Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Hole in My Heart

Today is the one month anniversary of the date that Chrissie began her eternal dance with Jesus.  It does not at all seem like it's been an entire month.  It still feels like this all just happened last week.  I still wake throughout the night reliving hospital moments.  I still long for the recliner next to Chrissie's hospital bed.  It still seems somewhat surreal.

The part that I know is real is the huge hole in my heart.  Chrissie had a physical hole in her heart (just one of the many congenital heart defects she battled), but I have an emotional hole in my heart.  A piece of my heart will always be missing.  It's shaped like a large capital "C" for "Chrissie".  It will remain there until I am reunited with my Princess Chrissie in Heaven.  And in the meantime, as I wait here on earth, my Heavenly Father will hold me, sustain me, and carry me faithfully day in and day out.  God's love, grace and mercy is the best dose of healing medicine out there.

God had a big surprise in store for us on this day.  He sent us one of Haitian kiddos!  Nahomie (age 17) came home today from Haiti.  We are so very blessed to have this precious child of God join our family.  It's an absolute miracle that she is in Texas right now, and we must give God all of the glory.  There are so many times that God's timing does not feel perfect.  He sent us Kiefer from Haiti just two weeks prior to Chrissie's open-heart surgery, and now, just one month since Chrissie went to live with Jesus, God has sent us another beautiful and treasured Haitian child.  God's timing is ALWAYS perfect, no matter what things may look like to us.  We are mere mortals who have no ability to fathom God's perfect timing.  Sometimes God chooses to shed some light on His perfect timing of specific events, and I can honestly say that Kiefer's arrival was absolutely perfect timing and I know that Nahomie's arrival today is also His perfect timing.  I wholeheartedly trust Him, the creator of Heaven and earth.

We may be faced with criticism from the world, but being obedient to God and loving Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength is our top priority.  We know there will be people and situations where we'll be ridiculed and questioned, and that's OK with us.  My husband has reminded me of the ministry God so clearly called us to:  James 1:27 Ministry:  to care for widows and orphans in their distress.  And this doesn't come in our desired timing.  It comes in His perfect timing.  All He requires is our obedience, and He works out the rest in ways we could never fathom. 

My mom sent me this little story (found below) called "The Quilt Holes".  I felt it was perfect for today, the one month anniversary of Chrissie's Homegoing as well as the welcoming of another one of God's chosen children for our family.  God is good all the time and all the time, God is good.  He gives and takes away, and our hearts still choose to say, "Blessed be the name of the Lord!"  (Job 1:21)

"The Quilt Holes"


'As I faced my Maker at the last judgment, I knelt before the Lord along with all the other souls.

Before each of us laid our lives like the squares of a quilt in many piles; an angel sat before each of us sewing our quilt squares together into a tapestry that is our life.  But as my angel took each piece of cloth off the pile, I noticed how ragged and empty each of my squares was. They were filled with giant holes. Each square was labeled with a part of my life that had been difficult, the challenges and temptations I was faced with in every day life. I saw hardships that I endured, which were the largest holes of all.

I glanced around me. Nobody else had such squares. Other than a tiny hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled with rich color and the bright hues of worldly fortune. I gazed upon my own life and was disheartened.  My angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together, threadbare and empty, like binding air.

Finally the time came when each life was to be displayed, held up to the light, the scrutiny of truth. The others rose; each in turn, holding up their tapestries. So filled their lives had been. My angel looked upon me and nodded for me to rise.

My gaze dropped to the ground in shame. I hadn't had all the earthly fortunes. I had love in my life and laughter. But there had also been trials of illness and wealth, and false accusations that took from me my world, as I knew it. I had to start over many times. I often struggled with the temptation to quit, only to somehow muster the strength to pick up and begin again.  I spent many nights on my knees in prayer, asking for help and guidance in my life.  I had often been held up to ridicule, which I endured painfully, each time offering it up to the Father in hopes that I would not melt within my skin beneath the judgmental gaze of those who unfairly judged me.

And now, I had to face the truth.. My life was what it was, and I had to accept it for what it was.

