Thursday, March 26, 2009

Church

PREFACE: LONNNNNG, rambly posting. I apologize in advance - just trying to put some thoughts down and they are somewhat jumbled. However, I felt it was important to share .. good with the bad, remember? :)

Isn't it weird how sometimes the place you think you would be the most at peace, the happiest, the most comfortable can bring on such different emotions?
Ever since Bailey died our whole family has struggled with going to Church. Not because we no longer believe .. not because we don't want to be there .. not because we don't know it is a place of love and comfort where we can be close to our Father in Heaven ... why then? Because we struggle with keeping our emotions "in check". We ABSOLUTELY know that it is because of our faith and beliefs that we were able to get through our trials knowing that we will, one day, be with our sweet Bailey again. We KNOW how much our Heavenly Father loves us. We KNOW that Bailey is watching over us and we will all be together again as an eternal family some day. It is probably these beliefs that make it so hard for us as we sit in Church each week. We know that we are loved unconditionally and that is probably why we are overcome with so many emotions when we are there. We try to be strong all the time. We try not to show our emotions or let the tears flow "in public". However, I find myself sitting in Sacrament Meeting with tears streaming down my face every week. It has been especially hard over the last month or two because I find myself sitting there with tears streaming either alone or with just Caleb - not with all of my "boys". Although we ALL know that we need to be there to once again be with Bailey, we struggle. I have made it a point to go every week - no matter how hard. I just finally decided that I didn't have to "hide" my emotions and if I sat there crying, I sat there crying. So that's what I do. Parker, on the other hand, decided that his solution was to not go. I knew he was struggling and, deep down, I even knew the reason. So I asked him why he didn't want to go one day. He said he LOVED his Teachers and he LOVES his Heavenly Father and he knows that Church is where he should be but that going to Church makes him think of Bailey and it made him too sad. I tried to talk to him about it and explain that Church is where Bailey would want him to be. But how do I explain and make him WANT to be there when I struggle with the same things? So .. I let him stay home. It seems we have finally gotten over that "hump" - at least for now - and he has started going willingly again after missing several weeks but I know that he will continue to struggle from time to time. When discussing this with Chris he said to me "If we all have such a hard time, why do we go every week?". Why? The answer is this .. it is part of healing. It is hard for us to be there because we feel our Heavenly Fathers love. It is ok to be sad there .. to show our feelings .. we don't have to be "strong" there and we will make it through. To be together as an eternal family and be with our Bailey again - we need to continue to show our Heavenly Father how much we love Him and continue to learn about the Gospel.

This years "theme" in Primary (Youth organization in our Church) is "My Eternal Family". Chris and I are Teachers and the boys are in Primary so we are all learning and remembering one of the great principles we believe in our Church - that we will all be together as a family even after we leave this Earth if we live the way we are supposed to and follow our Father in Heaven. Although you would think this would be a comforting thing for us, it can be tough at times. It is a constant reminder that we are here on earth without our sweet Bailey. Yes, we believe we will see her again .. but that will be years from now - that is still a hard thing. We are very grateful to know what we know and believe what we believe. Chris said it best shortly after Bailey died when he told me that he didn't think there was any way he would be able to make it through what we had without the knowledge of Eternal Families. And that is what we need to remember ...

6 comments:

Shanna and Regan said...

I'm so amazed by your words and the strength I get from them! You guys are an amazing family! You inspire a lot of people by writing this blog and I'm soooo glad you keep it going!

Lars said...

And sitting behind you I have only noticed the absences, not the tears. I'm so sorry it's hard.

Living in pure chaos! said...

Very well said Jenn! We love you guys. Wish we could be more of a support to you.

The Garside Clan said...

Jenn, I am always amazed at how strong and amazing you are. You truley are an inspiration. Love ya!

chiara said...

Oh my gosh....you put my feelings into words that I could not do myself. Seriously Jenn...I'm sitting here with tears running down my face. That is EXACTLY how I feel since my brother passed away. All I do at church is cry. It is easier to be "busy" and not be sitting there THINKING and feeling the spirit...cause it just reminds you of the loss, huh?! But then at the same time you KNOW that is where you should be. Geez...it is SO hard. The pain that I feel from losing a brother unexpectedly is awful...but I can't even being to imagine the pain that comes from losing a child. You are a rock. A huge strength and example to me. I want to give you a huge hug right now!! Maybe we should just sit together and cry during all three hours...are you up for it?!?

Candi & Skeet said...

Jenn,
I just came across your blog and I wanted you to know you are not alone in your feelings. I too cry my eyes out during sacrament meeting. I go because I know it is what Avery would want me to do and I go because I want to go but I can't keep my tears away. I am 18 months into my grieving and still find it hard to sit there. I am so sorry for your loss. It seems that Bailey has an amazing eternal family!