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    But God meant it for my good…

    Sometimes our endings are not what we expected but everything we had ever hoped for.

    This past week I had the privilege to finish reading Genesis and the portion on Joseph. I was incredibly moved by the story and felt the need to really meditate on the verses and the implications for my life. As a mother, I often surrender my emotions to fear and worry. It is easy to fret over both the small fry stuff as well as the big things. For example, I worry over little things like dentist appointments and the fact my six year old has her first two cavities. Then there is the big stuff. When my mind GOES there to the dark places and quickly ponders what might happen if I got cancer, or my husband died early, or…

    A brief summary on this passage in the bible, please don’t mind my quick delivery, I am no theologian, just a mom who loves to read/ listen to the bible- Joseph is Dad’s favorite… and his brothers don’t like it. He gets his beautiful gift of a coat from his Father and the brothers cannot stand it. They decide to get rid of him, so they pretend to kill him and play a cruel joke on their Dad and little brother by selling him off. Joseph then ends up a slave in a land far away, and experiences all kinds terrible things. He is wrongly accused of rape by Potiphar’s wife and thrown into jail even when innocent. That alone would cause me deep panic. Still, he perseveres where he is and in his circumstances and manages to be a right hand to the prison guards, earning him respect as he then becomes an interpreter of dreams to the royals and eventually Pharaoh. The story ends with him having all the upper hands- he’s basically in power over the lands food supply and appointed an overseer- when he’s confronted with his childhood wound. His brothers pay a visit. (I don’t know about you- but nothing unnerves me like a familial wound from my childhood). And Joseph weeps. His heart longs for reconciliation with his Father AND his brothers. What? That’s a weird twist. What happened to revenge or payback? Bitterness over time? I mean, they sold him off when he was just a kid!

    I always knew the story, but this time around it hit me particularly hard. I had always sensed some sort of pity for Joseph- poor guy, he got a bad lot. His mean brothers selling him off. Poor Joseph getting stuck in jail. Poor Joseph spending most of his adult life misunderstood, alone, often put in dreadful circumstances… definitely not getting easy way out.

    How often do we do this in our lives? We take side glances at our peers and think those completely common yet poisonous thoughts… “If only I had their money…”, “If I was that beautiful…” or “If I had a husband that romantic…”. We compare and think we got the raw deal. I’ll be vulnerable to say that I struggle here. I look at the outside representation of other people’s lives and think they have it easier. It could be based off one instagram pic of a remodeled home, or a Facebook post of a couple in Tahiti. Sometimes it doesn’t take much for me to envy and assume friends of mine have it easier than I do. Cringe.

    But God was at work in Joseph’s story.

    This time, when the story concluded, I was in AWE of Joseph’s strength in God. He knew who he was (loved), where his meaning derived (the Lord), and he was strong enough to hold back and do the will of God. He extended mercy not as a sign of weakness but of intense and courageous love. He was bold in his requests and bold in his forgiveness. In all his trials he was not beat down. He was learning to lean on the Lord and his courage and faith grew. I’m always weary to make bible characters heroes because the truth is all “are sinners and fall short of the glory of God.” He wasn’t the hero. God was. But God used him mightily and he accepted, and what a beautiful picture of the Lord blessing him in his obedience with reconciliation, life and abundance and God getting the glory in it all. This story grips my heart. Who doesn’t love a story of redemption, with all the loose ends tied up?

    19 Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? 20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. 21 Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.

    What does this mean for us? This redemption story is so rich with mercy, forgiveness, and love that it’s difficult not to be moved.

    It is a good reminder for me not to skip ahead. I want the ending so bad. The happy reconciliation, the comfort, and the reward. What about the space between?

    That is where I’m being molded by my Heavenly Father. It’s the pressure cooker. And I so often hate it and want to be removed. Oh those days of suffering and mourning.

    +The time I lost my 19 week baby due to an unknown infection.

    +The friends I’ve lost and never understood why.

    +They failures of never seeing the fruition of my hard work in a business.

    +The feeling of not being sure if I’m doing anything meaningful with my life day to day.

    +The terrible words spoken over me in my past.

    +The divorce I didn’t expect in my early twenties.

    Heartache will continue to make it’s visit in my heart and my only hope is that I’ll trust my redeemer in those dark moments that he’s up to something good in the big picture. 

    Reading this story has given me hope to endure my trials and to think differently on them. It doesn’t make hard times any easier and definitely doesn’t remove them.

    I can only pray that my faith would move me to a place where I can truly say in the hardest of times, “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for my good.

    Coming back to my blog

    If you happen to be reading this, well, hello. I took a super long break from blogging. Let’s just say that I was dealing with some life stuff. After a year long break praying over this space, I finally feel like I have my head wrapped around my vision and dream.

