Tuesday, April 23, 2013

It's all good

Last Tuesday God woke me to blog about my miscarriage last April. I wrote it in 15 minutes and by the end of it I was so filled with the Spirit I cried tears of thanksgiving. The rest of the day was full of blessings.  After lunch Keilah asked for me to play Trip Lee, as song after song played we busted out some funky dance moves. As number 14 played I heard every lyric clearly. Listening to it one time wasn't enough, so I put it on repeat. The lyric that really got me was "People ask me how I survive it all, I tell them 'bout my Lord" That is exactly what I do. That is not to boast in myself, but in God. Anytime I get a compliment on my strength or courage I am quick to say "The Lord has been good to me." And He has.

As I meditated on what felt like inappropriate times to sing, God revealed to me Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom through psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit. Sing to God with gratitude in your hearts. All along, it was the Spirit singing. Now it makes sense why I sang the night before my D&C, why I sang the day I buried Gracia and why I sang all day last Tuesday.  He will give oil of joy instead of mourning, Isaiah 61:3

The next day I read a testimony that my best friend wrote for the NICU and as I read her daughter's stats I couldn't help but compare them to Gracia's. Her daughter was born at 23.2 weeks, 1lb 9oz and 12 inches long. Gracia was delivered at 23.4 weeks, 1lb 15oz and 13 inches long. I cried. So happy for her daughter's life and so sad for Gracia's death. As I let the tears slip silently I heard Keilah belt out "It's all good! It's all good!" It was a sweet reminder that it is all good. To remember the joy I had the day before and why that joy was present.

The following day at Bible study (The law of Love, Beth Moore), the lesson was on the good land. In fact Part one was "How to sing a song of the good land." How fitting :)

For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing out in the valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land in which YOU WILL LACK NOTHING, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. And you shall eat and be full, and YOU SHALL BLESS THE LORD YOUR GOD FOR THE GOOD LAND HE HAS GIVEN YOU. Deuteronomy 8:7-10

3 days in a row, God showed me through songs, through Keilah and through His word that it's all good.

I am so thankful for the ways that He chooses to speak to me. And so thankful for the good land that He has given me.

Bless the Lord O my soul,
O my soul,
Worship His holy name,
Sing like never before,
O my soul,
I'll worship Your holy name

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Hope through thorns

April 16, 2012 felt like the rug was pulled out from under me. 2 days earlier I learned that the baby I was carrying died. I had a sonogram to take measurements to find out when my baby stopped growing. I'll never forget what the sonographer said "Well, your baby is curled up. So it makes measurements difficult." My baby was dead. That was a Monday and my D&C was scheduled for that Wednesday. My doctor prescribed a pill to soften my cervix and by 4am I was having labor pains. Painful enough that I could no longer sleep.  The best way to describe what came next was dumping. The uncontrollable dumping that my body did. Nothing I could do would stop it. It felt like gallons of blood were rushing forth.  I stood in the bathroom covered in blood and I couldn't see through the tears and Steve had to clean me up.  It was like a horror movie. When my brother arrived to do some 5am babysitting, we left.  I thought the worse was over. Our drive to the hospital was silent. I stepped out of the car and did a little cheer in my head because no dumping happened. Then it did. I stood in the circle drive covered. I was still trying to figure out why all this dumping was happening, were all miscarriages this bad? I was embarrassed. I took off my hoodie and tied it around my waist. I waddled to the front desk to get signed in. The receptionist was already signing in another patient so I had to wait. She gave me a blanket to sit on. I have never felt so demoralized. What felt like ages, I finally got my turn to get checked in. I had to sign all the paperwork because it was I getting the surgery done. I was so mad. In so much pain. I begrudgingly handed over my visa to make my first payment. It all felt so wrong. I finally got called back to get prepped for surgery. She handed me a gown and I laughed at the pad she gave me. I started to peel the blood soaked clothes off of me and the blinding tears began.  I thought I was doing good until I found part of the placenta stuck to my leg. I screamed. My nurse and Steve rushed to my aid. My nurses motherly instincts took over. My body was shaking from losing so much blood and from all the pain I was in. I laid in my hospital bed, Steve holding my hand. Silent once again. I so desperately needed prayer, but I couldn't even whisper my request.  Just then my nurse said someone was here for me to pray with me. I assumed it was a hospital chaplain, but when she announced the name of a dear friend I quickly said yes. I knew God sent her in a very weak time. She held my hand and Steve's and prayed over us. When I opened my eyes my doctor was there, ready to take me back. It was just like the movies when I was being wheeled back to surgery. When I woke up I felt sooooo good. No more pain. When we were back at home we laid in bed eating cookies and sandwiches that a friend brought over. We felt like we were skipping school. We spent the rest of the day resting and enjoying each other's company. A perfect ending to a not so perfect day.

