Miscarriage…..reminders from God

This post is just pure honesty. I’m not sure what you will think or even if you will understand. However, I am inspired by a friend to share my emotions and story with you. My friend had several miscarriages and was open with people about how she was really feeling. This was huge for me! I saw her story help comfort other people. It helped others know they weren’t alone and she could grieve with them. When I have had miscarriages, I was very closed off because:

*  it was so painful

*  it just kept happening over  and over

*  I felt like it was private

*  it created awkwardness in conversations

*  people would say things that hurt (you’ll get pregnant again)

*  and it just hurt to talk about it.

I felt like in the beginning of my journey I was alone with God. It was important for me to stay positive in these stages of loss.  So, I prayed continuously and read scripture. But I was missing that connection with people to connect about what I was experiencing. It started to form bitterness and jealousy. And then….it happened!!! A precious women at church had the same idea and created a very needed group that has been such an encouragement for me. The name of the small group is Hopeful Hearts. It is not a place to be overwhelmed by negative stories but a place for restoration, encouragement, and scripture to hold onto. These women understood my deep emotional scars and were able to connect because of our similar journeys. No ones journey is the same but they all have some connecting paths.

This was my healing ground along with tears, daily prayer, scripture, and a husband that was there for me every time I cried in his arms.

I had people that I was sharing my story with in this group but I definitely wasn’t posting my miscarriages and feelings on Facebook. Again, I just felt very private about it. So, I’m stretching out of my comfort zone because if this could comfort one person, it is worth it. The healing that you can experience from sharing with each other is important in the process of healing. It is such a blessing to have encouragement from women who have experienced the same thing.

Last year this precious leader of our Hopeful Hearts group gave each of us a gift. It was  a plant that was very special. She wanted us to have a plant that would come back each year. We had all experienced so much loss that even a dying plant was depressing. So a plant that would give life and color each year sounded like an amazing gift. Except that I actually can’t keep plants alive. So, I was a little worried about this gift that was suppose to give life each year.

Until……

This week was the 3rd week we had been waiting on an approval answer from the orphanage. We are so close to getting our kids home….it is kind of like when you are finding out if you are pregnant or not. That is exciting for most but for me that brings extreme stress because the last 13 times we have been pregnant, we have experienced the loss of a child. So, without even knowing it, my emotions have been reminded of my babies that had strong heartbeats but I never got to meet. To be truthful….I’m just missing my babies. And then I came home to this beautiful blooming flower in my backyard…..yep….it lived…it came back!

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What a beautiful reminder from God that He has my babies with Him in a place more beautiful than I could imagine. This beautiful flower is also a reminder that God has a path for us. A plan that is greater than we could ever comprehend. His children are important and need love. He has chosen us to raise a set of siblings in Colombia. It is so unbelievable to see what God has already done to make this adoption happen. I can’t wait to see what He has in store for the rest of our lives. When the Lord your God sets a plan out for you ….run towards it!

God is with us reminding us everyday that there is hope for the future….just look around and see it.

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Live with purpose

In the waiting, you have to live your life-like it matters.

At times I have lived differently because  I was waiting on something. Then when it didn’t happen I would be devastated. For example, when we were waiting on a phone call from the foster care system, we definitely put our life on hold. We knew the shelters were full and we would be getting a call any day to place a child in our home. So, we waited at home for the call and canceled any big decisions we might have wanted to make because we were getting ready to have a child come live with us. This was huge and we needed to be prepared for it. Well, when the placement never came……we had wasted all that time waiting…trying to be prepared. We could have instead invested in our family, friends, projects, or activities. These are the important things in our life and we shouldn’t put them aside because we want something to happen now.

I think this quote from Lysa Terkeurst is so appropriate for this blog today……

“The one who obeys God’s instruction for today will develop a keen awareness of His direction for tomorrow”

Through the miscarriages and adoption process, I have really learned to embrace the right now. I do forget this at times and in fact this week has been especially hard for me. However, my support system is amazing! My friends and hubby are always there reminding me to not give up hope and enjoy the blessings I have in my life right now.

