11.26.2008

More of Our Story

I cannot thank everyone enough for your comments and emails over the last two days. Your support brought (and continues to bring) needed encouragement to my potentially difficult uneventful day.

Since we’re sharing, may I tell you a couple stories from this journey we’ve been on over the past few months? Maybe it will be encouraging to some of you who have or are walking a similar journey as us. There are so many of us…

My fight to hope (excerpts from my journal…)

“Today was the day. The pregnancy test gave us the exciting news. The question running through our hearts and minds now is whether or not we'll make it past the first few weeks. Two months ago, I miscarried at the end of week four (or five depending on how you count it). I know this is common (1 in 3 pregnancies?), but it was extremely difficult to swallow. I know I am high risk; I've been charting for ten months. Still, it doesn't lessen the sadness. Yet God was amazingly gracious in providing us with comfort and peace and even joy (rooted in faith in Him) through the mourning. Now we simply pray and wait again...and wonder whether this is His timing...or not.”

A couple days later… “With my first pregnancy, I miscarried the evening of the day I had a positive pregnancy test. It was one of the most difficult days of my life. Quite the rollercoaster of emotions. (I had "known" I was pregnant for about a week before the positive test and suspected it the entire time.) I was thankful for Greg, a couple friends, and my parents who loved on me while I cried and tried to take in everything that had happened. It's amazing to go through an entire day and now TWO entire days knowing that God is forming our little one inside of me. I am immensely thankful for these two days. I plead with my Father to let this little one survive through the next 8 months and live to open its eyes and see its parents one day, but I trust God's timing. His plan is perfect. It cannot be thwarted. I rejoice in His constancy and find great joy and peace in resting in His will.”

A few more days later… “I recognize that we still have a high risk of miscarriage at this point. I have gone back and forth about how to handle it, and in the end, I've decided to live with hope instead of dread or anxiety or fear. I have faith in God's provision, and I have faith in His plan. And I am hoping that it includes our little one making it into my arms one day. If not, well then, our Father will walk with us through that time. Now is a time of rejoicing and taking care of this little one.”

A few more days later… “My beloved son or daughter, You left me today. This is a reality of which I am consciously aware, yet my heart stubbornly refuses to accept. I had a week longer to dream about you than our first little one. Your daddy and I made our first prenatal appointments; we found out at which hospital you would have been delivered. We began talking about possible names for you… You were such a delight to us for the past couple of weeks. I am thankful to have been your home for these few weeks... How do I go on, Lord? How can I endure this again? How can I continue to hope after a second loss so great? What did my hope gain other than greater heartache? I know what it gained...greater joy. And peace. And faith. And love. Even through this short amount of time being a mother, you allowed me to know You more and You conformed me ever more to Your image. I imagine, Lord, that much is yet to come as I process and begin a new page… I don't know how to take the next step… Father, be my Light, my Guide, my Strength, my Path, my Joy, my Shepherd, my Shield, my Life. Please teach me how, once again, to mourn the death of another little child of mine.”

A few days after our miscarriage, Greg offered to have a little memorial and symbolic burial in our nearby reservation. I cannot express how healing this was for me, I think for both of us actually. We found a secluded place, dug a little hole, and buried two little symbols of the children we have lost this year. Greg said some words about our journey, prayed for us, and we said goodbye to our unborn little ones.

What a testimony of the Lord’s faithfulness that just two and a half weeks later I find myself at a place where I can say (or at least try to say) to God: “Thank You that I can move into the future non-defensively, with hands outstretched to whatever lies ahead, for You hold the future and You will always be with me.”

Thanks for walking with us.

11.24.2008

With hands outstretched to whatever lies ahead

Greg and I were scheduled to have our first prenatal visit this morning -- meet our doctor and nurses, be overwhelmed with information about pregnancy and childbirth, and hear our baby's heartbeat for the first time. We were so excited to share with everyone at Thanksgiving that we were going to be parents. But then two weeks ago, we miscarried. It's been an interesting journey for us to walk, one we've been privileged to invite a few people into over the past two weeks, including our families and our church community group. We're thankful for their support and presence as it has not been easy.

I was not originally planning to share this with our blogging community until I read something this morning that made me realize that I simply had to share this with you all. I’ve mentioned previously that I am in a Bible study with two other ladies from my church. We recently completed our Beth Moore study on the tabernacle, and we started a month-long study walking through the book “31 Days of Praise” by Ruth Myers. I was so blessed to begin this study a few days after Greg and I received our sad news; it is exactly where God needs me to focus my heart for this month.

So here were some of the words from Ruth’s prayer this morning (pulled and compiled from various Bible verses): “…I praise You for Your sovereignty over the broad events of my life and over the details. With You, nothing is accidental, nothing is incidental, and no experience is wasted. You hold in Your own power my breath of life and all my destiny. And every trial that You allow to happen is a platform on which You reveal Yourself, showing Your love and power, both to me and to others looking on. Thank You that I can move into the future non-defensively, with hands outstretched to whatever lies ahead, for You hold the future and You will always be with me, even to my old age…and through all eternity.”

That is how I desire my life to be positioned – with hands outstretched to whatever lies ahead, seeing every trial as an opportunity to know and show God’s love and power in my life.

“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.” 2 Thessalonians 2:17

11.19.2008

Istanbul, Turkey...March 2009

Over three and a half years later... It looks like Greg & I will be making a trip to my beloved Istanbul in March, and I can hardly wait! I pulled together some pictures to use to motivate some friends to come along with us. I simply had to share it with our blogging community as well...
video

11.05.2008

So this is what patriotism feels like. (updated comments)

I was thinking a lot last night and this morning how I would put into words my feelings about the incredible statement our nation made yesterday. I just read a post from a friend from community group and loved how she put it. So instead of stumbling over how to say how I'm feeling, I'll just refer you to my friend.

Two of my favorite quotes from Obama's victory speech in Chicago's Grant Park:

"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer."

“The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term. But, America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there."

So this is what patriotism feels like.

11.01.2008

Our Neighborhood Reservation

We're amazingly blessed to have the west portion of the Middlesex Fells Reservation near out back doorstep (about a five minute walk).  We walked over to hike a little bit Friday evening before we lost sunlight, and we had such a great time that we headed back over there this afternoon.  Here are some pictures we took, probably some of the last autumn pictures we'll capture this year.  (Once again, the colors are much more brilliant if you click on the photo to view a larger version of the image in your browser.)


The view of Boston from the top of one of the hills was incredible.
We live about in the middle of this picture below.
Another view of our city (Medford)