Wednesday, March 16, 2011

An overdue post...

This post is long overdue. God has really been shaping and working in my life a lot since that last post. Sometimes writing the post takes an hour or so and is very emotionally draining so that is the delay. At the Holy Spirit's prompting I started reading the book "I Will Carry You: The Sacred Dance of Grief and Joy" by Angie Smith. This woman is married to one of the band members in Selah. To my understanding this loosely translates "To Pause & Think".

During the time Angie was pregnant, the Dr.'s told her that her daughter Audrey was "incompatible with life". They recommended Angie get an abortion/terminating Audrey's life. They decided to continue on with the pregnancy and shortly after she gave birth to Audrey, she died within a matter of hours. She wrote a book and has a blog The book is simply amazing.

Many do not know that our precious Eve was also "incompatible with life". God in his great mercy allowed her heart to stop when it did. The Dr. said that had the pregnancy continued we that they would've recommended a termination of her life. It wasn't until just now that I even remembered that actually did happen.... Sometimes this feels like it was just a nightmare that the memories will vanish as the sun rises... but, this really happened. She was the only one of the three that we saw on ultrasound and her heart had already stopped (two days before). So, this book hits very close to home.

My favorite parts of this book is that she doesn't beat around the emotions of what it is like to lose a baby. "I was amazed at how many women I met had been through miscarriage or infant loss, & what a powerful connecting experience it is to be able to share with another woman who has been there.... We saw each other for what we were - women who were often just going through the motions of normalcy... I began to realize that this was going to be a part of my new life because the world has a way of going on all around you even when you are in the depths of sorrow that belie its pace & fervor." It's so true. After something like this, you don't get over it, but you do learn to move forward, sometimes at a snails pace. It is a different life, a different normal, and nothing will ever be exactly how it was before... But, that's ok.

This is the absolute greatest quote ever:
"It is easy to be a believer when He gives you a miracle. People want to know what's so great about a God who would let such awful things happen. How can you put your full dependence on someone who couldn't save your daughter? ... All kinds of smart people can probably give you textbook answers, but for those of you who are reading this, I want to offer you a perspective that might make more sense to you. I have no idea. I have to be honest about this because as a woman with a swollen belly & empty cradle, I didn't want to really hear the big philosophical explanations. I didn't want to hear people try to tell me that is was for the best because, quite frankly I didn't feel that way. I know that people want to help, but there is a safe place with the Lord where we don't have to have all of the answers... I honestly grew weary of hearing people try to explain it all away because they couldn't stand to say those three words. I don't know.... Your God is perfectly capable of revealing himself. You don't have to feel like you need to fill the gaps. He has put the gaps there so that you will press into Him despite them. That will be your answer to those who murmur around you."

I don't know why this happened, but that doesn't matter... It is amazing how those three little words: "I don't know" brings rest upon my weary spirit. Why is Japan in all that chaos? I don't know. But, I don't need to know why, don't need to explain why... I serve a God that does know. Nothing changes His sovereignty or faithfulness.

"He gives and He takes away. Have I had moments of genuine questioning where I blamed myself and anyone else I could? Yes. But when those thoughts come, and they will, we must make a choice about who we will be from this day forward. Either we will go through life as bitter servants, or we will make Him famous with our love. I want Him to be famous.... Is it possible that we are chosen to undergo something when all the while the Lord knows that it will be given to Him in sweet surrender?" Yes. Yes. and Yes.

So, there is hard work in store... Bitterness to eradicate from my heart, joy to learn, and a glorious Lord to make famous. Those days of sadness will come... My mother's heart will always yearn for my children in heaven, nothing (not even other children) will replace them... But, since God has asked for my children in a sweet surrender to Him, He shall now have it without any reservations.

More in love with my savior,

Friday, March 4, 2011

It's finally March

March is the only month that we don't have some kind of an anniversary to overcome of some sort. I feel like I can breathe a little easier. Recently I was in an embarrassing situation in which someone was congratulated for their pregnancy and I couldn't suppress the waves of emotions that came with it. It is an awful feeling because I want to be joyful and share this special joy with this person, but how when the wounds of grief have not healed? What is it like to be excited to be pregnant? What is it like to share this joy with others? The concept is completely foreign, one I have yet to learn. This person was incredibly gracious, very understanding, showing compassion and grace when I deserved none. 

Why is it still so hard? We see God's will and absolute goodness in this. We are even thankful for this waiting period. But, every new pregnancy reminds me of the brokenness that comes with the grief of losing a child (nonetheless three). It seems that people are often surprised that this is still a struggle. But, if my child had been older or had I given birth, would that make a difference in how long I can grief?

Recently I have been learning the true meaning of joy, faith, and trust. I believe this is a large part of the reason God has given us this trial. But, these things must be learned. We must learn what joy is before being able to fully experience it. We must learn what true faith is before being able to live it fully. We must learn who God is before we are able to trust Him. God brings us these trials so that we can learn who He is. Every struggle we've had in this has brought us closer to our Heavenly Father. Every breakdown, every trial, every struggle is one step closer to trusting God more, living faith fully, and experiencing true joy.

There are still a lot of struggles and battles to come. Depression and anxiety will always be the familiar friends of my sinful nature. But, God is with us. He has not left us for even a moment in this. Looking back I see God ever more clearly.

The other day God reveled that for the first time in what seems like forever, I don't feel like I'm suffocating as much.The suppressive grip of grief is starting to lift a little. Getting out of bed isn't as hard. Each day is a small step forward somehow, someway. Habakkuk 3:19 "The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights."

Day 43 of Gratitude Journal and I am on #402 of things to be thankful for.

P.S. A quick update on my sister-in-law Cindy. Her surgery has been postponed until June. Please continue to pray for her, Derek, and their children.