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Through the different events in our lives that required waiting, we have started to live differently. For example, I was getting discouraged about how long the adoption process was taking for us and I asked myself why I wanted to adopt. When I looked at the answers, I realized that some of the things I listed could be done with children at school or church. I was being greedy and wanting to do those things with MY children, but when it is all said and done…..it doesn’t matter whose children they are ….. They are all God’s children. So, I had to pick up my pouty lip and go love on other people’s children so I could be accomplishing things that I had always wanted to do. This has been the most rewarding decision of my life.

Living with purpose is such a blessing!

 

 

What is your bridge?

I believe that ALL people have been specifically chosen from our Heavenly Father for an amazing purpose. We don’t always stay on track but you can always find your way back to where you need to be. It may be hard or painful and your journey back is sometimes what is so inspirational to others. Don’t let your past hold you back….burn those bridges and be FREE!

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I have been surrounded by amazing people! I am constantly reminded that God is there through the trials we have in life. Sometimes He doesn’t take the situation away but He will hold you and encourage you through it if you listen. Satan has taken so many things from my family and friends however, God promises blessings and plans for our life that we couldn’t even imagine! I have friends who have had to bury their child or husband and they encourage me with their confidence that GOD is faithful! It is ok to tell God that you are hurt or angry. He wants you to be real. I have found that when I let my feelings out and listen to Him, I am overwhelmed with joy. It might not be the hop up and down kind of joy but that joy you feel when someone you love embraces you.
So, when I busted out my CD’s the other day….yes I said CD’s. There was this song that has always encouraged me when I was feeling down. I was just reminded yet again that if you allow Jesus to just embrace you He will. Your situation might be too big to see any light right now, but hang in there and look for the little joys in life.

This Natalie Grant: Held

fan the flame and make me grow

When we had to put our adoption on hold it was difficult. I had built up so much excitement because things were moving along. However, through the wait I began realizing that it was for the best! I am a girl who loves check lists! I get things done! So, putting my paperwork checklist on hold was HARD and emotional. You see I have had A LOT of loss. Some things I think I have grieved and then it pops back up. So, putting the dream of my children coming home on hold was like a loss or disappointment but the best thing.

(seriously…I’m not just saying that)

During that time I gave all my attention to my husband, daughter and granddaughter. When your waiting for something you need to be careful you don’t forget the blessings in front of you! I also saw things that I needed to do like seeking God to know Him deeper. Like a friendship that needs more quality time. I also made time for Bible Studies, dug into scripture, read adoption books that are very thought-provoking and made sure I was making time for my marriage!

When it came time to start back up on the paperwork you would have thought I would have been jumping for this opportunity ! I knew the steps I needed to take but I just couldn’t do it. You can read more about the feelings to wait and the time to get back into the process HERE.

In some of the books that I was reading about children who have experienced loss I started to notice that I had some of those same fears. When I would get pregnant I would have hope for that sweet baby but also fear the worst because I had so many miscarriages. I have also noticed that with our grand baby I was fearing the worst. The books were saying that you can deal with your loss and grieve but there are still sometimes triggers. I can totally agree with this. I am in a very healthy place in my life when I talk about my miscarriages however, out of the blue something will remind me of one of the babies and I am just heartbroken. This also happens when I think about our children who are hurting daily because their family is broken.

So, fear is not of God so I have been saying these verses when I feel fearful!

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love,  and self-discipline.” ~2Timothy 1:7 NLT

“Do not give way to fear.” ~1Peter 3:6

Satan will use what works on you and I want to be joyful, confident, peaceful, and have wisdom with my family. So, it’s a choice every time I have a negative thought. Will I dwell in it or rebuke it. I am VERY excited about what God is doing in our lives. I can say that I love that he has given me time to prepare for our children who will be hurting when they come home. I have a deeper understanding of what is needed to help a child who has lost everything. I know I don’t have all the answers however, I believe that God will provide wisdom and will surround me with resources.