At the time, I felt picked on. At the time, it was the worse thing to happen to me and my family.  At the time, I was very angry.  I felt like a statistic.  I was confused.  In the book of Jonah, he too was confused and angry. He didn't understand God's way and I can say "Amen!" to that! It might seem silly to compare my baby to a plant that withered. But I too was exceedingly glad (Jonah 4:6) over new life.  And, I too was angry enough I would have chosen to die (Jonah 4:9).  Ecclesiastes 3:20 All are from dust, and to dust all return.

Jonah 4:10-11
And the Lord said, "You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night. And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?"

The Lord's compassion is great.

God had sympathetic pity and concern for the suffering I was in. His compassion is great and never-ending.

Lamentations 3:22
Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never come to an end.

Lord, thank You for my thorns. For there is hope through thorns.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

How He loves

I've taken on a new hobby. I am fascinated with birds.  I didn't wake up one day thinking this would be my next venture, but God did. A few weeks ago I had my sister, Meredith, over. I planned to share Gracia's pictures with her and recount that time of her death.  As I was cleaning up breakfast that morning I glanced out on my deck and saw a large bird sitting on my grill.  It turned to look at me, we stared at each other for a few seconds. I even waved at the bird. I knew it was from God. When I had time to google birds of Missouri, I discovered that the bird I saw was a mourning dove. God gifted me with a mourning dove the day I was to gush about Gracia. He loves me.

Meredith was a great support to me when Gracia was diagnosed.  She accompanied me to my final doctor appointment, when we received confirmation that Gracia's heart had stopped.  She took time off work to care for Keilah while I was in the hospital. She picked up Gracia's flowers for her casket. She hosted Gracia's open house.  Without Meredith stepping in, I'm not sure how those dreadful days in December would have played out. I am forever grateful for her.  I don't know how you thank someone who did so much for you in the worse time of your life.  I so badly wanted to commemorate the bond that God gave us. Months ago I looked up anchor bracelets. I found one that I really liked but didn't pull the trigger. Before Meredith and I headed downstairs to look at Gracia's pictures, she said that she had something for me and she handed me the exact bracelet that I was looking to purchase.  My jaw dropped.  God is in the details. He cares deeply.

Job 33:14 For God speaks in one way, and in two, though man does not perceive it.
God, I am listening. Speak, I will be quiet.

I am now living in Isaiah 63:7 I will recount the steadfast love of the Lord, the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord has granted us, and the great goodness to the house of Israel that he has granted them according to his compassion, according to the abundance of his steadfast love. God says we will walk through fire and not be burned. He did just that for me. I may be charred but I didn't burn up in my pain. I'm on the other side. I made it through because of Him. The Lord was good to me. He has revealed secrets to me that are mine to keep (Deut. 29:29).

My niece, Selah Crosby, was named after Fanny Crosby. Fanny is well known for being a master lyricist, poet and composer. She became blind at 6 weeks old.  In her biography she is quoted to say "had it not been for her affliction she might not have so good an education or have so great an influence, and certainly not so fine a memory." She also said "when I get to heaven, the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of my Savior". My affliction was my miscarriage last April and burying my daughter, Gracia, December 13th. But I thank God for my afflictions. The refinement that has blossomed is nothing I could have gained by bearing a healthy baby. I have been tried in the furnace of affliction and I have come out refined.  All glory, honor and praise be to God.
But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works. Psalm 73:28