    Encouragement. I want to write to encourage women and mothers like myself that we aren’t as different as everyone makes us out to be. The Mommy Wars are something I loathe… and the advice columns that separate us into a bazillion parenting categories just puzzles me. If we could encourage one another and find similarities how much better could all this be? Basically, motherhood and womanhood is a passion of mine- and I wanna be friends and share our stories and laugh. Because, it is hard enough. What we all need is encouragement, and where I get my best encouragement is straight out of scripture. Every time.

    This is where I want to write all about the things I scribble down all over journals and Sunday morning sermon note pages. I LOVE to write. Now, that doesn’t = I am a good writer. No expert writing courses here. I have my undergrad in communication and wrote some essays for sure, but I have ZERO training in writing, grammar or composition in any formal way. Unfortunately, my brain won’t turn off and one of the best ways for me to sort out my emotions is in letter form. So, this blog is actually super selfish for me. It is a way for me to really focus on getting my thoughts out on paper, then onto a computer, and truly meditate on my thoughts and ultimately, on the state of my hearts. This is my form of bravery. I am showing up to something God has sparked in my heart with no idea how it is going to flesh out. I feel called to do this and to do it with bravery, leaning on the Lord to be vulnerable and real. I have selfishly read enough articles in my day of others being honest, and it feels wonderful to do this here and now.

    I don’t just want this place to be all serious, though. I am not a very serious person. In fact, most of my friends would probably agree that I am weird and goofy and awkward and shallow. My passions, after all, include coffee and chocolate and Netflix. And jackets. I could own an million pullovers. I love my children so much it hurts and basically married the cutest man alive.

    I sure hope you will stick around and join me in some discussion!

    Love,

    Tiffany

    My Miscarriage Story

    Photo by Sergiu Vălenaș on Unsplash

    It is probably not too hard to tell I have taken somewhat of a break from blogging. Truth be told, I have taken somewhat of a break from most things in life, with the exception of those duties which shouldn’t be broken (you know, taking out the trash and everything that goes with being a mom). The past few months have been so hard on me. Some of you may know I had a miscarriage in December of 2015. I was almost 19 weeks pregnant, and all seemed well. Baby had a healthy heartbeat, and I was doing fine… for the most part. I had seen a few signs leading up to the miscarriage, but all the health professionals said baby and myself were great.

    It’s been a long, hard six months. I finally feel ready to talk about what happened, and start the grieving process in a more intentional way. I feel as though the past few months I have been merely surviving. At first, literally. I ended up hemorrhaging a month after the miscarriage, and had two blood transfusions. It took me all of January and February to just feel like myself again. Three months that felt stolen from my life.

    So, here goes.

    I hope that sharing my story might help one woman or man out there currently grieving. The nights after my loss I spent scouring blogs and websites reading about other people’s losses. While it was heartbreaking, it was oddly comforting. They, too, knew what I was feeling. There is something so strange about losing a child you never got to meet. It is difficult to process the whole situation. No one else has met this person, either, so that makes it equally difficult.

    I was about 18 weeks when I first felt sick. At the time I was supposed to go to Arizona. I had delayed my flight to see doctor. By the time I got there the pain had increased exponentially. I could hardly walk. I mean, lots of cramping to the point of not being able to stand. I needed a wheelchair to get up to the office. It hurt so bad. I truly thought I had the flu. I was just hoping to get put on some meds and go home.

    I left my husband and daughter left at home because I had honestly thought it would be a quick visit. The X-ray tech couldn’t see what was happening, so I was referred to a specialist. I had to wait almost one hour to see her, and thought I might pass out from the cramping. I remember my phone being almost dead. The baby had a heartbeat, and I got to see the face and hands. I got the best ultrasound pics of my baby from my whole pregnancy that day. I was relieved. I truly thought all would be alright. Then the doctor came in and informed me what was happening. Well, sort of. I knew, knew, deep down something awful was happening, so I had her call my husband and put him on speaker. I couldn’t even hardly lift my arms. My whole body felt as though loads of bricks were pressing down. I remember that feeling.

    There was an infection in my uterus. My body was aborting my baby. There was no information why it was happening, “these things happen…”. I was told that day I would have to deliver my baby. All I remember were those words…. “You are losing your baby.”

    I wept. Let me rephrase that. I sobbed. I NEVER cry in front of people. I just can’t. But I did. Time stopped.

    I had just enough phone power to finish the conversation and tell my hubby to come meet me at the labor and delivery portion of the hospital.

    Next I was relocated to the labor and delivery floor of the hospital, where I was admitted as a patient. I was hooked up to the IV’s, and waited impatiently for my husband and my daughter. I remember trying to smile and reply to the nurses kind questions. I was informed that I had to deliver my baby again. He would most likely come out dead. There was a chance he might take a few breaths, then pass.

    I cried again.

    Let me tell you. There is nothing more unnatural in the whole world than delivering a baby you know will not make it. Nothing. Those few hours I pleaded with God above to change this circumstance in my life.

    To top it off, I was surrounded by these sweet pictures of babies being born. To the right was a healthy momma giving birth to a healthy baby girl. All around me were pics and babies. It was too much for my heart to bear.