I also am not fearful because I know that if we share these things with our children, they will have hope for the future:

  • the healing power of Jesus Christ
  • the Father who can love them perfectly and will NEVER leave them
  • the knowledge and wisdom in scripture

I have an urgency about our life right now …..not sure what it means but I believe it will be a BIG change for our family. When I heard this song, it describes the fire I feel in my soul for our future! I am excited about the next step Christ has for us!

Please join our family in prayer as our adoption moves forward but also that we stay focused on Christ. We don’t want the adoption to consume us. We want to be open to the path Christ has for us. Pray against distractions and fear.

Paraphrase

I have recently started reading Breaking Free by Beth Moore. I have lots to say about this book because as usual it is in my life at just the right time! I love when God plants all kinds of things in your life to reinforce what he wants to teach you! Well, as I was reading today, she had me do this exercise that at first I wasn’t sure about. However, after doing this I had to share how helpful this was! I have heard and tried putting my name in scripture and applying it to me. That is a great thing ! But this was a twist I had never heard of. The scripture she was teaching about was:

Philippians 4:6-7  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

So she challenged the reader to paraphrase the passage from a negative standpoint. This at first just seemed wrong! However, after starting the process….I can say …..TRY IT!

*It really makes you think about the scripture and what it means.

*It forces you to think about if you are living the scripture.

So, here is my negative version of Philippians 4:6-7

Worry about the details of anything and everything, by dwelling on it constantly and focusing on how it is not fair, with emotions like jealousy, anger, idolatry, or low self-esteem, present these thoughts to everyone except God. And the unsettling feelings will start to weaken your body and mind, making you question everything, leaving your heart unguarded and your mind to believe lies.

This is powerful to me. When you look at these words, I think……I don’t want any of that! I want peace! So, many times in a hard situation I start turning to this negative paraphrase instead of the comforting scripture. This is powerful to me because I can easily look at this and make the decision to choose to take my emotions to God and choose peace.

I am so thankful for the new things I learn from people! Thank you Beth Moore!

It’s time to break free

It has been a LONG couple of months. I know that Satan is testing me to see if I continually turn to God in my trials and guess what. …I am so happy to say I have been.  I got to a point that I was letting fear in and I kept telling God that I was trying to be so strong and positive.  That is when God told me that He is my strength. I immediately felt a peace. The struggles I was dealing with did not magically disapear but I walked through them with peace. What a blessing.
I go through life believing that there are no coincidences. God is always blessing and guiding you. I have been talking with some great belivers about my trials and they have had some great encouragement. Well, recently my girls small group recommended that we do a bible study that was titled Breaking Free. I am always up for a new Bible study, so I bought the book and got started! And of course it was the perfect book at just the right time.

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I am on a journey. I don’t have a perfect life but I am excited about my future!

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God’s visual reminders

I would like to share with you some really important people who God has put in my life. They are people who I can look at and see God’s mighty hand at work in. When I am struggling or feel defeated I can see these people and they always bring back the joy! I am so thankful God does this for us. He does this in so many ways. That is why for me blogging is so helpful. When you record your blessings it is so easy to see God at work in your life. But if I don’t keep track of these wonderful things in life, I sometimes lose track of the reminders God has for me. We have seen this so many times in the adoption process. I will get discouraged and then be reminded that we needed a certain amount of money for a fee and it was provided to us in the exact amount needed. So, basically what I’m saying is keep track of your blessings!
My prayer is always to increase our family and bring children hope for their future.

Here we go…Blessing #1
12 experiences with carrying a creation of God inside me. This is truly the most amazing ability God allows women to experience. One of those beautiful babies is now 18 and I smile every time I see what an amazing women she is becoming. Thank you God, for allowing me the chance to raise your beautiful creation. She has a good foundation,  high goals and a hope for her future!HPIM6445My other sweet babies bring joy to me when I think about how they never had to experience the struggles of Earth. Yes, I would have loved to see their sweet smiles but they only know the perfect place called Heaven. It just makes me smile when I think that my children are hanging out with God being taken care of perfectly. What a blessing to be reminded that my prayer was to increase our family and He has been so faithful.

