Thursday, March 29, 2012

A big lesson from a little potty

Sometimes God chooses weird times to talk to us.

Mine happened to be while Mommy and Maddy were having Mommy/Maddy pee time. (Now that she's potty training, that's what we call it!)

I was struck by how often I complain these days -- at least mentally. Complain that I'm not pregnant with Olivia. That babies die. That I'll never know my daughter this side of heaven.

Really, I could go on forever about these complaints, but you get the gist.

As I was thinking about my complaints, I realized that I was missing out on everything God WAS doing in my life.  Maybe I have been physically there for it -- but I certainly haven't been recognizing it, or even praising Him for it.

I focus on being terrified of when God will take Maddy . . . instead of thanking Him for her life and health for this day.

I stress about when I will get pregnant next and how that will go . . . instead of trusting that He will be in control, and that His will is always best.

As I grieve the loss of a relationship with my little girl . . . I've failed to recognize the many beautiful, and, I hope, lasting friendships I've created since starting this journey.

In everything around me, I've been focusing on what I don't have or what I'm afraid to lose . . . instead of seeing God's providential hand still working on my behalf, even when I'm angry and bitter at Him.

As I was thinking about this, I thought about how much I do for Maddy, and she has no idea. She complains to me when she doesn't get ice cream or when she doesn't get an extra bed-time book . . . but she doesn't realize how much I do for her, and how much time I give her every day to make sure she's as healthy and as happy as a 3-year-old should be.

I guess God does that with me, too. Works on my behalf, while I don't recognize the half of it, and only tell him the things I'm mad at Him for doing.

I struggled with this idea earlier this week in small group. We talked about giving thanks in all circumstances, and I just didn't know how I could do that. The examples the author of our study gave were too petty, I felt. What about when your child dies?? How do you thank God in THAT circumstance?

But still . . . the idea of giving thanks in ALL things in scripture.

". . . give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. "
1Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)

I have a feeling this idea of giving thanks in a loss is going to be a lesson I'm going to have to learn over, and over, and over again. Because, for those of you who don't know, I've been really struggling with anger toward God. And it's really easy for me to focus ONLY on what I've lost.

Seeing glimpses of God's hand does not negate my need to "focus" on my loss through grief. And I think this day is more of a respite, but that the anger, hurt and feelings of betrayal will all come again. But I think having His gentle reminder today really helped me trust, even just a little, more in Him.

And that little bit of trust is giving me some peace and comfort tonight. And for this moment, I am very grateful for the things and people He has given me. And I'm grateful for a God who doesn't give up on us, even when we give up on Him.


  1. Hi Rachel,
    I live in Czech Republic and found your blog through Kimberly Johnson. I was loosing my baby at the same time as you. It was Monday Dec 18th I found out the baby was dead (it would have been week 11) and the 21st and 22nd I was in the hospital. Just thought I would say hi. I know there is nothing really to say expect, "I'm sorry." With you, Carrie

    1. Carrie, thanks so much for reading my blog. And for introducing yourself. I am also very sorry for your loss! If you ever want to share your story on this blog, or if you ever want to chat, please let me know. My email is Hugs to you from far away!!

  2. Rachel, I remember when I. Reached this turning point in my grief. I was so focused on what I had lost. Finally I realized I needed to recognize what I DID have and be happy with that. There were days that was hard to do, and I am still angry at God. But know that He has a plan and I have to trust it. *hugs* to you my friend. ~stacy

    1. Thank you Stacy for sharing. And for reading my blog....
      I'm looking forward to seeing you this week.