There was beach football, shopping, and a whole lot of sitting around. Any time with this group promised to be great, and it was.

With that said, one thing has become abundantly clear. We hurt. Whether in New York or home, busy or bored, together or alone. We miss him. There is a painful emptiness for which there is no cure. Our future hope has not dulled today’s pain.

Ginny and I, throughout this journey, have sought to be honest. We do not feel a responsibility to put a smiley face at the end of every account of pain. The fear of airing one’s true feelings, when dealing with pain, is a real one. For believers, we do not want to push others away by admitting our horrible thoughts and pain. However, anything else is hypocrisy. It is our belief that our God will be glorified through a truthful accounting of our experience. It will be ugly, and revealing as to our weakness. And this is precisely why we need Him.

I have feared this post. Fearful that I have nothing to say. I struggle to have a complete thought, for they are always being cut short with doubt. As I have fought with how I feel, I will tell of what I know. Throughout this time, I can say with full confidence that God has been present. He has not come with thunder & lightning as I had hoped for. He was not the healer that I had prayed for. However, He was ever lingering, always surprising. Making an appearance in the most unlikely manner at an improbable time. Then again, I guess that was the theme with Eliot.

Therefore, God was faithful- doing that which He promised. The word reminds us that He is able to do anything. But He is bound by very little. He will always love us and He will never leave us. He did not do all that I asked for. But He did all that He promised.

Thanks to all of you who have sent cards and prayed and encouraged us to continue to tell Eliot’s story. We are seeking ways to continue the impact of our little boy. Many things are in the discussion phase. Please know that you are a part of this story. If you feel so led, encourage someone to read the story or let us know if you have any ideas (matthewlyle@yahoo.com & ginny@virginiabead.com). We still love posts and more than anything, if Eliot’s story has meant something to you, please let us know. Thank you all for joining in on this journey.

The “eliot” necklace is now able to be ordered online (www.virginiabead.com). Again, $10 from each sale will be placed in a fund for something great. Details will come, as we are currently investigating how we can best continue Eliot’s impact.

May you hug those close to you all a little tighter this holiday.

Matt & Ginny Mooney

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Continuing to pray for you both. Thanks for opening your heart. Bless you this holiday season.
Lisa in S.C.

erin said...

Hi, Matt and Ginny! I am a good friend of Sarah (inthemidstofit.blogspot.com). I came here about a month ago because she mentioned you all. I was immediately touched by your story. I have read your entire website, and I feel that I know you. I grew up in Arkansas, and my brother and his family live in Fayetteville. I think that made you all the more real and close to my heart.

Your story has meant the world to me. As I read through your archives, I kept my journal beside me. I jotted down paragraphs here and there of profound lessons that God taught me through you. Many tears were shed that night. I was so touched. I love and respect your sincerity. You are in my prayers. May God bless you both richly in His love and with His presence.

Anonymous said...

Matt and Ginny, I'm praying this Thanksgiving that God continues to hold you close.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for sharing Eliot--your honesty is such a blessing. The way you glorify God through all of this is impacting His kingdom!

Ezra- Our Gift From God said...

HI, Glad to come back to your site and see some happy pictures of your travels. God is so good and blesses us with the perfect friends we need, just when we need them! I am so happy that you had a good time away...and as you wrote, wherever you go, the hurt goes along...but being CONFIDENT in God's ultimate plan and His perfect GOODNESS, can put your mind and heart at ease. I still have you on my mind and in my prayers. Healing is a process, and so is accepting.
I have enjoyed reading your heart throughout your posts and thank you for your honesty...not an easy thing to do, but God glorifying! He has been praised through your lives, I have been blessed!
We have a son who is completely handicap, our little miracle from God...God has chosen to bless us with him, he has taught us much, as you wrote of your son teaching you so much. God is an amazing God and specifically CHOSE you to be Eliot's parents. He knew you would Praise HIM and come through the fire refined and glorifying HIM. Thank you for sharing your journey with the world...his story LIVES on and brings our KING glory!
IN HIS PRECIOUS NAME,
Liz, a sister in Christ

Anonymous said...

