You promise instead….

I haven’t a doubt that God is on this journey with me…As I was praying/journaling the other day He was teaching me a valuable lesson that I still have yet to fully grasp.  Below is an excerpt from my journal…

September 5, 2015: As the appointments on the 9th and 14th get closer I find myself getting more anxious and wanting to cherish each moment with Norah all the more.  I’m afraid to let her go!  She has been with me almost 18 weeks already and I find myself wondering how I will move on if I have to say goodbye.  My heart hurts just thinking about it.  Lord, I pray so often for you to form her brain.  Maybe you are just taking extra time on it to make it all the more special.  That is what I tell myself just for some comfort in this wait.  I absolutely believe you can work a miracle.  I would be the woman in the crowd who would touch your cloak just for a chance at healing (Luke 8:43-48).  I believe you can do this.  I believe and yet I don’t want to get my hopes up, so the minute I think you will I bring myself back down to reality and the possibility that you won’t.  As I read to Norah this morning about the promise you gave Sarah and Abraham, I find myself jealous of the promise (Genesis 18).  I so wish that your promise to me was that we could keep Norah here with us and healthy, yet you haven’t promised us that at all.  You promise instead..

  • You have plans for me…for my good (Jeremiah 29:11)
  • You will give me rest (Matthew 11:28-29)
  • You give me strength when I am weak (Isaiah 40:29-31)
  • You take care of me and will supply my needs (Philippians 4:19)
  • Nothing can separate me from Your love (Romans 8:37-39)
  • You give me peace (Proverbs 1:33)
  • You save me from our sin (Romans 10:9)
  • You give me eternal life (Romans 6:23)

Where in this list is a promise to keep Norah?  It isn’t there, yet I realize there is a lot there for me.  Lord, help me to lean on the promises you DO have of me, even when I feel like they don’t supply me with all I need,  because I need my baby…I feel I need my Norah.

Teach me to be resigned to thy will, to delight in thy law, to have no will but thine, to believe that everything thou doest is for my good.

Help me to leave my concerns in they hands, for thou has power over evil, and bringest from it an infinite progression of good, until they purposes are fulfilled…

…May I not instruct thee in my troubles, but glorify thee in my trials; Grant me a distinct advance in the divine life; May I reach a higher platform, leave the mists of doubt and fear in the valley, and climb to the hill-tops of eternal security in Christ by simply believing he cannot lie, or turn from his purpose.

Give me the confidence I ought to have in him who is worthy to be praised, and who is blessed for evermore.

– The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions (Arthur Bennet)

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Attachment

In the beginning, there was nothing.

Nothing to hear.  Nothing to feel. Nothing to see.

Only emptiness.  And darkness.  And…nothing but nothing.

But God was there.  And God had a wonderful Plan.

“I’ll take this emptiness,” God said, “and I’ll fill it up!  Out of the darkness, I’m going to make light!  And out of nothing, I’m going to make…EVERYTHING!”

(The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every story whispers his name, by Sally Lloyd-Jones)

A1iNqHXNZULIs it weird that reading this I think of my womb? I think of the nothing that was there and how God create something…He create Wiggles.   He has a plan…He filled my womb…Wiggles’ heart started beating spontaneously because He decided it should.

We got a Bible for Wiggles this week.  We read to Wiggles for the first time last night.  It was both the best and the hardest thing I have done so far in this pregnancy.  Attachment to Wiggles…well really to anything you know you will have to say goodbye to is so hard, but so necessary.  The last thing I want to feel when this is all over is regret that I didn’t love this child with everything I had.  And because this attachment process is so painful, it has to be all the more intentional for me I think.   I want Wiggles to know that he/she has always been loved and wanted and I want nothing more than for Wiggles to experience only goodness and love in the life that he/she has.

