Gratitude | Day 1 | Grace

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I cannot believe that we have already flipped the calendar over…again! Here we are. Staring at the month of November…just two months away from staring a whole new year. I don’t know about you, but it feels like time is just getting faster and faster.

Maybe I feel that way because I’m always running around. Maybe I feel that way because my boys keep me on my toes. Maybe I feel that way because I’m getting older- and can recognize the fact that time is precious, and fleeting.

I do love the month of November. I always see my friends on social media completing these gratitude challenges. I love seeing what my friends are thankful for. I love that people start to reevaluate what’s important.

I’m hoping on the gratitude train, too. I didn’t find a challenge or anything to follow; I figured I’d just blog about what’s on my heart, and what I feel lead to share that day.

Today I wanted to share with you how thankful I am for G R A C E. I didn’t really totally understand grace until I extended it. Isn’t it funny that you don’t really gain understanding about something until you put it into practice?

Long story short, I ran into someone who was very dear to my Monster in the past. They were someone who was amazing to my young Monster. Someone who would play with him, acknowledge his needs, and honestly- just showed him love.

Things happened and I’m not going to go into details, but this someone is no longer apart of or involved in our lives. If I can speak honestly (and you know I do) we were all hurt by this someone in some way. I had to personally grieve the fact that this someone was no longer going to be apart of my Monster’s life, no matter how much they wanted to be.

So back to present day…I ran into them. In public. And I was shocked. It had been years since I had seen this person, let alone acknowledged them. I could have spoke unkindly. I could have given them a piece of my mind. I could have gone off the deep-end, cussed them out and punched them in the face.

I didn’t.

Why?

G R A C E

I knew there would be a time when I would see this someone again. I knew that I had no idea what it was that I would say to them. Honestly, I can’t remember what all was said. All I know is…I was kind. I wasn’t mean. I showed compassion. I gained closure.

The Lord works in ways to help you understand Him and His love. How many times have I shown love- then thrown shade? How many times have I shown affection- then ignored others needs? See a pattern?

I learned from this simple encounter: no matter how much I deserve to be cussed out, ignored, or even punched in the face by God. He won’t do it. Even though I deserve it, and fail Him every single day. He won’t do it because He has extended G R A C E. To me…and to you.

Who knows? Maybe I looked too deep into this encounter. Maybe I didn’t. I like to think the latter. I believe with my whole heart God wanted to show me how He extends G R A C E. We see someone who is hateful, cruel, and just down right mean. God sees us covered by His Son’s blood. He sees us and shows compassion, love, and yes- G R A C E. We know how good it feels when someone is kind to us when we don’t deserve it.

That’s what God’s G R A C E looks like to me. I see God as someone who loves me despite all of my mess, and is kind to me- even when I do not deserve it. God wanted to physically show me G R A C E…He wanted me to learn from this encounter and share it. I’m just following His lead.

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F O U R

img_4197I still can’t believe that I get to call this sweet boy mine! I am beyond grateful that The Lord picked me, of all people, to train this boy up. I am a blessed momma!

The journey that we are on is incredible. I couldn’t ask for a better partner or Daddy to Monster than Mr. This guy gave us the title of “Daddy and Momma” F O U R years ago.

Monster is charming, confident, and charismatic. He’s eveything I never knew I needed or wanted. He tests me and teaches me. He loves me for me and there hasn’t been a day over the last F O U R years where I haven’t been cuddled, hugged, or kissed.

My first born, over this next year I hope you grow into a deeper friendship with Jesus. That you learn how to lead those around you. Lastly, I pray that you can continue to show kindness to those you don’t know. You’re my Monster…and I love you! Forever and ever, amen!