Well, this next little guy was an answer to prayer that we didn’t even know we needed. He is not born genetically into our family but he is part of our family. Wow…he changed our life forever! He lived with us for 4 months and we attempted to adopt him. But God knew that reuniting with his mom was the perfect plan. When I think that we are not stepping in the right direction to give hope for the future, I look at this little boy. He is the reason we began the journey to reach out to children and bring hope for their future. Adoption started to churn in our hearts. We were able to build a relationship with him and his mom. This by far has been the most wonderful experience ever! We love them so much. So, thank you God for this reminder in this sweet boys smile that you are increasing our family and bringing hope for the future.

Love this boy!!!!

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This next blessing I had no idea would change my life forever! She is my precious granddaughter. When I hold her and watch her grow and smile, I just can’t help but thank God for another blessing and reminder. Her sweet presence is the reminder that our family is increasing and we have yet again another chance to spread hope for her future. I just can’t get enough of her sweet baby cheeks!

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My niece is the next person I want to share about how she visually reminds me everyday that God is right there with me everyday. She is my brothers first-born and such a special little girl. This little girl would have been a couple of weeks younger than one of our sweet boys that is now in Heaven. I thank God that he gave us a visual reminder of what stages our son would have been doing if we were here today. When she smiles and giggles it just brings so much joy! I know our son is doing the same things with the King of Kings! Pretty cool..huh! So, again…thank you Lord for the reminder that you are bringing hope for the future…this little girl has big plans for her future! Praise the Lord!

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Sometimes God just puts people in your path just for a season. Well, that’s how I met this next precious angel. God put a women in my path that was walking down the same path I was. We were trying to find answers about infertility. God knew we could encourage each other with scripture. This was truly a blessing to have when you are in a time of searching. So, this little baby was born to a wonderful family that is truly an inspiration. I pray for this little girl daily. And again, I thank God for this reminder that God is the creator and provider. He is the hope for the future.

1530468_633871321004_737388601_nBig families just make me smile! I am so blessed to have all of these children to call part of my family! Sometimes  we are focusing so much on God’s big plan that we  just lose sight of what is what is right in front of us.

It Will Be Yours

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I have been reading so many blogs that tell their wonderful stories of adoption. I have been noticing  that the common factor in these families, is WAITING. I think we all have that in common. Every life story I read is different. This encourages me! It is exciting to me that we all have our own story to share! Every family waits for something different.

In the adoption world it is …….

(a matching child, courts, paperwork,  home study, appointments, training, meeting their child)

In a pregnant mom it is……..

(test results,  gender reveal, contractions, labor, meeting their child)

In a single women it is…….

(for the right man)

In a wife whose husband is overseas with the military it is……

(for a safe return, for that next message he sends, for peace in your heart)

When I see that others have waited for different things for so long it makes me feel like I’m right on track and I’m not in this alone.

I know that when I wait and save for something I just become more and more excited about getting it. I can’t imagine the excitement I will have when I see the faces of my children that I have been waiting on.

I think it would be encouraging for you to comment below to share maybe how long you have waited on something or what you have waited for. I’m not asking for a detailed story, just a quick note so we can see that we are all in this together!

Join together to WAIT because it WILL be worth the WAIT!

Ending Bitterness

Due to the fact that I have been stopped multiple times to discuss my last post, I think there should have been a part 2. So, here you go. Again….please remember that this is just what I have learned,  I’m not an expert, this was VERY hard for me, and I still fall backwards every once in a while.

I am very serious when I said before that bitterness overwhelmed my life. So, how did I get rid of this? That is the question that many people have asked me and told me that they have the same feelings but with different topics. So, let me share what I did to grow and become a healthier-happier person.