I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of my life to the light.

An awe-filled gasp filled the air. I gazed around at the others who stared at me with wide eyes.

Then, I looked upon the tapestry before me. Light flooded the many holes, creating an image, the face of Christ. Then our Lord stood before me, with warmth and love in His eyes. He said, 'Every time you gave over your life to Me, it became My life, My hardships, and My struggles.  Each point of light in your life is when you stepped aside and let Me shine through, until there was more of Me than there was of you.'

May all our quilts be threadbare and worn, allowing Christ to shine through!

God determines who walks into your life...it's up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay and who you refuse to let go.


Welcome Nahomie!
This is our family at the San Antonio airport where Nahomie arrived at 3:45PM this afternoon.  (Our 10-year-old son, Sawyer, is not present in the photo as he played in an All-Star game in Dripping Springs that conflicted with the timing of Nahomie's arrival.)  We all adore Nahomie, and she is quite happy to be here!  To God be all the glory!

PS  Matt is passing a kidney stone, which is extremely painful.  Please pray for him as this Father's Day will be a hard one emotionally, and being in physical pain on top of the emotional pain just stinks!  But praise God for His huge gift of the arrival of our sweet Nahomie.  Couldn't ask for a better Father's Day gift, hand-picked by our Heavenly Father!  We praise you, Lord!!!


29 comments:

Lisa S. said...

You truthfully amaze me. Me heart is with you and your family. I hope you don't mind, but I borrowed this story. God bless you and your family. I hope Chrissie and Carmen are great friends in Heaven.

Mama D.'s Dozen said...

Praising Jesus for giving you this gift today.

I think Keifer and Nahomie will need to see all they can of the San Antonio area this summer, so you will be able to focus on giving them all new experiences as you "vacation at home" this summer.


Laurel :)

Emma said...

Praising God for bringing another one out of Haiti. I know she will have a wonderful caring family now. At the same time, every time I see a family picture of yours now it is so glaringly obvious that Chrissie is missing. I know, though, that in your hearts she is still there with you.

Continued prayers for you all.
E x

The Mac's House said...

Welcome to your addition to the family, she is gorgeous. Love the smile on her face.

Matt, my husband passed one of those and I know that you're dealing with some severe pain. When driving him to the hospital he told me to drive faster and run every light that he would pay the fines. I told him that was all well and good but it was MY license and I wasn't willing to do that. After being at the hospital and the doctor giving him/me the news of what was going on with him, I told him the story of the light running plea. The doctor laughed so hard and asked me if I reminded him of child birth..... LOL I didn't have the heart to get into that subject with him at the time of his pain. Hope that it passes soon.

On this Father's day my husband and I both have no father to call here on earth to wish them this day so I send prayers to heaven where all the males in my family have gone before me. Wishing Matt a very wonderful Father's Day!

Teri

Rachel said...

Praying for God's peace and comfort and giving Him glory for the arrival of Nahomie!

The Jakes said...

Yeah for Nohemie and Yuck for kidney stones! (Matt's endurance never ceases to amaze me) I'm excited for your family and I love God's timing in all this.

When you talk about the "C" shaped hole in your heart I'm reminded of Jesus' scarred hands. Both are wounds that show deep love and forever connection but they also show sorrow and sacrifice. I pray that as you continue to press on in this life, whenever your wound aches you would instantly feel the warmth of God's love smoothing over the pain like a salve.

For now, press on in love and enjoy some family time with your newest daughter.

- Julie

Anna said...

Lorraine,
Praise God for Nahomie joining your family!!!!
That is such wonderful news!!

Continuing to pray for you Lorraine and your family...and thankful to God for that silver lining today of Nahomie's arrival into your family. God is certainly good.

Will also pray for poor Matt and hope that the kidney stone passes quickly.

Take care.

Love and God Bless,
Anna xx

Ann Kimmel said...

