So I knew that Thanksgiving and Christmas were heralded by other grieving people as especially difficult. I saw it coming; they warned me. I guess I didn't understand why this time of year can put emotions under a magnifying glass.
I have always enjoyed reflecting on the many blessings I've enjoyed in the past year. I love remembering God's goodness for myself and I love telling God "Thank You" for the ways He has worked in my life. He has held me in difficult times or granted me peaceful moments of joy. I realized weeks ago that I needed to be very intentional about remembering the things for which I'm grateful. With the beginning of this season, I felt myself begin to tumble down a gradual slope into a steady valley of grief.
I don't want this time of year to be like this- concentrated on the unspeakably hard things we've had to do this year: This year I had a beautiful baby girl. This year I cared for Mia for 8 God-given weeks. This year I found my baby not breathing. This year I left my daughter at the hospital. This year I had to pick a funeral home. This year I am unexpectedly thankful for our tender funeral director. This year I donated Mia's abundant supply of frozen milk to the most precious premature twins. This year I miss her so much my heart physically hurts...
This year, I have seen God's hand working in all these things.
He introduced to me to my daughter.
He gave me many, many pictures and videos.
He directed my hands through those traumatic events.
He gave me the words to say to the police and EMTS.
He upheld me while I met with the coroner.
He let His light shine.
He healed me from false-guilt.
He stilled the flashbacks.
He settled peace into my soul when it shouldn't have logically been there.
He led us to people who cared for us and for Mia.
He orchestrated a beautiful story between two families.
He continues to bring healing to us and to other people through Mia's story.
He has helped me fight the battle raging about me that is riddled with lies.
He has protected me from self-pity.
It is vital for me to focus on the very good things that have come about from this hardship. I remind myself of God's incredible blessings. It's easy for me to see the ways He has worked through pain to build His character traits into my person. He doesn't do this because of any attractive qualities in me; He has the universe at His disposal. He hasn't forgotten about me, though. I'm a rough work-in-progress with a long way to go.
I have been anticipating how to make this Holiday time as successful as possible so that I can show my thankfulness and enjoy this time with my family.
Please pray for me that through all my plans, my heart would be protected from self-pity. That I would not believe subtle lies to which my tender heart is vulnerable. That I would remember the simple truths that give every person who trusts completely in Jesus tremendous hope. Eternal life is certain. I will rest in God's goodness until my last breath.