1. Realize that being bitter and jealous is an unhealthy feeling. I really told myself that the jealous feelings I was having were ok. I had experienced 10 miscarriages. This to me seemed like a perfect reason to be bitter! I didn’t understand why everyone around me was being blessed with babies and I had to say goodbye to mine. The truth is,  I should have been grieving through this journey, but being overwhelmed with ugly feelings towards other people’s blessings was NOT ok! So, first step was seeing that I had a problem….I know….sounds silly but I am being truly honest!

2. Stop making excuses for being bitter. I figured that since I was asking for a creation of God…a blessing to our family…an opportunity to share Christ….I had every right to feel these negative feelings because what I was asking for was important! I kept telling myself, “it’s not like I’m asking for a new car!” Well, I’m sure you are seeing the problem already…..yes, this was an idol in my life! I had an excuse for every negative feeling!

3. Learn what bitterness does to your life. So, at this point in my life I am reading scripture, meeting with people who encourage and challenge me, praying A LOT, and really just seeking to figure things out. Well, my precious friend from church that leads a group called HOPEFUL hearts gave me a year devotional. It was called HOPE. It wasn’t the whole book that changed my life, it was ONE devotional! It said that if you get what you have been waiting for and don’t deal with your bitterness it will still be there. WHAT!!!!!!! This totally blew my mind! If I get a sweet baby….I won’t be bitter…are you kidding me! Ok, well that was my first thought…..my second thought was tears! I didn’t want to meet my children and be that ugly mom who is jealous of everyone! I want to embrace my children and feel absolutely joyful about the blessings in my friend’s lives!

4. Look for the tiniest blessings that surrounded you. I had to start small. (my car started, date night, my teen was respectful, food!!) Then when I started to do this, I realized that they were everywhere! There is always something that you have that someone else wants. Hold onto what you have and have pure joy and hope for the future!

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5. Get rid of bitterness. This was the hard part. It is super easy to recognize that you have problems, but fixing your problems are much more difficult. So, I knew that my major problem was being jealous of a healthy pregnant women, going to a baby shower and feeling sadness overwhelm me because it brought back thoughts of our loss, hearing pregnant women complain about being pregnant, or just spending time obsessing about why this kept happening to me. I finally had a place to start because I could identify the  situations that increased my jealousy/bitterness. You might think this is totally crazy but let me remind you that this is just my experience….I’m not an expert! But it did work 🙂

CRAZY STEP #1: I surrounded myself with children. I teach school but I went a step further and I even started working in the church nursery.  I know…..I also thought this was insane because why would you surround yourself with the one thing that was causing all of these negative feelings. WELL, first of all ……fact #1-children make you smile! Secondly, I decided that I should surround myself with what I wanted most! And lastly, when you are in this overwhelming state of negativity….you should do things for others not yourself. It really does help build you back up! And running from my problems was just making it worse!

CRAZY STEP #2: I started faking it till I made it. I decided that I needed to bless moms. I would find a cute outfit that a friend would love and I would buy it for them. Please understand that this was not genuine for a long time. I really hate admitting this, but I feel like if someone is dealing with this, they need to know that this is an ugly process. So, after giving these gifts and checking on these moms, I started to realize that I was actually excited to do these things! I can say that today I don’t have those negative feelings when I go through the baby aisle. But let me be real….yes…I do fall backwards sometimes. However, it is not the bitterness anymore….it is usually just sadness from a memory. Which is totally part of the grieving process. It is ok to have ups and downs as long as eventually you have more ups than downs!

Let me tell you that these things above were done also with the help of  lots of prayer, friends/family who would pick me up when I fell, a husband who would take me out some nights just to forget for a while, and a church that truly loved me through this.

I really am very embarrassed to tell you this was part of my life, but I have been growing so much and just want other people to be able to feel free and enjoy everything that God is blessing them with! So, thank you friends for coming to ask me how did you get rid of your bitterness. I hope this helps you!