Thursday, June 18, 2009

Yesterday Shaun and I went to the cemetery to remember our little man one month after we had to say good-bye to him. I can't believe it's been an entire month. It feels like just yesterday that I learned that the diapers Shaun had so carefully stacked in the dresser drawer would never be worn by my son, yet like a lifetime ago that I had the privilege of experiencing Zachary's life. We didn't stay at the cemetery for long, but it was a good time to reflect on the past month. We just leaned against the railing side-by-side, arms around each other, quietly staring at the words engraved into the stone.

Zachary Michael De Yager
May 17, 2009 Ps. 116

At some point, I broke the silence and said, "What a great name!" Shaun grinned at me, and then, out of the blue, a wave of sorrow swept over me. "I was supposed to be spelling that name out on birth announcements, not a gravestone," I cried. The tears flowed down my face as I thought about the injustice of our situation. Why does a 16-year-old girl who makes one wrong choice after another give birth to a perfectly healthy baby while we were forced to leave the hospital empty-handed on May 17th? What did we do to deserve this? Why us? These were not new thoughts or questions...just all-too-familiar pain and anger resurfacing.

But it wasn't more than 10 seconds later that I felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit stirring the deepest part of my soul, and for the first time, I contemplated this question: 'Why
not me?'. I know that sounds kind of fatalistic, and I am not, so let me explain. I know that losing Zachary was in no way something Shaun and I "deserved." No parents should ever have to walk through the fire that we're walking through. No mom should ever have to deliver a baby that isn't breathing and hold the lifeless, but perfect body of the child she has carried and dreamed of holding for 9 months. No, no one deserves to walk this road, no matter what they have or haven't done.

But I don't deserve the grace I've been given, either! I'm a messed-up 22-year-old woman living in a fallen, broken world. I deserve
nothing good from God, and He still loves me immeasurably - even to the point of giving His son as a ransom for my heart! There is NOTHING about His grace that any of us deserve!

And I desperately want to live in that grace every day. I want to be overcome with hope. I want to trust God to fill the void in my heart, because only He can. And not only is He able to satisfy the emptiness and longing in my heart, He
wants to! And He is more than enough.

This pain and agony are not something that Shaun and I will ever "recover" from. We will never "get over" Zachary's death and the death of our dreams of being his parents. That's not how it goes. I want to accept this pain and let it become a part of who I am, and I want it to change me. The past month has been the darkest season of my life to this point, but I have also been blessed with an awesome clarity as I reside in the pit of this grief. I'm learning more and more everyday that it's not the "what if's," it's the "what now's"...that it's not about me...that life on this earth is fleeting...that this world is not home...that God is with me, even when I don't feel like it...that He is good
no matter what. And, most importantly, that the grace of God really is more than enough.

"I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. I say to myself, 'The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.' The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him...Though He brings grief, He will show compassion, so great is His unfailing love."
Lamentations 3:19-25, 32


  1. Court, I find myself sitting in this place once again, never knowing quite what to say, wanting so badly to say something comforting, or encouraging, or just even anything at all to relieve some of the pain. However, I always come to the same place, speachless, and quite honestly completely empty of anything ecouraging, empty of any words at all really... but dear friend, I check in here regulary just to get a glimpse into how your doing, hoping in some way I will be able to offer some words of comfort, but more than any of that, I am continually blown away at the amazing godly persepective you offer, your unyielding faith, your beautiful heart, and your breathtaking attitude. I am priviledged to have a friend such as you, that in the midst of your anguish and excruciating pain, can still challenge me and eximplify so much faith, and true love for the God she serves. You are an inspiration, a breathtakingly beautiful person from the inside out.

    I pray for you practically every day, and think about you constantly, I know your hurting, and I know that this journey at times feel relentless, but God will see you through to the other side of despair, and one day you'll look around and be in the fields of purpose and destiny, and experiencing an out pouring of God's blessings and joy. Your heart will always carry a scar, but His blessings will be like a healing balm on it each day.

    I love you, and am here for you even if that just means watching your journey from a afar, I care so deeply for you friend,it hurts.


  2. Kyle and I often sit and read your posts together and are always so touched by what you have to say! Love and blessings to you and Shaun!

  3. Courtney,
    I am in awe at how you've processed so well your thoughts and feelings so soon after the death of your precious son, Zachary. You are leaning into our Lord and Savior so much and trusting Him to bring beauty from ashes. I am so thankful that you wrote on my blog. So thankful that you find my words refreshing to your soul. I am so sorry for the emptiness you feel in so many ways. Your arms, your heart, your chest, your home, the nursery, the quietness... It is so apparent and glaringly obvious that our babies are gone from us.

    I could write more and I really wish I could just hug you and cry with you. I'm just so sorry. So sorry.

    Please feel free to email me anytime. I would love to connect hearts as we think of and miss our babies so very much.

    Bless your sweet mommy's heart. You are doing a great job honoring your feelings and honoring your son. Let those waves come as they do and keep writing. My dad challenged me to write every day for 90 days after Molly died, whether you blog or journal on paper, just write. It was so good for me to do and I am so glad that I did it. I can look back and learn so much from what I wrote.

    Anyway, I am grieving with you from afar. Praying for your sweet heart and missing our babies with you.

    Much love,