Tuesday, May 28, 2013

When life falls apart...

It was just one year ago since I first learned that I was pregnant with little Hudson...
To discover you are pregnant is quite an emotional experience in itself. It is a good thing I didn't know at the time what exactly that pregnancy would give birth to.
Yea, I carried a baby and delivered a child. Although it was absolutely not the way I would've planned it, I am thankful to God for many of the things that have taken place since this day one year ago.
Sure, on the outside my life looks identical to the way it did the day that I nervously read the positive on that pregnancy test. But, in all reality, my life has changed more in the last year than at any other time.
 I was pregnant with a baby, a hope, a dream, a desire that seemed sure to be fulfilled. With a baby on the way, our house nearly sold, another one picked out, and a family vehicle in the works, I was proud and na├»vely confident that my own plans were going to succeed. Life seemed to be moving forward just like it should. I can say with confidence, I have never been more wrong about anything.
See, God saw fit to take those desires and plans and one-by-one allow me lose my carnal hold of them.
So, what did that pregnancy test mean?  It meant I was about to give birth to life's darkest, most difficult and painful season. It meant my whole world would spiral out of control as I grasped to catch a piece of it and keep it within my control, my reach. 
What's better, it meant that the very core of who I am would change forever. My priorities would take new order, my world view a new shape, and my faith deeper roots. I gave birth to the reality of who I really am and a better understanding of my all Sovereign Savior.
Today, I live and breathe differently because of the severe disappointment and growth that I've been forced into. My hope is that people don't see me as a victim of life's unfortunate circumstances. I've become a student to my own shortcomings and the plans that God has mapped out for me. For this, I am eternally grateful.

 While I would do anything to be in the home that my heart once envisioned and hold my sweet baby boy, I've surely learned by now that it is not my own desires that are important. To really understand that my life belongs to God makes it so much easier to let Him be the keeper of my dreams. To surrender every aspect of my life and heart over to Him has to be one of the hardest things to learn, but in the end, it's worth the lesson.
If I can be honest about all of this, then I guess I have to be honest and admit that it all still hurts. Not just losing my baby, but losing everything I put my heart into for so many months. It still stings. Bad.
I wouldn't even know how to pretend that I understand why God would let all of this disappointment happen. In the last year I've had more taken from me than what's been restored. I don't get it, but I would sure like to.
I find myself, even now, searching for answers. But really, answers don't matter.

Ok, yea I do think they would provide me with a little more peace. But Jesus Christ has to be my answer. When nothing else makes sense, I know that He does.
It was the week after "the week". My husband was back to work, the burial service was done and I was home. Alone. Just as it had every other day, emotion swept over me the moment I finally allowed it to. I sat on my loveseat in the living room after putting Dawson down for his nap. I had my journal and pen in hand. I began to write about how angry I was that a loving God could allow his child to go through so much disappointment.
I was angry that seemingly everything had been taken from me.
What I understand now, more than ever, is that it wasn't mine to begin with.
As my pen scribbled on the tear stained pages of my journal, a song began to play on the radio that stopped me dead in my tracks. My heart froze for a moment as I realized the God of Heaven was speaking to me. I was astonished. Every lyric of that song found its way into my heart and mind as an answer. Just the answer I needed.
Today, this song still makes my heart race as it brings up such fresh emotion.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Break Your Silence

Ever felt a sense of shame for your situation?

A recent conversation often comes to mind. It was a simple, short conversation but it had a huge impact on me. Another mom probably my age or a tad older asked me how many children I have.

 "I have one here and two in Heaven. How many do you have?"

 "I have four."

She then turned around, ending the conversation right there. Was she was put off by my reply? A few seconds later I see her turn back around to me…

 "I have one in Heaven too."

That was it. At that moment I decided to make my experimental reply to that question a permanent one. You see, this mom felt safe to acknowledge her baby in Heaven because I first acknowledged mine.

Pardon me to be so blunt, but if your mom or dad dies, do you pretend as if they never existed? No. So why should you if your baby dies during pregnancy or even shortly after? I see where this topic is so off limits in our society. It is cast out as inappropriate or uncomfortable. No wonder moms don't mention their children in Heaven. They are afraid to.  I believe that well intentioned people can say things to inadvertently inflict feelings of shame on mothers who've had pregnancy loss. Comments like, "well, at least you already have one." or "You can always have more." Only create shame and diminish the worth of their feelings or worse, their child's life.

Don't be ashamed! No matter where or when your loss was, you are still a mommy to a baby.

Maybe I'm just different. My husband and I had another loss in February. This was a very very early loss. No, I don't feel fear in acknowledging that loss. Yes, I do sort of dread the awkward silence it causes when I tell someone that I have two babies in Heaven. Possibly this acknowledgement comes easy to me though, because Hudson was my first loss. One that we couldn't hide. 

Isn't it worth it?

I have been amazed by the number of women that I've crossed paths with in life that have experienced loss. What’s even more amazing, is that I had no clue until I had my loss.

Don't you think that the loneliness of grief could be alleviated just a bit to know that countless other women have been there? Let me challenge you to boldly claim your baby.

I'm far from being a trend-setter, but I'm ready to set one. I will break my silence. I will see to it that other women have an opportunity to break theirs.

Will you?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

"Blessed are Those who Mourn"

It is true. You are blessed because you mourn. Don't get me wrong, the reason that you mourn may not be a blessing. The fact the you mourn makes you blessed. God says so in the book of Matthew, chapter 5 verse 4.
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."
I find a bit of comfort just in knowing that I will be comforted. God is our comfort.

This past Sunday at church our pastor spoke from this verse. I must say, I loved every moment of it. Not because it was an incredibly cheery sermon, but because so much of it is what my heart, and I trust yours too, longs to hear.

Contrary to many people's words, actions or awkward comments, grief is normal and it is OK. It is necessary. Doesn't that make it seem a little bit easier to grieve? I've never felt like I had to hide my grief around those that accept it, or better yet, understand it! However, those who are uncomfortable with it, I hide it. I bury it behind fake smiles and head nods so they don't see. It is then that the grief takes deeper roots and sets up camp in a more unhealthy way.

Be encouraged, if you are grieving a loss, just grieve and mourn. Don't let anyone try to fix it or take it from you. While not everyone understand the way you feel, you can know that our God, the God of all comfort understands. He has given you tears to cry and a heart that can feel pain. He sees every tear that falls and He understands.

Please, check out this sermon. I am sure it will encourage you. I am especially partial to it because my pastor shares a little bit about Hudson's Bands of Hope at the end!

Just click below and then click on the link to your right.

Allow me to sit with you and cry a tear or two.