I came across your blog several months ago while searching for international adoption blogs. Of course, I fell in love with Chrissie and your family immediately! :) You and your family have been on my heart and mind constantly, and you are prayed for each day. I am so sorry for your family that Chrissie has had her Homegoing, but even though I didn't know her personally, I get a little tickled thinking about how much joy and fun she must be having with her new whole heart and her Jesus! But my heart grieves for the road you and your family must walk until you see her again.

I read your blog entry this morning (Welcome Nahomie!) and something you said struck me deeply. I know what you mean about people thinking you are crazy bringing Nahomie home now. My husband and I are in process to internationally adopt the most wonderful 12 year old girl, and many people don't understand why we would mess with our very comfortable, very calm, very happy life like this. As a recovering people pleaser, it is tough for me to remember that God's plan and God's timing is always right. :) Thank you for being honest enough in your blog to share the possible criticism you may face, and thank you for your example of faithfulness even when others may doubt. It is a great encouragement to me this morning!

Thank you for your blog and for sharing your life with all of "us" out here. Although I have no idea how difficult life with the hole in your heart is, I pray for you and your family and I thank God for your heart.

God bless!

Sophie said...

I had difficulty reading this through the flowing tears. You amaze me and inspire me more than people I've spent most of my life around. Your faithfulness in the Lord and your willingness to allow His light to shine through the hole in your heart leave me without words.
I pray for enourmous faith and obedience as yours.
Much love to you and your family

Lori said...

Dear Patterson Family,
Your family was my first thought upon waking this morning... I remembered this one month anniversary date of Chrissie's Homegoing and knew this day would be an emotional one for you all. Sweeet Chrissie's absence from this world is painful for those left behind that love and cared for her--even for me, a stranger. I remember her today--and every day and wish somehow it could be different. But, as you so eloquently reminded us, Lorraine, God's timing is perfect!
I wish you all peace and comfort today that passes all understanding. And I wish you much happiness with your precious new daughter Nahomie! Prayers too for Matt as he faces both physical and emotional pain on this significant day. He is obviously an AWESOME earthly father!
As always, sending you my love and prayers, Lori

Trisha said...

Welcome Nahomie!! So glad God has worked in amazing ways to make you part of the Patterson family! Can't wait to meet you!

Aunt Trisha

Connie said...

I'm crying, Lorraine. Sad tears and happy tears at the same time! Nahomie is radiant! We'll be praying for you and the kids.

Leah and Tony Beasley said...

Hello,
I have ben reading your blog for so long now. We as I think you know now adopted from Reeces Rainbowlike you did. We adopted three special needs babies. We are really wanting to adopt again, so I was wanting to know how you got into adopting from Hatie. I would love to bring a child home from there. If you know of anything to help us please let us know. Or have any info. on places to help us that would be great. Thank you so much. By the way, you are such a beautiful woman, and have such a beautiful family. Thanks, Leah

walkingwithangels said...

I totally understand you heart. Atfer losing Livvy we decided to foster children with sereve special needs, the little boy we fostered when to heaven in april this year. My friends all think we are crazy but we want to continue, yes life could be a lot easier but it wouldnt be filled with as much purpose or love. I admire your desire to open your heart and your home. Love to you all especially your new member.
Sara xxx

Amy said...

You my precious friend are beautiful on the inside and out. Thank you Lorraine for being who you are. Every time I come into contact with you I walk away challenged to be more for Christ. I am so blessed to know you. Love you all and continue to pray daily for your beautiful family. Welcome home sweet Nahomie- I cannot wait to meet you!!!

Kat said...

I love your amazing heart...the heart God blessed you with and in whom we can see Christ through. Praying for you guys and LOVE the story....it's a good reminder.

Carissa said...

I thought a lot about Matt today and how difficult it must be to be without his littlest princess on Father's Day. Our church service had a special "skit" where dads and daughters acted out the verses of SCC's "Cinderella", and I cried all the way through it thinking of Matt and Chrissie. I am praying for you all. Welcome Nahomie!

Debi said...

So excited with your family and praising God for bringing Beautiful Nahomie home in His perfect timing.
Praying that God Himself would fill the hole in your heart. He alone can fill it. It does not feel right going on without your child.
Praying for Matt, that God would disolve the kidney stone and for His strength.
Love and hugs and prayers,
Debi

Anonymous said...