    I stopped contracting for a bit, and the doctor came in and said things looked somewhat stable, and if I had a fighting chance my baby might make it a few weeks, long enough to make it to a prenatal unit. Yet, I would be hospital bound until then.

    My hopes were up, until all at once I felt it. Crazy, intense cramping. I knew it was time. I knew I was in labor.

    Friends, my deepest wish is that no woman has to go through the agony of what I felt at that time. Yet, I know that many, many women do. And I wish I had known that sooner. I wish I could have been there with them, holding their hand, saying “You CAN do it. God WILL enable you. This too shall pass”.

    Yet, my heart just broke. I remember saying as loud as my lungs could shout…. ” I CANNOT DO THIS!! PLEASE, GOD, PLEASE!!!”.

    I remember the doctor, hearing the doctor, say, “We are all here for you… just push.” I remember my husbands grasp, his deep blue eyes searching for mine. I remember looking to him and asking him for one thing. “Show me my daughter. Show me you and my daughter, show me memories.”

    And he did. He pulled out his phone, and scrolled from photo to photo. Us on the beach, us eating dinner together, us making funny faces. Each photo strengthened my resolve. “Not for me, but for HIM.”

    If this was my only chance at being a Momma, I was going to do it right.

    My son was born. He was beautiful. He looked just like one of us. We held him, as long as we could. We took pictures. We loved him.

    All too soon the moment passed. Yet, forever, he is etched into my mind.

    I know, within the depths of my soul, that I will see him again.

    I carried my son for 18 weeks, and I gave him the best little warm womb I could.

    One day, I will hold him and tell him how much I missed him.

    I truly believe that.

    If you have experienced grief or loss, from one mother to another, please know that I love you and am feeling your pain.

    Time doesn’t always heal, and sometimes we experience grief, anxiety, or pain further down the road than we expected.

    Sometimes we think something is “wrong” with us because it just hurts… for months… for years.

    Please know you are not alone.

    I share your struggle.

    Until my last breath, I will miss my baby. And I will rejoice the day I see him again.

    Special thank you to my husband, Brian… for being there, by my side, every second. You are my knight in shining armor in a modern world… you were the strength I needed when I didn’t have it. Your love was evident every moment. I felt loved, adored, cherished, and precious.

    To my sister and her hubsand Ben- Thank you for responding immediately and bringing us food as well as picking up Lillian and caring for her for the week. You were amazing and everything you did for us and Lillian will never be forgotten. Thank you for helping Lillian to process the whole situation while feeling valued and loved on, and for providing her a safe environment for her while we dealt with so much. You  two are the best.

    For my friends Jim and Erin- Thank you for taking our amazing little girl Lillian and taking the sting out of her wound. She was expecting a little brother, and it was not easy for her three-year old heart to understand the pain of death. You fed her, loved her, held her, and befriended her when we needed to grieve and cry. Thank you.

    For the hospital staff at Swedish- Thank you for the dignity you reserved for us. For the white rose you placed on our door so others would know what we were going through. Thank you for the chaplain who so beautifully addressed our spiritual needs. Thank you for the many, many juices, popsicle’s, and IV’s. Mostly, thank you for the soft and gentle “touches” that enables us to keep persevering and helped us feel respected.

    Thank you to all my family… Dad, Mom’s, friends, grandparents, church, pastor… who helped us with visits, flowers, phone calls, and chocolates. My sister who watched our daughter for days and was my anchor- and her husband Ben who was so loving. My pastor Shane who drove out to us at almost 10pm in a snow storm to be with us, and his wife Kelly, who came for a visit a few days later. My church for the food and baskets, prayers and support. Denver Metro Moms Blog for the flowers… my husbands friends from work for another bouquet. Friends for food deliveries and company. My parents for chocolates and love and phone calls… it was boundless.

    I am forgetting people, and for that I am sorry. You know who you are, and I love you.

    We had never felt so loved in our entire lives.

    God is Good. Even in the most difficult times, he brings peace, love, restoration, and goodness.

    Thank you for letting me share my story.

    PS- This post is not in any way intended to frighten currently pregnant women. My first child was a healthy, happy baby with a great pregnancy. Most of the time, pregnancies go great. That is the hope. This post is for those of us who have experienced loss at any stage… a few weeks or a full term… and the many variables in between and outside. I wanted to share my story since I had indulged in so many others stories for hope and a sense of connection. 

    If you are nervous about having a baby or losing it, from a previous miscarriage or a family member who struggled with one, I do encourage you to take heart. As I have shared with some of my friends… all you can do is love that child, pray for his or her health daily, and provide him or her the best home as long as possible. Celebrate every step, and enjoy every moment. Anxiety and worry is a giant robber of joy. Please don’t feel ashamed to share in your journey around friends who experienced miscarriage- I love celebrating my friends babies and deliveries. In fact, a few days after my own miscarriage I went and visited our friends new baby. Side rant, but one I feel that is important!