We are missing the Mooneys right now! In fact, if we were where we were a week ago, you would have woken up to read something more reflective of our hearts, rather than reading every other thing that was inscribed in the sand (sorry Beck!) We're constantly amazed that you are able to think of others in a time that demands anything but that. So thanks for including us in on an unbelievable trip. (I did say unbelievable, didn't I?)

That trip reminded me of how much your friends love you. What you may not realize is all the sidebar conversations that your lives and your story have initiated--and in every one of those conversations, the same words that describe our trip together are used to describe you all: UNBELIEVABLE.

We will continue to walk through this with you both and are 100% confident that, in doing so, we will see an UNBELIEVABLE Lord through it and through you all. We adore you both--more than we have (unfortunately) ever been able to tell you.

Two HUGE fans

Anonymous said...

My husband and I sit down and read this together any time a new post comes up. He said it best tonight when we looked at Eliot's picture again, "he's probably having a ball right now." Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Your son IS beautiful.
Erin and Bob Hansel

Anonymous said...

You are in our thoughts on this Thanksgiving day. We voiced our gratitude to the Lord today for "our" sweet Eliot. Thanks again for sharing him with us. Your story continues and we will be here to witness all that God has waiting for you.
We love you-
Carrie and Mark Uberecken

kent said...

a good freind of mine (who has a seminary degree and is getting his doctorate in Philosophy...aka.. smart)spoke at grandpa's funeral... and heard all of the comments said that were intended to make him feel better. And most of them were true and from sincere hearts. But, his response was, "death sucks.. and it will always suck this side of heaven."

I felt like there was a lot of truth there. I don't mean to be gloomy, but it is true. There are things that are true that can make you feel better, and at times they will. But when they don't, my prayer for you is that you will have people close to you, that will help bare the pain with you.

thinking of you guys!
kent

Anonymous said...

Matt and Ginny,

I don't even know you, yet I have followed your story. Let me preface by saying your son is a beautiful testament to me and to many others. Our son Alden was stillborn full term a year and a half ago. It was gut wrenching. I yearned to learn more about the little man I created but whose touch I would never know. As a mother who has lost a child, I know the heartache you have day to day and hour to hour, yet I can only imagine what it would be like to get a taste of your beautiful son and have to give him back to the Lord so quickly. I pray at this moment for hope in your lives, and a peace that surpasses all understanding. I prayed for that a lot in my own life because I knew on my own I would never understand. I pray at this moment for hope in your lives.

The Lord was faithful when he took Alden to be with him. I have to believe that was his bigger plan, because it hurts to think about it any other way. In his word he tells me HE knows the plans for me...that he is to prosper me and to give me hope and a future. I truly didn't know what else to do but to believe him and quote his words. The Lord was working 3 months later when I was pregnant again and 8 months after a long and scary pregnancy, had another baby boy~...a different baby boy..., my second born, not Alden, but nevertheless such an absolute answer to prayer and blessing in our lives, not to mention God's plan. There are no easy words for a painful journey, and believe me I know what it's like to doubt that God knew what was perfect for me in this journey. The only thing I can say is God is and was faithful in so many ways even in the midst of heartache. Prayers and peace for you this holiday season and to God be the glory for the blessing of Eliot and the MANY lives he has so obviously touched.

~Kristen (Tulsa, Ok)kristen_graham@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Matt and Ginny,

I don't even know you, yet I have followed your story. Let me preface by saying your son is a beautiful testament to me and to many others. Our son Alden was stillborn full term a year and a half ago. It was gut wrenching. I yearned to learn more about the little man I created but whose touch I would never know. As a mother who has lost a child, I know the heartache you have day to day and hour to hour, yet I can only imagine what it would be like to get a taste of your beautiful son and have to give him back to the Lord so quickly. I pray at this moment for hope in your lives, and a peace that surpasses all understanding. I prayed for that a lot in my own life because I knew on my own I would never understand. I pray at this moment for hope in your lives.

