Saturday, January 26, 2008

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Service

Tomorrow we're holding our 7th Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Service at church. I started this service in 2001 after my ectopic loss. I cannot even begin to describe what an amazing gift this service has been to me and how blessed I feel to be a part of it. God definitely gave me beauty for ashes, and the oil of joy for mourning (Isaiah 61). As much as the preparation can stress me out, I know that He is going to do amazing things tomorrow and touch a lot of hurting hearts.

Each service is very simple, but very powerful. Someone with a testimony of how God moved in their life and brought them healing after loss will share their story. We read scriptures such as Matthew 5:4, 'Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.' The Signing Choir is performing a Steven Curtis Chapman song titled 'With Hope', about the hope that only He gives us, in knowing that we will see our lost children again someday.

For those who have lost children to miscarriage or stillbirth, I pray that you would find comfort in Him. For anyone out there who reads this, who has an abortion in their past, please know this -- God longs to reach out to you and comfort you, and forgive you. You don't have to live with the pain and the shame any more.

With Hope
This is not at all how we thought it was supposed to be
We had so many plans for youwe had so many dreams
And now you've gone away and left us with the memories of your smile
And nothing we can say and nothing we can do
Can take away the painthe pain of losing you
We can cry with hopewe can say goodbye with hope
'Cause we know our goodbye is not the end
We can grieve with hope
because we believe with hope
There's a place where we'll see your face again
We'll see your face again
Never have I known anything so hard to understand
Never have I questioned more the wisdom of God's plan
But through the cloud of tears I see the Father smile and say well done
And I imagine you where you wanted most to be
Seeing all your dreams come true
'Cause now you're home and now you're free
We can cry with hope, we can say goodbye with hope
'Cause we know our goodbye is not the end
We can grieve with hope, because we believe with hope
There's a place where we'll see your face again
We'll see your face again
We have this hope like as an anchor
'Cause we believe that everything God promised us is true
So we can cry with hope, we can say goodbye with hope
'Cause we know our goodbye is not the end
We can grieve with hope, because we believe with hope
There's a place
By God's grace
There's a place where we'll see your face again
~Steven Curtis Chapman, from his 1999 album 'Speechless'

Friday, January 25, 2008

I choose....

God has been speaking to me a lot lately about being a fearless witness for Him. I am feeling more and more courage to talk about Jesus, to post more Jesus 'stuff' on my MySpace page, to just be a light for Him wherever I go. I'm really enjoying the study on Abraham that my Thursday group is doing, and I'm hopeful that my folks will start a Bible study group on Sunday nights. I love my church, but it doesn't feed me or the Man. If they do start it, the Man has already said he will go and I have high hopes for it. Something has to give, because we can't keep giving to a church that doesn't give back. I like the things my kids are doing there, but that can't be enough, not when their parents are stagnating.

I've been emotionally out of sorts since the Barnacle's surgery. I thought I would feel so relieved afterwards, but instead I still couldn't sleep..... I felt haunted for days, imagining the surgeon coming out to tell me that something had gone wrong and my son was dead. I replayed it again and again in my mind, haunting haunting haunting. I let myself stew in it, dwelling on that mother's fear. I forgot.... I forgot that my God is bigger, my God is stronger, and my God is NOT the author of fear. My God is NOT the author of confusion. He is my hope, He is my strength. I know that it is not His will that I be haunted by this, and I am choosing to not be. When it returns to my mind, I send it away, reminding myself of all of the good that God has done in my life, all of the times that He has protected my kids. The Princess could have died when she got into my grandmother's pills. The Boy could have been strangled in his umbilical cord and been stillborn. The Barnacle could have never even existed because of my damaged reproductive system. But my children are healthy and strong and my God is reliable. I choose faith over fear. I choose peace over haunting.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Girl Day

Yesterday was simply divine. My 8 year old daughter and I had a Girl Day. We do this every once in a while - maybe twice a year? We should do it more often but time gets in the way somehow. Anyhow, we went to see Enchanted. I stopped at the store first so we could load our pockets with contraband snacks and drinks. We picked perfect seats, right in the middle, and the movie was awesome! We both laughed a ton, it was really a funny and sweet film. Afterwards, we went to the mall to make some returns and look for a new backpack for her. An hour later our feet were tired and still no backpack. We went to WalMart and found what we wanted immediately. Why do we not learn to always check there first??

It was a perfect Girl Day. The Boy was jealous and fussed when we left yesterday. So he and the Man are having Boy Day later today. They're going to see the new Alvin & The Chipmunks movie and do whatever else it is that boys do. Boys don't shop really, but maybe they could go to Pep Boys or the RC store and beat their chests or something.