Love, Momma

My Sweet Monster

My Monster is growing up.

photo by: Rebekah T Photography (www.rebekahtphotography.blogspot.com)
photo by: Rebekah T Photography (www.rebekahtphotography.blogspot.com)

He’s growing everyday, and honestly I hate it. He no longer has a “baby voice.” He’s slimming down and losing the baby fat. He can hold a real conversation with me- and can ask these questions that really make me think. He’s an unbelievable human, and will be such an assets to this world. Some days I feel like I’m barely holding my head above water; and then this sweet boy walks up, kisses my forehead and says, “I love you” completely, and totally unprompted.

My Monster is growing up.

photo by: Rebekah T Photography (www.rebekahtphotography.blogspot.com)
photo by: Rebekah T Photography (www.rebekahtphotography.blogspot.com)

He started preschool in early August. PRESCHOOL. My heart aches at the fact that he’s old enough to even be in a schoolhouse setting. Granted, I feel that he’s at the best school for him. He’s had a great couple of weeks there. But- man oh man- I hate knowing that this sweet little boy, who was just growing in my belly four years ago, is growing up and I just don’t feel like my heart can keep up.

I don’t really know where this post will take me…but I have so many feelings going on in my heart and head that I needed to get them out. I don’t even know if I can articulate the feelings I have. I just needed to put my fingers on the keyboard and try to sort out the feelings of watching this gift I’ve been given slowly begin to move away from me. You know the goal of any parent, is to have children and mold and shape them into humans who will be productive members of society. I just had no idea how fast this journey was going to be. People say, “Oh it goes by so fast!” Well, until you’re actually in it- you have no idea how fast it actually goes.

photo by: Rebekah T Photography (www.rebekahtphotography.blogspot.com)
photo by: Rebekah T Photography (www.rebekahtphotography.blogspot.com)

I see so much potential in my little Monster. I am seeing how our tough love has shaped him into a boy who listens and respects adults. I am seeing fewer tantrums and seeing someone who actually cares about others. I am seeing a boy who will apologize without being told to when he’s in the wrong. Now…I’m not saying that he’s perfect by any means. He’s three-and-a-half. He still has meltdowns. He’s still egocentric; he still needs Momma.

photo by: Rebekah T Photography (www.rebekahtphotography.blogspot.com)

He still needs his Momma.

I am so thankful that The Lord saw fit to grant my prayer and give me a baby boy in 2013. I will be forever grateful that we’ve been entrusted to help guide him in this crazy world. I am forever in love with a brown-eyed boy who helped mend a broken heart after the heartbreak of losing his sister, and the heartache of losing my Mamaw 28 days before his arrival. He is the most precious thing…and I am so, so thankful that Monster is mine.

photo by: Rebekah T Photography (www.rebekahtphotography.blogspot.com)
photo by: Rebekah T Photography (www.rebekahtphotography.blogspot.com)

 

(I also wanted to give a special thank you to Rebekah Travis, with Rebekah T Photography.  She offered a Back to School session through Monster’s Preschool.  I love getting pictures taken of my little family, they’re such an investment, and I can’t pass up any chance to have photos taken.)

Thanks so much for sticking around and for always letting me share my thoughts and heart with y’all.  You reading this and leaving comments means so much, I am forever grateful for your love and support!

Bitter or Better?

First, I’d like to thank you for sticking around and reading my story.  Second I have to say that my thoughts, and these words are dedicated to Baby One. Baby One does have a name. Their name is Kimble, after my Papaw. I always said that my first child would be named after him. From the moment I took my first pregnancy test, and it was positive, they had already had a name.

I tired to name Monster Kimble, but it just didn’t feel right. I feel that now is the time to tell you that we held onto the name Kimble because it was already taken. Our sweet little baby in Heaven is walking the streets of gold with their great-grandfather, whom is their namesake. Baby Kimble crosses my mind everyday! There isn’t a day that goes by that I haven’t thought about where we would be if she had lived. I think about who she would look like, what she would sound like, who she would act like!

Then I also have the thought that if Baby Kimble had survived, I would not have my Monster or my Wild One. I can’t imagine my life without these two boys. I am grateful that Baby Kimble thought it was fit to let her brother, Monster come to this side of Heaven. I am forever grateful.

