Sunday, October 31, 2010

He Lifted My Head Today

I either believe that God is good or I do not.  If God is good and He loves me, then He is trustworthy.  The Bible says that "all things work together for the good of those who love him [God] and are called according to his purpose."  Well, that's me.  I love God and I'm called for His purpose.  

Today I will praise the Lord.  Job says in 1:21 "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.  Blessed be the name of the Lord."  I've been angry with the Lord for taking away Vivian, my tiny rice baby.  I questioned Him for even allowing me to become pregnant if He planned to just take the baby back.  

I realized during church today that Vivian has a purpose.  If I can align a purpose to my tiny lost baby, then I may find a measure of comfort.  I also realized the Creator has the right to create a life destined to live only a few weeks.  As time progresses, and my heart continues to heal, I see that God has a plan for Vivian's short life.  One, this experience allows me to really understand other women who have gone through a miscarriage.  I'm in the club now.  I get it.  

Vivian's creation was completely of the Lord.  Is He not in charge of His creations?  He knew when she was created that she would only ever live in the sweetness of her mother's womb.  

I wanted this baby.  I wanted her to grow in my womb and I wanted to hold her close to my heart.   BUT!  I want God's will MORE!  Today I am able to surrender.  I haven't been able to really lay it down.  And, maybe I will pick it up again tomorrow.  I don't know.  I'm hoping this is a measure of healing that with be steadfast.  

The Bible says God is the lifter of our heads.  Today, He lifted my head.  He gently took my chin and tipped my head up so I could see His face.  He loves me.  He is not out to get me.  He is not planning evil things for my life.  

"The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.  Blessed be the name of the Lord," says the mother with the broken heart.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

still not OK

**Disclaimer**  I am using this blog to process the loss of my baby.  Read at your own risk.  ***

I've come unplugged.  Someone unplugged me from the source and my battery is loosing power.

I feel like I'm sitting in a tub of water.  Only the water is missing.  And I'm alone, cold and wet but I can't move to do anything about it.

The icing on the cake is gone.  I'm already rich with four kids.  Two boys and two girls. Shouldn't that be enough?  It comforts me, but I wanted the icing.  I feel guilty for wanting more.  Like a greedy child rubbing her hands together in anticipation of more toys.  Only the toy broke and was swept away.  I feel guilty for mourning the loss of a fifth child.  I'm already rich with children.  Shouldn't I be happy?  

And then my grandfather passed away early Friday morning.  My Papaw.  My mother's father.  I saw Papaw this past July.  He's been sick with heart issues for fifteen years. I'm grieved.  Especially for my mother missing her father and my Nanny missing her love.  But also I celebrate Papaw's arrival in Heaven, his eternal home.  He's walked with the Lord for decades and this is his reward.  

Two deaths in two weeks.  I just realized I'm walking "through the valley of the shadow of death".  I question prayer.  Why pray?  Won't God do what he's gonna do anyway?  Do we really sway the God of the Universe?  

Death is a passing.  An ending of this life and a beginning of another.  For innocent children and people who give their lives to Jesus Christ, death brings a glorious new life.  I believe this is true.  But for those of us left here on earth, our hearts are heavy.  Heaven seems so very far away. 

"He has made everything beautiful in its time.  He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end."  Ecclesiastes 3:11  

Sunday, October 24, 2010

sharpening attempts

Only four days left of our three-week Wyoming visit.  I don't even know how to sum up the visit.  I had to make a list of all the good things that happened while we were here so I would remember them despite the hardships of the trip.  

I scan through the pictures on the digital memory card and they divide themselves into categories.  The kids' pictures slotted into "pre" and "post" puke day.  Yick.  

And I study the pictures of me.  In the first few I am ignorant and blissfully happy.  More pictures flip past the camera's small monitor and I see the other Jessica.  Her smile seems frozen.  Forced.  She knows about the rice-size baby's death.    

Even while my heart aches from the inevitable coming good-byes, I am looking forward to going home.  I am hoping my home will bring me a sense of comfort.  Yet it makes me sad to leave my parents and siblings.  We live so very far away.    

I feel so...  I don't know...  in a slump.  S....L....U...M...P...  Leaning, leaning over until I'm flat on the floor and the world's view is skewed.  It looks back at me half-hazardously.  

When my life becomes fuzzy, the Word of God clearly sharpens the image.  And I am desperate for His truth.  

"I am confident of this, I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living."  

"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

"You are my Lord, apart from you I have no good thing."

"When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who knows my way."

