Our Miscarriage

miscarriage

It’s taken me awhile to gather all of my thoughts but here they are.

After almost 3 years of trying to grow our family we finally gasped with joy when the pregnancy test read positive.

We celebrated.  I hardly knew how to wait all those months until our baby would arrive safe in these arms. I thanked God over and over, told Him how full my heart was.

At the store I looked for a cute pair of baby socks but decided to wait until I could find something cuter. I couldn’t believe that finally these feet would stand in the baby isles again.

What beautiful moments those were.

We celebrated with family and decided to wait a little longer to share our happy news with everyone else.

Then one morning at 4am I woke up in terrible pain.  I curled in and held my knees against my chest trying not to wake Darren.  Later the blood came and as I searched hopeful stories, I knew this wasn’t right.

I cried in the bathroom.

No No No. Oh Lord, please no.

The pain continued to progress that day.

Trying to stay calm I called the nurse and she instructed me to head into the emergency room.

As I waited for Darren to get himself together I grabbed my journal and pen;

Tonight I don’t see the goodness of God in this and I’m so sorry for that….I’m going to be okay, I’m going to see the goodness of God in this pain but tonight i’m leaning into Him with eyes shut and cries pouring out. I can’t see anything.

We found the nearest emergency room. I placed the gown on and laid down on crinkly paper still hoping that my baby was going to be okay.

As the doctor returned each time she grew more gentle and finally came in and placed her hand on my knee as she confirmed our baby was gone.

I couldn’t cry. I couldn’t think. I was trying to be polite and assure the doctor that it was okay. .

Rising up I put my clothes back on and we slowly walked back to our car.

That was it. My sweet baby was gone.

* * *

My mother had me come to visit for a few days. I was loved well during my stay.  That first night we sat in her craft room as she painted and I told her in tears how much I wanted this baby.  The waves of emotion would come harder than I could have imagined.

It felt like a cruel joke.

I had learned how to trust God with infertility …but to be given a baby and then have it taken away was very different.

It’s still hard to gather my thoughts on this.  I wanted an explanation for this loss but instead God has led me into a deeper understanding of Him and I have to tell you how much peace this has brought me.

With those closest to me I had shared through the tears how unloved I felt. It crushed me that God would allow such a strange and heartbreaking unfolding of His plan.

He stayed with me though.611

 

Through flowers from friends, the tightest hugs i’ve ever received. With family and friends loving me incredibly well and giving me permission to hurt right in front of them, I could see where God was.

I wanted to see our baby grow through the years, more than I can put into words. It makes me sad that for whatever reason that wasn’t part of God’s plan.

Honestly there were moments when everything I held dear about the Lord seemed to be gone. When I could, this was the verse I preached to myself.

Jeremiah 29:11

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

 

It’s been difficult but I am trusting God in ways I didn’t before.

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I decided to study the book of Job this last month and it’s been very painful to read. As much as I want to skip to the good part and ignore the suffering, i’m not. :)

This book really shows the time of mourning, hurt, sorrow, and pain Job went through. I don’t have any clue why in my mind I had thought Job jumped back with praises for God. There was a lot of dialogue in between.

One more thing and then I’ll let you go!

This time has allowed me to see the gift of my boy all over again.

 

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I have loved these 4 years with my son. I don’t want to take motherhood for granted because it’s a great gift from God.

Thank you for praying. I have appreciated your notes of encouragement too!

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love,

Laura

Changes

It’s pouring down rain this morning. It makes the perfect setting for good music, coffee, and writing in this space.

The last two months have been busier than I expected. We decided to move from our duplex home to a single family home. Moving is a big deal and typically there’s stress in a move. But this time it was the least stressful move we’ve experienced. There was a great deal of peace surrounding the entire transition.

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Moving day went really well too. Our family and one of our friends came over to help us.

Here are a few pictures of our first week at the new house.

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I’m over-joyed by this fireplace.

