I have had a very emotional week, but what I realized is that there are reasons for it that make sense. I have had some really hard stuff happen - in addition to losing my daughter - that I deal with alone.
So, I had written this really long post earlier today through tears sharing my specific frustrations... Things that have happened in the past 3 months (and more) that I haven't shared because I was either trying to avoid character assassination or trying to take my own thoughts captive.....Family not showing up for/wanting to come to Rachel's service, people making her life and death all about them or kicking me when I was down, the neonatologists failure to follow my birth plan, details that didn't come together, and the most recent one... my new counselor betraying my trust... I guess to be honest, it did feel really good to write the details down. I had momentary satisfaction thinking about the weight that would be lifted if I just let it all out. How good it would feel for people to know what I've been dealing with behind the scenes... and maybe someday I will share things as I feel led, but the most amazing thing happened tonight.
The friend I mentioned who was being induced the other night, didn't go into labor until days later and tonight I was blessed to spend 4 hours with her at the hospital. I left here in the worst mood cause I had just finished writing the other post and I wasn't even sure I wanted to go... but I felt like I was supposed to and so I drove to the store and bought more flowers and went over. I am continually amazed at God in my life. I held that little baby for probably half the time I was there. I didn't have any sadness at all. I never would have imagined it. The real blessing comes from the fact that I have friends who I can be myself with. We cried over Rachel together and rejoiced over her new baby together... What I planned to be a quick in and out, kept me there till after 10pm and left me with a smile; on my face and in my heart. I mentioned to her when I first held him that I was surprised that it didn't bother me at all to hold a one day old baby. (new baby smell and cute tiny noises included!) Her response was "that's cause you have so much love to give"... The truth is that I only have that love because I receive it from God.
I was showing her pictures on my camera from Rachel's grave. The nurse came in and my friend mentioned to her that I lost my baby on December 3 and told her she had anencephaly. The nurse said "you're Baby Rachel's Mother?" Oh yeah, big smile... yep, that's me... Rachel's Mama. I love it! She told me she had read about us in the paper. The next nurse came in and said "I had your daughter in my Awana class (bible class for kids) and I recognized her name cause I've been reading your blog"
So there I was, Rachel's hand & foot print in a frame on the bed (I take it everywhere), a brand new blessing from God in my arms, and 2 different people I had never met telling me they knew my daughter(s) :o) Rachel has touched so many people.
And so I drove home, thinking about the post I started earlier... Do the things I wrote about hurt? yep. Do I feel alone with them? yes, I am. Are they worth being upset over... yes, actually they are. But in the BIG picture, are they worth my time and energy? No. The truth is that no matter what I say or write, some people will never change and nothing will change what's already happened. The real problem is not that I have these hurts from other people, it's that in the midst of them, I'm starting to doubt that God has it all under control. I start to question if He's really there, why does He let these things happen? That is the real weight that is heavy on my heart. The details haven't changed. Minus the thing with the counselor last week, everything that still feels like an open wound, happened a couple of months ago. Nothing has changed except my thoughts on God and His character.
Tonight, I've decided to take my thoughts (& words) captive again... my main concern has always been and will continue to be that my daughter is honored and my God glorified. I refuse to let anyone or anything deter me from that focus. I know with all that Rachel's story does for God's kingdom that I am bound to come up against spiritual warfare. To be honest, I don't feel nearly strong enough to fight it. I am getting weary with the continuous setbacks and pain.
I have been working on a song on my guitar that a follower of my blog sent me called "Your Hands." On the way home from music lessons today, I was in tears again and as I sang this song, I questioned God... "why doesn't it feel like you're holding my heart right now?" I got home and checked my email, only to find one from one of my Rachel-given friends and her words changed my tears from ones of sadness to ones of gratitude and humbleness. She wrote:
"I still go to bed praying for you every night. I find it so interesting (wish I had a more accurate word) that I have good friends in my life, but someone I have never even met (YOU) has helped me to have hope and encouraged me during the most difficult time of my life. I am just one of the MANY ways that God has used Rachel's story to touch people's lives. On the top of your blog, it says, "Our hope is that she will leave behind more than a few short memories, but that she will leave a legacy of what it means to hope in Jesus". Boy, have I learned what it means to hope in Jesus from you and from Rachel's story. I know I am not the only one who can say this. Your strength, trust and hope in Jesus AMAZES me, touches me, teaches me and encourages me. The fact that a woman who is going through ALL that you have been through in the past 3 months has the time or even cares to write to someone they have never met just blows me away. Thank you does not say enough, but THANK YOU. Thank you for allowing God to use you for His purpose and thank you for doing it so openly and honestly."
And it dawned on me... that hasn't happened from pretending like I'm fine all the time. Actually this woman is one of the hundreds of women who has written to me and said that they really appreciate that I'm not afraid to share my struggles.... and so, I wonder... is my heart out of His hands, or is it really just that He's still using it...pain and all?