“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” ~Matthew 5:4
Anniversaries can be hard.
But they don’t have to stop our lives or make us regress.
They can be used as catalysts to launch us into new things, new chapters, new understanding, new acceptance.
I spent a lot of the day ‘living in the now’.
I did most of my usual activities and even had a couple of fun food ‘photo shoots’ for some upcoming recipes I’d like to share. I spent time with my daughter, we laughed and we talked about our upcoming trip to the Allume conference and at one or two points we talked about what happened a year ago…because I also cried yesterday and she wanted to make sure her mama was all right. Oh, how I love my sweet, sweet girl!
I came across some pictures we has taken while in the hospital with the baby. Pictures I had forgotten I still had. Pictures that brought back a lot of memories. And yet, looking back, I still have no regrets. We loved that baby with all we had for the time were given with him. He was our very own, and I miss him. Oh, how I miss him!
My very sweet husband brought me flowers and showered me with lots of ‘I love you’s’ throughout the day that I was very happy to reciprocate. We talked and prayed, snuggled and laughed and hugged long. We reached out to one another instead of pushing the other away. The miracle in that is loss has the tendency of tearing things apart. It tried to have its way with us, too, over the last year, but praise be to God, we are making it through.
I also purposed to make a point to rejoice with those who shared things of a baby and pregnancy nature via social media. Not to partake in some ‘fake it til you make it’ thing, but because I genuinely still love it when people find out they’re pregnant, have babies, love on their babies and celebrate parenthood and their children. It’s an amazing gift from God! When I see it, I can’t help but to celebrate right along with it. It’s beautiful and lovely and good. Oh how God loves us by gifting us with loved ones!!
Even the ones that don’t get to stay with us.
It all ‘counts’.
I’m not going to pretend I understand God and have the answer to the huge question of ‘why?!’
I don’t. And I don’t think anyone will this side of eternity. And I’m ok with that.
I can be ok with that because I know the character of the God who created family. He’s trustworthy. He’s faithful. He’s sovereign.
Another thing I did, I read some of 1 Samuel, the story of Hannah.
Every day she prayed for her God-chosen, barren womb to be filled with life as she watched her husband’s other wife birth babies left and right.
I get that. I totally get that.
I have friends who are raising baby number 12 and many others who have the large family I have always wanted and dreamed about having and boy does it ever make me smile! I have come to a place where while my own pain is hard to bear at times, I can still rejoice and enjoy the families in my life that are bigger in number than mine.
Wanna know why?
Because I know it’s not quantity that matters, it’s quality.
If I had 50 children and disliked them all and had little to no relationship with them and was constantly annoyed by their presence…what good would that be to anyone?? It wouldn’t.
I can find joy in my ‘less’ because I know that even though our number is small, our love is big.
Our healthy, loving, sharing, fun family of three is bigger inside than outside and I’m very ok with that and I think that’s what matters most. We’re not perfect, but we’re what we have and we strive to love each other well, in a way that gives God glory and that is a source of joy for me.
Knowing that my family works at loving each other well, to the glory of God…what more could a person ask for?
Do I want more children? Yes.
Do I need more children? No.
A longing for my arms to be full with a precious babe in them does not mean I’m not content. It means that I long for the things God created His children to long for. We can have longings and still be content. It means we’re at peace with how things are but we’re open to them being different, in our favor. There’s nothing wrong or less spiritual about that, AT ALL.
So if you’re believing that lie, like I was, just tell it to shut up and put it under the feet of Jesus!
And one more thing, my worth, as a mother, as a woman, as a Christian wife, mother and woman, is not defined by how many children I have or don’t have. It does NOT, I repeat, DOES NOT make me more or less spiritual to have fewer or more children than anyone else.
So if you’re believing that lie, like I was, you know what to do with that now, too. (see above, repeat as necessary)
Listen now, read this carefully:
OUR VALUE COMES FROM BEING VALUABLE TO A HOLY GOD.
When He sees us, He is pleased. He sees us as His precious children, that He specifically handcrafted in our mother’s wombs, to bring Him joy. We are a reflection of God’s glory, we are created in His image, intricately designed to make Him smile when He sees us.
He sees us as He created us, the same way we see our newborn babies after the doctor cleans the goo off and lays them on our pounding chest to meet: perfect.
You know what the words I could finally muster to say were when I came face to face with that little baby girl who came early that hot July day? All I could say through tears of exhausted joy was, “I’m so happy! I’m so happy!”
And I still am.
Because God is still good.
“Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy.” ~Psalm 126:5