Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I need thee..

My best friend asked that I share this story to the world for her. We as women like to hide these things the darkest of days in our minds & hearts. But we should be able to look to each other for encouragement..and look to God to help us in our darkest hour.

Our Miscarriage 
By: Rachel Thomas
May 1, 2013
 I had hoped to be sharing some exciting news right about this time. I had hoped that now would be the time that I would be able to share with so many sweet friends of the new life growing inside of me. I had hoped to now be telling everyone that I am due October 30, 2013. But this is not the case.
Friday, February 22, 2013 is a day I will never forget. I was late and began having this growing nervousness/excitement that I might be pregnant. Jeremy and I took a test together that evening and it was a faint line. He didn’t believe it. He told me I could get a digital test so I did. Waiting those 3 minutes for the test result to appear seemed like forever. And then it appeared…PREGNANT! I wanted to wake Jeremy up so bad but he wasn’t feeling well so I set the test on the bathroom counter and decided to wait until morning. When we both woke up on that Saturday I said, “Well, it looks like you’re going to be a dad again!” He could hardly believe what I was saying to him as I handed him the test. To say we were surprised, shocked, overjoyed, and ecstatic is an understatement! We both had to work that day but sweetly enough our friends the Demosses had offered to watch Griffin for us that night. What a wonderful date night it was to just sit and gush about our new news together! We talked about plans and names. It was all so exciting. That weekend we began sharing with family & friends who are close to us and what a sweet time that was to be able to say our family of 3 is growing into a family of 4!
I took another test on Monday because I still couldn’t believe it. This time the two lines were clearly obvious! I called my OB office to set-up my first appointment and to my surprise they scheduled it for that Thursday, February 28. I thought it was odd that they didn’t ask me when I would be 8 weeks along but I was so excited to go in that I took the appointment without hesitation. Looking back I see the Lord’s hand was already working. I began lightly spotting on Wednesday night at church and that continued into Thursday. When I got to the doctor she simply replied that light spotting was normal since I was only 5 weeks along. My first prenatal appointment went along as usual and I was scheduled for an ultrasound on March 11 and my next appointment was supposed to be on April 1.
I began spotting bright red on Thursday night and I just knew in my heart that something was very wrong. I called the OB office on Friday morning (March 1st) and they scheduled me to come in for an ultrasound and to meet with the physician’s assistant. I took Griffin to a friend’s house and Jeremy left work to meet me there. When the physician’s assistant walked in her words broke my heart. She told us the ultrasound really didn’t reveal anything. No yolk sac, no heartbeat, no baby. We talked about HCG levels and the different scenarios that it would reveal. The news continued to get worse as my pregnancy test there was coming back negative. Jeremy contacted our friend and asked her to keep Griffin so that we could come home and just spend some time alone. I cried, and cried, and cried. I felt like I was in a bad dream that I so desperately wanted to awaken from. How does one begin to absorb the news that the newest addition to your family would never join your family this side of heaven?
My heart is breaking.
My body is hurting.
I know God is sovereign.
The pain of losing an actual child is REAL.
How can someone I only knew about for five days hurt so much to lose?
Saturday is a blur. I woke up Sunday morning feeling despair. I knew the Lord had not left my side but in the same moment I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I knew as a Christian I am to grieve with hope. I knew one day I was going to meet our baby for the 1st time but I couldn’t shake the reality that our baby had died. I felt the pressure come that Monday that I was supposed to move on from this and act like it was not a big deal. No one was putting that pressure on me but Satan had me trapped in these horrible feelings/thoughts.  I didn’t know yet what all the Lord was going to teach us through this. In the beginning, He was speaking to me through His promises in His Psalms. I desperately clung to the truth that He is near even when I can’t feel Him. He is good and sovereign even in the face of tragedy. His plan is still perfect and good and He will use our story for His ultimate plan and for His glory. I knew one day I would move past this point and I continued to pray that He would show me more and continue to use this experience to sanctify me more into His image. I wanted to learn more through this than just the promises I already known before this happened. I cried out to Him begging Him to not let me miss how He can and will grow me during this time. I didn’t want to be angry and I didn’t want to doubt His plan. I was trying to FIX my eyes on the Author and Perfector of my faith remembering that He works through all things for His Glory.  
The Lord in his grace began revealing me ways to be thankful. I’m thankful for the ways He protected my body. This thankfully, wasn’t a molar pregnancy.  I did not have to have a D&C. He somehow was already preparing me in the days leading up to Friday that something just wasn’t quite right. He gave me a doctor that showed compassion and concern even though she watches couples go through this all the time. I’m thankful for what He’s showing me about myself…my unbelief, my ugly fear, and my anxious heart. I’m thankful that I’ll never have to worry about this child’s safety or about him/her making wise choices. Most importantly, I’m thankful that I never have to wonder about this child’s salvation. I’m confident our child is already with the Lord.
