Sunday, February 28, 2010

Share Your Pain

 Share Your Pain  

by Katie Marie

Grieve your loss, let the tears flow.
An ache within you, that no one else knows.
No apologies needed, from your mother heart.
This babe was a part of you, from the very start.

Though daylight unseen, your child had life.
Tis the sorrow of death that cuts like a knife.
Honor this babe, do not leave without name
Acknowledge the love to which they have claim.

Childhood dreams you never got to see.
Gather your friends, "Come weep with me."
Share your pain, words of anger too,
With willing hearts that will grieve with you.

Begin the healing, it will take some time,
From this pit of loss is an up hill climb.
No need to forget what might have been,
But look to the future...

and start again.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Our Healer

Psalm 147 1-6
Praise the Lord!
For it is good to sing praises to our God;
for it is pleasant,  and a song of praise is fitting.
The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars;
he gives to all of them their names.
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
his understanding is beyond measure.
The Lord lifts up the humble;
he casts the wicked to the ground.

This passage stood out to me today.  It is awesome that the Lord, who numbers and names the stars, cares enough for us that he binds up our wounds and heals our broken hearts.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A twist to "I Plead the Fifth"

"So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant,  being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." Philippians 2: 1-8

Often we have heard people say, "I plead the Fifth,"  when they wanted to remain silent about something to preserve innocence.  Lately I have been telling my flesh, "I plead Philippians 2."  Now before you start to think more highly of me than you really should let me try to explain.

This week I have been confronted with some of my selfish, sinful tendencies.  I won't divulge the details (which may be a little confusing), but basically I had been putting myself before others, setting unhealthy expectations and demands without really thinking about their needs before my own.  I prayed and struggled a lot with God about looking to Him first for my needs to be met.  I also realized that I didn't have a Christ-like attitude that considered others better than myself.  I'm not saying that friends cannot be a help, but that they shouldn't be my main source of help, for it is actually God at work through them.  My friends have been a God-send to carry me through all of this pain as God works through His Body. 

To carry me through this struggle, I claimed Philippians 2 over my flesh. It says that we are to have the same mind of Christ and that His mind is actually ours if we are in Christ (see emphasis).  So anytime that I would think thoughts that were selfish and not seeking others' interests over my own, I would confront those thoughts with, "I plead Philippians 2."  I would remember that it is not about me, I'm not the only important one, Christ laid down His life, I can lay down mine too.  This has helped me in my battle this week.  God's Word is truly living and active.  It is a powerful weapon for us to use in our battle against sin.  I thank God for His power at work in my heart.  Even more than "I plead the Fifth," gives you the power to be silent, "I plead Philippians 2" has given me the power to silence sinful thoughts of the flesh.

"For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." Hebrews 4:12

One Month

Today marks one month since I found out we lost the baby.  In the book "Empty Cradle, Broken Heart" I  found that what I experience on certain days makes sense... 

For instance, it was a Monday.  Every Monday has been devastating so far.  I wake up with what seems like a terrible hangover and the day seems like it will not end.  Today I woke up with that same physical feeling.  It is one of those days I'd rather just stay in bed.

I am still hopeful as all of this is taking place.  I know that God is making me who He has created me to be.

" Who is the man who fears the LORD? Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose.  His soul shall abide in well-being, and his offspring shall inherit the land.  The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant.  My eyes are ever toward the LORD, for he will pluck my feet out of the net.  Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged; bring me out of my distresses." Psalm 25: 12-17

Monday, February 22, 2010


We all know the saying, "No Pain, No Gain."  I have always known this to relate to sports and training, but turns out it relates to other areas of life as well.  Everything that I have read or heard in dealing with grief has encouraged me to feel freely what I feel.  Let the hurt come and be resolved.  Just as muscles are sore with intense physical training, the heart is sore with emotional and spiritual  work through grief.  Just as an athlete becomes stronger through and past the pain.  Faith and the heart will be stronger through and past the pain.

I am reading, "Empty Cradle, Broken Heart" by Deborah L. Davis.  It has helped a lot.  It really doesn't make me feel any better (to bad, huh), but it does give me situations and people to identify with.  Also, when I am feeling a certain way, whether it be sad, angry, despair, crazy, I know that it is normal and I try to let the emotion run it's course.

I think one of the biggest things I am learning from the book and from those I've talked with who have experienced miscarriage is that the sadness never goes away.  In all that I've ever gone through, I have always run from the pain and just wanted to feel better.  I am starting to understand to let the pain be what it is. But, I've heard the pain does get smaller, like a small sliver here and there, just as intense, but less frequent.