~Nahomie from the Hebrew Naomi, meaning beautiful,delightful...Just what your family needs. God is indeed so awesome in his timing.
I don't pretend to know your pain. I was with my dear brother when he and his wife lost my nephew at three months old after heart surgery. We buried him on my 21st birthday. I was so numb for so long and also suffered from panic attacks. Your faith is so strong and you will be held.
Thank you again for sharing your life. I hope to meet you and your beautiful family someday. It is my honor to continue to pray for you.
In God's peace I rest. Maryann, New Braunfels

Rochelle said...

Congratulations on your new daughter! What a fantastic blessing.

Anonymous said...

I'm just a small child not much do I know, God holds onto my hand as I look down below. I'm here with JESUS in the most beautiful place; yet I can't feel much joy when I see your sad face.

Your heart has been broken. I can see from up here. As you struggle along and you wipe every tear. If I only had words I could send you today that would tell you I'm home and I'm really okay.

HEAVEN is beautiful with sparkles and white wings, and the ANGELS are teaching me so many things. I'll grow and mature in this heavenly land while holding on tightly to Jesus's hand.

Then one day you'll join me in this home in the skies. Our joy will be full with no more goodbyes. So don't grieve for me now but find peace in your soul and know that GOD has finally made your LITTLE CHRISSIE whole.

Now, even if you can't seem to understand why, please know in your heart that our love didn't die. JESUS tells me that just for a time we must wait and then someday real soon I can meet you at HEAVEN"S gate.

Love,
L​ittle Chrissie

Anon​ymous

Kim said...

I have to tell you that everytime I read your blog I feel lifted up. I came to "check on you" and you lifted my spirits, my faith, and my hope. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Hugs
Kim

p.s. Welcome to your new addition. You are truly blessed with Gods pure love.

Wendy :) said...

We are praying for you and your family. Please go to haveheart.net a read the story of our dear friends & purchase their book. Ready it now & it is blessing me BIG time! God is using them in a mighty way as they continue to journey through life until they are reunited with their son Josiah in heaven. You will be blessed!!! So happy to see Nohemie is home with her family:)

Anonymous said...

Ain't God good!

Tay :) said...

I dont mean to be a hassle but are my emails sending? I just want to make sure you know of all the progress with the Princess' Ball for Chrissie :) Thanks, Taylah xox

Just Me @ My Domestic Experiments said...

beautiful devotional. I'm sure Chrissy would want others to feel the love that she felt being cared for by you and your husband and the rest of the children. That must by why God brought you Keifer and Nahomie when He did. Of course I could be way off too. I don't presume to know the reasons behind what God does. It's just one of Chrissy's legacies that I noticed.

Rachel said...

WELCOME HOME NAHOMIE!!!!!!!!!!!

Emily said...

I've been reading your blog since the beginning of May and I've been praying since that day. My friend sent me your link and I'm so thankful she did. Your faith sharpens mine. Thank you for being honest and sincere and allowing God to use your family.
Congratulations on your latest addition! How blessed you all are to have each other!

Anonymous said...

I commented on your blog a few times although I do not know God the way you do.
Out of the blew last week my own heart stopped beating and I had the kind of arrest that most people dont come back from. I was thinking of your percious Chrissie when I was being airlifted at midnight to our Capital City and I bossed my heart so that it wouldn't stop beating again. I was thinking of Chrissie and I think she may have been there amongs the angles helping on the lonely trip and I have thought of her several time since. I was dead for 45 secs and then was sent back to be with my family. It still seems so unreal to me and I think that your sweet Chrissis will make a believer out of this 52 year old Grandma you has had mixed feeling about God her entire life.
I did Boss my heart and I am home with my family as it wasn't mine time
I am in a whirlwind of emotions and at the time when I should have been thinking of my family traveling high in the sky on a dark lonely night I was thinking of Chrissie and bssing my heart.
Her life has made a difference and she is still serving a purpose.
Thinking of you all across miles,
Jo from South Australia

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