I am so thankful we have a name. Samuel is already talked about as part of the family (although my oldest son keeps calling him Gabriel for some reason), and it feels like he’s with us. Its important to me. I just can’t bring myself to live like there is no chance of losing him too. Its not a sad or emotional thing for me, its just my current state of ‘rational” thinking.
Right before I sat down to write this I learned that one of my dear friends who had an angel baby too right around when Gideon was born, lost her next baby in a miscarriage. She said she was even more angry than sad, I hear that! I am angry too. Losing two babies in one year doesn’t seem fair. It doesn’t seem right.
I think of her (and other baby loss momma’s too) as I go through my days, wondering how they are making it through. Things are hard for her right now, and I wish I could take it all away. But I know she has a strong faith, and so while I am sad with her I am not worried about her. I know she will be okay and she herself has offered me wondrous words of strength at some of my saddest times. Faith beyond despair it seems.
Faith…the solution to worry. The solution to fear and the solution to hopelessness. It doesn’t take away the pain, or the loss, or the trial, or the difficult circumstance, but that faith is always there to lend a helping hand. And you don’t have to be in the middle of grief or mourning to need a helping hand.
No joke, I prayed this morning for the strength to do the dishes. I prayed for help to be a patient mommy in the midst of my fatigue and I prayed for some way to just get through the day. To be honest, I feel foolish sometimes praying for these things. Somehow in my brain I decided that I don’t really need help unless I am crying in bed in endless grief and mourning. “I mean jeesh Maria, seriously you are fine.” But I am quickly reminded of my humanness. That no matter how many New Year’s Eves roll around I will still fail at my set forth goals (every year) and that no matter how many things I have to be thankful for my body will still find a reason to feel down some days. Its just life. The pains of life and it will not go away completely anytime soon.
1. For me the starting gate of growth is not being so hard on myself. To get out of my own head and quit my whining about “all the things I’m not doing right…” Sometimes when I have days like those I wish I could sit on my couch, with a bucket of popcorn, and watch someone else’s day. In return of course I would show them a movie of the crazy Furlough home to make them feel better on their down day. I promise it would not disappointment and any illusions of togetherness would fly far out the window. Far too many picture perfect fantasies going around, in my opinion, and when I begin to believe them I get hard on myself.
2. Next up, I have to read and I have to pray. I am hesitant to say this on the heels of talking about painting perfect pictures. But its not like that. Its not checking a box or attempting self righteousness, its simply a source of life. God meets me there. Face to face, word to word, heart to heart He comes and He shows me that though these days can be evil, He is good. Just today (during my aforementioned state of self-pity) He whispered these words:
“Is any of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise…The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:13&16
“He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.” Psalm 112:7
3. Next up, I need to confess out loud. Have a heart to heart upheaval to someone I trust. Honestly for me its mostly in the form of venting to my husband or calling a friend. But I’ve got to let it out. One, yes, to hear how ridiculous I sound and, two, to allow someone I love to speak words of encouragement to me. Then I have to rinse, wash and repeat all over again as soon as I wake up the next day.
I just think this time of year is hard. It is hard for me every year and I am imagining if it is hard for me than it is hard for others too. Its gray, dreary and cold outside. Any semblance of celebrations are over. New Year’s goals have for sure turned to guilt trips by now, dreams of everlasting success dashed. It feels hard and the temptation is there to think “whoa, something is desperately wrong with me.” Probably there is something wrong with me, but I am pretty sure we’ve been designed to always have something wrong (lest this world start looking more perfect than the next).
So if you’ve been having days like me, just know you are not alone and that I hope you don’t need to feel ashamed either. I submit a gentle reminder (mostly to myself) that perfection is never the goal. Remembering to have faith is.