Wednesday, July 24, 2013
A Blessing Amidst the Tragedy
I have wanted to be a mother ever since I was a little girl. All I dreamed of while growing up was falling in love, getting married and having a family. It was a dream-come-true when I met my prince charming, a real life cowboy. We fell in love and were married young. Our life over the past five years has been about spending quality time together, growing in our marriage, growing in our relationship with Christ, and making financial decisions that would later allow us to be parents.
Finally, at the beginning of this year we were ready to start trying for a baby. We made plans to start trying in May, knowing that there was a good chance that it could take a few months. Then the worst tragedy of our marriage hit us; Wes' mom passed away the week before we were going to start trying. I knew how hard this would be on him, and I didn't want him to feel pressured into trying to start a family if he just wanted time to grieve for his loss. Instead, Wes surprised me by saying that he didn't want to give up on starting a family. He felt that now would be the best time, because we could use some hope and joy to look forward to through the darkness.
So, with heavy hearts and a desperate hope, we decided that we would still try for a baby. Before Sharon's death, I had worried that I would have trouble conceiving. We'd been married for five years with no "accidents", and since I loved children so much I was unreasonably fearful that I wouldn't be able to get pregnant. So after Sharon's death, I prayed constantly to God for the blessing of a baby. I didn't know how I'd be able to survive difficulty conceiving after dealing with the tragedy of losing Sharon, but I was faithful and confident that I would be able to survive it, no matter how difficult. Wes and I had also discussed the possibility of adopting if we were unable to conceive. So I took comfort in knowing that someday, somehow, I would be a mother.
Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart. (Psalm 27:14)
All things are possible to him that believeth. (Mark 9:23)
I had spent month after month researching conception, and had taken every possible precaution. I scheduled doctor appointments to make sure I was in good health, started on prenatal vitamins, and even altered my diet to a pregnancy-friendly diet. I was confident that we had a good chance of making this work quickly, but after the emotional roller coaster we had gone through with losing Sharon, my emotions and hormones had been thrown out of sync, and I worried that it would delay things.
So I continued to pray for God's blessing in our lives. Even though He had allowed Sharon to die, we were not angry with Him. We did not blame Him, nor rage against Him. We continued to put our trust in Him, and sought our comfort from Him. I knew, that while God allows bad things to happen in our lives, He also provides us with unimaginable blessings. So I prayed constantly, my faith in Him as unwavering as ever.
Pray without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted what I asked of Him. (1 Samuel 1:27)
What did God do? He blessed us, with most most amazing gift of all; He blessed us with a baby.
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. (Psalm 118:1)
For the Mighty One has done great things for me - holy is His name. (Luke 1:49)
These past weeks have felt so surreal. Even after our first prenatal appointment where we got to see the ultrasound and hear the heartbeat, I find it hard to believe that this really is happening. I've been waiting for this moment for what seems like forever. And while it's still early, the blessing of this gift has already helped our family. It has given us hope, and for some it's renewed their faith in the Lord. It provides us with a measure of joy that we've lost since Sharon's death. I know that this baby will not replace the heartache, nor will it replace the loved one that we've lost. But it provides us with hope, and happiness, and something to look forward to beyond this pain.
Thou has put gladness in my heart. (Psalm 4:7)
There shall be showers of blessing. (Ezekiel 34:26)
While we are overjoyed with this blessing, it is still bittersweet. Because there is one person with whom we wish to share this happy occasion, but we can't. It's difficult not to feel sorry for ourselves, or our future children who will never get to know their amazing grandmother, Sharon. But I do know that she is up in heaven, watching and rejoicing with us in this blessing. While we cannot see her, I know that she is with us, because she will always reside in our hearts and our memories. This baby is a piece of her, and through this baby, we will always have a piece of her with us.
Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, rejoice. (Philippians 4:4)
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. (Ecclesiastes 3:4)
We have a long way to go before we can hold this beautiful baby, this amazing blessing, in our arms. But I am so unbelievably grateful for God's gift to us. For the gift of a new life, for the gift of a little piece of Sharon, and for the gift of hope. God is showing us that even though we may face tribulations in our lives, we can still receive joy and blessings. For His mercy, and His love, I am utterly grateful.
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
While I live I will praise the Lord; I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being. (Psalm 146:2)
The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. (Psalm 33:5)
"For I know the plans I have for you," declared the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)