Though my heart is heavy, it is a heart that is also grateful. Over and over again these past few weeks a common topic has been presented to me from various unrelated sources besides the Bible itself. This entry is a bit of a reiteration of my previous entry… But, it is as if God really wants to make it clear to me right now that gratitude is the best defense against my fear and uncertainty. I surmise that it would be excusable, permissible, maybe even expected that I would be crippled with fear and blinded by uncertainty with everything we’ve been faced with. If you’d have asked me how I thought I’d respond to this situation prior to actually being in it, I would have imagined just that. Initially, that was the direction I was headed. God lovingly put his arms around me (because I allowed Him to) and steered me in the opposite direction. As he veered me off the wretched path of hopelessness and armed me with this message of gratitude, I’ve discovered this alternative way of dealing with life’s struggles instead of following my own human nature. While the outcome of Nora’s prognosis is literally uncertain, God’s love for me, God’s love for my family, including Nora is most definitely certain. He already knows the final outcome. I praise Him for whatever that is because I am confident in His will.
My snug little Nora and I sit beside a trickling creek in a blanket of warm sunshine. This is the creek that runs past our backyard at the bottom of a steep hill. The creek that I was so enamored with when we were first looking at the house. I imagined how relaxing and soothing it would be to come down here with a book or a set of paints and just soak in the surroundings. Back then I had no idea just how therapeutic this tranquil environment would prove to be. The sound of the water confides ancient secrets to the stoic slabs of rock, and the wind whispers in urgent tones to the branches of the trees. The smell of the earth and water are the sweetest perfume, seemingly derived for my sole pleasure. I am thankful for this gorgeous sunny day, this beautiful backyard and the time in which to spend it. I am filled with gratitude that I share this moment with the precious little soul within me.
It wasn’t the best of days. I found myself a little more fragile and high-strung than I had set out to be. It seemed like everywhere I went today there was a new baby unwittingly flaunted in front of me. The disgruntled newborn in Target this evening nearly sent me over the edge. It was that distinct cry of an infant… only days, maybe weeks old. The tears involuntarily welled up in my eyes as I quickened my pace away from the sound and frantically tried to remember what I had even come there for. The new layout of the store wasn’t making things any easier on me as I accidentally wound up in a maze of bottles and receiving blankets… cute little pink booties and baby rattles sneered at me. Is this how it’s going to be? Am I just a time bomb ready to detonate at any given second?
I’m not angry or envious of the people with babies! I am genuinely happy and excited for them. But I do have to admit that it is really hard for me to be around newborns right now and I anticipate that it will be for some time to come. There is just something about that sweet bundle of innocence, that precious newborn cry that poignantly reacts with my maternal deprivation of a “normal” healthy baby. I have control of very little right now, add to that my response to being around newborns. Not that it is anyone’s fault or that I expect people to stop having babies and bringing them out in public! It is my irrepressible response that I’m uncomfortable with – nothing against the babies or parents themselves.
Nora’s heartbeat teddy bear
Despite my inner turmoil, I continue to sustain a thankful heart. I’m thankful that God made Nora at all! How could she exist in eternity if she never existed here on earth? I’m thankful that I will get to see her there someday, if her time with us here is short. During my period of waiting, I am reminded to be thankful in all circumstances (even if it involves barking dogs while I’m trying to sleep!): “Rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
I find that the gratitude in my heart strangles out the anger, fear and pain that creeps in. There is just no room for it. As I type these words a sense of peace quenches my soul, proof to me of God’s true love.