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” – Psalm 34:18
“But when I fix my eyes on all that You are
Then every doubt I feel
Deep in my heart
Grows strangely dim
All my worries fade
And fall to the ground
Cause when I seek Your face
And don't look around
Any place I'm in
Grows strangely dim
Monday morning came and I woke up with a sense of peace. The Lord was lifting me from my overwhelmed heart and leading me to the Rock that is higher than I (Psalm 61:2). I knew that everything was going to be okay and God was going to use our story. My OB called that morning to give me some lab results and told me I would need to come back in for additional blood work. She also said Jeremy and I would have the opportunity to meet with her and ask any questions that we may have. Just over a week ago I went to that office beaming with joy and now it was such sadness as I had to go back once again. The Lord really used that day to provide closure for us…to look forward to how He is going to use this and to focus on what lies ahead and not what is behind us.
God wastes nothing and has a purpose in all things…even the really hard things. God is so patiently reminding me of His wisdom, His sovereignty, and His love. As I am studying and learning more about the character of God my ability to trust Him more grows deeper and deeper.
“I lift up my eyes to you, to you who sit enthroned in heaven.” – Psalm 123:1 The Lord so graciously reminded me that focusing on what I can’t control is sin and is a worthless waste of my time but choosing to focus my gaze and my eyes upon Him changes absolutely EVERYTHING!
Fast forward to one week after the miscarriage began and I was blessed to hear Carolyn Mahaney speak. She talked about comparison and how it can steal our joy.
John 21:15-23
Jesus tells Peter how he will die. “Follow Me.” That’s all Peter would need to do and God would take care of the rest. Was Peter scared? I don’t know if he was, but I sure would have been. Like Peter, we have things that happen in our lives that we cannot change. Is it a trial you are currently in? Are you like me healing from a miscarriage? Are you still single? Is there something in your marriage you desperately want to change? Are you experiencing challenges with your children? Are you dealing with a difficult family situation? Is the burden of finances weighing you down?
Unlike me and you, Peter knew in advance, his unwanted assignment that was given by God. Just like Peter, you and I are assigned particular things to glorify God (John 21:19). The question is how am I going to handle my unwanted, unexpected, and undesirable experiences? God in His good and wise providence knows what is going to best glorify Him in my life and in yours. Do I trust Him? Do you trust Him?
In verse 22 we see Peter comparing himself to John and asking Jesus what about him? Jesus responds by basically saying it’s none of your business what I am doing in his life. Follow me! When I look at other friends around me who are pregnant, due at the same time I was, or are announcing pregnancy I can’t become jealous and focus on my problems and circumstance. I can’t say, “Lord, what about them?” Why am I the one hurting? It was not any of Peter’s business what Jesus has planned for John. It’s none of my business what the Lord has planned for anyone around me. I’m simply commanded to follow Him and day by day, week by week, this is what I am trying to do.
Jesus is writing a particular story in my life and not anyone else’s. So why compare?
I love my husband more than I can even begin to try to put into words. My heart nearly bursts with joy every time I look at our son. My heart’s desire is to have a house full of children biologically and adopted. These are all incredible gifts from the Lord. I mean these things are really, really good gifts! However, He is showing me that my complete joy and fulfillment must be in HIM. I cannot elevate anything above Him and when I do this it is sin. I am going to have to be okay if our family always remains the current size that it is. I desire to have four children but that may not be God’s plan for us and I have got to be okay with that.
God in His love and graciousness towards me is stripping me of things until I find my joy and satisfaction in HIM. There is no pity party or explanation for this miscarriage. He is simply saying, “Follow Me. Convicting me of my sin is one of the most profound ways God can show me His love. He doesn’t want me trapped in my sin, He wants to set me free. He’s saying, “Ask Me for grace to repent of your idols and find your ultimate satisfaction in Me.” I am so thankful that the God of our universe loves me enough that He will do specific things in my life to reveal sin and open my eyes to things that are standing in the way of our relationship together. He created me to know Him and make Him known to others! I desperately want to be more like Jesus and I can now say with honesty that I am thankful that He allowed this miscarriage to happen because it is leading me closer and closer to my Maker. For that I am humbly and eternally grateful.
I’m learning that countless women, women I am friends with, have experienced this. Every woman’s story is different. The Lord is prompting me to share our story and I do this in hopes of somehow encouraging you on whatever the journey the Lord has you on. I don’t write this for pity or for you to feel sorry for me. You see God is always working in the meanwhile. I am still healing from this but in the MEANWHILE, right at this very moment, our little one is seeing God face-to-face, is worshiping at His feet, and is experiencing a joy you and I can only begin to taste while here on earth! The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Today, my heart will choose to say, “Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Thursday, April 4, 2013

