Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Psalm 40:1-3: I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.
At some point in our lives I am sure that we, as Christians, have felt God lift us out of the throws of depression. I can really identify with what David, a man after God's own heart, wrote in this Psalm. From waiting patiently, to the slimy pit, feeling God turn to me, lifting me up, working me up out of the mire, and planting my feet on a firm place to stand, I can honestly say that over the last few days I have gone through all of these things. 
You see, for the past few days I have been depressed, down, feeling as though I were sinking just a little bit at the time. Yesterday, especially, was a very depressing day for me.  6 years ago I gave birth far too soon to Sydney Michele.
While I am confident our angel is in heaven and I know one day I will have the chance to hold this sweet baby in my arms, this year was particularly rough. Usually it's not quite this bad. Could it be because I would be shopping for school clothes and school supplies, making ready to send our angel on a lifelong journey to learn? That's certainly a milestone in a child's life and most surely a parent's. Or that I could have been planning a birthday party? I'm just not sure why it was so rough this year. At any rate, I have felt "stuck in the mire" down for a few days. I have missed my baby. How my arms have ached to hold that child! God blessed me beyond belief by even giving me the privelege and allowing me to carry our angel for the short time I was able to. 
This time of the year I feel Him, my Heavenly Father, closer and closer to me. I begin sinking in the mud, the slimy pit of depression about a week before the baby's birthday (or the date of the miscarriage).  
As a Christian, my hope is in God. This means that I know beyond a doubt that this sinking feeling is just that. God will turn to me and hear my pleas for "feeling back to normal." I feel the loss of our child but think of the blessings of my life and just like most children, for I am a child of God, I hold up my arms to God and let Him free me from this mucky, slimy pit of depression and lift me out of it, placing me gently on a firm foundation, the truth of His Word. 
Once again, I praise Him. I testify to how I feel so dark, so lost, so stuck, yet waiting patiently for the Lord. And He does come. Sometimes I feel Him later rather than sooner, but I stick it out. I know my God will show up to save me from the pits of depression.  God works me out of the muck and plants me on the Rock, the firm foundation of His Word, bringing me from darkness into light. I will sing of His mercy and love, I will share His might and His strength. 
Be encouraged, friends and loved ones. No matter what you are going through just stand there, looking up for God. He'll come. Hang in there and hold your arms up to Him. Let Him work you loose from the muck of the slimy pit, for He is far stronger than anyone, especially our own selves, and is our only way out of that pit.   When He grasps our outstretched arms and moves us from the slimy pit to the firm place we are to praise Him.
Thank you, God, for giving me strength to wait patiently for you to lift me out of the pit. I praise You for not leaving me alone, and I offer my thanksgiving and love to You for placing my feet back on firm foundation. Help me to dust myself off as I go back on my way through another year. May the years become easier and easier, but if this is the way that You have in mind for me to re-acknowledge Your love and presence and that You only are my Helper, then I don't mind getting stuck in the mud. I know You'll always show up to pick me up and put me back on the firm foundation, oh, Lord.  And thank you for the strong network of support you have given me.  A loving husband, mother, sister, father.  Thank you, Lord.  You are worthy to be praised, indeed.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Happy Birthday, Sydney Michele.  I love you and I miss you.  Daddy and I were talking last night about how lucky you are to have such a wonderful family in heaven.  From Paw Paw, who wasn't alive to see the twins born, to Uncle Todd, who had to leave his baby here on earth to come home to Heaven, you have a whole host of angels who love you.  I bet they are fighting over who will play with you next!  How do you like Uncle Wimpy?  Don't tell any of the other uncles and aunts that are with you, but Uncle Wimpy was my favorite and I bet he's yours, too! 
If we didn't have God in our lives we would be just sick over losing you and I would have to just lay right down and die.  What hope would we have for you?  I know that you are in Heaven.  I have no doubt that when Daddy and I come to Heaven, too, we will see you and hold you in our arms.  Don't worry about me.  I'm doing fine, honey.  You were the baby that I prayed for and even though I never got to hold you, you were such a blessing in my life.  I feel comforted by the fact that I was given you even for a short time to feel and love.  For whatever reason, God chose to let you come live with Him in Heaven, and although I would have given my life at one time to let you live, I do understand that it is what it is.  God needed you more up there than I did in this crazy world we live in down here.  He is providing for you far better than your Daddy and I ever could. 
Around this day of the year such a wide range of emotions overwhelm me.  I go from aching to hold you to abundant joy that you are in Heaven.  I go from crying to laughing.  I go from feeling empty to feeling abundantly full.  It's so hard to explain, Sydney.  I love you so much.  God has not given us any other children and I am fine with that.  You were enough.  I tried for so long to have you and other babies, but eventually I realized that I had to stop trying for what God was not going to allow me to have. 
I'm so content in my life right now.  Daddy and I are very happy.  We have a good life on earth and have our hope in Jesus, our Lord and Savior.  You know what our lives are like on earth.  We go to work, we come home, we spend time together with our family....we're happy.  I have some wonderful friends I met just because of you, honey.  Thank you so much for coming into my life even for such a short period of time.  You helped me meet my best friend in the whole wide world! 
I do miss you but I know that everything is alright and as it should be.  Who am I to question why God took you?  I wonder sometimes, but I know that it's not for me to question so I try to focus on something else. 
Today you would be six years old. 
Next year you will be 7.  I love you, honey, and want you to know that not a day goes by when you aren't in my thougths at one moment or another.  I love you and I miss you and I pray that God would keep watch over you.  Don't go crossing those streets of gold alone without holding on to a big angel's hand, okay, little angel? 
Until next year, Sydney.