I'm sure you all are wondering how we are doing. I wonder that myself. There are constant reminders of my loss. I have several friends expecting and their growing bellies and growing futures are sometimes hard to bear. I also have several friends that have more than one child. I often feel like my arms are empty. As I read my news feed of how great 2012 was to some and how much they look forward to 2013 being even better I couldn't help but feel great pain for how awful 2012 was for me. I too look forward to 2013. I'm hoping the refinement that God offers is less painful. Some mornings I lay in bed not really looking forward to another day. I try to remind myself why I am still here. Still here to glorify God. There is much purpose in my life.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
On Friday, January 4th I received a phone call from my DR's nurse. She said that the results of the chromosome testing was in and that Gracia's chromosomes were fine. No cause of death. To me, this was a prayer answered. As odd as it is, I didn't want to have an answer. I wanted the mystery of her death to cause people to turn to God. You want to know why Gracia died? Because, God chose Gracia.
I had my postpartum appointment on Wednesday, January 9th. We talked about how I needed to let my body heal 4-6 months before we start trying again, since I lost Gracia so late in my pregnancy. I'm not very good at math but 4 months of healing plus a 9 month pregnancy is a long time. And that's if things happen quickly. Keilah will be 4 years old at least before she has a little brother or sister. That was hard to swallow. I never wanted that much of a gap between my kids. But God knows far better than I do. So I'll stick with His plan.
The week before I delivered Gracia, Steve came home with a basket from a co-worker's wife. I let it sit for a couple days because I was in a mood. It was filled with cookies (wish I would have known that sooner!), tissues, hand cream, Bible, candle and a remembrance book "I'll hold you in Heaven" written by Debbie Heydrick. I am no author but if I could put my name to a book it would be this one. I couldn't write it any better. Besides the Bible, this book is so legit. So God breathed. I would have never picked up a book like it on my own, so God used Legacy Christian Church's Peace Basket ministry to reach out to me. I was so encouraged and so blessed and so motivated that God began a desire within me to start my own miscarriage/stillbirth ministry. I met with the Director of Women's Ministry at my church and so Lullaby of Hope has been born. He has birthed new hope out of my sorrow. To me, it's a picture of God the Father singing a lullaby of hope over me, his baby girl. See a lullaby is a song you sing a baby to sleep. He knows very well that I need to rest. To rest in Him. Within a week's time the books have been ordered and all the supplies are ready. Today is bittersweet. I have my first basket to send off.
December 17, 2012
Today I showed Keilah Gracia's foot molds. I gazed at her perfect feet and I noticed outlines of her toenails. Tears welled up. She was growing into a baby. My baby. I lost it over toenails. I started to sing Gracia's song.
I didn't think about how my breasts would fill with milk. I have no baby to feed. The engorgement is painful but the constant reminder of my loss is even more painful. My body is a mess trying to figure out what has happened, just like my mind.
I was asked to write an article for our women's ministry newsletter. I know the Lord wants to use my pain for good so I accepted the offer. It's been hard to write but I know the Lord will carry me. He's allowed my grief and my lowly moments to showcase His strengths. (A refining year)
Drown tonight, all the noise inside. Give me rest. Lord you have filled my mind. I adore you. I want to please you. I love you. Your ways are matchless. Matchless. You are holy. Speak and I will be silent.
December 29, 2012
I long for heaven to be with my girls. I know that it's normal and good. It's grief. But I also recognize the need to work towards shifting my desire to Him above my daughters. It's a daily struggle. It's also been a struggle for Keilah. She has told me a handful of times "Mama, maybe today God will tell us that we are all done with earth." She's also told me that she wants to go to heaven with me and Daddy. I relate to Paul's conflicting feelings of longing to be in heaven with Christ but also seeing the good in being on earth doing the Lord's work. (Phil 1:23-24) I am happy to serve Him. But some days I long to get my invitation to heaven.
Below are pictures that my beautiful friend Jenny took. God bless the woman! I expected that when I asked her to photograph a funeral and open house she would say no. I didn't want to rely on memory and neither did she. I love you, Jenny!