In addition, I am learning that while grieving it is also okay to be happy.  I don't want to get so down in the dumps that when the happy times come, I deny them.  It is important to experience the lighter times and they are a great relief from the pain when they come.

I'm thankful for the book and other resources, but mostly I'm thankful for my friends. For the ones who have been where I am and have shared the hope they know. And for the ones who have not been in this specific spot, but know pain and share love to support me during this time.

Thanks to those of you who follow all of this.  The burden feels lighter as many of you encourage me through it all. I know that it is tough stuff recently.  In spite of all that I am posting and feeling, I do know there is progress.  It is very encouraging to know that this is all going somewhere.

 I hope that these posts and art can be used in some way to encourage others who are experiencing or have experienced similar suffering.

"For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." 1 Timothy 4:8 

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize." 1 Cor 9:24

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Mixed Bag.

I'm kind of to the point that I am tired of writing about myself and all this stuff.  But here goes.  I've been  a mixed bag lately.  The good point of that is that I have had some very happy times.  The not so good part is that I can go from happy to not happy in a split second time.  Church was great today.  For the first time, I was not overwhelmed and could actually talk to people. All was going well this afternoon.  It was a true blessing.

Then Adam left and a cloud of despair rolled in.  Last Sunday, I had the same feeling.  It is an overwhelming feeling of everything looking impossible and of me not knowing how in the world I will make it through the week.  It is full blown loneliness, sadness, and vulnerability, all with a little "I feel crazy" mixed right in.  That is how I feel as I type this.

Now, I know God's Word.  I KNOW that He is the one that will get me through this week.  SO I do want for my faith to be stronger,  that I will walk in what I know and not in what I feel.  This seems impossible at the moment.  There is such a disconnect between my heart and my mind at times like these.

So I am praying.  In the hardest times of my life Isaiah 40 has always been a source of strength for me.  I love the whole chapter, but here are a few verses:

"27 Why do you say, O Jacob,
and speak, O Israel,
'My way is hidden from the Lord,
and my right is disregarded by my God'?
28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
30 Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint."

Friday, February 19, 2010

The sweetest morning

This morning's wake up was drastically different than most recent days.  For one thing, I actually slept completely through the night (I feel a difference already).  But the best thing about this day is my sweet little guy, Andrew, who is 22 months old.

At about 6:30  I hear a sweet low voice coming from his room, "Mommy," drawn out so it actually sounds like, "Mmooommmmmmmmmyyyyy." This is unlike the usually moans and cries to get out of bed.  When I get him out of his crib he has an ear to ear grin and we lay down together in his bed for a moment.  He asks me to sing, "Sing Jesus."  So I begin to sing "Jesus Love Me."  Only half awake it turns into a hum.  He again asks me to sing.  I made up a song that goes something like this, "I love my buddy boy, he gives me kisses and he gives me hugs, I love my buddy boy."  As I say kisses, he leans over with a big grin and gives me a kiss.  Then he lays back down and says, "Thank you."  My heart just melts.

Thank God for a day that I wake up in joy.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

My Ultrasound experience

I have one image of Baby Ashlynn Haven. The doctor couldn't find the heartbeat on the doppler. "Sometimes, they are stubborn."  He sent the nurse to get the ultrasound machine.  At first I was excited, not only was I going to hear the heartbeat, I was going to SEE my baby.  How lucky.  He had trouble finding it and kept the screen turned from me.  I wanted so bad to get up and look at the screen.  He said, that it looked like I wasn't as far along as anticipated, and left to see if the bigger ultrasound machine was available.  I waited and anticipated seeing my baby for the first time, sorry that Adam was not there to share in the experience.

I went in to the room with the ultrasound tech.  At first she explained every detail of what she was doing.  There was my baby.  Little head, little feet, little hands, still and what looked to be sleeping. She measured it several times from rump to crown, she checked the size of my uterus, the size of my ovaries.  By now she didn't say much.  "There must be something wrong," I thought, "can we just see the baby again?"  She measured one last time.  Then she sent me back to the room to see the doctor.  "All of these images have been sent to Dr. H.  He will be able to go over all of this with you."  Okay, I left.

"WHAT?  all of this?  This doesn't sound good.  This can't be right.  This is ALL WRONG!"  I waited and waited and waited.  "Surely there is some explanation, something that will make it okay.  Surely IT WILL BE OKAY."

But it wasn't.  The doctor gave me the news as lightly as he could.  I was alone and couldn't believe what he was saying.  I couldn't take that news.  No heartbeat.  I never got to hear the heartbeat.  I did get to see my baby early, but it was the only time this side of Home.

