Thankful


I haven’t updated in about a week and a half – I guess partly because I’m still processing the loss of my daughter and partly because I know at some point, most people don’t want to hear about it anymore.

Truth is, some days I am feeling fine.  Some days, it’s almost as though it never happened and for a day or even a few hours, I forget.  And life moves on, and I smile and laugh and enjoy the moment and I don’t feel sad.

But other times, it hits me – like a sucker punch in the gut when I’m not looking.  And sometimes I sit and think about my little girl.  I take pictures like this one –

– and suddenly the thought occurs to me that there should be a little newborn girl in a picture like that one in about 17 weeks and there won’t be.  And it feels like the wind gets knocked out of me for a little while.  I can’t breathe and the tears start all over again.  The pain feels tangible and so very present.

I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been deeply, deeply affected by this loss.  I’d be lying if I said the reality of losing the little girl I so fervently prayed for after years in a house of boys {who, as you all know, I love DEARLY!} didn’t strike me as cruel.  Sometimes it seems just so unfair.  Sometimes, I want to look up at the sky and yell, “SERIOUSLY?”

Ok, sometimes I HAVE done that.

I’m pretty honest with God these days.  I have to be – the last 6 weeks have given me a freedom to be honest and real and open with people like I never have been.  To tell someone when something hurts my feelings.  To cry with my husband and tell him how deep it hurts.  To pray to God and tell Him how sad I am.  And sometimes, angry and uncertain, and very fearful.

But the peace always comes.  Even in moments where I think it won’t, I always feel it.  It settles in and spreads around and I look at my life and feel blessed, even in the midst of pain and sadness.  And when my husband spoke on Sunday about Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, I was pretty sure he was speaking right to me.  It brought me a lot of comfort to think of Jesus teaching that He places value on things like grief & weakness.

I have started to thank God for this experience.

It sounds weird, to thank Him.  But I don’t know what else to do – because if I don’t try to maintain an attitude of thankfulness and deep appreciation I know I could easily become bitter and resentful and angry.  And even though *I* hurt, I know that God’s plan is far better than anything I could put together for myself and I have to remind myself of that.

It actually occurred to me a week or so ago that my pain comes from selfishness.  Let me explain – because these “selfish” feelings are not bad feelings.  The desire to have a daughter and finally get to shop in the pink and ruffly side of the children’s store – wanting to experience baby dolls and Barbies and princesses and dress up.  Wanting the mother/daughter relationship – none of those things are selfish in a bad way.  But they are all my wants.

In addition to the pink and the princesses, life is hard.  It’s messy and it’s painful.  And bad things can happen to really good people.  And people struggle and suffer, and no matter how we – as parents – try to shield and protect our children from it, they will feel the pain themselves at some point in time.  They will experience heartache and hurt and grief.  And Lilia skips over all that.  My sweet girl will never feel sadness.  As a parent, could there be anything more awesome to consider?  She gets to go right to the good stuff.

So I thank Him for the growth that comes and will continue to come.  I thank Him that someday, I will meet a woman who is going through something similar and will be able to share myself with her.  I thank Him that even though I didn’t get to meet her, I have a daughter.

God has a purpose for all of us, even Lilia.

I bought a necklace with her name on it.  It is beautiful and simple and a constant reminder that what belongs to me, belongs to God.

 

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6 thoughts on “Thankful”

  1. You don't know me, but we share a similar story. I remember when Todd shared the news at church, and I stopped him to tell him how sorry I was. My husband and I had an early miscarriage in April, and I know the pain. What I didn't know at the time was that the baby I was carrying when you lost yours–our 2nd pregnancy–would also be lost just a few weeks later, at 17w2d. While I am tremendously, amazingly sorry that this happened to you, it is also comforting to know I'm not alone. I've read your posts about Lilia a few times now, and I've cried with you, and they've given me strength, and peace. And comfort, knowing the emotions I'm feeling are not strange, odd, or out of place. In fact, I talked to Todd yesterday at church a bit, a lot about how the emotions just hit out of the blue, and he said something that really rang true….that it's like an ambush. I pray for you guys, and thank you for sharing your story!

  2. Amanda, we haven't met yet, that's true – but I am familiar with your story, and cried for your loss. I know the devastation is indescribable. Thank you for thinking of us and praying for us and know that we are doing the same for you and Jeremy.

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