God Speaks

gods-voice

God is so good!  Even throughout the pain and struggle of losing a child, He is good.

On Sunday we were sitting in church and I felt God speaking to me.  The pastor was praying, “Thank you God, that we are alive.”  Immediate the baby gave me a big kick.  I felt like God was telling me she’s alive, she’ll be okay, you don’t have to worry anymore.

The pastor went on to pray about joy and again the baby kicked.  A nice little reminder that I need to feel joy in this pregnancy.  God has so much joy in us and our baby, God has so much joy to give, and we have so much joy in God and His goodness.

After church we attended the new member lunch.  After 6 years of attending our church, we felt it was time to finally go through the classes to become a member (slackers, I know).  During the lunch, the lead pastor went around the room and had people introduce themselves.  To my surprise, many had been attending longer than we had!  Once they said a little about themselves, the pastor read a verse for everyone.  My verse was Psalm 27:1:

“The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I fear?”

You’re right, God, whom what shall I fear?  I shouldn’t fear her birth, I should fear of her death.  She’s alive!!!!  She’s my joy!!  There is nothing to fear when I trust in God.  I need to trust He will provide.  He provided an abundant, albeit short, life for Joshua.  But he was my joy for that short time and he will always be a source of my joy.  And this little girl growing inside of me is also my joy.  God will provide a full life for her, one where I should not fear how short it may be.  She is alive and she is our joy!

Non-Stroke of Luck

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Soon after Joshua died, I met with a coworker who had a very similar experience 7 years prior to me.  She has been so great along this journey!  She now has two living children and has been able to help me understand that my emotions and feelings are totally normal.  She expresses how she felt, and although it’s not always the same as how I feel, it’s good to hear her experience through the stillbirth of her own son.  She said something to me that day that sounded so strange at the time.  Something along the lines of:

“My husband and I separately started buying lottery tickets without telling each other.  We never bought lottery tickets before, other than the occasional time when the jackpot was really high.  But we both felt like life had dealt us some really shitty cards and that life owed us something.  We felt like we were bound to be lucky.”

I thought this was a silly concept when she told me, but recently I’ve been struck with the same feeling.  Lately I feel like every sweepstakes or drawing I enter, I’m bound to win.  I’ve not really won anything before so I’m not sure why I feel like I should win now, but for some reason I feel like I am going to win.  Not that I deserve to win, not that I’m lucky, but like my coworker said, I feel like life owes me.  Logically, I know life doesn’t owe me anything, but that’s how I feel right now.

I don’t know what’s gotten into me.  I entered into the Ellen Mother’s Day Show and thought for sure they were going to pick me to go.  Even yesterday I was at an event and there were 4 prizes to enter into.  I knew I was going to win….I didn’t.  I called my husband afterwards and told him how much I felt like my name would be picked and I was upset it wasn’t.  It sounded so silly coming out of my mouth.  I knew what I was saying was senseless.  I knew feeling upset about not winning was downright dumb.

Being a Christian, I don’t truly believe in luck or karma.  Sometimes I use the terms: “that was lucky”, “good luck”, “karma…what goes around, comes around”.  I believe that God has a hand in what happens in my life.  Not luck, not karma.  If I win, God had a hand in it.  Life doesn’t owe me anything, and neither does God.

Signs from my Baby

I’m not sure I totally believed in signs from those who have died until I experienced a death close to me.

Shortly after I went back to work, we were in the Polar Vortex of cold!  Wow, it was cold!  I was driving to work and saw a Sun Dog (two rainbows on either side of the sun).  It was one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen.  The rainbow reminded me of Joshua.

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“I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.” Genesis 9:13

Rainbows remind me of God’s promise to us and His love for us.  This was the first rainbow I saw after Joshua died and it reminded me that there is still beauty in this world.  At that point I was feeling down, I was sad, and still angry at God; this rainbow reminded me that God still loved me.  I see Joshua in the beauty of rainbows now.

Another sign from Joshua was with this tiny foot key chain we received in our memory box that the hospital sent us home with.  I put the key chain with the October birthstone on my key ring as a reminder of my little boy.  About a month later, I found the pink birthstone in my pocket.  No longer on my key chain, but in my pocket.  I rarely put my keys in my pockets so I was surprised to find it here.  I put the birthstone back on my key chain thinking, thankfully it was in my pocket and I didn’t lose it.

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About a month later, the birthstone was gone again.  I was so bummed, I almost started crying.  This key chain was a symbol of my baby and I had lost part of it.  A few days later, I was getting out of my car when I looked down on the floor mat and there was the birthstone!  How was that possible?  How did it fall perfectly on the floor mat and not on the ground outside to be lost forever.  I didn’t take this as a fluke.  This was a sign from Joshua that he is still here with me, watching over me every day.

God Talking to Me

Last night I stood by the side of my bed before hopping in and decided my dry hands needed lotion.  I got the lotion out of the nightstand drawer and put a dollop on my hand.  While I slathered on my lotion, I looked at the Jesus Calling devotional sitting on the nightstand that was given to us after Joshua died.  I prayed, Lord, please guide me to open this devotional to a page where I can feel the words speaking to me.  Now, I really wanted this.  So many times I’ve prayed this same prayer and opened a devotional or the Bible to a random page and find nothing that relates to my current state.

Last night was different.

