This last weekend I had the privilege of going on a retreat called Cafe Chocolat with 40 other women to eat some chocolate and spend some time with the Lord. I was on the leadership team and knew the ins and outs of the weekend. I wasn't expecting to be moved like I was. God had different plans.
During our last session we sat with chocolate syrup (our sin) in our hand for what seemed like a really long time, but was probably 10-15 minutes. It was a mess. It spread all over, got on everything around you and even on others around you. That's so like sin, isn't it? It's just a mess and it spreads.
There were four women standing up front ready to wipe our sin away. One of them was my mom. I didn't go to her because I was trying to avoid crying. I went to another line and as my sin was being wiped away I was overcome with emotions.
Friends. I lost it. I thought about His grace and how much He has changed me in the past year. How He has just loved on me. How He has molded me through my hard times. How thankful I am for having my hard times so I lean into Him more.
I realized He's been working to give me a new name. And for this I am thankful. Praise!
Today I was remembering the circumstances of my doctors appointment one year ago and thinking through all of the emotions that came along with it. Today was a hard day. It was a tear filled and sad day.
But, He was here.
It was a day where I saw God in so many places.
He was in my boys' sweet smiles when they woke up.
He was in the text messages from friends checking in and telling me they were praying.
He was in my friend showing up at Target to give me something and then deciding to stay and walk with me while I shopped for 2.5 hours.
He was in the friendly cashier who just smiled and made pleasant conversation when the computer froze and she had to re-ring my ENTIRE order.
He was in the songs that were playing on the radio.
He was in the joy of my boys playing outside today for the first time in what feels like weeks.
He was in the fun dinner conversation about what part of dinner is a protein? vegetable? fruit?
He was in a friend calling me to check in.
He was in the hugs and kisses and tear wipes.
He was here in it all. Standing firm and never leaving my side.
I want to leave you with the song that left me sobbing. It was a comforting sob. He was there in that song. Amen.
I read this somewhere this week. It's so true when it comes to miscarriage. How do you say goodbye when you didn't get a chance to say hello?
It's been a year since my last miscarriage. And I'm not going to lie, it's been a tough year. It's been a year where the Lord and I have been working through a lot. The biggest being my miscarriage. So, I'm going to share with you my grief one year later.
The tears seem to be rolling down my cheeks uncontrollably this week. I'll be doing something like folding laundry and the next thing I know I'm crying. There's just an ache deep in my heart and it comes out in the form of tears. If I try to hold it back it makes it worse. I'm embracing letting the tears flow. The release of emotions is healthy, right?
All I know is that as I sit and cry I'm not alone. There are hundreds thousands of other women out there doing the same thing as me, mourning the loss of a child. And they're not alone either. I have this vision of Jesus rocking each and every one of us when the weight of our grief is just too much to bear. And that is a comfort to me. The Lord doesn't want us to be hurting. He is there to comfort us. And He knows exactly what we're going through. His own son did die on the cross for us.
So, mamas out there who are mourning... go ahead and cry.
Corn Dog Dressing Bake
1 cup celery, chopped finely
1 large onion, chopped finely
2 Tbsp butter or margarine
2 pounds turkey ham
2 8.5 oz packages Jiffy Corn Bread Mix
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp rubbed sage
1/4 tsp black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a skillet, combine celery, onions and butter. Saute for 5 minutes. Pour into a large bowl.
Dice the turkey ham and place into same skillet you used for the celery/onion mixture. Saute turkey ham pieces for 5 minutes or until lightly browned.
Add the browned turkey ham pieces to the celery/onion mixture.
In another large bowl, combine; eggs, milk, sugar, sage and pepper.
Add 1/2 of the turkey ham/celery mixture and 1 1/2 cups of the shredded cheddar cheese into the milk mixture. Stir in the cornbread mix.
Spread the mixture into a 9x13 baking dish.
Top with the remaining turkey ham/celery mixture. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top.
Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 35 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
So, I realize I've been missing for several weeks now. Between a case of writers block and working through some emotions again it's just been hard to figure out what to write. I spent a lot of time in December thinking about last December. I spent December 2012 praying that we would get pregnant. That we would be blessed with another child. We found out we were expecting a few days before Christmas last year. There were so many emotions; shock, amazement, fear. We started to make big plans. We were embracing the next chapter.
Then it happened. The rug got pulled out from under me, under us, and I miscarried. On February 1st it will have been a year since we lost the baby. So much has happened in that time. I'm not the same person I was a year ago. I never will be.
I was numb for several months. Sometimes I wonder how I even got out of bed. Then I remember I had so many prayer warriors praying for me. The power of prayer is an amazing thing. It is the greatest gift anyone could give me.
I still have good days and bad days. Sometimes it just hits me, that we would have been a family of five. We would have been having another first Christmas with baby number three this year. I start falling into the pit of the what ifs and the if onlys.
Oh Jesus. Come. Drag me out of that pit.
Just because that baby didn't make it into this world, doesn't mean that he (or she) isn't a part of me. A part of our lives. That child will be carried with me my entire life. That child was, and forever will be, a piece of me.
Grief is a process. A very long process. Did I say long? There is not time limit on how long you will grieve. I remember asking a friend if it ever got easier. She just replied, "it just changes."
It just changes. That was some truth.
The most helpful thing I've found is that I need to feel my pain, joy, sorrow, everything. I can't hold it in. I need to lay it out before Him and let it go. Letting it go doesn't mean I forget. It means that I don't cling to for dear life. I trust that He's got everything, including me, and keep taking one step at a time.