Yesterday was such a beautiful day celebrating our friend and the new little life in her home. Kapri was adored and spoiled with girly goodness. But one of the highlights of the shower was when sweet Alicia shared a personal and touching devotional. A surefire way to make 40 women cry. Tears of joy mixed with sorrow.I asked (forced) her to send me a copy of what she shared. Whether you have experienced pregnancy loss, or simply trials in your life I can assure you that you will be blessed beyond measure by the sentiments that poured from Alicia's heart.
At the time I wrote this letter I had just passed the due date of my second pregnancy. It was a very dark time for me and I was really struggling with how God fits into our losses. A good friend invited me on a trip to Washington D.C. and I agreed to go thinking it could possibly provide an escape from my depression. At that point, I was almost certain that I would never fully smile again. I took a book called Traveling Light that addresses the burden of grief. I so wanted to escape from the pain, but somehow also wanted to hold it close. It seemed the closest thing that I may ever get to having a baby. During that time I read an excerpt from a different book written by a woman who had also suffered through many miscarriages that really caught my attention. She spoke of a pottery class that she had taken in efforts to distract herself and how at one point she recognized that the constant drip of water that hits the clay is what makes it moldable. She explained that if we pray for Christ to shape us to be more like Him, then we can't put conditions on how He drips into our lives. This was the first time that I accepted that although I will never understand why I had to lose the babies, that God was still dripping into my life... molding me somehow. During that trip we went on a walk through a museum garden and I was taken with this bush. It was remarkably weedy, but had these beautiful light blue flowers in the middle of the stalks. For some reason it painted a picture for me that I held on to for the next two years... that something beautiful can come out of something ugly. Over time I came to a new satisfaction in Christ... and now we have our little girls, a daily reminder of that promise and how God is working in the ugly storms of life.
Romans 5 says:
"And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance: perseverance, character: and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."
I recently heard a speaker paraphrase this scripture that perfectly captured my feelings regarding these verses:
"The gift of joy that is found in suffering is not suffering for its own sake, but the opportunity that suffering brings for us to completely rely on God, long enough to experience His power, His presence an His provision in character changing ways. And it is that experiential knowledge of God's faithfulness that produces the hope that will not disappoint, because it is the hope we have counted on. It is hope based on the love that God has poured out on us as we have had to depend on Him."
During a very empty time I wondered if I would ever experience hope again. I don't have the reason why suffering is necessary, but how strikingly sweet is a victory when it is up against such pain. Your sweet baby's life is undoubtedly a priceless gift and now my deepest prayer is soley for her to know and trust in the glory of God... in His sufficiency and sovereignty despite our inabilty to always understand how He works.
I went to the garden center to research the strange flower that was pressed in my Bible from that garden walk so long ago. Through it I held onto the promise of God's faithfulness in my life. I again was blessed to find it was called "Love in a Mist". I am leaving you some seeds to plant and watch them grow, reminding you of how God is ever at work amongst the mess.