I realize that it has been quite some time since I have updated my blog. To be honest, I have not had the heart to lament over my infertility and miscarriage struggles nor have I had any great breakthroughs in my own life…or perhaps that is the breakthrough. Let me explain…
Two weeks prior to Thanksgiving, my husband was given the wonderful opportunity to sit down with a young mother from our church and lead her to Christ. She had inquired about baptism initially, but in talking with her he realized that she had not yet given her life to Christ. It is something she desired, but was relatively new to what it means to be a Christian and what role baptism played in her decision (we believe baptism is the outward expression of the inward decision to follow Christ). She accepted Christ and planned to be baptized Thanksgiving weekend. Her 12 year old son also made the same decision in a separate conversation with my husband that day. Praise God – a family has been set in a new direction with a new goal and a new life.
One week later we received a devastating call – this young woman had been killed in a car accident. Shock. Disbelief. The most bittersweet realization of her secured eternal life and the loss of her presence here on earth. So many questions with why being at the top. Why now? Why just after she accepted Christ? Why the week before her and her son were both to be baptized together in the most wonderful Thanksgiving celebration? What could the reasons possibly be and is there a single reason, or even a group of reasons, that would warrant this extreme heartache? If there is one thing I’ve learned in my journey it is that in the grip of grief, no amount of reasoning is sufficient. I recalled Jesus’ reaction when approached about the death of Lazarus – he wept. He did not give reasons, he grieved with the hurting. I wept.
As December approached our family anxiously awaited a new wonderful life – my nephew. My little sister is about 5 years younger than me and I had never dreamed that we would be having children at the same time – cousins who were the same age. What a wonderful gift to share these experiences together. He was a few weeks late, but happy and healthy. Praise God!
About the time my nephew was born, my grandfather had taken a turn for the worse. He had been under hospice care at home for quite some time, but we knew his time here on earth was coming to an end. On Sunday, Dec 11th, I had visited the house. He was not responsive and had been that way for about a day. Seeing him that way, struggling for breath, being agitated in his coma-like state, watching my dad and my aunt try to get him to take his medicine – I went home and begged God to take him home that night. At 90 years old, he had lived an amazing life. When I think of my ‘immediate family’, my Grandpa, Grandma and Aunt Sharon are always included. They have played such a huge role in my life that it is hard to explain to others that they are so much more than just extended family. As I awoke on Monday, I anticipated the call…but that call did not come. Monday was spent with family beginning to make final arrangements. I see now that my Grandmother really needed this day to help her emotionally begin to process his coming passing. The next morning, we received the call as I was waking up for work – Grandpa has gone home. I had spent much of the previous few days crying and wondering how I would really feel when we received this call. I was genuinely thankful and rejoiced for him. My Grandfather had sung of the glories of God and Heaven for much of his life and now his faith had become sight.
The next week was spent preparing for his funeral and for our upcoming trip. Yes, we were spending the holidays with family in Florida (quite the treat for us Michiganders). Again, though, this was bittersweet. One of the reasons we were going was because my brother-in-law (husband’s sister’s husband) is in the Air Force and had been deployed again. They have two children and at 6 and 7 years old, they understand when daddy is missing. The sacrifices they have made for our freedom are great and greatly appreciated. Selfishness for sunny Florida beaches aside, we were excited to be with them through the holidays in daddy’s physical absence.
And now this week we have been thrown into grief again. The 12 year old boy who lost his mother has now lost his grandfather. He was not just any grandfather, though. His grandparents have been more like parents to him over the years. The reason we know the family is that his grandparents have faithfully brought him to our church over the years and it had only been recently that his mother also began to attend faithfully. In our eyes, his grandparents were his parents. Now as he has endured the loss of his mother, he is also grieving the loss of his grandfather.
As I look at the tragedy this family, this young boy, has experience over a few short months, it is the first time that my focus has shifted from “Oh, God – why me?” to “Oh, God – please give this young man a break and spread these burdens to someone more equipped to handle them – why not me…I can handle it!” I know that God is in control. I know that God will take care of this young man. I know that God will work all things together for the good of those who love Him. Still, my heart is breaking that he is learning such difficult lessons at such a young age. In reality, God did not truly begin teaching me about heartache until the latter half of my twenties when I began to experience the full impact of my infertility and then the loss of two children through miscarriage. God had spared me from so many of life’s difficulties and I was truly spoiled. As I have begun to be fully aware of this reality, this blog has slowly fallen off my radar as I struggle to know what to say regarding my fertility and faith. I do want to share the pain that I have endured, to let others know they are not alone in their feelings, to document my road back up to the mountain of God…and I will continue sharing. There are just times in life when we are humbled as God is teaching us something and those things will need to be processed over a longer period of time before we even know where to begin again. This is me beginning again with a new and refreshed outlook.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
2 Corinthians 4:16-18