Friday, September 26, 2014

For Such a Time

Last night was the season premiere of two of my favorite shows: Grey's Anatomy and Scandal. I put the kids down and settled into my couch. A trailer for the 11 o'clock news was playing: "70 year old man beaten to death with a brick...A shooting in a school parking lot...Charlotte Hornets player arrested in domestic assault"

With each story headline presented, I felt myself shutting down. I have such a hard time processing how human beings can cause severe physical harm to other human beings. I can't wrap my mind around it, and I tend to shut down. Turn it off. Turn away. Ignore.

Opening the floodgate to stories like that hurt my heart. They make me weep with fear for my children. They make me want to sit on my couch wrapped in a blanket and never leave the house. They make me fearful to send my children out alone. Fearful to trust anyone.

I know that the news tends to focus on the negative, and I'm well aware that beauty exists and that good people are out there doing good things. Doing GREAT things. And I know that we are commanded not to be afraid. I know the enemy is counting on us to be fearful, to lower our gaze and divert our eyes.

I told you all awhile back that I felt God wiggling His way into my already crowded and over-stressed existence. I told you that even though I feel overwhelmed at times, God is nudging me, quietly whispering that He has plans for me above and beyond those things. I have been praying for several months now, quietly communing with Him, asking Him over and over to show me what He has in store for me. I have been asking Him to break my heart for what breaks His.

And He is showing up. He is revealing a purpose for me. A cause for me to dive into. A cause that I know breaks His heart. A cause that I know will rip my heart open and leave it shattered on the floor. A cause that will leave me tempted to shut down, lower my gaze and weep. I am scared, I am full of passion, I am excited and nervous. I cannot wait to get going, but at the same time I know it is going to rip me apart and leave me exposed and vulnerable and needing God more than ever before.

I have a habit of shutting down. God is telling me to open up. He is telling me that if I declare myself a follower of Christ, I need to show it in my actions. I need to face the ugly, to side with those who are poor and vulnerable and broken in spirit. To step outside of my comfortable Christianity - my community of middle class believers who are just like me.

I can't wait to share more of my journey with you. The pieces are falling into place now, and when the time is right, I will share more.

And I'm asking you to pray for me. That God would continue to reveal Himself and His purpose for me and that I would always be in a place to receive it. That when the enemy fights back, and I know he will, that I would be in a place to withstand it. And when you're ready, I encourage you to pray the same prayer I have - for God to break your heart for what breaks His.

We can all find encouragement in Mordecai's message to Esther, found in Esther 4:14:

"For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” 

Who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

In honor & Celebration of

This time, 2 years ago, I was getting ready for a routine 16 week appointment with my OB. Later that day we would find out that our baby's heart had stopped beating. Their best guess was that it happened just a few days before.

Since that day, there has been pain, sadness, happiness, joy, death, life, loss, and growth. Life moves on, even in the face of tragedy.

I have written a lot about Lilia, and I'm grateful to have been able to process my grief through words. I'm grateful to so many of you for letting me speak, for talking to me about her, for grieving with me. Someone recently told me they thought I was acting like a victim for posting about her.

Let me be clear.

I am not 'acting like a victim'.

I am a grieving mother, who lost her daughter.

And here is what I know from the last 2 years. Many of you have also lost daughters and sons. Some of you may lose a child in the future. I'm not trying to be morbid, but the American Pregnancy Association says that the risk of miscarriage, on average, is about 20-30%.

I know that miscarriage and pregnancy/baby loss is a lonely and dark place.

I know that using my voice from this experience has helped other women, because they've told me so. I know that I personally found healing through the voices of other women who shared their experiences.

Today, in honor and celebration of Lilia I will be donating my wedding gown to be used to make burial gowns for tiny babies who leave this earth too soon. If you know someone who has been impacted by the loss of a child, consider donating either your wedding gown, your money (just $10 can make a gown!), or your talents as a seamstress to NICU Helping Hands Angel Gowns program.

And to those of you who allow me to honor my daughter through written word or conversation, thank you. From the bottom of my heart.


Also grateful to Amanda from Joy Ever After for photographing various stages of pregnancy with the fruit that correlates to the size of the baby.

We love and miss you Lilia Faith!