In Transit..

During Christmas time I always watch my UPS package like a hawk. I want to know when it's I can be ready to hide it from the boys. And when I see the words "in transit" I get giddy..because I know its on its way! But its not until I see the words "out for delivery" that I know for sure its going to be on my door step that day. Even when it's in transit, it still might have to make a stop at other places before it gets to me.

This is how I feel right now..I am "in transit". I am awaiting the "out for delivery" here is your package, moment. When you are "in transit" it means that you are riding along in life..and so for over 2 months now I have been riding along. I feel as if my UPS truck has had many breakdowns along the way. Starting with my whole life..which is right here at the moment..

Boxed up in a garage & I can't find a thing. My heart is longing to have all my clothes hung up in my own closet..and silly things like using my own spatula or pots & pans. I feel as if 2 months ago what should have been the happiest moment of my life was turned into a HUGE learning lesson about myself. I like being in control..I like having a schedule & a routine. I like having a purpose for life. And I like to think I have a lot of patience (which is the BIGGEST self reveal so far), my patience has run out. I have zero control over my life at this moment..we have no routine at all..we don't even have a house or a church home. I am learning to die to self, daily,hourly, and even down to the second. But then there is this..

"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." (2nd Corinthians 12:9)

                                             God's strength is made Perfect in weakness.
                                                     His grace is sufficient for me.
This life is not my own to live. God is my strength, not a routine, not a set schedule but Him alone is enough. This isn't a promise that everyday is gonna be sunshine & flowers..but it is a promise that God has a plan..he can help me in this time. Five years from now it will be hard to remember how hard life is at this moment..we will have a house (maybe..;)..we will have a routine (of some sort)..we can have movie night again (even if they will be almost teenagers)..but all in all we will know that through all of this God's glory shines. He shines in every one of us..because God is giving me small moments to remind me that He is good..

We look forward to what God is going to do in our new life..we praise Him for what he has already done.
And we thank Him for loving us even when we are hard to love.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Back to blogging..

It has been a while but I decided that I am not good at journaling so here I am. So much has happened since my last post but why catch up. I feel like I am always catching up. Which is why I did not send out Christmas cards this year.But if I had this picture would have been on it. This describes my life in a nutshell..never a dull moment.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Basketball Game

Jack's imagination is stepping into high gear lately. A few nights ago he decided he & Tate had a basketball game to play. Jack picked out the clothes they needed to wear to the "game"...

Here they are dressed in their basketball clothes..

Tate was excited to go play basketball...

Jack is so funny.
Michael & I had to go outside to watch them run around & play basketball on the trampoline.
I love my crazy boys.