Remember us? Yes, it's been a little while. We've had a crazy year. I can't believe it's April. In ways the year has been extremely slow and somehow extremely fast. This year has taught us more of the Lord's steadfastness. It's been a difficult few months, to say the least. Here is a little recap of what the year has held.
This year we started our January with news of a new baby on the way. This was very exciting since we had been hoping for this since last year when we walked through our first miscarriage. My sickness started early, as usual, and even though we were excited it was much more subdued this time around. There was a hesitancy to dream about this little one—who would he be? How would she look? It's a normal reaction after experiencing a loss. Life slowed down, at least for me, as sickness made me unable to do very much.
At our first appointment we received news that this baby was not growing like it should've been. It was heart wrenching to be in that office and hear the news so similar to what we had experienced only months before. I remember thinking, "Surely not, Lord. Surely You would not have us walk through this again." However just that morning, before we even headed out I remember thinking that our appointment could very well not bring the best news. And IF that was to happen, the Lord would be faithful. He would walk us through it, like He did last July. I prayed for strength for whatever the outcome would be.
I'm not sure if that was the Lord preparing my heart for that first appointment, but I like to think it is.
Following that appointment, we went back week after week until we finally saw the news we'd been preparing for. The baby's heart had stopped.
The days after that were hard and long, so long. I never imagined that we'd experience loss two times within one year. I never thought we'd even have one miscarriage after two healthy sons. But throughout it I clung to so many promises in the Word (these listed below He gave to me BEFORE we even knew I would miscarry, what a loving God to prepare my heart this way).
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26
But it is good for me to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of your works. Psalm 73:28
He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. Isaiah 40:11
Is my hand shortened, that it cannot redeem, or have I no power to deliver? Isaiah 50:2b
And these scriptures after our appointment:
I am he who comforts you; who are you that you are afraid of man who dies, of the son of man who is like grass and have forgotten the Lord, your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundation of the earth, and you fear continually all the day because the wrath of the oppressor when he sets himself to destroy? And where is the wrath of the oppressor? I am the Lord your God who stirs up the sea so that the waves roar, the Lord of hosts is his name. And I have put my words in your mouth and covered you in the shadow of my hand, establishing the heavens and laying the foundations of the earth, and saying to Zion, you are my people. Isaiah 51:12-13
Blessed are all who take refuge in him. Psalm 2:12b
Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Psalm 4:4
But all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult you. Psalm 5:11
Psalm 6 (the whole chapter)
All of these were special to me in those first few days after our first appointment. So MANY more came over the weeks following that day. I journaled and drew, painted and shared my art on my instagram and I continue to share my work there as the Lord heals our hearts.
Going through grief is a long road. There is no time frame on it, no manual to tell you what is right and what is wrong. But in all of it I learned to open up and share our story. I told our story to some close friends, to the ladies at our church that were praying for us, and to the elders in our church. We had so many people in prayer for us and with us. We had friends bring meals, thoughtful gifts, flowers, cards and stop to pray with us. Each and every note, text, gift and hug meant so much and each one is remembered. In the middle of grief you do not feel like yourself as you wrestle with so many BIG feelings. Tangible things and kindness are anchors in the midst of it all. Comfort, love, and hope are all things that are needed, necessary to get you through the waves of emotions. I cannot express the gratitude I have for the community of believers we have around us. For choosing to follow in obedience as the Lord led them to be His hands and feet to us. It has gone deeply into my own heart and I only hope I can also be the one to help another that walks down a road of loss like we have.
We miss this baby. We miss our last baby too. But we are hopeful in His promises because they are true. We know that he has not failed us, He will work this for good, because He is good (Romans 8:28). Our suffering is not in vain, and our faith in Him IS a hope we cannot see now, but will one day (Hebrews 11:1). We will see Him, we will see our babies again, and until then we can rest in the knowledge that He is taking care of us, and He is not finished with us! (Philippians 1:6)
I have so many verses that have been a great encouragement. Here are a few that I hand lettered and have in my shop online.
I am reading several books these days. It's not unusual at all for me as my attention wavers between fiction, study and learning. I am enjoying the book by Sarah Mackenzie, Teaching from Rest. A GREAT read for any mom that is homeschooling.
I am also loving Answers to Prayer: From George Müller's Narratives, an amazing account of the prayers that missionary George Müller wrote and recorded. His faith is inspiring and challenges me to have a deeper faith and relationship with God.
It's been about a month since we lost our second baby to miscarriage. Some days are hard, but they are getting better. I shared with a friend that healing in the heart is slow. But I know that as I daily go to God (sometimes hourly) He is doing a work in the hearts of me and Jonah. It's the moments I can look at something that used to hurt, and no longer causes pain in my heart that I realize the healing is there and I am grateful. I pray that this baby can bring eternal glory to God, and if Jonah and I can help another family walking through loss, we will thank the Lord for our story.