The Lord was faithful when he took Alden to be with him. I have to believe that was his bigger plan, because it hurts to think about it any other way. In his word he tells me HE knows the plans for me...that he is to prosper me and to give me hope and a future. I truly didn't know what else to do but to believe him and quote his words. The Lord was working 3 months later when I was pregnant again and 8 months after a long and scary pregnancy, had another baby boy~...a different baby boy..., my second born, not Alden, but nevertheless such an absolute answer to prayer and blessing in our lives, not to mention God's plan. There are no easy words for a painful journey, and believe me I know what it's like to doubt that God knew what was perfect for me in this journey. The only thing I can say is God is and was faithful in so many ways even in the midst of heartache. Prayers and peace for you this holiday season and to God be the glory for the blessing of Eliot and the MANY lives he has so obviously touched.

~Kristen (Tulsa, Ok)kristen_graham@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Continuing to pray for you. I appreciate your heart and openness about your heartbreak of missing your sweet son. Like others have said,your experience and beautiful story of God's goodness in your lives encourages many. May God bless you as you continue in this journey.

Anonymous said...

I cannot begin to tell you I understand what you are going through. What I do understand is having a quiet house. My husband and I have longed for children for years ... and yet, our house is still quiet.

During this time, I have sought answers from the Lord. All I have instead heard is "Trust me." So I have been learning to do, just that. Trust Him, even when it doesn't make sense.

I also want to tell you what a blessing you have, even if it was just for a short time. It's a blessing I long to have, even if only for moments.

I continue to follow your story.

Wendi

FunkyMonkeyJunk said...

Matt and Ginny,

I want you to know what a blessing your story has been to me. It is your raw honest about pain AND joys that remind me that on this side of heaven, it's one big package. You can't have one without the other and you can't appreciate one without the other. My husband and I also have a silent ache - albeit it different from yours. And your story has given us courage to continue on, being faithful to our Lord. The Lord that is faithful to you and us, even though the answers do not come as we want.

I pray for you. I don't mean to sound patronizing by that either. But I pray that He heal you as only He can. We may not understand your experience exactly, but we understand the Hope that spurs us to move forward when we least want to.

Please keep posting. I look for your posts every Wednesday! And sometimes other days hoping for a bonus. :-)

Blessings,

Andi

Kelly in NC said...

Stumbled upon your site and couldn't help but read it from cover to cover. Just thought that you should know that your story has touched my heart and made me realize that I take alot of days for granted. Thank you for sharing and at some point...I think that you should consider writing a book.

Anonymous said...

So many, including myself, are blessed by your honesty- Thank you for being real. My heart aches for you both.

JenMom said...

I just want to echo everyone's comments that your honesty is a blessing. It is real. It is raw...and it is a place from which the Lord can and will rebuild. Eliot's short life was a beautiful one. When you think about your hopes as a parent for your child, you pray that they will live a life that brings glory to God. Your family's testimony does do that---therefore, his short life was a smashing success in the eyes of eternity.
I can only imagine how profoundly you miss him. Praying for your family!

Anonymous said...

It's okay to give voice to grief and not pretend a continual happiness. It doesn't lessen the wonder of Eliot's existence by feeling pain as well. By sharing Eliot with us, you gave the rest of us a great gift. I did not know Eliot personally, never held sweet Eliot, and I can say that I miss Eliot still. He was a wonderful little guy and a blessing to everyone.

Lisa said...

I am so touched by your honesty and by your pain. I cry tears of grief with you even though I have never met you. My family and I will continue to pray for you and to thank God for the gift of Eliot. He encouraged us all to be more "heavenly minded". We will all look forward to meeting him when we all get "home"!
In His Grace,
Lisa

Mrs. Olivia said...

Hi, Mattand Ginny! so glad you had time to relax and renew together and with friends. I went to a concert with your Mom, Aunt Renee, Aunt Amy and Ben(the future state champ) to hear a concert that Danny and Haley were singing in- What a blessing to hear those praises! Please know that I continue to pray for you as you journey forward together- I can't imagine your hurt and loss for sweet Eliot- I do know God will continue to use you and empower you with His strength and love- I look forward to seeing you at the jewelry show- Love, prayers, and hugs, Mrs. Olivia

Anonymous said...

