Nobody knows the significance of this picture of Christopher and myself. I hold it so close to my heart. It oozes with joy, an overall sense of pure bliss. We were on a date night with some of my greatest friends who are also photographers and their spouses. We decided at the end of the night to have a photo swap with our hubbys! Since we never get the chance with always being behind the camera.. at this moment, Christopher and I decided to tell them we were pregnant with baby #4. So this is us, mid announcement exclaiming our joy without any hesitation or fear. I smile and cry every time I look at this picture. There is my Christopher indulging in the moment of me shouting my greatest joy I have ever lived to know!!
This is why I have fallen deeply in love with the meaning of true film. My great friend and birth photographer, Liz and I have agreed with one thing with this pregnancy. No matter the future, the months, she will be there to capture everything our hearts endure. We never want to forget what made us who we are. Film is to remind me of not only the beauty but the madness that we made it through. It erases time from the equations and reminds me of what mattered most.
The purpose of this blog. It's is to give reassurance to those in suffering whatever the trial may be. Those who have faith but can not seem to remember why we decided to keep our head above the waves anyways. God is persistent. I thought for sure; I had done all that I needed to do when it came to talking about losing my three babies. But you see there is this thing he does out of love and hope. A hope to drag those out of the dessert that can not seem to get up on their own. I prayed to be a stepping stone, and he is making sure his promises are kept and reminding me his glory is more important than anything I have planned for my life. He does this thing where everything on earth lines up to tell me about a task he wanted to be done. Until I do it. Primarily conviction, but with everything crashing at my doorstep because sometimes I act like I do not see it.
Blogging takes time; I do not have time at this moment in my life. Being a stay at home mama, running a business, finishing my last course to get my diploma, spending as much time with my family while my father battles cancer. Not to mention the million other things I am trying to accomplish.
So.. here is me with a smile of course. Trying to stay strong and not stress through the everyday living so that I do not lose another baby. Trying to focus on the fact that my best friend does not have cancer. Trying to remind me of what God HAS given me. Trying to explain why my pregnant belly is so large at only 21 weeks when they only see one child beside me. Trying not to have doubt. Trying to remind myself that I AM strong enough to birth a living child. Trying to give my husband the attention he deserves. Trying to be a mother that doesn't lose her mind. Trying to stay in love with Jesus Christ no matter what he throws at me next. I am trying, trying, trying ... SPOILER ALERT- yes I do fail, more than you know.
I have had this overwhelming feeling of "what if" in my heart lately (WHICH IS NOT LIKE ME). What if I make it to 40 weeks and have to deliver a child I will not get to hold forever? Yes, those questions have been in my head. It never fails when someone asks me "So you're doing it? Is everything going great? Is this the farthest you have gotten?" I say the same response, "YA! Baby is strong and healthy; I feel good, all things are great! When I look at them and think, we will see if I make it. At this point in the process, you can not help but fear and wonder if it is too good to be true. Within the last week, God has awakened me up at the same time. 4:07 am every day. I thought the first three days ok, that's strange. So I would get up and just make my coffee, do yoga, read my bible pack my husbands lunch and wait for the boys to get up. Then I realized by the fourth morning; something isn't adding up he has to be waking me up. Clarity has not been at the top of my list throughout these last couple months due to my pregnancy and the events that keep occurring. One morning I remembered I bought a booklet from The Daily Grace Co. called the "Joy in Christ." It was a daily devotion on Philippians and Colossians that I chose at random. Mainly because I loved the flowers on the front page and I was drawn to the word Joy. But of course, my human thinking thought I chose this book. Little did I know, he decided it. That is the thing, the more you quiet yourself and listen you will realize he is with you during your every move.
I opened the book to read the first few messages written by Sophia Schmucker explaining she lost her baby girl at 37 weeks pregnant after a very healthy pregnancy. I CLOSED THE BOOK (actually I lied I think I threw it). What I thought was this the enemy trying to just wreck me of all of my hope and trust I have or what?? Within that same week, I received four messages from girls mentioning miscarriages. Needing advice, help, truth or the link to the first blog I wrote on it. Followed by, my heart curiously wanting to dissect Philippians.
I realized this was not the enemy but God was telling me, Child it is time to listen.
After going back to the booklet reading and studying Philippians. I knew it was everything I needed not only to hear but come to terms with the truth. The truth is that, I shall not fear. God has me in the palm of his hand and will always be there no matter what comes against me. Paul wrote a letter from prison where he was suffering for the sake of the goodness of the gospel. I admired Paul for his strength of hope during his trial of sitting in jail. I learned a lesson that represented an abundance amount of love that is selfless. If you do not know who Paul is or what this has to do with this blog, I challenge you to read Phillippians. It is something very significant based on a love that will grow. Paul chose to see the goodness of God's glory while he was going through his journey. He chose to live a life full of grace while loving Jesus through it all.
Ultimately it taught me a few things that not only brought peace during my doubt but also hope for the future. This time solely about the aftermath of my sufferings. Which has resulted in fear-
Paul's prayer was that, your love will flourish and that you will not only love, but you will love WELL (even if that means while sitting in jail).
Reminding myself that no trial is ever wasted. Whether your a Christian or not, understand your trials will always shape you, mold you, and teach you something more prominent than the pain we endure. I had to think back to each baby what was happening, did I recognize the fruitful labor? If I didn't. Did I hold onto what Paul tried to explain?
He was willing to face anything to spread God's word.. talk about difficult.
The one thing I took from this was, he remains with me. I must hold onto his promises through whatever suffering. And the fear .. the fear has to go- You can not move forward until you overcome this demon. Pain is never easy. Suffering is never easy. None of it is easy. Although with Christ, I can promise it gets easier with his grace. Take refuge, his love endures forever.
"And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love". -1 Corinthians 13:13
"Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not put us to shame because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us". -Romans 5:3-5
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
He then asked me, What are you willing to face for me? Are you ready to trust me throughout any more sufferings you have to overcome?
I do not think God has asked me this because this pregnancy may not be successful. I truly believe he has brought me hear to ask me, Why am I living in fear? He stands with me. Forever and always.
So where do I stand? I stand with whatever my king gives to me. Whatever my future holds, I will mourn and grieve whatever trials I face within my lifetime. I do not have this thought that I will not make it through this pregnancy but I do have peace with whatever my future does hold I will fight to serve him and I will hold onto his promises. His plan to prosper and give me life. Understand, If you are currently suffering, I hear your cry, and you are never alone. If you are living in fear, let it go. Lay it down. I am in NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM telling you to just be ok with what ever gets handed to you. But what I am saying is, fight through the hurt, the worry, the fear and remember you are stronger than you think. Love well, let it flourish and hold onto his promises. His goodness is far higher than anything that comes against. You are a warrior, a force of fire a wild love.
You are created out of an image of grace and admired from the east to the west. The best is yet to come, for the things ahead of you are far greater than anything left behind you.
With all of my empathy & love, your fellow sister.