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IMG_1548I’m still figuring out where everything goes while having fun decorating.

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IMG_1541This backyard is one of my favorite parts of our home.

IMG_1584Garrett has also been loving it!

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I wanted to put this on the facebook page but will share it here since it’s too long for a facebook post. :)

Last month I spent one evening listening to John Piper’s talk on the life and ministry of Charles Spurgeon. I love to study the Bible but I also love to learn about the people around and before me who lived out Christ-likeness well.

Learning Theology is important to me and even though I had heard quotes like the ones below from Spurgeon it wasn’t until hearing this talk that I was just blown away by His heart for God and other people. He preached Biblical truth without apology. I hope the preachers of our time will continue to do that. Good teaching is hard to listen to but so important.

“There are times when solitude is better than society, and silence is wiser than speech. We should be better Christians if we were more alone, waiting upon God, and gathering through meditation on His Word spiritual strength for labour in his service. We ought to muse upon the things of God, because we thus get the real nutriment out of them. . . . Why is it that some Christians, although they hear many sermons, make but slow advances in the divine life? Because they neglect their closets, and do not thoughtfully meditate on God’s Word. They love the wheat, but they do not grind it; they would have the corn, but they will not go forth into the fields to gather it; the fruit hangs upon the tree, but they will not pluck it; the water flows at their feet, but they will not stoop to drink it. From such folly deliver us, O Lord. . . .”
― Charles H. Spurgeon

“If Christ is not all to you He is nothing to you. He will never go into partnership as a part Saviour of men. If He be something He must be everything, and if He be not everything He is nothing to you.”
― Charles H. Spurgeon

“If we never have headaches through rebuking our children, we shall have plenty of heartaches when they grow up.”
― Charles H. Spurgeon

{I included the link above for that talk if you wanted to listen.}

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Well, I hope you are doing great! We are finally seeing more spring weather and that’s been very refreshing!

Until next time,

Laura

 

 

I believe in Going to Church

I believe in going to Church.

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Since the time of infancy it’s been a part of my life.

As a teen there were some Sunday mornings where sleeping in sounded great and it took my mother  a few times to get us up and ready. A final word from our father would always light the fire under us!

Rounding up a family of 7 is no easy thing but my parents were faithful to bring us 5 children.  I treasure the memory of being in high school and I would have my bible plopped open and a sheet of paper to scribble down those profound messages we heard.

I was captured by scripture and learning it was exciting. God was in that place and I knew it. The safety of Church was like a net I could rest in and then be flung back into the world come Monday morning. I learned to navigate in a world that didn’t believe in a hope because of Jesus.

I can think back to the special relationships formed in those church buildings and the sense of family we experienced. I’m grateful for the foundation that was set in my early years.  It has given me much to fall back on when the winds blow and different experiences, ideas, or people knock hard on my faith in Christ.

In the last couple of years some significant challenges presented themselves when we started moving around. Our church experience looked nothing like what I had grown familiar with.

Then this last summer a huge bomb dropped.

I was sitting in a church meeting with full confidence and excitement that they were going to announce an addition to our staff. I thought we were going to be welcoming a new worship leader and instead the words on the screen read (to the best of my memory):

Church Merger.

Wait. What!?

I went from excitement to shock and then peered around trying to gather in the expressions of people around me.  My mind flew to what this meant for us.
I didn’t even realize this church to be struggling that bad financially. After a year attending we were settling into the way this church was structured and started enjoying some very meaningful relationships.

The really frustrating part is that in our area around the military base the options for church seemed limited. There wasn’t a lot to pick from and so when we had found the church we did, it was a relief.

I had no clue what kind of church we would become. Truth be told it wasn’t a fun experience as each family wrestled through the decision to stay or move on.  We missed our good friends that moved on and welcomed new friends quickly. The shake-up was God arranged and i’m confident of this because of the fruit in our lives since it happened.