Hey Matt & Ginny -
I don't know why I've never posted on your blog before, but here it goes... and... it stinks. We're sad, too. Here it is, one month since Eliot went to be with our Lord, and it seems like he's been gone forever, and it seems like it was only yesterday, all at once. I miss seeing him with you guys and I miss just staring at him and seeing God's greatness in allowing us just a few days with Eliot. I only held him once, but it was such a precious experience as we anxiously awaited you guys taking him home from the hospital. I can't imagine the pain you guys are going through and what each day must be like as the emptiness settles in. The Lord will be faithful and comfort, but He never promises the absence of pain. The verse that says funerals are better for us than parties (don't ask me for the reference or the exact wording, but I promise it's in there), is a hard one to swallow, but I know God means that difficult times like these are when we truly grow in Him and see sides of Him that we would otherwise never encounter.

We're here for you guys and look forward to journeying through this experience and the rest of our lives together. May the Lord continue to bless you and our relationship with you...

we love you guys, the martins

amy said...

Matt, thank you for sharing from your heart. I know that what you share is also a reflection of your bond with Ginny and a bare glimpse of both of you. I hope you know that noone expects you not to cry. Noone expects you not to grieve openly. Noone expects you not to get angry. Noone expects you not to want to get out of bed some days. Noone expects you to smile all the time. If they did, they are expecting you to be superhuman. Grief and all that comes with it is a normal process that takes time. That time is different for each individual and will be different for you and Ginny as individuals. As you stated so beautifully, God never promised that we would live lives without pain, but he did promise that he would never leave us or forsake us. That tells me that he waits with arms wide open to hold us as we grieve and to comfort us when we don't know how to face a day. I know that he realizes how painful grief is to us here on earth because why else would he have promised that in heaven there would be no more tears. I certainly do not expect you not to cry, and not to get mad, and not to feel like a log some days. If you didn't, you would be superhuman and we all know that you guys are the same as all of us, simply human. So, from one human to another two, thank you for just being you and allowing all of us to see the ugly raw honesty of your pain and just how much God loves us in the middle of it!

Love you tons,
Aunt Amy

Mayhem & Miracles said...

I appreciate your honesty so very much. It is so true, what speaks our faith to the lost world is NOT that we are perfect and whole in our pain, but trusting in a God that is, even when we're hurt and angry. You are wise to know that. Thanks for sharing your story with us. It has reminded me so profoundly to value the time with our children. Your boy is still a very precious gift!

Anonymous said...

I saw a rainbow today.

I immediately thought of Eliot. Clear as day, when I was walking to the mailbox. When I looked up again, it was gone.
I reflected on Matt's blog reminding us of God's promise. I had read that story in Genesis the previous night.

I have tried to articulate exactly HOW Eliot has impacted my ordinary life but I don't think I have been successful. So I will try to be more specific.

Your story makes me think 'if those two parents are able to keep such faith through such uncertainity, I want THAT'. Which has triggered me to pick up the bible that sits on my nightstand and to read God's word. Not just flip through and try to find a verse that has some meaning, but a real yearning to learn and understand what God has written. To WANT to be at church on sunday for Praise, and to instill in my children that God lives in them.

Without Eliot, my bible would still be sitting on my nightstand. I would still continue keeping busy doing the "things" that keep us all consumed. I feel changes going on in my life that I am not quite able to put into words. I had 29 years to try to get to where I am, Eliot got me here in 3 months.

Love,
Garrett Robinson, FL

Anonymous said...

Ditto to the comment from Garrett! God continues to use the two of you (your faithfulness and willingness to live out the truth openly). I continue to be blessed and renewed and encouraged in my faith each time I go to the blog and read another update or comment.
And yes, I miss my precious Eliot.
Love, Nonna

Anonymous said...

It is so great to see you surrounded by friends. I recognize most of those faces and have no doubt of their love and support for you.

You still continue to impact me!

love,
katyo

Anonymous said...

I will continue to follow your website. I will never forget Eliot. May you and your entire family continue to feel Christ's love. You are surrounded with love from so many people, just so you know!
-Shannon Best, Austin