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.