A Gift Horse

I know that it is possible to reject a good gift, to treat it as a curse or a burden. My seven-year-old received a beautiful book from his grandmother for Easter, but he was in an “I hate to read” space, and didn’t even give it a chance. Have I been doing the same thing?
My husband says, “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.” And I say, “You should, once you get home with it. You need to know what to feed it, and how to care for it…”
Looking a gift horse in the mouth.
These verses haunt me:
James 1:16-17–Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. (NASB)
Job 2:10–But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips. (NASB)
I had no doubt that Pocoyo’s life was a gift from God.
Perhaps the end of her life was a gift, as well? How does one accept such a gift?

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Comfort

Honestly, I guess that I was expecting a smack-down. I know that my faithfulness has been wavering, my walk less disciplined, my progress unpromising. I grumble; I sigh. I have been grieving, not without hope, but certainly without confidence, without security. I was expecting that, should I pour myself into His Word, God would bring attention to the steps that I had missed, to where I showed reluctance to trust Him.
It reveals how little I really understand His character.
Because He did not. Far from it.
Despite my hesitance, I retreated into His Word, anyway. (One cannot live without breath for too long…) and He drew me into Isaiah. Why? I didn’t know. Until this:
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In my distress, I was stumbling. I thought He might correct me. Instead, He declared His affection for me, halting, red-faced, tear-stained as I was. The King of Kings, by His own hand, offering to tend my wounds, to comfort me, to resurrect my hope.
I am astonished at His grace. And I know Him better.
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Good Friday: Heavy with loss, Gazing into the light

I have had no signs of fertility since I lost Pocoyo. Perimenopausal, I guess.
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Today was a beautiful Spring day, and my kids had early dismissal, so out we spent the afternoon in the yard, swinging, swashbuckling, climbing, exploring. It was lovely.
And lonely.
If Pocoyo had lived, I would be just beginning to be awkwardly pregnant, now, having to carefully watch my step on the hillside.
If the Bookends had lived, they would be lounging in the baby swings, watching their siblings run and shout, watching the sun dapple through the new leaves…
If the Goober Pease had lived, they would be wrapped snugly in my MayaWrap, lightly sleeping, cuddled close…
The yard was bustling with beautiful, happy, excited children–and I knew myself blessed. It was loud with the silence of children not here–and I measured the weight of my loss.
Today, I am old in my bones. I am dried out by time and experience. All the life has drained out of me. Even my tears are dry.
It turns out that this is a good place to be.
Good Friday, we do see the helplessness of our cause. With all that we can do, we still cannot restore youthful fertility to a woman beyond her time. We cannot revitalize a body that has passed. We cannot restore our innocence, nor replace what sin has ravaged in us. But…
Last year, before the Bookends rested under my heart, God showed me a single purple lupin, past the time for lupins, blooming in the snow…
God asks Ezekiel, “Can these dry bones live again?”
Ezekiel answers, “God, You know.”
Good Friday, we see our hopelessness: Easter Sunday, we see our Hope.
I’ve decided to live this through, to trust through this, to refuse to be stifled by this heaviness.
Hope is, has always been, in Him. I’m gazing into the light.

I name you, Pearl. (TMI Warning: description of miscarried tissue)

Embryo image

Embryo image


(Please note, this is a borrowed image of an embryo at the same age)
You had only 28 or 29 days of life.
Yet you had done so much.
From one cell to so many,
From microscopic to identifiable in form.
I delivered a smoothly covered kernel, that just fit into my palm.
I washed away some of the decidua, and there you were,
Floating in a small, clear sac, tightly attached to a thick, veinous placenta.
You were smaller than my thumbnail,
But glowing a pearly light color.
A spine, curled at the lower end, edged up the center of your back.
Your chin was tucked in toward your chest,
but darker spots in your face showed where once your dark eyes would shine.
Tiny thickened ends showed where your hands and feet
Would once extend out of the buds
That would someday stretch into your arms, your legs.
And your belly protruded in bright red and purple,
Where the umbilical attached
And your liver lay beneath.
A pearl of great price.
A beautiful creature.
A great loss.
Even just two weeks after the pregnancy test that told me you were coming,
I could see that you were fearfully and wonderfully made.

Thankful

Today, I am incredibly thankful.
Arms up in praise
I have no strength left. I have fallen apart.
And yet, God is there for me.
Time has not stopped because I couldn’t push it! 🙂
I said, “I am all in for God’s plan!”
And I meant it.
I hoped that it did not mean
Learning again to trust Him through a loss.
But it did.
And, once again, I found that He can carry me through the days
When the waves of sorrow swallow me,
The towers of guilt hedge me in all around,
Or the ache of separation sends me drifting, exhausted, indecisive, unsure.
Nevertheless, I thank God for the beautiful gift of her life.
She was with us, she shined through us, for only a short time here,
But I will hug her some day.
And eternity is long.
Today, like every day I remember to be, I am all in for God’s plan. And I am thankful for it.

Letting you go

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Letting you go–
Not because I want to
but because you are already gone.
Letting you go
For my sake (you are free already)
even though my heart tells me to grip hard
(on nothing) Whatever May Happen,
even though I don’t know
who I will be, if I don’t hold on.
But I want a better tomorrow (for all of us).
So today,
I’m letting you go.

I Know Whom I Have Believed

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A new verse in one of my old favorite songs, for Pocoyo:

I don’t know why my tiny babe
was taken from my arms,
Or how her life, so short on earth,
will glorify her God,

But I know Whom I have believed
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I have committed
Unto Him against That Day.

(For the rest of the lyrics to lovely hymn, click the link below)