I woke up at 4:30 this morning and couldn't get back to sleep, so I got up and worked on my book... I know I'm supposed to be writing this book. I am definitely being led by the Spirit. I pray that God will use it for his glory. Please remember me in your prayers.
I was flipping through the stations on the radio, which I NEVER do, and it seemed every song was cutting into my heart...
Then as I pulled in the parking lot at church, a song came on and I sat for a second to listen. It's written about a relationship, but the first verse had me stuck in my seat:
Denise & I did Rachel's Playground announcement, which was exciting and very well received. I went to 1st service with her and the Matt & the kids met me there for 2nd service.
Let me give you some background info... Denise & I were not friends before Rachel. She sent me a letter after my "how does your garden grow" post, offering to help me weed my garden. She came over and I thought it was obvious that she was pregnant, but know better than to ever ask that question without the mom saying so first. So, I waited and as soon as she spilled the beans, I jumped for joy...at which point she told me she was due 3 weeks before me, but was a surrogate mother. It left me with my jaw wide open... having a baby that you can't keep on purpose? That's a strong woman. And so our friendship began and she has done so much to help me in the last 5 months. She never did weed my garden, but she did my laundry, made me a dozen meals, got all the details of Rachel's playground organized up until this point. And just recently, her and her husband helped us turn Desirae's bedroom into every 8 year old girl's dream room, castle bed and all! (pics coming soon!) All while carrying a baby of her own.
[Side Note: Our friends Brian & Emily (and their friend Kevin) helped us to pull up the carpets to help the kids' allergies and put down new floors in the bedrooms upstairs in the middle of all this! Couldn't leave them out...thank you!! We are SO blessed. It's unreal.]
But, just like Rachel wasn't really mine and I wasn't meant to keep her, Denise left the hospital with empty arms so that someone else could have a baby they desired. Since I had Rachel 3 weeks early, we had our babies in the same week. All of this to say that God has provided me a friend who, although the circumstances are different, has just given birth and doesn't have a baby to hold. She doesn't miss hers like I miss Rachel, but it is a unique bond that we have. Something most people couldn't identify with. We can have conversations about stuff that I couldn't have with women who have a baby with them.
OK - so now I've got you up to speed, let me get to the point... This morning as we sat next to each other worshipping our Lord, the thought crossed my mind that just 5 weeks ago, we were both pregnant. (and huge!) Now here we sit and the babies we carried aren't with us. At one point we were both crying and we sat there hand in hand through a song. My heart thanked God for the friendship he has blessed me with because of Rachel. Have I mentioned how unbelievably thankful I am for that child?? She was one of the best things that has ever happened to me... the other 4 are upstairs reading together. :o) She has brought me so many blessings. I would never go back to the days before her. I wish she knew.
I have really struggled with two things...you may want to sit down. 1) what if we're all crazy and heaven doesn't really exist and Rachel really is just dead in the ground? 2) what if this (anencepahly) happens to me again?
Now I know that neither one of those sounds very Christian like or faithful...but nobody said I wasn't human. I'm being honest, and although these are things I struggle with, I'm not looking for biblical answers...I do truly believe these things. If you asked me before Rachel what I thought about these things, I could have given a sure, strong answers... Yes, heaven is real, Yes babies go there, and don't fear, God will get you through it even if it does happen again. I mean, look how He's carried you this time, you'll be fine.
Easy to say... before you've lost a baby to anencephaly. Not so easy to say now. I know I'm supposed to trust His plan entirely - and you all know I do, but what if it's his plan to make me do this twice? How would I not be mad at him? How would my heart survive? I think I could possibly die from a broken heart. I would still do it again over not having another baby. I would rather have another baby like Rachel any day than no baby at all. Either way, my arms would be empty, but with no baby at all I would forfeit all the blessings, joy and love that a baby brings - even if only for 43 minutes. But do I want to do that again...no way.
I continually ask the Lord to prove to me that Rachel is with him, and the awesome thing about my great God is that he does. Not because he has to, but because he cares about my heart. It doesn't make me feel better coming from another human, but from God... well, that's good news.
So, this morning, I was praying again for him to show me that she is with him (as if He hasn't already done that!) and no joke about 5 seconds later the song ended and Steph, who was leading worship, started talking about Zephaniah 3:17 - except she quoted it wrong... (sorry Steph!) She said "The verse says that God dances over us" and immediately I pictured Rachel dancing with her Father in heaven. I sat down with my bible to read the verse, which is when I realized that it says "singing" - and I know she knows that too cause in 2nd service she said "singing" - but during 1st service, right after I prayed, she "said the wrong word" hmmm...what a coincidence. Thank you God.
The subtitle for that section is "Joy in God's Faithfulness" and it reads:
Sing, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O Israel!I am always careful to not take God's Word out of context... but this morning, I know He was using this (and Steph's "typo") to calm my fears... She IS in heaven. He IS with me and he IS mighty to save. He will continue to quiet me with his love. I will NOT see this "disaster" again.
Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem!
The LORD has taken away your judgments, He has cast out your enemy.
The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; You shall see[a] disaster no more.
In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: “ Do not fear; Zion, let not your hands be weak.
The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”
Joy in God's faithfulness... He is faithful, even to my heart that is prone to wander. Even through my disbelief and doubt... through my questions and in my fear. He is faithful. That is where I find my joy.
So, to sum it up... I hate the radio, am thankful for Denise and LOVE God. Told you this post would be all over the place. I think I'm entitled to a few crazy posts right now. I'll try not to make a habit out of it :o)
PS - Matt just brought me over a coffee and the mug he gave me has the verse that we put on the cards we handed out at Rachel's service...
Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. - Hebrews 11:1Hmm... what a coincidence. Thank you God.