I titled my story ‘Becoming the New Me’ because I am no longer the girl you used to know. I am a newer and better version of the old me. I feel that I have overcome the lowest low I have ever faced- and for that I am thankful.

I know I was able to overcome my miscarriage because of my family- especially my Dad. I was able to overcome because of friends who stood by me when I got mean and nasty and didn’t judge me for the way I was acting. Lastly, Mr. helped me a lot.

I can’t speak for my Mr. I know he had a really hard job trying to keep it together for me; but I never once thought about him- and what he was going through. He had lost a baby too. I was so wrapped up in what I was feeling and myself; I forgot to see how my Mr. was. Husbands of wives who have miscarried have THE hardest job in the world. I can’t even begin to describe it to you.

This post will conclude my journey through miscarrying- but I do hope you read this particular post with an open heart and an open mind.

I want to share with you a sermon that was preached by our Senior Pastor at church March 30, 2014. This friend makes me fill like I have finally come full circle. The title of the sermon was, “Never Once: A Song for Suffering.” Our Senior Pastor taught out of the book of Psalms that morning…and I want to share with you what I learned. I want you to see that even though I went on this terrible journey- God was with me. God was for me. God carried me through it.

Psalm 13

New International Version (NIV)

A psalm of David

How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

Sound familiar? It seems that God is distant to David; David feels abandoned. I can totally relate- been there, done that, and I have burned that t-shirt. Have you ever felt this way? Maybe you didn’t suffer a miscarriage, but you have faced some type of anguish in your life? Obviously this feeling of abandonment from God is something we face…I mean David of all people had felt it. (This David is the David that killed Goliath, with a slingshot and stone. How could HE feel this way? So I am not alone?…)

Check out the next two verses:

But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.

David begins with a ‘sigh’ and ends in a song. God will never leave your side! Some suffering we can’t explain- that’s OK though- there is a purpose! Sometimes suffering leads to maturity and will be used for future services. When we go through pain and suffer…it will either drive you to The Lord or away from Him.

Because of my suffering, I feel that I have a better relationship with God. I have a stronger marriage. I have a love for my Little Boy that I could NEVER explain to you. God entrusted this baby boy to Mr. and myself- you best believe I am forever thankful. He is so special…and I know that every mother feels this way. When you lose a baby, and are given a second chance- the love you have is entirely different. I can’t explain it- but I know mothers out there who are in the exact same position as me get it.

As this part of my story comes to an end, I want to thank you for reading my blog about my experience. I know that I am not the only woman to experience this. I looked everywhere for something to help me cope with my loss. There are no books out there on miscarrying that really were able to convey how I was feeling. If you have stumbled upon this blog- I hope that I have been able to share that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

I hope that you were able to learn something from my posts. I also hope that you never have to go through what I went through. We will have times of suffering in life. I hope that I can leave you with a few scriptures that have been very helpful when it comes to suffering.

John 16:33 New Living Translation (NLT)

33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

John 10:10 New King James Version (NKJV)

10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

Psalm 56:3 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.

Psalm 23 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Lord the Shepherd of His People

A Psalm of David

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.  He restores my soul;
 He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; 
You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever.

What I have learned is not to blame God. Trust God. Trust that He will overcome the devil and his ploys. So when you face adversity, does it make you bitter or better?

Pregnancy After Miscarrying

I can’t even being to tell you how excited people were about our second pregnancy. The outpouring of love was amazing, and helped slightly with the healing of my heart. Here is how I was able to make it to 39 weeks 4 days to Monster and 39 weeks and 1 day with Wild One.

I was very anxious throughout both my pregnancies. I didn’t do any kind of planning. I didn’t do much “talk about the future.” I took both of my pregnancies one day at a time. I had to give each pregnancy over to God. Only He was going to be able to make this work. Without Him, nothing could be done.

