Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A few moments that have brought me to tears lately:

- Pulling out old maternity clothes that I wore when I was pregnant with Zachary.

- Anxiously waiting to feel this baby move, but dreading it all the same because I know it will preoccupy my thoughts for the next 20+ weeks.

- Making plans to paint and re-decorate a nursery that was never used and deciding which of Zachary's things to put away.

A few moments that have brought incredible joy to my heart:

- Taking a 4 mile walk with Shaun last night just so I could get gyoza, dark chocolate and a movie to watch together.

- Time with good friends who ask how I'm doing and really want to know.

- Sweet time with my family over the past couple of weeks.

I find that, as I'm forced to go one layer deeper to grieve, God does more healing work in my heart. It's difficult to live in this place between loss and new life, but I'm thankful. My instinct is to rush through this time, but I'm learning so much as I discover all over again how to trust the Lord. Yes, there are moments of sorrow, but I know that God is making me whole and stretching my faith.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

"Do not judge the bereaved mother.
She comes in many forms.
She is breathing, but she is dying.
She may look young, but inside she has become ancient.

She smiles, but her heart sobs.

She walks, she talks, she cooks, she cleans, she works, she IS,
but she IS NOT, all at once.

She is here, but part of her is elsewhere for eternity."

-Author Unknown

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

We're going through the book of John right now in our sermon series at church. This past Sunday we looked at chapter five in which Jesus miraculously heals a man who has been paralyzed for 38 years. But before Jesus heals this man, He asks him this question: "Do you want to get well?"

If Jesus were to ask us any of us this question, it would sound rhetorical. But I think Jesus is looking for something more than the obvious.

He doesn't ask, "Do you want me to change your circumstances?" or "Do you want a quick fix?." He asks the invalid if he wants to get well because Jesus wants to change this man from the inside out. He wants to heal more than his physical suffering. He wants to make him whole - emotionally, spiritually and physically.

I felt the gentle Spirit of God asking the same question of me as I sat in church next to Shaun.

"Do you want a quick solution, or do you want Me to change you where you are right now?"

Secretly, I wish God would just speed this whole process of pregnancy up. I've started to be very purposeful about controlling my anxiety and intentionally bonding with this child, but really I just want to arrive home from the hospital with my baby. I just want to close my eyes and have this agonizing wait be over. And I'm so concerned about tomorrow that I often miss the blessing of carrying this sweet gift today. I'm missing what God has for me right now.

"Do you want to get well?"

Do I truly want God to use every blessing, every heartache, every twist and turn along the way to change me...heal me...make me whole?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Give me eyes to see more of Who You are
May what I behold still my anxious heart
Take what I have known and break it all apart
You, my God, are greater still

No sky contains
No doubt restrains
All You are
The greatness of our God
I spend my life to know
And I'm far from close
To all You are
The greatness of our God

Give me grace to see beyond this moment here
To believe that there is nothing left to fear
That You alone are high above it all
You, my God are greater still

-Greatness of Our God, Natalie Grant

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I wish this pregnancy could be as carefree as the last...but it's not. I haven't taken any belly pictures. I haven't started a journal of letters to this child. I panic every time my midwife pulls out the doppler to find a heartbeat at my appointments. Shaun and I haven't discussed baby names or nursery decor...actually, I haven't even walked into the baby room in weeks.

40 weeks feels like it might as well be 40 years right now.

This past weekend we were at a family wedding. As people happily meandered around and music played through the speakers, my eyes caught the form of a little boy 'dancing' on the dance floor. He was adorable... curly blonde hair, dressed in his wedding garb, and totally unsteady on his feet as he waddled around and rolled on the floor. I couldn't help but wonder if that's what my little boy would look like at 13 months...what it would be like to be the mom standing over my toddler to catch him if he fell while busting a move.

A little while later, I was standing next to that little boy's mom waiting for the restroom (no surprise), and she noticed my little baby bump. After sharing that she was pregnant, too, and exchanging all of the standard questions...when are you due, how many weeks along, etc., she asked me if this was my first. Without hesitation, I smiled and said, "yes." It just didn't seem worth the emotional expenditure at that moment to launch into our story, and it hurt.

Because this isn't my first baby. I've been through all of pregnancy and delivery. I've done this before. And I grieve the fact that this child will never know his or her older brother. That this child will be forced to answer questions like, "how many kids are in your family?'..."are you the oldest?", etc. I just realize more and more every day that we can't simply leave our loss behind us...that it's part of our story, part of our family forever.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

For the past two months I have been wading through the balance of bold faith and steadfast trust in God's sovereignty. I'm slowly discovering how the two go hand in hand.

I am 15 weeks pregnant. I have hesitated to tell friends and family, and I hesitate to write that even now. To be congratulated feels really strange...I think I'm still very much in denial. Don't get me wrong...I'm so, so thankful. This is something we have prayed for and waited on the Lord for for what seemed like a long time. But, pregnancy is also a huge risk to me now, and to be excited means that I am hopeful, and to be hopeful means that I could end up devastated again.

So, I'm working through how to ask God for a healthy pregnancy and a screaming baby in a few months, but with the knowledge that God's plans are not my own and that, no matter what tomorrow holds, He will walk with us. There are moments that I am overcome with fear and guilt, but for the most part, I have a genuine peace.

Thank you for praying with us in the days and weeks ahead.