Archive for August, 2007

August 18, 2007

Today, I had the pleasure to read “Summer”, the latest book in Karen Kingsbury’s Redemption/Firstborn/Sunrise series.  The series chronicles the lives of the Baxter family, and honestly, Karen Kingsbury leaves no stone unturned in the stories…a daughter with a child born out of wedlock, a mother diagnosed with cancer, a daughter who discovers her husband’s affair just as he is murdered, a son and son-in-law whose lives are forever changed by 9-11, a son given up for adoption searching to find his biological family…there is so much going on with this family!  But the reason this series is so powerful is that the theme running throughout all of the books is God’s amazing grace and how he is ever in our midst, working all things for our good.  This latest novel is no different, though it addresses a new challenge, a new loss.

Two of the Baxter sister’s have discovered that they are pregnant together and without giving away too many of the details or too much of the plot, an ultrasound reveals that something is wrong with one of the babies. 

 I began this book knowing (thanks to my aunt’s who had read the book before loaning it to me) that the story of this precious baby was parallel to that of my precious Hope Elizabeth’s…knowing Karen Kingsbury’s work, I was excited to read how she wove the story together, how she detailed the emotinal process each family member took and I hoped it would be a book that we could recommend for our Tiny Purpose families to help them as they heal…I was not disappointed on any of these points, though I was surprised by the lessons God reminded me of as I read…I hope you don’t mind as I share them with you today…

1)  God is still God, God is still good, even when things don’t go your way…when we are walking through the valley of the shadow of loss, fear, heartache, and grief, it is so easy to become entangled in the “Why’s” of our situation, to try to understand things that are absolutely out of our control and our understanding.  But the bottom line is that we can believe God for a miracle, we can believe that good things will come our way because we are good people, but we also have to believe that He will still be with us even if the miracle is not what we wanted…even when the bad times come, he is still sovreign and still in control of the situation.  The bible promises us that God “works all things together for good for those who love him” (Romans 8:28) and it also promises us that He will “never leave us nor forsake us” (Joshua 1:5) because he has “carved us in the palm of his hand” (Isaiah 49:16).  You are never alone, and never somewhere that he cannot work on your behalf.  And just because the miracle is not the exact one you asked for, it doesn’t mean miracles are not happening all around you.

2) Sometimes when things hurt, it’s because they matter so much…as I read the book, I was reminded yet again of how much losing Hope Elizabeth hurt.  Though four years have passed, and I believe with all of my heart that the Lord has worked a miracle of healing on my heart and mind since losing my daughter, sometimes I forget just how much it hurt to receive a fatal diagnosis for my unborn child…how much it hurt to wonder whether I had made good choices throughout the pregnancy…hurt to deliver my daughter, knowing that she had already passed…hurt to acknowledge that my hopes and dreams for her would never be realized in this life…hurt to know that life was marching on without her as though her too-short life had meant nothing.  The loss of a child is a deep hurt, that I think never goes away–yes, we move on with our day-to-day lives, and yes, we move farther away in time from the loss, but as I laid in bed this morning, crying as I read this book, I told God yet again “This loss hurts so badly…”  Take the time to acknowledge the hurts and sadness when it comes…it is a vital part of the journey of grief we will continue to travel.

3) No one is stronger than our God…The mother in this story repeatedly sings the song “Jesus loves me” to her two children as she awaits the arrival of her third child, knowing that this baby can hear every precious word.  As the family spends time together with their new sibling, the oldest child begins to sing the best lullaby he knows…”Jesus loves me this I know…for the bible tells me so…little ones to him belong…they are weak, but he is strong…”  The mother hears these words that ring of a truth that strikes the deepest parts of her soul…though our bodies are weak, and especially that of a tiny baby, it’s okay.  No one is stronger than our God.  It is my prayer that no matter where you are in a relationship with God, or what you may or may not believe about Him, you never stop looking for the truth and that these words encourage you.

I pray that as you go throughout your busy schedule this weekend, you take time to reflect on what God has done in your life through your loss…take a few minutes and remember what it felt like to live your pregnancy, good times and bad.  Pull out your photo albums, or keepsakes–whatever you may have, it is a treasure!– and spend some time remembering your precious baby…it is worth the pain to remember that if love was all your baby needed, he or she would be here today–your love would have sustained them.  If anything I’ve written today touches a cord with you, share it with the rest of us…or plan to share it at group on Monday night.  It helps all of us heal to hear what we are each doing individually.

 I didn’t expect to spend the morning in bed, crying as I relived some of the moments surrounding the birth of my daughter…but I can also say that sometimes, that is exactly what I need to face…thanks for letting me share my thoughts with you…Alaina


Where are you in your grief?
August 8, 2007

Hello…I’m sure you’re all thinking “Wow…she’s really blogging!”  Yes, yes I am!

 Last month we had an awesome group with great participation by all…and as Kristin and Renee and I reflected on it, we thought it would be a good idea to post this question again, for those of you not at group, for those of you who maybe didn’t share at group, for all of us who are grieving and may need to revisit this question from time to time…I guess that covers us all!

 In the first Devotion of “Grieving the Child I Never Knew” by Kathe Wunnenberg, she poses the question “Imagine someone calling out, ‘Where are you in your grief?’ How would you respond today?  How would you like to respond a year from now?”

In first pass, maybe  a simple question, but as I thought about it more and more, a very poignant one.  Where am I now, four years after losing my daughter?  I am a completely different person, and as the month of July and Hope’s birthday have recently passed, I can say I am still a mother who misses her daughter and wonders what might have been…I couldn’t and wouldn’t go back at this point, but in my heart of hearts, I can honestly say I wonder…

I also know that every July I feel different…it’s not something that I am totally aware of, but it is something that is fact–ask my husband, family or close friends and they will agree.  In July, regardless of where I am emotionally, my body knows and remembers what was…and it forces me to stop and remember as well…

I would have thought that at four years out, and by my standards, someone who has grieved and worked through the loss, that it would be easier…most days it is, but some days it’s not…

 Where do I want to be a year from now? Still involved with Tiny Purpose, working to make grieving a little less lonely for the mothers who come behind me…still missing my daughter–I never want a day to pass when I don’t think about her–good and bad…still working to make everyday count–because I know now that what really matters in this life is not work, or things, but the people we love…

Tell me where you want to be a year from now…I’d love to hear your thoughts…Alaina

August 1, 2007

     Good Morning Gals!  As I write this message 9 days after our last group, I am still amazed at what a wonderful bunch of ladies we have and how everyone of you adds so much to group!  God has brought Tiny Purpose so far in the last 3 1/2 years it is truly amazing.  The golf outing was a huge success, the new location is coming along beautifully and women are sharing and growing and making steps to healing in monthly group.  How awesome!

     We taked about this Lia Sophia party that Alaina, Renee and myself are hosting at group on the 23rd but I wanted to be sure everyone new about it . . . on August 8th from 6:30 – 8:30 we will be meeting at the Christian Mission for a G.N.O.!  Girls Night Out!!!  We always talk about getting toegtehr in between groups and hanging out . . . well here is our chance!  Come hang out, snack on some yummy treats and buy yourslef a little somehting something:)  All proceeds from the party go directly to Tiny Purpose.  Thank you Kristin Earls.  Our consultant, Kristin (gotta love her with a name like that), has beautiful jewelry to look at and try on and is going to have some FREE give aways!!!  Bring a friend and enjoy some social time!  Hope to see you there . . .