Reformed Grits

Was just thinking…
June 14, 2008, 10:31 pm
Filed under: Faith, Family, Life

Today I was talking to my beloved about what I was doing 2 years ago today.  The week before, we had had VBS at church and I had brought snacks for the teachers which basically meant I dropped stuff off in the morning, had my kids in VBS all day, and had the day free.  That whole week, Caroline and I, who were due 2 days apart, utilized that time by driving all over town in search of the last of our baby needs.  We each got an infant car seat, pacifiers, burp clothes, and other last minute things.  This pregnancy was the only time I have EVER been ready before my due date– and I was only 33+ weeks then!  I tend to go late (JD was 12 days late!) and I really thought I had time.  My pregnancy had been perfect.  I felt good; I was happy as a lark (no pregnancy blues I'd had in the past), I was sleeping, and I was full of joy.  I actually was enjoying being pregnant!  
But let's back up… do you know what a gift my girl was?  We announced our pregnancy with John Knox on the day we took Sugie's baby bed down.  When we told the children, JD cried– no, sobbed  –big, beautiful tears of joy.   He was smiling so big I thought his face would crack.  They were all so excited!  They were SO happy!  Every conversation they had was about "the baby" and how thrilled they were that another one was coming.  They couldn't wait to tell all their friends at school and church (one of our children actually stood in the hall of the Sunday school rooms and said, "Hey everybody!  We are having another baby!!!")
Almost 3 months later, when we gathered them around us again to tell them that our baby was dead, the scene could not have been worse.  I won't tell you what it was like in that moment, but telling them was almost harder then hearing the news for myself.  They openly grieved for a long time over the death of what we found out the next day was their brother. 
After all was said and done, Mr. Grits was over the baby-business.  He was ready to "end" our childbearing years and my stomach churned whenever he talked about it.  I could not fathom closing that chapter of our lives on such a bitter note.  He received wise counsel to not be hasty in this decision on the heels of such loss.  I was desperate to have another baby, immediately.  But we decided to hold off until we could make a better decision that would not be made early in grief.  We would wait and think about it again, say in 6 months or so.  Maybe at least after his due date.  We didn't know. 
3 or so months later, we had been at a soccer party where Taco Soup was served.  When I came home, I could not quit burping onions (sorry to be so gross.)  I remember telling Mr. Grits, "I don't know what's wrong with me… This only happens (it then dawned on me) when I'm pregnant!"  I happened to have some pregnancy tests in the bathroom left over from… well, who am I kidding– I had them around all the time!  I took one, and had a faint positive I thought.   Sure enough… I was pregnant.  And not even late yet.  (Do I know my body, or do I know my body.  Say it with me, sistahs!) 
So back to the awesome pregnancy I was having… when all of a sudden I started with preeclampsia symptoms which I was told was impossible.  (Guess what?  "With God, nothing will be impossible")  I wrote her birth story here which you are welcome to go back and read.  Why on earth would I get this "impossible" case of toxemia when I've lost one baby and this pregnancy was going so well?  Why God?  I was in terrible physical pain and the joyous birth moment I had anticipated– oh, how we talked about the swell of emotions we would feel as we heard this baby's first cry!– was replaced with a little 4 lb 2 oz baby, a life-threatening disease, and so much nausea that I don't even remember her cry for all the throwing up. 
Yet, the more I ponder it, the more I see beauty from ashes.  This baby is a gift.  Yeah, yeah, I know– they all are– but she's like redemption. From simple things like being ready at home for her, and the time I had to prepare ahead of time when I didn't know she'd be early.   And even from being sick, I can tell you that God is good.  We didn't know it at the time but after she was born the doctor told us that her placenta was extremely under-sized, and had a huge clot under it that was cutting off her life-force.  This "bad disease" saved her life.  She would have died before we reached her due date. You tell me by whom we live and breathe and have our being?  Who knows all things?  Who puts to death and gives life; who wounds and heals, and no one is delivered but by His hand?  Who is in heaven and does whatever pleases Him?  And Who makes everything beautiful in His time? 
My God.  That's who.
So on the eve of this father's day, I give honor to my Father.  Take it from me… He's worthy.

… the Lord hath anointed me to… bind up the
brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the
prison to them that are bound… to comfort all that mourn;  To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of
heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of
the Lord, that he might be glorified.
Isaiah 61:1-3