Yesterday (Thursday) was a rough day for me. Throughout most of the work day I kept thinking about how I couldn't wait to get off, get in my car, go home, and cry.
So I did cry for a little while and then I had a Tollhouse cookie ice cream sundae for dinner and my night got a little better.
Usually I'm off on Fridays, but of course I had scheduled to work this Friday so I could take an extra day off next week. I was so annoyed with myself Thursday night and this morning as I got ready for work. I felt like I really needed a day off. But what can you do?
So while at work I worked on the blog post I posted earlier today and right before I left I posted it. Not too long after I received a text from a dear friend saying some of the sweetest things. While she doesn't text me all the time, she's the kind of friend that when she does, it's gold. I could not hold back the tears while reading it. It was so precious. The part that really got me:
"Your baby's life matters. It matters to you and it's touched so many others too. Life is given by God. And He makes all things beautiful. My life was made just a little bit more beautiful by your child and I'm positive it will be made even more beautiful by your future children too."
How could I not sob? I had to pause Fixer Upper for a couple minutes while I tried to pull it together. And then not too long after I received another text telling me that the message of life that I share on my blog is so beautiful -- such encouraging words!
I hadn't even gotten home to our apartment yet, and already I was feeling so thankful that the Lord would lay it on the hearts of two dear friends to reach out to me on a day I was feeling pretty low. Then I came home to a package from another dear friend.
I took my time opening it because I had a feeling it was going to be special. So I read the card first and then moved onto the box. Before I unwrapped everything I could tell it was a mug (aka: the best gift ever). My stomach dropped because suddenly I just knew it was going to be a mom mug.
I finished unwrapping it and I was right.
Cue instant sobs.
I don't know why, but that really got me. As a girl who really questions whether or not she's a mother, but wants to be one so desperately, I couldn't think of a more perfect gift. So I just crawled into bed with the mug and the card and cried bittersweet tears for awhile. And then I made peppermint tea in my new favorite mug and sat down to read my devotional.
I ordered the devotional Grieving The Child I Never Knew by Kathe Wunnenberg on Amazon mainly because the cover is gorgeous. But it has been a healing balm to my soul. There are so many times I read the title of the devotion for the day and think to myself, "Oh, I don't think this one really applies to me." And then I read the devotion and begin working on the questions and realize it's exactly what I needed for the day. It has helped me to deal with things that I didn't even realize were lurking around in my soul.
And this evening was no different. I'm two days into the "Forgiveness" section of this devotional and it's been so good. Today it talked about medical staff and blaming them for what happened or holding a grudge for their actions Whether it's justified or not, as Christians we are called to forgive. Duh -- I know this. I've never been the type of person to hold long, nasty grudges. I just don't have it in me, someone may make me mad but usually by the end of the day I'm over it.
However since our loss this devotion has helped me realize that I was holding some grudges towards people. I even had some against friends and family who I love, but I knew those were wrong and was working on them.
Side note: I listened to this podcast recently and oh my word. So. Good. The guest, Jami Nato, talked about walking through infidelity with her husband. After finding out her husband had an affair, they separated for about a month to work through things separately and in that time the Lord really worked on her. She said that anytime a plaguing thought surfaced in her mind she would say, out loud, no matter where she was, "I forgive you for _________." And eventually that thought would no longer plague her. [I highly recommend listening to it but start around 20 minutes in unless you want to hear all about the World Series]. End side note :)
Sometimes I find myself dwelling on something someone said that was unintentionally hurtful or thinking about how someone I would have expected to express their sorrow over our loss said nothing. And that can put me in a really bitter mindset. I can't let myself go there. So I've adopted Jami's strategy and it is so good.
But I was using that strategy for my friends and family, people I loved and could easily extend grace to. Today my devotional reminded me that I need to extend that grace to everyone. In my post earlier today I mentioned how upset I was by our midwife's response to our questionable ultrasound and then tonight while reading my devotional I realized that even though my anger may have been somewhat justified, I have to stop nursing my grudge and allowing it to grow.
So after being prompted to do so in my devotional, I wrote down a list of several other people in the medical field at the practice I was going to who had also upset me. Then on the next page it told me to use a red pen and write over their names, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34) And I just thought that was beautiful!
I just have to say how thankful I am for such caring friends. It doesn't take much to show you care; a thoughtful text message, a mug, a card in the mail, yet it means so much to me. It is very humbling to think about how many times the Lord has put me on the heart of others over the past two months and fourteen days to shine His love through them to me. And I will never forget it -- each comment, text, call, card, etc. has touched my heart. When a friend is brave enough to trudge through the darkness of my grief to get to me, it creates a very special place for them in my heart. It bonds us in ways not much else can!
Going through a loss brings you so close to the Lord because He provides for you in smaller, more intimate ways that mean the world to you. You no longer look to Him to provide you with good fortune and manifold blessings, you now need Him to get you through one moment, one conversation, one party, one day at a time. He truly is so close to the brokenhearted and I love Him so much.