Thursday, February 26, 2015

Hear, Oh Lord, Our Heavy Hearts...

"You are for us, you are not against us... champion of heaven, you have made for all to enter in."
"You make me BRAVE, you call me out beyond the shore into the waves"

Check out this amazing song while you read... "You Make Me Brave" by Bethel music...


First let me say… This post is not to gain pity, it is not to say we have endured the greatest loss of all time, and it is not to try and self-proclaim about how insightful or wise we are… because those things are definitely not true. The true purpose of this post is simply to share our brokenness… from our perspective and through writing… simply because (for me) it is incredibly therapeutic.

This past week we lost our second child at 11 weeks gestation, our due date was September 9th. After spotting for a couple of days, we went to the doctor and found out that our baby's heart was not beating, and that he/she had stopped growing at 8 weeks. We were able to see our baby one last time, and I have to say it was so beautiful and moving. Our doctor was incredibly kind and compassionate and then the process of "do we miscarry naturally or have a d&c performed" began, which was new territory for us and therefore very frightening. We decided to take a few days and see how my blood work looked, but only four hours after leaving the doctors office, my body began miscarrying the baby naturally. It was frightening, physically and emotionally and we ended up in the ER, where we were discharged three hours later because my vitals were stable. I passed the baby while we were at the hospital and then later, at home, delivered the placenta.

My baby was only 8 weeks old, but my body was definitely 11 weeks pregnant. I had started showing and we had just started to get really excited and ready to "tell the world" after my 12 week appointment and ultrasound, which were less than a week away. So after cancelling all the upcoming appointments, going to other appointments, and having numerous blood tests run, let's fast forward to today, where I finally realized that the "medical side" to this is over. It's a very strange feeling to have such an abrupt change in plans and I think now that the shock and horror are beginning to wear off, we kind of feel empty and not sure what to do next.

We have been hugging our baby girl Violet (18 months) extra tight and praying over her and praising God for her life and health. Our perspective has been changed, but I do not feel jaded, only saddened. My heart aches for my baby, whom we have decided to call Sidney, and I think about him/her all the time and the kind of personality he/she would have had and who Sid could've grown up to become. But the most powerful person in the world, God Almighty in Heaven, is the one who holds my heart… and He also now holds my child... Wow… For non-believers that is probably cheesy, hokey and downright silly. But friends let me tell you, there is nothing silly about the Creator of the universe. He LOVES us so much. His plan for my Sidney, has always been that he/she would reside in heaven from a very young age, and that through the grace of Jesus and our faith in Him, we would get to meet our sweet child again one day. That gives my aching heart more hope than anything else could ever satisfy.

My relationship with Christ, as well as my marriage have both been very challenged during this time. Justin and I have decided to adapt the Casting Crowns song "Broken Together" as our mantra right now. Definitely check it out, it will encourage your heart more than you could imagine. As for my relationship with Jesus… it is a very hard thing for our human minds to understand or cope with something like a miscarriage. I have cried out to Jesus begging for answers as to why my child had to die. The real answer, that no one likes to hear--especially this mama--, is because it was the will of God…  and the rest is far too complex for me to understand and I pray will be revealed to me once I am home in heaven with my savior. For the past couple of days I haven't spent a ton of time in prayer, as I am still not quite sure what to say or ask for beyond that my physical health would return for the sake of my daughter and husband. But I have spent a lot of time in praise, blaring Rend Collective, Kari Jobe, and Bethel Music, throughout the house and weeping while doing chores. I have felt anger with God, but have tried to be honest with Him about that, and so I have found that through music, He is giving me peace and slowly healing my heart and I am beginning to feel more brave and strong because of HIM.

 My heart hurts and I cry at really random times in really random places, my face and lips are pale and gross, but are slowly starting to return to normal, I have intense social anxiety right now, so please be patient with me, and I am, ultimately, hopeful when thinking about the future. God is still good, He is still on the throne. His plans are a bit different than I had hoped for, but He knows what is best for my family. Please don't say silly things… and be careful with your words, because that is our baby Sidney that you're referring to and he/she is so precious in God's sight… and in ours, and our hearts will continue to ache for a long, long time. But we have hope… and we are clinging to it for dear life.

 1 in 4 women lose a child during pregnancy. I am now a minority member of that statistic, and am very humbled by our loss. Let's pray for our friends who are in the child-bearing stage of life, let's be kind and sensitive to those around us, as we may not know what silent battles people are fighting. Let us show the love of God to each other through word, actions and prayer. I am speaking up about our loss because I want to encourage someone else who reads this that you are not alone, it is okay to be angry and upset (for a season), and that you will always have hope in Christ Jesus.  And I have to be honest and confess that I have seen God's hand throughout this entire process… it isn't easy to admit that when you are frustrated with Him, but I cannot deny His presence and workings. His timing, how He is reuniting people in our families, and how He is bringing real conversations to the table and real connections between all different kinds of people in our lives has been… incredible.

 I don't really know how to end this post because there are so many things that I could say… But I will end with this: we are appreciative and grateful for our family and friends that have been there for us and who have loved on us through this entire pregnancy and process. God has blessed us with a lot of people who love and care for us and I am just very humbled and grateful.

Thanks for letting me share my heart…



Here is some scripture that I found to be comforting. May we not neglect the power of God's word:
"The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." --Job 1:21

"Should we accept only good from God and not adversity?" --From Job 2:10

"I am weary from grief; strengthen me through Your word." --Psalm 119:28

"The Lord is near to the brokenhearted." --Psalm 34:18

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." --Matthew 5:4

"Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." --Romans 5:1-5

 P.S. --Here is the Casting Crowns song "Broken Together"... super powerful about the struggles that we face in marriage... but if we approach the throne of God as two broken believers who want to be broken together, He can do a wonderful work in our lives and give us long and fruitful marriages!