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God orchestrates the events of my life with a purpose in mind.  I know with certainty that Joshua’s life – and death – has a purpose.  One I may never fully know until I’m reunited with God and Joshua in Heaven.  God “orchestrates” my life, as in a beautiful symphony.  Joshua life was perfect.  It touches my life in so many ways, even though his beautiful song was one only lived inside of me.

When I encounter a rough patch, God’s light is still shining.  Oh boy have I encountered a rough patch in my life!  Yes, my life is bumpy right now.  Up, down, left, right.  I don’t know where I’m going.  What I do know is that without God, I would be going no where.  During my sadness, I don’t always feel God’s presence.  Maybe it’s because I don’t want to feel Him.  Maybe it’s because life gets in the way.  Maybe it’s because grief clouds my vision.  He is there.  Countless times I’ve cried out, “Why me, God?  Why Joshua?  Where are You, God?  Why can’t I feel You?  I’m sad and feel alone, where are You now?  I need You.”

“But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29

God is with us every day, every second, every moment of our life!  Watching us, seeking us, loving us – waiting for us to do the same for Him.

When you don’t feel God, know He is still there.  He is still beautifully and carefully orchestrating your life.  I see God as the conductor of life’s orchestra, directing us along the paths we are destined to be on and when we follow His lead, the result is exquisite.

Talking to God

I’ve been talking to God a lot lately.

And I’ve been trying to quiet myself enough to listen.

I can hear Him talking to me.  Whether it’s through a song, a verse, a pastor’s message, or something else – I can hear Him.  From God speaking to me, I feel more at peace with Joshua’s death.  I’m still sad; I always will be.  I still wonder what life would be like if he were here; I always will.  But lately, I’m more at peace.  I’m starting to feel more blessed for the time we had together, happier when I think of him, and able to hold back tears (sometimes) when I talk about him.

When I allow myself to listen when I ask God, “why me, why Joshua?”, I hear Him say, “because I love you”.  Now – I have no idea what that means.  Zero.  But I know God is protecting me and loving me along this journey.  In the same way I would do anything for Joshua, my child, God would do anything for me, His child.

I hear God answering my prayers for another child when I posted a prayer on the Prayer Works app a month ago and am still receiving notifications that people are praying for me.  Typically you receive notifications the same day the prayer is posted and maybe one or two afterwards.  However, for this particular prayer request for a new, healthy pregnancy and happy, healthy baby, I continue to receive notifications that people are praying for me.  I know this is God easing my mind, “it’s going to be okay, you will get pregnant again”.

I trust God.  It’s hard to give up control to God, but I trust His will and His way.  When fear strikes me that I will never become pregnant again, I trust that He is telling me that I will.  Although I want to be pregnant now, I feel Him telling me it’ll be soon.  Patience.  Trust.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”  Proverbs 3:5-6

So tonight and for many more nights to come, as I sit in the rocker intended for rocking my baby, I will be rocking while I pray for God to bless us with a baby again.

God’s Guarantee

I recently started following Joyce Meyer on Facebook.  I love seeing her encouraging words and feel that God is speaking directly to me through those words.  On Saturday she posted “God’s Guarantee”.  This one can relate to so many.

God's Guarantee

For me, the post could not have come at a better time.  God nudged me start following Joyce Meyer on Facebook on Saturday – over any other day – simply to see this post.  This post connected with me because she’s referencing Joshua, which happens to also be our baby’s name.

My husband gave me a frame with the Joshua 1:9 quote for Christmas and that verse rings true to me.  Do not be dismayed, do not be discouraged, for I am with you always.  Even in the midst of heartache when I feel alone, God is with me.  When I’m feeling discouraged, God tells me He’s by my side and I don’t need to feel down.

I can’t help but read the ending prayer over and over again.  I can truly feel God talking to me through this.

“Lord, of all the blessings in life, the greatest one I ask You for is that You will be with me as You were with Joshua.  I can do without a lot of things, but not without You.  Amen.”

I feel that God is speaking to me through this prayer, letting me know that our baby, Joshua, is okay.  Joshua is with God.  God loves Joshua.  God was with Joshua when he died and God is with me as I grieve.  And as I grieve, I must remember that I cannot get through this without God.

God is our strength to get us through any difficulty in life.

God is in Control

As I stare at my computer background image, it’s hard to imagine that those perfect little feet are my little boy’s.  It’s hard to imagine that something so perfect could be gone.  And it’s even hard to imagine that he was once here.  It hasn’t been long – nearly 4 months.  But it seems a lifetime ago that I was pregnant and gave birth.  However, the pain is still very real.

I follow Joyce Meyer on Facebook and this little message popped up the other day.

God is in Control

How I needed this on that day, and how I need this today…and every day.

I struggle to know that God is with me.

I struggle to allow God to be in control of my life.

I know both of these statements are true, but in the midst of heartache or trials in your life, it can be hard to accept.  I even struggle with it as I write this post.

If God is with me, why can’t I feel Him?  If God is with me, why’d He take my baby?  If God is with me, why am I not pregnant yet (we’re trying for our second)?

If God is in control, why’d He do this to me?  If God’s in control, why didn’t He answer my prayers to revive my baby?  If God is in control, why won’t He make me pregnant again (now!)?

Those questions hit me frequently.  And as I proof-read what I just wrote, it’s eye opening – how selfish it sounds.  Life isn’t about me.  Life is about God and His will.  It’s my will to have my baby back, it’s my will to be pregnant again, but is that God’s will?  If it was, my baby would be here and we wouldn’t be trying to have another right now.  God is in control, not me.  Oh, it’s so hard to give up control.