With Monster, we went to the doctor at 8 weeks, and had an ultrasound. Mr. came with me to this appointment but got a call on his phone from work, so he didn’t make it back to the ultrasound room. I laid there on the bed thinking, ‘I was here 5 months ago- and the outcome wasn’t good, Lord help me.’ The ultrasound tech moved the wand around, and caught a glimpse of our baby. I could see them! I could hear their heart beat! I saw our baby laying and waving their little arms around like, “Hey, Momma!”

I had come full circle. 5 months ago I was looking at an empty ultrasound screen- now I was looking at a screen that proved there was a life growing inside me! I couldn’t believe how gracious God was. I still can’t do this day.

Pregnancy number two was a bit different. We had just celebrated Monster’s second birthday. Everyone we loved had come to celebrate with us. Long story short- some pictures got posted to Facebook and I had someone call me out and ask if I were pregnant. I responded with the typical, “No way! I’m just happy and still packing around baby weight from Monster.” Then, Halloween rolls around, and I have a childhood friend swing by with her kiddos and made the remarks about how I just “glowing.” My response, “I just bought this great bronzer!”

In the back of my mind I knew I wasn’t pregnant. I just knew. Well, these two comments bugged me to no end. So, on November 3rd 2015 (two years to the day of Monster’s originally due date) I took a pregnancy test. BAM!   Positive.

So I did what any great mother would do. I texted Mr. and asked him what we had done! Then I called my Mom- thinking she could make it all better…no. She was elated! Fast-forward to my 8-week-check up and the ultrasound tech placed that wand on my chubby little belly. Instantly I knew- I knew I was further along than I had originally thought. The baby that was growing inside me wasn’t 8 weeks along, he was 11.5 weeks along, I was almost three months pregnant. I had no clue.

Both of my pregnancies were normal, different from one another, but normal. We went to the doctor every four weeks for check ups. Everything was great. But, remember those mind games I told you about? Those would still haunt me. Every move I made, every ligament stretch I felt scared me. I was so afraid that I was going to lose each baby during each pregnancy. Once you’ve faced the loss of a pregnancy, you have officially been robbed of ever enjoying being pregnant.

If you haven’t lost a baby yourself- you can’t and never will relate to someone like me. You can’t tell someone like me to quit worrying. You can’t tell someone like me to enjoy being pregnant. You can’t tell someone like me to get over the past and enjoy what’s ahead.

Yes, I was told all those things. Let me repeat- if you haven’t lost a baby yourself- you can’t and never will relate to someone like me. You may know of someone who miscarried. You may be related to someone who has miscarried. BUT- unless you go through it, word to the wise, keep your mouth shut.

I worried about my Monster and my Wild One up until I delivered. I selected to deliver Monster by C-section. Yes, you read that right. I chose to have a C-section. Myself, Mr. and my doctor talked about it for three months. It was a planned birth, and I’m sure you’re asking yourself why I chose to do this?

I chose to have a C-section because I had lost a baby before. People had plenty of opinions about this too. I asked my doctor in August what the safest way of delivery is for a baby. She said safest for baby is C-section, safest for mom is natural. Guess what, I wanted what was safest for my little boy. I didn’t want to run the risk of losing him. If you haven’t lost a baby yourself- you can’t and never will relate to someone like me, remember? I’m sure you have your opinions about that now, but guess what- everything was OK. Monster was born healthy and happy on October 30, 2013. Wild One was also a scheduled C-Section, and was born happy and healthy on June 28, 2016. I had no recovery issues, no problems at all, with either delivery. I am forever grateful for that.

Pregnancy after miscarrying is not easy. You will be sacred the entire time you’re pregnant. You will worry about every doctor’s visit. You will never be OK with being pregnant. You have been robbed of the joy. All you are going to want to do is get your baby here, and hold them in your arms. And you know what…that’s OK.

