Thursday, July 12, 2007

Trust in Hindsight

Ginny is done with travels and is busy with the beads. I am currently lost in an Evidence class and otherwise occupied with various projects. We’re planning on another post next Wednesday and then a goodbye post for Eliot’s 1 year birthday (July 20th). Another blog is being considered, and we’ll pass the site on if it happens.

As I think back on life one year to the day, I am at a loss. It all comes only in glimpses- flashes on a screen with no continuity. It takes effort to remember. And I hate that. Nonetheless, I remember vividly.

Eight days from birth- there were so many questions. Trisomy 18 renders an impossible task. One must welcome life and simultaneously prepare for goodbye in one motion. We battled to be hopeful, but not blind. We pleaded boldly with Him, but did so, on bended knees of submission.

Rarely, I am able to pull back from my typical view of circumstances. During these brief moments, I attempt to see the year past in wide angle- viewed in entirety, and outside of myself. It is such a view that has cemented a notion I held even before I had reason to do so.

Against all that may seem otherwise, today is purposeful. Life has no detours. Each zigzag culminates at an intended port.

The last year was a culmination of everything I have ever learned, witnessed or experienced. It’s as if I was unwittingly on a training schedule to be Eliot’s father. And, although, I would maintain that I still was not ready- not fully trained, some things are only learned in practice. Training can only get you so far.

Approaching thirty, and one year from law school graduation, I get the loathed, “what are you going to do?” quite a bit- and deservedly so. Well, here’s the unconventional truth. I have no idea. Pretty sure practicing law is not it. To be honest, I had no clue why I headed to law school when I did.

When we left Fort Worth three years ago, I pointed us to Nashville. Great town, but I could not get a job. I mean no job. I looked for jobs that I thought I would enjoy first, then I just looked for anyone who would hire me. No one. Not the library, not the steakhouse on the corner, not Starbuck’s.

I ended up folding sweaters at the Gap and apologizing to my wife that, “I had moved us to Nashville so we could work in the mall”. No slight on the mall jobs, but this is not why we had moved. Fort Worth had malls. I laugh now, but I cried then. I felt like a loser husband and I couldn’t even get the creases right when I folded jeans. So I applied to law school, got in, and went with it.

Needless to say, the decision to go back to school for something I was pretty sure I did not want to do, did not make for good conversation. Yes, my wife is one incredible woman.

And now I know.

I could not imagine the last year without the folks in Fayetteville. Because of preparation made in light of school, we had accounted for me not having an income. I was able to do take off from classes and devote my time to Eliot. I am so thankful for that. We were perfectly situated for the road ahead of us. So, now when people ask why I am in law school, I laugh- and typically tell them about my son.

It is too bad that trust cannot be measured after the fact.

Proverbs 19:21
Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the lord’s purpose that prevails.


Erin Hansel said...

I wish for you that whenever anyone asks why you so something, your answer will be based in Christ, because of your son.

Kenny & Jana said...

"We battled to be hopeful, but not blind. We pleaded boldly with Him, but did so, on bended knees of submission."

Long time follower, first time commenter...Your statement above has hit me hard...our prayer life needs to be centered more towards the heart of God, instead of to our own hearts. Thank you for being so transparent through your journey.

RANDIB said...

Thank you Matt-
I love your family, and that includes Eliot. God bless you guys.

Tammy Schindel said...

Thank you.

Emily said...

I just wanted to stop in and say thank you for sharing your son. I was blessed to run across sweet Eliot's video at earlier this summer and there are no words to describe the imprint left on my heart. You see, when I found it, I was in the final days of my pregnancy with my own special child. Miller Grace was born on June 23 and God let us borrow her for only five days. Remembering Eliot's video and knowing her life would be short, we, too, celebrated each day. Miller Grace was born with microcephaly, a Dandy-Walker variant, and other complications involving the brain and Central Nervous System that genetics at Vanderbilt is still trying to figure out. She was so special and every moment with her was a gift. So few people truly understand the joys of parenting babies like Miller Grace and Eliot. Thank you for putting our secret into words. I smile to think of our little ones playing in Heaven. :)

FunkyMonkeyJunk said...

