Lydia Grace

Lydia Grace
Our first child, Lydia Grace

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

and there are days

The nice thing about a blog is being able to write selective stories. I can write about hope and faith and times of comfort and never speak of the dark days and nights. But then I am not being honest with myself or others. 

The dark days and nights when the words of Job resonate with me. 
"Oh that I might have my request, and that God would fulfill my hope, 
that it would please God to crush me, 
that he would let loose his hand and cut me off!" (Job 6: 8-9)

Days when getting out of bed is a challenge. Nights when sleep won't come and I whisper her name, wishing she would be sleeping in the next room or being held in my arms. Times when the mundane tasks of life feel pointless, meaningless, not worth completing. 

Questions of where God is in this pain. Questions of why, no reason bringing the remotest sense of satisfaction. Times of staring at my closed Bible, not knowing how to open it. Feeling unable to seek out any comfort or strength from my faith. 

Feelings of isolation, loneliness, sadness. Feelings of anger, resentment, emptiness. 

Times of tears and groans. Times I feel these emotions cannot be released merely by tears, surely I could explode from all I feel. Days and nights of shadow and darkness. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

God's Mercy and Grace

  For the past seven weeks I have been participating in a Grief Group Bible study at our church. The study is not yet over, but I have learned so many things. The study uses the book "Holding on to Hope" by Nancy Guthrie. The focus is the book of Job as well as other Scripture. I've enjoyed the daily Bible study, the discussions at group, and the book.
   Through this study God has revealed truth in His Word, brought conviction for sin in my heart, and provided comfort with the other believers in the group. I've hesitated writing about these truths and lessons I have learned and am learning, questioning the value of publicly sharing personal details and possible injury to my pride. However, I hope it brings glory to God, not making me look any better. I want God to be glorified in the life and death of my daughter, and He can be glorified in what He has done in my heart following her precious life. So, here we go.

   One question that has pricked the back of my mind occasionally since July 31, 2010 when Lydia's heartbeat could not be found was "is this punishment from God?". It is common to wonder if suffering and loss are some kind of punishment and I felt there was better reason in the case of my husband and I for this to indeed be punitive. We had been engaged five months when I became pregnant with Lydia. Clearly, sex outside of marriage is a sin. Despite our pastor lovingly informing us at Lydia's funeral that her death was in no way punitive, in the back of my mind for the past seven months have had my doubts and questions. Even the biblical example of King David came to mind. His child born to him from adultery (sin) died.
   Thanks to the death of Jesus on the cross, He took all the punishment and blame for all my sin. God's wrath and the punishment I deserve is no longer on me because Jesus took it. "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Cor. 5:21). "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 8:1). I am under God's mercy and love. "Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace, in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God" (Rom 5:1-2).
  Though I had been told Lydia's death was not punishment, I still doubted until God revealed these truths to me why her death was not punitive. Praise God!


Wednesday, March 16, 2011


  One change in my life following losing Lydia is a change of perspective. In the deepest suffering and pain your perspective on life changes. It brought an eternal perspective. Things on earth matter very little, my grip on many of them has been loosened, replaced by a deep yearning for heaven. 
   Of course, I want to go to heaven, has been my thought since childhood. I'm just not ready yet. I always held this list of things in my head that I wanted to happen before I got to heaven. Get married, have children, grow old with my husband...basically, I wanted a full, good life then heaven. Death and eternity was not a scary thought, but it was not something I longed to receive any time soon. 
   It all changed when my baby went to heaven. My child, part of myself is already there, so I certainly think about heaven much more than I ever have. The pain and suffering of this world is so great and what the world offers so futile, eternity in the presence of God is where I want to be. I yearn to be in heaven. I can't wait. It seems closer than it ever has, yet I am not there yet. 
   Having this perspective has impacted my view, values, and grip on many areas of life. Many goals, achievements, possessions and accomplishments hold little value now. Inconveniences and other hardships seem more trivial. My husband occasionally states that no other loss can be as painful as losing our baby, so other trials pale in comparison. A change in perspective brings a shift in priorities. Certainly not all my priorities are in line, not all the things I want to control have been given to God, I still get anxious and my actions are not right, but God has brought changes in my heart, a yearning for heaven, and a different perspective on this life in result of deepest loss and pain. 


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Isaiah Update

   I had an OB appointment this afternoon. By due date I am 25 weeks, 1 day pregnant today. I have felt an increase of anxiety as we are nearing that 26 week mark that glares like a flashing warning light. My wonderful OB had to run across the parking lot (literally) to deliver a patient's baby at the hospital and I was offered to be seen by her nurse practitioner rather than waiting for her return. I have only been in the care of my dr. and since it had been 4 weeks since I had seen her, seeing someone else was not an option. I elected to wait and was very glad I did. It was well after 5, but Dr. D wanted to do a sonogram (unscheduled, I think this was the 5th sono this pregnancy). Her sonographer had gone, so she did the sono herself. It was great! Wish she could do them every time! : )
    He is a growing, active little boy with a very healthy heart and brain. His measurements have him at 26 weeks today. My due date remains unchanged, but being right here in the same gestational period I was at the end of July is a nerve racking and exciting. The weeks have passed so quickly and it feels wonderful that everything is going well. I'll be going to the Dr. weekly for the next several weeks. 

   Isaiah is SO ACTIVE! He kicks and moves and stretches all sorts of ways all the time. I compare it to Lydia's activity and wonder if something was wrong with her (no, nothing medically abnormal was found). She did not move as much as he does. I've pondered if this is because he is a boy or has a different temperament/activity level. I was very aware of her movements because she was my first and I'm very aware of his movements because I am constantly on guard (that and he makes his presence known without question). Dwelling on it can lead me down the road of self-blame and what-ifs if I am not careful. I reassure myself with the fact that I did feel her move and kick until the worst day of my life and if she did move less frequently overal how was I to know when I had nothing else to compare it to (also, every dr.'s appt and sono showed no problem)? Ultimately, all of our lives are in God's hands nothing happens without Him allowing it. 

   I cannot entertain the thought of losing another child. I feel hopeful and anticipate things to go well with Isaiah. I just believe they will. But if things do not go how I expect, I am so thankful to have him every day and night he is moving in my womb. What a blessing! Two sweet children. And I can say with certainty that God is with us and sustains us through any event that may occur.