Last night we had a pie and praise service at church. I actually got there about 45 minutes late waiting for my pie to finish baking, long story. During the service our senior pastor Ethan Hansen shares a little intro and then church family is asked to come up and share what they are thankful for as they feel led. When they are done sharing they light a candle in a huge cross that is up front as a reminder of what Christ has done for us on the cross.
Being so late I didn't know how much of the service I would actually experience so I quietly slipped in the back, found Ben sitting mid way down and squeezed in by him. I had no intention of sharing. Just this past week I have been thinking, wow it's already the holidays! It's that time of year to be writing Christmas letters reflecting on all the great happenings of the year etc, etc. I hate to even admit this but I struggled to think of things I am thankful for, this has been a challenging year personally and as a family (for Ben and I). As I listened to singles and families share the Lord overwhelmed me with things that I have to be thankful for and I was humbled to consider my discontent.
There were a couple of testimonies that really prompted me to share. One was a family, two youth and their mom that went forward to share said they are thankful for their parents, a father who is not a Christian but they hope and pray he will be someday and a mother who loves the Lord deeply and is a one year cancer survivor. Lord, thank you for my godly husband that is a spiritual leader who loves me deeply. Thank you for my own mother who is celebrating her 60th birthday this Friday and is a 7 YEAR cancer survivor.
Another young family went forward to share and the wife shared how thankful they were for their children (two daughters up front) but also their 5 month old son. It sounded like they had complications in his delivery but that's not what got me so much. She started sharing how she was thankful for their first son and what a joy and miracle it was to watch him grow over the months through ultra sound on and on and on and on. All I could think was "Please stop sharing!" My heart was breaking, I sat with tears streaming down my face. Yes Lord, the joy of mother hood, the joy of watching a child grow in your womb. That is one of the greatest desires of my heart presently and I thought, I have no idea what that experience is like. The ultra sounds I had this September showed that we miscarried, there would be no child only the hope of one for 8 weeks.
Thankful? Ugh! I was going to have to share because I AM thankful. God has shown me this year through our miscarriage some life lessons that I had lost sight of, one God is in control, I am not. As much as I like planning HE is the Master Planner. Second, His timing and His ways are best and I have to and choose to TRUST and REST in that. When I hear friends who have multiple children say "I wish I had a boy" or "I wish I had a girl" I think really? Hmmm, I wish I had A child. But even in that statement and frame of mind I am just as discontent as the mothers who wish for one more boy/girl etc. Lord thank you that you KNOW the desires of my heart (Psalm 37:4-5). Thank you that YOUR timing is perfect. Thank you that I CAN TRUST you.
As I went up front to share I said that I am thankful for my mother's life that she is still here to share the holidays with and there is hope post cancer (for women sitting there) my mom is a 7 year cancer survivor. This also has hit new the past couple of months because two of the teachers I work with have been diagnosed with breast cancer and they are both starting chemo this week.
I am thankful for brokenness because if I am being honest I am broken. I don't have a cute little Christmas card idea this year or something crazy exciting to share that I just can't wait to get written on cute stationary. In reality I have had health issues since the end of July that I am still battling with. Even in that though I am thankful for my health. Thank you Lord that I do not have chronic pain or illness. I know several friends that do. I am grateful for the health that I do have.
Thank you Lord for the husband you have blessed me with. One of the fruits of the Spirit that I am the WORST at is PATIENCE! All my life it seems God has tested my patience maybe in hopes that I will GROW in that area? I am thankful that I waited 31 years for God's best and that I have a godly, patient, tender man that I could have never hoped for or imagined. For all the youth ladies reading this TRUST in God's timing and be PATIENT for God's best it is absolutely worth it!
Another thing God impressed on my heart the past couple of months post miscarriage has been new life. As much as I hope for new life in our family through a baby I hope and pray even more for new life in Christ for close friends and family members. I cannot imagine my life without Christ. Thank you Lord for the cross. Thank you for choosing me to be a child of the King. Thank you for the blood you shed on the cross for MY sins not because of any good I have ever done (Rm. 3:23; 6:23) but soley because of your LOVE for me (Rm. 5:8).