Matt, this post is so True. Our Father prepares us without us knowing. And yet I'm always surprised when He reveals to me that it was in His plan all along and things have worked out somehow?! I have so much to learn about Faith.


Mike & Jess said...

Hi Matt and Ginny - it's Jess from KExtreme (blast from the past!). I have followed your story since right after Eliot was born, and have prayed countless times for you guys.

I found a neat way to put your blog on "paper" if you wanted to - will help you make all of your entries into a bound book that you can then keep and look through when you wanted. Just an idea.

Thank you for the encouragement you always offer in your faith and steadfastness. May the Lord continue to bless your journey.

Jess (Price) Apostle

Starla said...

May I suggest what you should do after law school? Write. You are an incredibly gifted writer. I know your son because of my desire to read your words. You have expressed your fears, thoughts, feelings, doubts and guts with an unusual transparency. Please keep it up.

katie said...

I second the suggestion that you pursue writing as a career. Your words have such truth and beauty in them. The story of your son has touched my heart, and I will never forget it. I hope you will continue to share your writing with your faithful readers.

Liza's Eyeview said...

another unsolicited advice on profession (oh, pardon us)... I think you'd be a great teacher .. a professor perhaps ....

Jeremiah 29:11

Anonymous said...

hi! i have been reading your blog for a couple of months. i appreciate it so much and you have taught me a lot. i really hope you will continue write. it is funny how interested we can become in other people's lives!
i used to be a teacher (i now stay home) and my husband is in residency to be an orthopedist. so we can appreciate your career issues! i am sure law school has been as tough as medical school.
thanks again for sharing your heart and being so transparent.

Kim said...

That is so wonderful! And, I love the scripture at the end of the post! You are right, Matt! I will pray for your future...only the Lord know what is in store for you guys.

God bless you all!


Tertius said...

Thank you so much for your testimony. Our friends just sent us your blog and it has been an encrouagement. We just found out a Tuesday that our unborn baby boy has Trisomy 18. My wife is 20 weeks along.

Your video was moving. God is so gracious and wonderful isn't he. What an experience. We hoping just to spend a day with our little boy. I hope you keep your video available for a while. I would like to keep watching it.

Christ is Supreme and Surely Good,
Jared E.

The Miller's said...

Matt & Ginny,
I really wish you would reconsider and keep your blog online--even if you don't update it anymore. I am an Ob/Gyn and have pointed some patients to your site as I feel like your story can minister to them(you are such a gifted writer). I lost my own son in March (10 days on earth) but am not a writer like you. If you don't keep it online, I understand. We all have to do things in our grieving process, and it is a process. May God Bless both of you in the years to come!--Holly Miller

Anonymous said...

I am speechless. I have been obsessed with your website today. A friend sent it to me and I could not believe how similar our lives were for a short time. I gave birth to a baby girl in 2005 and she also had Trisomy 18. Her name is Hannah Renee'. She lived 4 1/2 months here on earth and every day was so precious. Your words were my thoughts as you described your days and nights. I feel so blessed to be chosen to be her Mother. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this website. I wish I had known about it earlier.
Love and prayers,
Angie Chambers
Salisbury, NC

gillberk said...

While you may feel physically and mentally strong, you still experience a forceful undercurrent of anguish. You sleep well, you work well, but there are few waking moments when you do not feel that throbbing pain in your heart that makes everything seem up in the air. You know that you are progressing, but you can't understand why this anguish keeps pervading everything you think, say, or do. There is still a deep, unresolved pain, but you cannot take it away yourself. It exists far deeper than you can reach.


prashant said...

.Your statement above has hit me hard...our prayer life needs to be centered more towards the heart of God, instead of to our own hearts. Thank you for being so transparent through your journey.
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