I recently made a "special dates" artwork piece for our mantle and on it contained numerous special dates that were dear to my heart...the day I met my husband, the day we got married, the day Aubrey and Weston were born, etc. Days that forever altered the course of my life. Special days filled with wonderful memories and moments that I will take with me for the rest of my life.
But there are other days in life that also define us. Days that are filled with grief and tears. Days that we swear we would never want to live again. Days that we look upon with heavy hearts and plead with the Lord never to make us walk down or re-live. I'm slowly realizing that those days are just as defining as the most beautiful days...those days are just as significant and memorable and destined to change us in one way or another.
March 8, 2013. The day I lost my baby and had to endure the pain of never holding that precious soul this side of glory. It was one of the hardest days of my life. I don't recall that kind of pain ever being present in my life before. I look back at my response to my trial and I honestly feel like I failed at my test.
I was angry, bitter and resentful towards God. I outwardly presented a brave front, but on the inside I was broken and felt betrayed. I cringed at the common verses about "God not giving us more than we can handle" or "in this world we will have trouble, but take heart". Those words just cut deeper and made me feel as my pain was insignificant and minor. I was full of disappointment and I lashed out at God instead of accepting His will for my life. To be honest...I inwardly acted like a spoiled brat and was convinced I would only be happy when He gave me the desires of my heart for another baby.
Ultimately, in God's goodness and ability to see past my heart, He did give me another baby and my hope was restored. However, I look back at my thoughts and heart and feel as though my faith didn't withstand the test. It has taken almost a year for me to see the error of my ways and fall on my knees in repentance. I feel as though I've let Him down and only talked the talk...instead of letting my life walk the walk.
I know God forgives me and He has brought beauty from the depths of my despair. He has taught me truths through my miscarriage and my response and I believe He is still working on strengthening my heart. I am such a work in progress it isn't even funny, but the truths I'm discovering are worth the moments of pain and correction. I don't believe for a second that this will be the last test that I will endure. I believe God will send many more dark days my way because the fact of the matter is we live in a broken world. I've been blessed to not have to endure heartache and pain very often and for that I am very thankful. However, I hope that in the future my days of pain will be more of a testament of my faith. I hope that I will withstand the pressure better than before.
My prayer is that I will put my faith in God...not God's response to my situation. Faith is not about God's response, it is about God Himself. Our pastor spoke on this on the anniversary date of my miscarriage which totally rocked my world. I knew without a doubt God was speaking directly to me. He was reconfirming to me, "Ashlee...believing in Me is not about what I do but rather Who I AM!"
I praise God for allowing me to walk through that valley. I can now stand on this side of the pain, a year later and truly praise God for that storm. He has taught my heart more in that valley than all the days of sunshine and joy. I believe my unborn baby was a true gift to me. A gift of strengthening my faith and learning what my God is really about. I will forever cherish the lessons I learned from my miscarriage.
My hope for you...whether walking through, coming out of, or entering into a trial is that you will remember that God is who He is no matter what. He is GOOD and He knows best. His will doesn't always match what we have in mind, but it is so much better than we could ever wish for ourselves. It may take weeks or even years to see the good in our tough situations, but I believe ultimately we can rest assured in knowing that it is for our good and ultimately His glory.
I'll leave you with one more thing our pastor shared on my anniversary date...another truth that brought tears to my eyes...sometimes God sends trials and test to those in whom He is most proud of. Sometimes like Job, He says..."that one there...that one will be faithful". Maybe I didn't walk through my pain without faltering or failing...but I find peace in knowing the next time trouble comes my way, I can look at it as an opportunity to say, "yes Lord...I will stand and you can count on me".
May my life be filled with many more chances to prove myself to My God. May I be filled with a supernatural ability to stand the trials that this life will throw my way. Let my life be a witness to those around me that can only point to my God.
So to my sweet baby on this anniversary date...may you know that this momma loves you and misses you dearly. May you know that I still await the day I will look into your eyes and embrace your touch. But until that day, know that I am stronger because of you. I am a better person because of your precious little life. Thank you for the lessons I've learned from you. You taught me so much and I am continuing to discover truths from your legacy. Above all...thank you for being mine...I love you.
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