Psalm 27:13, Psalm 73:26, Psalm 16:2,  Psalm 142:3 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

the other one

Grieving the loss of Vivian, I am reminded of another baby missing from our family.  I hadn't forgotten the first baby.  But her loss was so different from this one.  

When Rose was born, the midwives discovered a "mass" hidden within the placenta.  A mass of baby.  Which explained the very early movements we could feel through my skin at only 16 weeks pregnant with Rose [and, unbeknown to us, a twin].  By the time we had an ultrasound at 27 weeks, there was only one baby.  So we were none the wiser until Rose was born and the other baby's remains were discovered in the placenta.  

 Rose had a "disappearing twin" [which is, actually, quite common as I learned through my postpartum research].  We discovered the loss of Rose's twin the day after Rose was born.  Holding a newborn, fresh and beautiful in my arms, brought such extreme comfort that the loss of her twin...  well, it hurt, but it was different.  Learning about a baby the same day I learned of the loss combined with the arrival of a healthy baby made the loss easier to bear.  We named Rose's twin, Rachel.  

With the passing of Vivian, God gently reminded me of our Rachel.  I asked a dear friend to make me a memorial image for little Vivian.  As she worked on it for us, I realized I needed to recognize my other missing baby, too.  It brings me comfort knowing there are two; they are together.  Sweet girls in Heaven.  Around the throne.  Doing what they were created to do, worshiping the King of Kings.  

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

miscarry this

I don't like the word "miscarry". Or the phrase "I miscarried". It implies I did something. I did nothing. Miscarry sounds like a miss-step. Like I took a wrong turn somewhere. Or I dropped something.

"I had a miscarriage" is even worse. I have had nothing. That's the problem. The something has disappeared into nothing.

But I'm not moping around. I accept there is no baby coming to me this summer. I also acknowledge there are worse things then miscarrying [blasted word] at six/seven weeks pregnant. There are worse things.

For me, though, in my small world, the loss is great.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

and then she was gone

As swiftly as she entered our world, she has quickly exited it.

Though my home overflows with blessings, one will forever be missing. Baby Number Five will never be in my arms this side of Heaven as the Lord has seen fit to bring her to Him before I ever see her precious face.

Grief overwhelms me. I have never walked this path. I have watched others walk it, but have never known it.

How can I ache for someone I only knew for a few weeks? I see this tiny, beautiful baby in my head and she's perfect. We call her Vivian Joy. Vivian means "alive"; and that she was [and is, but in Heaven]. Joy, well, she really did bring us so much joy. I was so happy to have her inside of me.

Blood runs out of me; this horrid reminder that death occured inside my body. No life will push forth to applause and laughter. Just nothingness. She slipped away from us when I was unaware.

What do I do now? Ache. Cry. And I reach, REACH, out to the mighty hand of my God. He's arm is not too short for me. His grace is sufficient for me. He is the God of all comfort. Draw me close, O Lord. Close....

"Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow." Psalm 144:4

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Whoosh; There It Is!

As most of you know via my Facebook announcement, Baby Number Five is already embedding his/her beautiful self in the sweetness of my womb.  Ah.  It's good to be full of life once again!  

When I wrote my September 17th post, I did have suspicions that I might be pregnant.  Let's just say the stage was set for a pregnancy, if you know what I mean.  Wink-wink.  It took another ten days before some urine on a stick would confirm my heart's desire.

While I celebrate my blessings in both my house full of children and the one burrowed deep within, I feel a stirring of unworthiness.  Why me, Lord?  It seems contritely unfair that I should sheepishly wish for a pregnancy and whoosh, there it is.  Unfair because women long for babies for decades and no "whoosh, there it is" appears.  Why?  Why is my womb fertile and others not?  I just don't understand.

Yet, I humbly embrace this precious load God, in his infinite and uncomprehending wisdom, has laid upon my shoulders.  My calling to mother, now, five children.  **Gasp.**  I surrender to his will and bow my head in submission.  

I am not amazing.  I am not supermom.  I am just Jessica, broken, unworthy, full of mistakes and given to the occasional fit.  Yet, does the cup ask the potter why He formed it so?  I take up my banner and walk with the Lord.  There I find peace.

Oh, did I mention there's a baby in my tummy?  Yipee!

revolutionary love

I have experienced revolutionary love. Love with no strings attached. Jesus Christ loves me and made a way for me to have a relationship with the One True God. God desires a relationship with you, too. If you have yet to experience this revolutionary love, please email me at jandjkeys@hotmail.com so I can share this amazing experience with you. Blessings, -Jess