Friday, December 5, 2008

Between Remembering and Longing

This past fall I had the privilege of being a part of a Bible Study with Angie from Bring the Rain. A large group of women from the Nashville area gathered every Monday night to study and learn together. I had never done a Beth Moore study but really felt like this is what I needed to be spending my time on. You know how when you start a bible study, you usually say to yourself, "what am I going to get out of this, what am I supposed to get out of this?" Well, now that the study has been over for 2 months, I know.

If you haven't done Stepping Up, the entire premise is the time from when the Israelites were being led back to Jerusalem from being in captivity. This select group of Psalms (120-134) were the worship songs they sang on their journey. Specifically for me, Psalm 126 is why I was "supposed to be in the study." The people are praising and testifying to what God had done for them in the past (both the good and the bad), then they begin asking Him to do it again, preparing for what He has for them once they return home. They were singing about remembering and longing. They are caught in the "in between." I'm learning there is a A LOT of tension in this place.

As I laid in bed last night, restless and unable to go to sleep, tears began to fall as I thought about my daughters, Allison and Emily (for their story, go here and here). I was remembering them, thinking about what it would be like to be celebrating their first Christmas in just a few short weeks. They would have been 1 (had they gone full-term) around Christmas time. Twin girls...opening presents, walking, talking, giggling, being loved on by family...being embraced by their Mom and Dad.

You see, yesterday was the 4th. The girls were born on the 4th of September, so subconsciously, every month there is something that tears at my heart during the first week of the month. Some months it comes a little more subtly, but other times it hits me hard. I was also thinking about Saturday. This weekend we will be going to a candlelight vigil at the cemetery where the girls are buried. Every year they host this for families who have loved ones buried there. Our girls are buried together so they place 2 luminaries on their marker for us to light. We are one of only a couple families in the garden who have twins there. It is a sacred time for Mike and me, just the two of us, a time for us to be a family with our girls. Even with that said, I hate that one of our Christmas traditions is visiting a cemetery. I hate this category that we fit into. One that means that when the plots are "on special" at the cemetery, we get a phone call asking if we want to reserve space for the rest of our family.

I laid there in bed, in this awful place of fear for a while. Quite frankly it is the fear that God will choose to allow something to happen to this baby that I am carrying.

But then I remembered this Psalm and I made the decision to hope. I have learned over the course of the past year that hoping is the hardest thing to do. It's allowing yourself to be vulnerable when you are too scared to do anything else. It's about taking risks and believing, even when it doesn't make sense. We are all in this "in between" state. Remembering what Christ has done for us. Born in a manger and then crucified on a cross for our sins. Now...we wait. We wait for His return, for His glory to be revealed. It means patience in waiting on Him to do what only He can do in our lives, it means being submitted to His plan and not ours and that even when it's uncomfortable, it's remembering that EVERYTHING passes through His hands for our lives.

So I sit in the 'in between", the waiting....this place of being thankful for what He has done, even when it doesn't make sense. This place that is filled with anxiety and nervousness about the future. But also this place of great peace, the peace that says there is a hope and future for us; which includes this new little life that is growing inside of me. The arrival of another girl into our family.

She never fails to let me know she is there, especially when I need to feel it the most. Interestingly enough, last night, she couldn't stop moving. God showed up in her kicks last night. He's always there, but last night, He did something tangible for me. I cried out to Him and He heard me. I asked and He answered. I looked and He was there.

I slept soundly last night for the first time this week.


Carolina Mama said...

This is so beautiful. I have been thinking of you this season. Thanks for sharing. I have to tell you I actually woke up looking at the little tree in our bedroom and was thinking about the baby we lost and the ones God has not opened the door for us to adopt.

The power of the God and blessing that He gave us twin sons is the same power that choses not to give us more children at this time. My faith needs to be the same in the God who never changes in these times.

Blessings as we celebrate His birth this year.

Buzzings of a Queen Bee! said...

What a wonderful post. I love how God meets us where we are. Those little kicks from your little girl are such a blessing, and it reminds me of how much we can trust Him to give us exactly what we need. Thank you Sarah!

Monica @ Writer Chic said...

Your post made me tear up....I found my way to your blog via your sister (via my blog via Carrie (don't you just love how that works?).

We are moving from Ohio to Nashville (White House, specifically) at the end of the month, so I'm finding myself drawn to other Nashville bloggers. I hope you don't mind that I'd like to "follow" you.

Also, and this is a poor comparison, but I lost 9w b/g twins in October. It was our second loss, and even though we have a son, our family is split between heaven and earth, so this post really resonated with me.

I will be praying for you this holiday season.


Christy said...

Psalm 126:3,5 ~" The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy."

This is a beautiful post Sarah. Your heart is beautiful and the story of your girls is BEAUTIFUL.

And I can't wait to feel those little kicks at Christmas:)

Katie said...

It is so touching when you share your story. I honestly cannot begin to fathom the loss your heart feels. But I am so thankful that you cling to Him, even though it's hard to understand everything in this life. I can't imagine walking through this life without Him, especially when we are walking in the valleys. God bless y'all both, you and your husband, this season, Sarah!

Sandy Toes said...

Such a beautiful and touching post, Nesting in pleasant View!! Brought tears to my eyes...I remember many times praying to the Lord to have the baby move...he answered them!!! We pray and serve a Good and Loving God!
-sandy toes

duchess said...

What a sweet post.
I'm so sorry that you & your family have to go through this.
I love that your faith is still so strong. I pray that your daughter will arrive safe and sound and that God will grant you peace until that time.

Becky said...

Hi Sarah,
I know a little something of what you're feeling and going through. I'm still in that precarious first trimester and there are moments I am filled with terror by thoughts of all the possibilities, of things going wrong and things going REALLY wrong. I want this baby so badly, and I feel the need to remind God of that often, but I know He knows! I know, because He's the giver of this beautiful gift. It all comes down to trusting the Giver, and having hope in all His promises. Thanks for a good reminder.

Kristen said...

Oh Sarah...
How your post touched my heart.

When I was reading about your visit to the cemetary something our pastor said at the graveside portion of Jim's dad's funeral came to my mind... "this is resurrection ground" I loved that... as it gave me comfort and peace. Knowing that even though bittersweet I can find joy in the cemetary.

My devotion this morning was based on Mary's visit to her cousin Elizabeth.

"When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped inside her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit." Luke 1:41

I was asked to stop and consider this particular verse...

I wrote: even the unborn know him!

When I read about your darling girl turning somersaults... I thought... you prayed, He answered, she heard and in turn His answer to you was her!

Kim@Seasons of My Heart said...

What a heartfelt post giving us a glimpse into your heart.

God wants to wrap his love around you...and your a warm blanket......bidding you to curl up tight in his arm.

Know that I'm praying for you...your hubs, and your precious baby girl growing in your tummy!!!

Anonymous said...

This is a very touching post. I am not yet even married (getting closer) so I can't even imagine the pain you felt and still feel for your daughters. God is good and he must have needed your girls to be angels sooner rather than later. He has blessed you with another child and how wonderful that is! God Bless you all and may this joyful time be full of blessings!

Sarah Mae said...

Sarah, I can't imagine the pain, but I love your beautiful spirit.

Is the study you are referring to Stepping Up? That is the study I am going to be in starting in January.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for being so vulnerable Sarah.
MUCH love and many many hugs, to you and Mike.
One L

JuJu and Family said...

Hi there, I just wanted to let you know that I too just started a Bible study this year and starting in January we are doing a Beth Moore study (my first) called Esther. We need this time to be fed so that we can take care of everyone else in our lives. Take care