I am not even sure where you begin after a 10 month hiatus from writing. Do you recap the last ten months of your life? Do you start brand new as though the last ten months didn’t really happen? How do you fill in the gaps?
I think everyone tends to reminisce around the time of a new year. Looking back over the previous year, the good, the bad. It’s a clean slate. A chance to change all the habits about yourself that you wish you hadn’t fallen into the previous year. A chance to set new goals and (maybe!) meet them.
For me, 2015 was a year I will not forget. Well, actually, the past three are years I won’t forget. Having your world turned upside down in a divorce, a huge move, new job, more moving, a remarriage, it all becomes pretty unforgettable. Graham & I often recount our past just becomes it still continues to amaze us at where we are and how God has created so much good out of such heartache.
2015 was full of lots of fun times for our little family.
We took our first big family vacation, just the four of us. And you know, we were nervous about whether or not it would be a total flop. Hauling two small kids to the beach for a week with just us two seemed pretty daunting. BUT. We did it! And it was pretty memorable for all of us, AND surprisingly easy.
We pretty much lived on the beach or the pool ALL . DAY . LONG. I’m ready to go back!
I found this in Faith’s backpack one day after school, and I keep it tucked in my bible to remind myself that we are always making memories with our kiddos. I want to be reminded to be intentional about the time we have with them.
In 2015, I ran THREE half marathons & set a new personal best time. In 2016, I have new fitness goals; some of which include running but also some new goals and some cross-training.
Rory even ran a few races with us!
One day I will pass down my bibs & medals to the girls. They are a big reason I started running, and one of the reasons I continue to push myself to new goals.
In summer, Graham & I celebrated our first wedding anniversary ❤ We took a trip back to our favorite spot in Key West, and spent a week swimming, kayaking, snorkeling, deep sea fishing. We even ran a race while we were there (quite possibly THE hottest, most humid race I have ever walked. Yep–pretty much walked that one!).
And then, just like that, summer came & went.
Fall came, and Graham began a new position close to home. We were thrilled, and he literally has a five minute commute to work. School started back, we blinked, and just like that we have a first grader and a kid in her last year of preschool.
And then…we had one of those tests turn positive.
We could hardly believe it, and we were thrilled. It seemed this was the icing on the cake. After all we’d been through, we had our little family & now God was allowing us to add one more to it.
Time went on. I grew more pregnant, more nauseous, lived on Goldfish crackers and Graham learned that dinner plans were never certain because who knew what I would be able to eat.
And then, the day.
I have been in those rooms before & I hate them. I have had so much unexpected, “bad” news given to me in those rooms. And this one would be no different.
I should have been 9 wks along. We were ready to plan and already had a name picked out for eiher gender. But we learned that day that this pregnancy was just not meant to be–the baby had stopped growing several weeks before. Our world grew foggy; I remember it but that day grows fuzzy.
Once again, I was in that room, and although during my pregnancy with Zoe I can very vividly remember feeling God’s presence with me during “the news,” this time was very different.
I was angry. I don’t doubt God’s existence. But once again, I found myself doubting His goodness. His sovereignty. Did He not realize all that Graham & I had been through already? Couldn’t He give us this ONE thing?
We were sent home to wait.
Halloween came. I basically wanted to hole up on the couch and hide, but we had two kiddos who were anxious for candy, and so we put on our game face 🙂
I will always remember this photo. Faith took it. I was 9, almost 10 wks pregnant but not really. If that makes sense. Less than a week later, I would go in for a D & C. It would be over.
I remember waking up from the surgery to my husband holding my hand and a cup of water for me. I had oxygen in my nose, and no baby in my belly anymore. Not my plan. It was that day, laying in that hospital bed, that I had a thought.
I had felt entitled to have this baby. I felt God owed this to me. I had been angry with Him, because I felt Graham & I had earned this.
2015 had been a great year up to that point.
But wasn’t it still GREAT?
Didn’t I have two gorgeous girls already? Wasn’t there a gorgeous man holding my hand and wiping my tears while I mourned this loss? Hadn’t I already been blessed with a beautiful home, a job I love, family, friends.
Hadn’t God already given me so much more than I deserve?
I don’t want what I really deserve. But it was a hard lesson this time. With my divorce, and my pregnancy with Zoe both, I was at rock bottom. I think it’s sometimes easier to sense God’s presence when you are at the bottom.
But this time, I had so much. And I felt I deserved more.
This was my big lesson for 2015. I began learning the lesson of thanksgiving, of eucharisteo.
A dear friend recommended this book to me when she learned of our loss. God used this book, and her, to speak volumes to me.
“Gratitude in the midst of death & divorce & debt (and I’ll add–miscarriage), that’s the language I’ve got to learn to speak. To learn how to be grateful & happy, whether hands full or hands empty. The act of sacrificing thank offerings to God–even for the bread and cup of cost, for cancer, and crucifixion–this prepares the way for God to show us His fullest salvation from bitter, angry, resentful lives and from all sin that estranges us from Him.” -Ann Voscamp
This is my lesson for 2015. Gratitude. Thanksgiving. I want to make margins, to make space for God to reveal Himself in a deeper way to me in 2016. I pray I don’t have to experience a loss again, but more than that I pray I don’t fall into the trap of feeling God owes ME anything.
I owe HIM everything.