Second Chance

2013 rolled in, and I was ready to make a change. I knew that if I was ready to try and have another baby, I was going to have to make peace with my past. I was going to have to put on ‘armor’ if I was ready to run the risk of miscarrying again. I was going to have to get myself together, if I was going to become a mother.

I made a vow with myself that I was going to make a change and become more positive. Think of the good things, ignore the negative; boy did people notice! I was fine with not having ‘friends’. I was fine with working on my relationship with Mr. I was fine with being told, “You’re fake.”

I can’t tell you where this epiphany came from. (God!) I just knew that if I were going to be a good mother, I was going to have to have a good attitude. I was going to have to stop gossiping. I was going to have to apologize to ladies whom I was jealous of because they were expecting. Most importantly, I was going to have to make peace with God.

Can I tell you that it’s hard to put your pride aside to do the right thing? I needed to ask for forgiveness. It wasn’t easy, it was embarrassing to go to ladies and be honest with them about how envious I was. It was hard to separate myself from ‘friends’ who let me gossip (old habits die hard). It was hard to come before God after being so rude to Him, and ask Him to forget what I had said and done to Him.

I had to ask God to forgive me for being such a brat. I was absolutely hateful to Him. I didn’t deserve His forgiveness. I didn’t deserve what He was about to give me.

(Can you see why people thought I was ‘fake’? I was trying my best to get back to the real me, and the devil still wanted to put obstacles in my way. I didn’t care though- I needed to not only be physically healthy to have a baby; I needed to be mentally healthy as well. Being more positive was the one thing I really needed to work on. Getting back into The Word, reading my devotional- that helped too.)

February rolls in, and I find a huge surprise. I was pregnant with our second baby. I couldn’t believe it. I mean, were we trying- yes. Did I expect it- no. It had been five agonizing months of negative pregnancy test after negative pregnancy test.

Mr. and I were elated. I thanked God for blessing me with the opportunity to be a mother. I thanked Him for giving me a second chance.

April 27, 2013 was a day I was dreading. It was Baby One’s due date. With strength that only God could give, and the fact I knew a little brother/sister was growing inside of me- I made it through the day. I silently sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to them, and was happy to know that they were celebrating their birthday with Jesus and my Papaw.

With the silent celebration over, it was time to let everyone know that Mr. and I were about to become Daddy and Mommy.

This Is Just the Beginning

I bet you’re thinking that since God ever so clearly showed me Grace, I repented and everything went back to normal for me, right? Heck no. Friends, I come to you with this testament that I am a sinner. I raged a war between my Heavenly Father and myself. I let the devil get the best of me and turn me into a hateful, jealous, and spiteful woman.

I lost something that was so precious Labor Day weekend. Something that I thought I deserved because I had been a ‘good girl’ all of my life. From that loss, I turned into someone I didn’t even know. I become a gossip. I became envious of every pregnant lady I knew. I was very bitter.

I formed friendships and lost friendships with the way I behaved. I was mean, nasty, and ugly. If someone complained about being pregnant, you best believe I talked about her behind her back. I couldn’t understand why you would complain about being pregnant. You still had a baby growing inside you.

I declined baby shower invites because I didn’t want to see someone who was pregnant. My heart was black. So black that even my Mr. didn’t recognize me, and did not like the person I was turning into. I didn’t care. I didn’t care about anything but my lost baby.

I was in such a dark place. This place I was in, I hope I never visit it again. I felt empty. I felt alone. I felt lost. No one could say anything to me to make me feel better. I felt like Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hide. I would go to work, teach to my best ability and come home and hate myself. It was tough. It was hard keeping up a front for my third graders. I did though. I was not going to let them suffer because of something that happened in my personal life. My co-workers saw through it though. Some cared and some didn’t- and I’ll just leave it at that.

At the end of 2012, Christmas was approaching and I was looking forward to time off. I wasn’t looking forward to spending two weeks alone though. I needed a break. I needed to try and get myself together.