I got a note from a good friend of mine after she heard the news of Wiggles.  She is a labor and delivery nurse at the hospital that we will be going to when the time comes.  She is the biggest blessing to me and has eased so many fears and given so much comfort.  Her perspective is beautiful and something I will hold onto…possibly forever. She wrote this…

I know this sounds crazy and heartless, but there is always a small sense of joy for a baby that has passed. Since conception, it has never felt anything but warmth and love from its mother. It has lived in the calming motion of the mothers day to day activities and listened to her heartbeat and voice. It has been peaceful bliss since day one. I believe that when babies are still in the womb, that they are still connected to Heaven in a way and can enjoy God’s comfort during that time. It has never had to feel the harshness of the world in any way. And when the baby does pass away, God is there, and has been there, waiting to take him or her up to Heaven where it is absolutely perfect. Never will the baby have to experience anything but love and perfection with God. Can you imagine? Whenever this happens, as crazy as it sounds, I always feel Gods presence in the room. Although it breaks us on earth, that is such a beautiful thing. If Wiggles gets to meet the world, I know that he/she will be so blessed to have your guiding hand. Two people couldn’t be more amazing to take care of a special needs child! I can tell you that I know 100% that God didn’t make a mistake giving Wiggles to you. Wiggles is so utterly and completely loved by the best parents that he/she could ask for! Know that you are doing the work of God and I am so proud of you!

And now that tears are rolling down my face and the snot is getting a little out of control, I will go about my Saturday as a mother carrying a miracle and creation of God.

 

5 Ways to Cope with Disappointment

A Christmas with no significant other, empty arms where a child was “supposed to be,” loss of a loved one, job, or the little disappointments that can come daily…sometimes several times a day.  Haven’t we all faced disaIMG_3759ppointments, often times more than we feel like we should.

 

I’m preaching to myself this morning…let me just be real for a second here.  Disappointment, in the past…and I am fighting it presently, sends me into a tail spin (think…tears, chocolate, sitting in the same spot for hours staring into space, or just staying in bed).  I have faced it this year more that I wish I had…and I like to think that I have gotten better at handling it.  In reality, I don’t know that that is entirely true.  But in the midst of this year, I have created a list of things that seem to help.

1. Prayer: Often times, for me, this praying consists of questions.  I can’t help it.  When I don’t understand why something happened I want to know why.  I want to know what His plan is…Why He thinks that bringing me though something painful would bring Him more glory.  Praying isn’t always easy when we are going through trying times.  There was a time this year when I couldn’t do it.  My disappointment was so big that I didn’t even know what to say to God.  It is during times when you feel you can’t pray, that asking your community to pray for you can help you keep your head above the water.  Personally, I know it was my community praying on my behalf that kept me persevering.  God is always good…He is always there…Always waiting for you…Always ready to embrace you and sit with you in your disappointment.  And in time…In His time…He will give you insight into your trial.

2. Create a toolkit: In a little journal I have collected scriptures, song lyrics, helpful quotations from bloggers and authors that have made a huge difference.  I add to this journal every time I see read something or hear a song that gives me hope, makes me feel like I’m not alone, and reminds me of God’s power and love.  Sometimes I copy what friends or family have written to me in cards or emails.  And when disappointment comes…like it always does…I go to this journal and drown myself in hope and encouragement that has helped me during trying times in the past.  I recommend getting a toolkit (either digital or a journal)!  It has been a blessing to me!

3. Connect with your community: Not all people can handle sitting with you in your disappointment and sorrow.  Not all people, know how to say the right things.  I often think finding friends to talk to can be one of the hardest things to do when I am disappointed.  I think most of us are smart and insightful enough to comfort ourselves with all the cliche anecdotes…if those things helped we probably wouldn’t need to go to friends and we could recover by ourselves…am I right?  Pick your community carefully.  Those who can sit with you…sometimes in silence, and sometimes just with a listening ear.  This friend or family member doesn’t need to fix it, and maybe they need to be reminded of that…they just need to be with you in your broken heart.  And hugs are the best!

4. Don’t dispair, rest, and when you are ready, work again: Has being hard on yourself ever helped you cope with disappointment?  Why not be kind to yourself?  Take time to breathe, gather yourself, take a walk, relax, drink an extra cup of coffee and have some chocolate.  It is ok!  And when you are ready, and life seems doable again…even just a little…do it.  Keep doing life, keep living to give God the glory…you have to keep living to see how God is going to work all this out for good. right?  Find something to pour yourself into and thrive in it.  Because despite the disappointment…if you are still on this earth, God still has work for you to do!

5. Practice Gratitude: This isn’t easy…it is hard to be sad and think of positive things at the same time.  It takes some time to get to the point of being able to do it successfully I think.  But it is possible.  Look around you and thank God for His faithfulness in the past and how He will be faithful even in your disappointment.  Despite your situation, God has placed innumerable blessings in your life…joy is found when we see the blessings for what they are…gifts from God.

Being joyful isn’t what makes your grateful, Being grateful is what makes you joyful. – Ann Voskamp