This experience has sent me through a whirlwind of emotions and challenged why I believe what I believe. It has forced me to look closely at scripture and examine what is true and what is simply preference. I’ve loved that opportunity and that God saw this fit for our family.

I was looking for familiarity and he was calling for growth.

I have come out of it loving Jesus more, and being more crazy about God’s people than ever.

Today I jotted down a list of all the woman at church who are so very dear to me. The list is long and I’m smiling as I look down at their names. I realized through many conversations that I don’t have to agree with a church on all points or methods. I don’t even have to like how some areas are run.  If God is worshiped, the bible is preached, the people are faithful to Jesus, and are generous.. well then that’s a pretty great place to be.

That’s where i’m at.

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In John 17 we’re able to read Jesus’ prayer for future believers. He says in verse 23,

May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

It’s only through God that we experience that unity. It’s my opinion that he didn’t intend for us to be unified by a denomination, our great ideas on how to run a church, catchy mission statements, or even a great bible teacher.

We’re called to be united as branches off the same vine, that is God.

Any church trying to tell you otherwise is just way too full of themselves.

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Lets move on to how we can apply this practically.

{Your church family may be solid, building up your faith, and a continual encouragement. Praise God for this! But if you’re feeling like a fish out of water trying to find a church to attend, that’s where i’m going to speak into.}

 

Show up

Find a church that believes in the essential things of our Christian faith. {This song is a great resource!}

Be patient and extend grace

The pastor standing before you is only human. Is he not living up to your both high-energy and deep sermon expectation?
I like to consider what he has dealt with in the last week just within the congregation. Death? Divorce? People walking away from their faith? A harsh email criticizing a previous sermon? Have grace! Pray for your pastor.  {Now if He is steering away from scripture that’s another story.}

Don’t expect the people to have it all together. I think there’s a frustration from non-believers as they listen to Christians tell them how to live when clearly sin is taking place in our circles. We’re being made in the likeness of Jesus, that doesn’t mean we’ve arrived there.

Expect Love

These are God’s people and i’m not saying we get it right every time with every person that walks through the door but the ones that show up further than Sunday morning are going to experience something rare and beautiful among God’s people.
Just this morning an older women in our bible study offered to step in for another mom who was going to be helping watch the kids. If that is not love I don’t know what is!
Or another..on one evening a group gathers to serve our children and teach them the word of God. Two hours with energetic kids wipes all energy and yet they still keep showing up week after week.  It’s amazing!

Learn how to navigate hurt

I can almost guarantee you’ll experience a misunderstanding with someone in church or have an experience that leaves you deeply wounded. I can’t find anywhere in scripture where God allows some of His own to slip out the door over hurt.
No, all I can find is the call to forgive, over and over. How can we not forgive when Jesus went to the cross for us?  Just because you have one bad experience in Church doesn’t make the entire body of Christ awful.

Ask

God created you with unique gifts that are important. If you attend church and aren’t actively using those gifts, well it’s going to be plain ol’ boring! Step into the uncomfortable zone and ask how you can help.

Right now I look at my calendar that is full of time serving in our children’s ministry.  If you were to ask me awhile ago where I want to serve it wouldn’t be this area.
Yet God has done a work in my heart! I needed this. To be on my knees setting up train tracks, telling simple bible stories to wide-eyed toddlers, and being in a place of short-lived tears and loud belly laughs. It’s amazing and wonderful and has added to my life richly. Serve. Serve. Serve.

We’re selfish. Maybe not you but I am and the best remedy for this has been serving the Lord. It’s giving when I want to receive and seeing how God fills up a heart in this way too.

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Okay..I’m done preaching to you but I love that you’ve read all of this. It shows you either love me dearly, are hungry for a better experience at your church, or are bored with not much else to do! Either way thank you.

This week i’m praying for you. I want to hear how God has used the local church to grow your faith in Him.

Until next time,

Laura