I remember a conversation I had with my Dad over the holidays about how I wanted to find the old me again. I was fed up with the negativity. I was fed up with the bitterness. I was ready to give it all up. He said to me, “Ok- go find her.”

Boy was I ready to go and find K. But, as I embarked on this journey- I found a more interesting Kimberly along the way.

ah-MAY-zing Grace

“It’s OK.”

These are two very simple words with one powerful meaning for someone who is struggling with some deep-rooted issues. Ladies and gentlemen, I was struggling with some deep-rooted issues. I had run away from God, was filled with resentment towards Him, and demanded He answer my questions about why I miscarried.

When you read that, doesn’t it come across as a spoiled little girl who didn’t get her way? Does it come across as someone who looks at herself and thinks she is entitled to something? Does it look like someone who loves The Lord and is thankful for what He has done?

But, let me tell you about how He showed me Grace, even with the behavior I had showed Him. I headed back into work one full week after losing my baby. I had not told my third graders why I would be absent before I had left. When I walked into Room 109 on Monday morning, I had several “I miss you notes” on my desk. We hadn’t even been in school for a month- and these children had missed me?

A former student, who was in 5th grade at the time, came up to me and said, “Where have you been? I missed you.” This particular student and I have a very special bond.   I couldn’t lie to her, and she was one of the very first people I told that day about my absences. I looked at her and said, “I had a baby in my belly and they died.” Do you know what this 5th grader did? She hugged me. She hugged me and didn’t say a word. She didn’t have to. In that moment, I knew things were going to be OK. It wasn’t going to be an easy road- but I knew I was going to be OK.

God had used a 5th grade girl to let me know that things were going to be all right. I was able to face my class as they all raced into the room, the exact same thing when they asked why I had not been at school. Do you know what these sweet third graders did? They hugged me. They said they were sad for me. They said, “You would be such a great mom.” I will never forget that Monday morning. I was surrounded by love- in the form of 8 year olds.

If God using children in my life to show me love, isn’t a form of showing me His Grace. I don’t know what is. In the moment, I was so thankful for those third graders. They were with me, and cared for me, and didn’t judge me. Of course they went home and told their parents what had happened…

Can I tell you, those parents were just as supportive as my students had been. I received emails, notes, and cards. I even had a few parents stop in after school to check on me. Grace.

Simply put, I had lost my baby. I had been a terrible child to my Heavenly Father, and He showed me Amazing Grace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

V

I walked out of the sanctuary and knew I had heard God. I knew that He had worked on Mr.’s heart and made him “make” me go to church. God intended for me to be at church, that particular Sunday, to get my questions answered.

I couldn’t get what our teaching pastor said, out of my head.

“When you were in school, your teachers would do everything they could to prepare you for a test. They made up fun lessons. They let you work in groups. They had you complete individual work. They were always there; ready to help whenever you needed it.

Now, when test day camethey were silent. They never left the room. They were there watching you, and not saying a thing.”

Did he really use an analogy of a teacher and God? (I get goose bumps as I sit here and recall the events of that day!)

So Mr. and I did our regular Sunday routine of getting some lunch together, running a few errands and heading back home. As we were driving- my Dad called. He needed Mr.’s assistance on fixing a lawnmower, and wanted to know if he could come down and get some help. Of course I say it’s OK.

A little later that afternoon, Dad comes over. (Now, during this whole ordeal- I have only talked to my family and Mr.’s family. No one else knew of my situation and how bad I was. How mad I was at God). He and Mr. work on the lawnmower, and somehow my Dad finds a way to have some alone time with me.

All he says is, “How are you doing?” I was able to look him in the eyes and say, “A little bit better than yesterday.” Dad was an incredible listener, and let me share my story of the sermon I heard at church that morning. I shared with him how I felt utter rage at God. Dad didn’t say a word. He let me pour my heart out. He didn’t say, “Oh, K, you are not supposed to get angry with God.” Or, “You really are having some heart issues, you need to pray for forgiveness.” Or, “I raised you better- I can’t believe my daughter would act like this.”

