Thanksgiving is upon us, and this year I have much to be thankful for. You see, this time last year I was miscarrying our second child, Poppy. We lost our first baby, Elizabeth Grace, the previous June and were devastated to find that Poppy's life could not be saved. I was a very bitter soul.
At my parents' house each Thanksgiving we each tell something for which we are thankful. I went ahead and warned both my mother and grandmother that I did not want to participate, and if they made me I would say I was thankful for underwear. While I am thankful for unmentionables, it is easy to see that I had a bitter and tortured soul. I can't tell you how many nights I cried myself to sleep and how often I begged God to take me so I could be with my babies.
Throughout the past year I have experienced more than I bargained for, and I've truly grown in many areas of my life. I have learned so many lessons. The biggest one is that I AM NOT IN CHARGE. I would say that that has been the most difficult lesson of my life. I have grown in my relationships with certain important people in my life. I have learned to trust God completely. Jon's and my marriage is far stronger than I ever thought possible. (Don't get me wrong--there are still some days I could pinch his head off and smile about it!) Losing three children will teach you how to handle trials together.
Yes, you read that correctly. We have lost three children. This past July, while Jon was working in Virginia and my parents were at a conference in Montana, there was a second pink line. Like his brother and sister, Jot is with Jesus. Each of our children is special to me. I love all three beyond words. However, I have to admit that I dealt better with Jot's loss than I did Ellie's or Poppy's. Don't get me wrong; I did fall into a deep, deep depression. But it didn't take me as long to come out that fog. Honestly, the only reason for that is my Heavenly Father. He put His arms around me and comforted me. God has listened to me question things I know to be true and cry "injustice." He has also convicted me of my wrong thinking. And He has spoken to me. No, it was not audibly, but I heard His still, small voice in my heart giving me a promise.
But back to this Thanksgiving business. Tuesday I went grocery shopping for the first time since our move. The pantry had to be stocked and I had a lot to pick up for supper for the next two weeks. I saw that my buggy was all but overflowing, and I thought, "Sarah, you don't know how fortunate you are." I have never worried about where food was going to come from. I have never worried about were I was going sleep. I have been loved since my parents found out they were expecting me. I am blessed.
While I never got to hold the children I carried, I can truly say that I am thankful for them. They have helped me understand the love God has for you and me. There is no way I'd give any of the three of my children to save anyone else, including myself. But God did give His Son to give me the option of being in Heaven for eternity. That very thought baffles me, but oh! how humbling it is.
Today I was able to tell Jon that even though my heart aches I am thankful. I can talk about our children without crying. I can walk through the baby department of stores without clenching my teeth or looking away. There are still days that I shed tears, but that is to be expected. After all, I am a mother with empty arms.
Even so, I am thankful. I am thankful for Jon's and my health, and the health of our parents, and my siblings and grandparents. I am thankful that God put Denna and Gratch (our dogs) in our lives. We have a nice home and plenty to eat. And I have Jesus Christ as my Savior.
Yes, I am thankful.