I wonder if God peers into our man-made New Years traditions, and in his omniscience says to himself, "Oh, dear child, this year...this year you will grow so much. I only wish I could spare you the pain of such growth. Hold on...I am with you."
On January 1st 2014, I spent the day in the bathroom, praying and crying and telling myself that this was not happening, that I was not having a miscarriage.
Happy New Year, right? All my hopes, expectations, and plans for the year were shattered. All I could think was, "No new baby in August. No new baby. No baby."
The only verse that brought me any sense of comfort during this time was this:
"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me..."
You are with me.
You are with me.
You are with me.
THAT was the only guarantee I had for 2014.
Now it is January 1st 2015. As I look back at last year, I am amazed at how my miscarriage shaped my whole year, overwhelmed with the good that was directly related to my miscarriage. In fact, this heartbreaking experience even fulfilled desires of my heart in three specific areas: Counseling, Volunteering, and Writing.
Interestingly, at one time, I was going to pursue a Masters Degree in
counseling (I even took a Statistics class in preparation for grad school. eek!). My own grief allowed me to
help others grow and heal by becoming a peer counselor to women who were walking through the grief of miscarriage, still birth, and infertility. I have grown so much in knowledge, compassion, empathy, and sympathy by being a co-leader of this group.
The grief group is under the umbrella of The Motherhood Collective, a non-profit organization in Lynchburg whose purpose is to "Nurture the Mother to Grow the Child." I had secretly wanted to be a part of the leadership of this organization in a "that'd be really cool" kind of way, but had no idea what I could/would do. The miscarriage opened this door too. I feel very privileged to serve with the amazing women in this organization.
Looking back at 2014, I see how God was able to marry my life experience
and clarified beliefs with my desire to develop professionally as a
writer. As I blogged about my miscarriage throughout this past year, I was not only able to work through my own grief, but I was also about to develop my theology about God's providence and sovereignty when it comes to pregnancy and the gift of children.
At the end of November, I wrote "Say 'Congratulations'--It's the Christian thing to do" and it got over 500 views overnight! To date, it is my 2nd "most-viewed" post on my blog, with over 7800 views (in reality, this is not a lot of views in the "blog world" but is a LOT for my little blog!). Even more exciting though, is that this blog open the door for me to be a guest writer for Christianity Today's blog, Her.Menutics. My article was published on December 10 and has received over 3000 shares on social media. These publications have been huge for me as a writer. I hope it is just the beginning. But I know that without the heartbreak at the beginning of the year, the victory at the end most likely would not have happened.
So what is the point of this post? I guess it is this: If you are heart-broken today, on New Years Day 2015, and your life is taking a completely different, unwanted, horrible path than you would have ever chosen...I pray you can find hope in my story.
God had plans for my 2014, ones I never would have chosen but plans that ultimately helped me to grow, learn, love others, and even brought me the desires of my heart.
And even though I was never promised the gift of another baby, He gave me that too. I sit here typing with my 10 day old baby boy sleeping on my chest. What a gift of grace, complete unmerited favor.
So, hold on, friend. He is with you.
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