My Dad (a former Marine and retired Sargent from the Army) sat without judgment in our driveway and only said a few, but powerful, words to me. Words that I will remember until the day I return home and meet Jesus (and my baby) face to face.

After all of my ranting, my Dad said, “K, how many times did you get mad at me as your Earthly father? Do you really think you’re not ever going to get mad at your Heavenly Father?”

Wow! Basically my Dad was telling me it was OK to be mad. It was OK for me to be feeling the way I was feeling. It was OK that I ran away from God, ‘slammed my bedroom door in His face’, and wanted nothing to do with Him.

No one had said those simple words to me…it’s OK.

IV

I seriously couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that God let this horrible event happen. That was the question that I kept asking Mr. He didn’t know what to say to me. Not very many people did. I can tell you a lot of people said things that I look back on now, and think no one should ever say that to someone who miscarried. (That will be addressed in a later post).

So, here I am sitting in the sanctuary. Not signing any songs. Not participating in communion. I simply was a warm body sitting in a seat, waiting for this entire thing to be over with. I had wanted nothing to do with church this morning. I certainly wanted nothing to do with God. (Remember, I’m only here because my husband MADE me come with him.)

As communion is being passed around, I make a point to thumb through the bulletin to see what’s going to be going on within the next few weeks at church. (Habit) I look at the spot that gives a short summary of what the message is going to be about, “MUTE: Silence is when faith is the loudest”. I sat in the pew and thought, “Yea, you’ve been giving me the silent treatment. Are you finally going to talk to me? I’ve been begging you for answers, and you haven’t even attempted to respond to one.”

Just some background:

As a church, we had been studying The Bible in chronologic order. Our teaching pastor was going to be talking about the ‘silent years’. There was nearly 400 years that went by between Malachi (last book of the Old Testament) and Matthew (first book of the New Testament). Many people thought God was silent- on mute- to the people living during those years.

As our pastor starts speaking, I feel the room go empty. I feel like he is speaking directly to me. He opened his sermon with, “What to do when you think God is giving you the silent treatment?”

For the next half hour I sat, and listened. God was finally answering my questions. First, I learned that I was demanding God to answer me. I didn’t have my heart in the right place to even consider asking God why He called my baby home before I got to meet them.

I learned that God is still at work, while there is silence.

I learned that God still keeps His promises, while there is silence.

Isaiah 49:10 The Message

When the time is ripe, I answer you. When victory’s due, I help you.

Jeremiah 29:11 New International Version

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Revelation 21:4-5 New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or sadness. There will be no more crying or pain. Things are no longer the way they used to be.” He who was sitting on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down. You can trust these words. They are true.”

Romans 8:28 New Kings James Version

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Philippians 1:6 New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)

I am sure that the One who began a good work in you will carry it on until it is completed. That will be on the day Christ Jesus returns.

I learned that God is still watching, while there is silence.

Job 23:8-12 New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)

“But if I go to the east, God isn’t there. If I go to the west, I don’t find him.When he’s working in the north, I don’t see him there. When he turns to the south, I don’t see him there either.  10 But he knows every step I take. When he has put me to the test, I’ll come out as pure as gold. 11 My feet have closely followed his steps. I’ve stayed on his path without turning away. 12 I haven’t disobeyed his commands. I’ve treasured his words more than my daily bread.

This is how our pastor summed everything up, and I knew that God had 100% meant for me to hear this sermon. My pastor said, “Think about this. When you were in school, your teachers would do everything they could to prepare you for a test. They made up fun lessons. They let you work in groups. They had you complete individual work. They were always there; ready to help whenever you needed it.

Now, when test day camethey were silent. They never left the room. They were there watching you, and not saying a thing.

God does the same thing. He is always there. He’s always watching you- and sometimes He doesn’t say a thing.” Ok, God, you have my attention.