Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Missing Eden

Lest anyone get the idea that I am some super strong woman or that I am somehow more capable of handling grief and pain like this I just wanted to share some of my heartbreak with you.

I do believe with all my heart that God has not written the final chapter of what's to come from Eden's short and dedicated life. I do know that He holds me and my family in His hands. I know that He only wants good for me. I know His desire is to comfort me in this time of heartbreak.

I know all of this.

But I also know my house is far too quiet. It is missing the cries, coos, and laughter that a new baby brings. My arms are empty and aching for my daughter. I have a favorite picture of Eden that will never change. I have a photo album I ca not even fill with her pictures.

I am grateful beyond words to have my other kids... to see them smile and play and laugh everyday is both a comfort and a deep pain, as I wonder what their sister would have brought, new and exciting, to them.

I keep waiting to wake up from all of this, but I don't. This is real and doesn't just go away and stop hurting. It's more to walk through everyday.

I can't imagine doing this with out God, even though He feels so distant at times. I know He is there for me. I know my daughter is with Him. I don't have to wonder after her. I know Eden walks in perfect peace with joy beyond measure. She never cries, she never has to experience pain or sorrow.

When it gets to overwhelming I can go back to the moment I handed her into her Heavenly Father's arms... I can remind myself of the peace and joy of that moment. I can remind myself of the tangible presence of The Holy Spirit... and I wouldn't trade that to have Eden in my arms right now.

Still, my arms ache for her...

Monday, October 29, 2007

Tribute to Eden

My good friend Nicky put this video together to celebrate the short time we had with Eden...

Pressed but Not Crushed

I keep wondering about adding to this blog. I feel like so much of this story is not yet written, but it might be better to leave this chapter finished... But today I want to share, so share I will.

I was remembering yesterday, as weekends naturally bring Eden's birth to the forefront of my mind, what it was like in the recovery room as Eden's family and visitors poured in.

We were in a private and dimly lit room, holding a child we all knew was not likely to survive much beyond these precious moments and yet there was not a great pall of death in the room. There was not the unwelcome spirit of desperate grief. There was the prayer of my pastor, a prayer of intense spiritual struggle that comes out in only three words repeated "Jesus, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Jesus". Words that spoke volumes in their simplicity. There was heartbreak over prayers answered differently than we'd hoped. Tears ran freely. But there was joy. There was celebration of this little being that God had made so perfect in every way but one.

It is this joy that carries me. It is this joy that buoys my heart when my arms ache with emptiness.

I would never choose this journey. I would never wish it on anyone. Yet still, I am forever grateful to have been given the opportunity to walk with God through this trial.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Perfect Peace

In the few split seconds after Eden's birth, when I didn't hear a lusty newborn cry and knew she hadn't been healed, I looked over to her bassinet across the room and saw a nice healthy baby. She looked so normal, except for the top of her head. In that second I just didn't understand why she hadn't been healed and my heart broke...

She and Steven went immediately to a private room so the kids could meet their sister since we had been told she looked like it would be a matter of minutes before we lost her. I wondered if I would ever see her alive again.

As they wheeled me in to join my family the first thing I saw were my two daughters, the oldest holding her sister and crying... my heart broke again. I didn't understand the unanswered prayers of that broken hearted girl. They placed the baby in my arms and I had my first chance to hold her, to connect to her... and suddenly God didn't seem that far away. He had created this little one , perfect for His plan, given her life and loved her.

I saw a brokenness in all those who had prayed for her healing and I felt the same brokenness, but I also felt God, whispering He hadn't ignored me, stopped loving me, or made a mistake.

There was peace like none I can describe. Peace that is, frankly hard to connect with right now as hormones shift and change, but peace I felt and know to be real so I hang on to it even though it seems somewhat distant.

I believe God revealed something to me about hope in those moments. Hope and perfect peace. I wanted Eden to be healed as a testimony to His power and greatness. I wanted nothing more that for Eden's life to point people to God. That they would be so amazed and awestruck they couldn't help but fall to their knees before Him. What God chose to reveal to the world was His ability to comfort and give strength when none seems likely.

I did not get to bring my baby home, and I miss her, but I did bring home an encounter with Him that will change me forever. I bring home memories of the doctors and nurses impacted by the peace, hope, and strength they saw in our family and in our friends... the knowledge that we had something different. That difference was The Lord of the Universe. A God so big, yet one who cared so much about a simple little family from Lomita.

It is hard not to have my girl with me, but it was easy to pass her into the arms of My God.

What was supposed to be minutes together, God stretched into just over 36 hours. In her last few moments, when I knew she was leaving us, I felt so calm, so serene, so ready to hand her over to my Jesus. I believe that heaven is all around us. That it is very real but it is in a realm we just don't see... if you read the story of Stephen in Acts he begins to die and speaks of the cloud of wittinesses all around. Eden had never focused her eyes, she was quite probably blind, but in the 20 mins or so before she passed her eyes were open and focused, closing when she breathed her last, and I believe she was focused on her savior. I still remember, and always will, that last breath and the sensation that I was literally handing her off into the arms of God. What a special little girl, to get to spend her eternity with Him so soon.

Monday, October 15, 2007


Eden Rebekah Anderson was born Saturday, October 13, 2007 at 3:46 PM at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Hills.

While our family did not receive the healing that we had so long hoped and prayed for, we are rejoicing in the miracle of Eden's birth and grateful for the time God allowed us to spend with her.

Eden passed away this morning at 4:10 a.m. from the arms of her mother and father into the arms of her Heavenly Father.

Thanks to all of you for your words of encouragement and prayers. We are doing well, have a peace that transcends understanding and feel blessed to have had the opportunity to love this little girl for her short thirty-six hours of life.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

The final leg

It has been nearly impossible to find a free and semi quiet moment in which to update my blog in the last week.

First there was the weekend following my last post that passed in kind of a haze. It was a weekend that just ached. My husband and I were once again living with the raw emotions that flood the parents of a child you are told can not live. Seeing, again, the ultrasound image of my sweet baby, so perfect in every way but one, was heartbreaking. I, once again, had to work out my faith with fear and trembling. Somehow, asking God to make Eden whole over the course of 4 months seemed so much more attainable... but knowing He was down to two weeks was suddenly overwhelming.

Once again, my spirit was reminded that God's timing is perfect. He is never early nor is He ever late. I was reminded that I had the distinct impression in those first weeks that there would be no evidence of healing until Eden was born. And just a few weeks back the notion had come that even if she is not born whole, healing is still possible.

I do not see every thread in the amazing tapestry of God's perfect plan. I can only see one small part. I do not know how He intends to work this for His glory and my good, but I know His word is clear that He holds those two goals. That Eden is not a surprise. That my pain is not an unfortunate byproduct. I know that God has a perfect plan...

After all of this I was called in for another appointment with my new doctors. And, very surprisingly another ultrasound. Again, the screen showed the picture of a mostly perfect form. A wiggly and wonderfully made, yet lacking a brain.

This ultrasound did not break my heart, I saw, again, an opportunity for God to move. For Him to heal. And for His glory to be revealed.

At this moment I am only one week from seeing God's answer. I am just seven short days from seeing, what I believe will be, the miraculous.

My past birth history makes a natural birth a little risky, and while that had been my hope for this pregnancy, a third cesarean has been scheduled for Saturday, October 13th... at 2:30pm. Should labor begin on it's own before then I will still have a chance for a natural birth.

I thank you all who continue to pray for us, your prayers are desperately needed an greatly loved at this point in the race. I pray God will pour out His blessings to each and everyone of you as well.