My Friend in loss

I’ve had this trip planned to Colorado for months. I came out here to attend a conference that just so happened to be near one of my dearest friends. Vivian and I were so excited for this trip and she could not wait to rub my pregnant belly. She was someone praying for our family to see if we should take the leap on trying to have another baby. But out of nowhere and almost halfway through my pregnancy, we lost not one, but two babies.

God knew where I needed to be for a few days after all this heartache. To get away and process alone and through tears with my friend at 8000 feet elevation in the glorious mountains of Colorado. Her home has been a haven of rest for me. I have spent a lot of time reading God’s word and in prayer just talking with Him. My relationship with Christ has never been stronger and it has had me look back to why I waited for suffering to meet God so intimately.

I attended a christian school all my life and had so much head knowledge of the Bible and what I thought Christianity was. (We seriously had to memorize the Sermon on the Mount) I could answer most Bible fact questions after 12 years there. I had amazing teachers invest in me but it wasn’t until an event in the school auditorium my senior year that I heard His voice and started a serious relationship with Him. I let go of my striving in my own strength and accepted His abundant grace. He accepted this messy, prideful 17-year old girl just as I was. No judgement only grace.

I was planning to play Division One Field Hockey but knew that I wanted more of this Jesus. I declined my offers and went to Houghton. The middle of nowhere in upstate New York. I met my forever friends and was poured into by them and my professors. But once again somehow, I focused on the head knowledge of being a Christian and doing things for Him instead of pursuing that relationship with the Savior I met in the auditorium.

Move forward to present day, I continued to have ups and downs in my relationship and connection to God. But for the past 2 years, I have consistently pursued intimacy Jesus with the accountability and love of family, friends, work, neighbors and my church Willowdale Chapel.  I praise God for that because I don’t know where I would be right now. I waited 8 years to finally hear the words from my husband that He was ready to try for another baby. God answered our prayers. With twins. Only months later to take them away.

I don’t know why I won’t get to hold either of those babies this side of heaven and it hurts. I don’t know when I will have a day without crying. But I do know that He loves me unconditionally and prepared me to walk through this with Him. He is refining me and showing me that He is still a good, loving God and is all that I need.  I am blessed beyond measure through the people in my life. But they will never be able to make me whole. They can love me and point me to the One that ultimately fill every need I have. There is only one Savior, Counselor and King. It is through His strength that all of us can face the challenges, heartaches and trials. He alone is and must be enough. And He is. Through His Word, Jesus speaks. By abiding in Him and in prayer, I can hear his voice. He alone can satisfy and fill my heartaches with love and peace. This Friend I pursued a relationship 20 years ago was willing to die a shameful, horrible death for you and me to have eternal life.

So, here in these mountains, resting in this wonderful haven my friend has created with her family, I met my Counselor and Friend during the most painful experience I have ever faced as an adult. In His word and through prayer, I am just where I need to be. I may be crying in this unpredictable, messy life because loss, hardship and suffering is hard. But He treasures me and loves me unconditionally. My relationship is steadfast because He is always faithful. Like those glorious mountains I hiked next to, His is love for me is unmoving. Regardless of what comes my way.

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“But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love and faithfulness.”   Psalm 86:15

 

 

Facing death and experiencing love

Writing is how I process. Thoughts crowd my mind throughout the day and in this space I find clarity and understanding. I need that now more than ever.

A few weeks ago, I had an appointment to find out how the one twin was growing. One of my favorite songs by Matt Redman was on the radio. Its titled, “Bless the Lord O my soul.” I sang:

The sun comes up

It’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass
And whatever lies before me
Let me be singing 
When the evening comes

I knew what singing those words meant. I did lose that baby. I cried and I trusted my pain to God.

 Last weekend, the unexpected happened. I went to the ER for hives and they could not find the other baby’s heartbeat. At 16 weeks pregnant, after 6 perfect ultrasounds, the last words I ever thought I hear were, “I’m sorry. This baby has died.”

  I pinched Jeremy hoping I was dreaming. What would I tell those girls at home so excited to be a big sister? With the doctors staring at us, I fell back on the crinkled paper and talked to God. I prayed something like, “I praise you despite of this. Walk us through this and fill us with your Presence.”

  You see, I walked through pain before. I hated God. I was angry. It was the darkest, lowest time of my life. How could a loving God claim to love me and cause such pain? My dearest friends loved me though this and helped restore this relationship. In time and before Mia was born, I was walking side by side with Christ again.

  I write this with full knowledge that this world is full of pain. Death, uncertainties and unmet expectations, divorce, miserable marriages, financial struggles and abuse. We all carry something. The road of life is not easy and pain is certain.

  Not all who are reading this believe in Jesus Christ. I find that ultimate Hope and Love is found in a relationship with Him. That in accepting Christ, we are given His Holy Spirit to face anything that we come across.

  I lost my other child this week. Both babies are in heaven. A place where there is no pain. They will never experience the hurts that this world offers. I am heartbroken to never wipe their tears but I don’t know if I would trade the last 4 days of being loved and being seated in the the presence of God for anything. He has filled my gaping hole of hurt with love. My God has a plan for me and it is not holding twins on my lap. I don’t know why I will deal with this hurt the rest of my life but God knows exactly what I need. His plan is ultimately perfect. Designed in the beginning of time.

  For those of you that don’t believe in Jesus, I pray that you have a support system, a way to meditate, touching the earth and being in creation. Filling your self up so you can putone foot in front of the other and begin to move again.

  Allow people to love you. I have felt the hand of God through the love of people in my life this week. My mother-in-law holding me in desperation at the hospital, my sister flying in from Hawaii just for this, my best friends checking in throughout the day, close friends I have not seen in years visiting me. Meals, flowers, calls, texts, messages and Facebook flooded with encouragement and prayer. God works through people. You are his people, made in His image. I felt it this week.

  All of you are made to love. May you find love when you face trials as I have. May you have someone to call out to and lean your burdens on. Even try to cry to God, He will answer.

 “Hear my cry, O God. Listen to my prayer.

From the ends of the earth I call unto you.

I call you as my heart grows faint,

lead me to the Rock that is Higher than I.

Psalm 61

 

**If you would ever like to talk to me about my experience with this, bipolar disorder, what you may be facing or what a relationship with Jesus/God means. Please reach out.  I would sincerely love to chat with you. 

A Valentine from Eden

Dear Mommy,

I love you so much! I know you are very sad about the baby and so am I. We have to remember God has reasons for this and he wants us to be happy. The babies are in the happiest place in the universe eating lasagne with our family. I really hope we can be happy through this time. Jesus loves us so much, he was willing to die for us.

You are the best mommy in the whole wide world and all 5 of your children know that. I love you so much and hope you have a happy Valentines Day!

Love,

Eden

 

Oh, the faith of a child. While she doesn’t understand yet the difference between happiness and joy, her message is the same one I received in the Word this morning. Joy and peace in the midst of suffering.  I love how God speaks to us through our children, just what we need to hear.