At first I thought it was cruel that I had to see a baby I will not get to hold.  But now I am thankful. I'm thankful to have had even a small glimpse to remember of our baby.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

God's Word is amazing

I am amazed at the way God's Word can come so close to my innermost heart and relate perfectly.

Psalm 77
I cry aloud to God,
aloud to God, and he will hear me.
In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord;
in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying;
my soul refuses to be comforted.
When I remember God, I moan;
when I meditate, my spirit faints. Selah
You hold my eyelids open;
I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
I consider the days of old,
the years long ago.
I said, “Let me remember my song in the night;
let me meditate in my heart.”
Then my spirit made a diligent search:
“Will the Lord spurn forever,
and never again be favorable?
Has his steadfast love forever ceased?
Are his promises at an end for all time?
Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he in anger shut up his compassion?” Selah
10 Then I said, “I will appeal to this,
to the years of the right hand of the Most High.” 
11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your wonders of old.
12 I will ponder all your work,
and meditate on your mighty deeds.
13 Your way, O God, is holy.
What god is great like our God?
14 You are the God who works wonders;
you have made known your might among the peoples.
15 You with your arm redeemed your people,
the children of Jacob and Joseph. Selah
16 When the waters saw you, O God,
when the waters saw you, they were afraid;
indeed, the deep trembled.
17 The clouds poured out water;
the skies gave forth thunder;
your arrows flashed on every side.
18 The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind;
your lightnings lighted up the world;
the earth trembled and shook.
19 Your way was through the sea,
your path through the great waters;
yet your footprints were unseen.
20 You led your people like a flock
by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Meaning described

The previous post is a painting I did tonight expressing a lot of emotion from the loss of our baby.  To the best of my ability, I'll explain what it means.  You may want to take a look at it before reading on. There will be some things that I just can't explain and may not have even discovered yet that are expressed in the painting/drawing.  After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Title: Jan. 25, 2010.  I'll never forget this date.  It is the day that I thought I would hear my baby's heartbeat for the first time, but instead discovered that it had no heartbeat.  As much as I will remember my living son's birthday, I'll remember this day as the day I lost my baby.

Orange/red violent looking sky.  Many times I have gazed into the sky for peace and freedom from all that is going on in my life.  The vastness of the sky usually brings great awe and wonder of the mercy and grace of God and of His creative handiwork.  However, when I looked to the sky recently, I was flooded with turmoil and questions.  Instead of peace and freedom, there was anger and lonliness and tension.

Middle ground/ Ocean scape.  Represents the tears that I've cried.  in the picture it is up to my neck, signifying being close to drowning in my tears.

Figure.  Hands over womb.  The bonding I have had with my baby has been mostly of hopes and dreams for the future.  But I also would love to hold my belly and think about how big the baby was. I would read week by week the development and what was new with my baby.  A strong bond was being formed.

Little Heart-  my baby. It is black to represent that there is no life.  My baby has died.

Big Heart.  My heart.  It is half black and half red symbolizing that a part of me has also been lost with the passing of my baby.

Tears, streaming and flooding the ground.  Sadness and pain (a lot)  The puddle on the ground is flowing in little streams to the bigger body of water, signifying that the vast body of water is from the tears that I've cried.

Jan 25 ,2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010

For those suffering loss through miscarriage

Last night a came across a website that had pretty good information. I had a few questions about D&C recovery and conceiving again this site is very informative and helpful.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


The days have been lonely lately. My main source of comfort has been Psalm 25. The whole Psalm is very applicable. A verse that stood out to me for the first time is verse 14, "The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant." another translation translates friendship with secret counsel. The Lord is close. What an encouragement, though I wish it were so much more tangible in that I could see Him and talk to him face to face. How I long for that day!

I still hurt, but it is not as dominant. I still have questions, I think I always will. Even more I still trust and believe in the Lord and His plans for me.

I have to say that I was a bit discouraged by some things I read about dealing with anger towards God. I hope to gather my thoughts and read more to process this and write more later. I write out all of the questions I have and ask them honestly to God. I know that he knows even more than I do what is going on in my heart. Jesus questioned God when He was in his deepest agony. I don't think we should feel shame for cry out to Him, "WHY?". Afterall, He knows and understands and has compassion on those He loves.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A bit of relief

Today was a lighter day, and such a relief. Tomorrow I go to the doctor. I'm nervous and hope that everything is healing and I can conceive again.

Still hurting and sad, but glad to be able to enjoy my son and husband today.

Praying for God to continue to sustain me.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Goodness Grief

I've not been good with dealing with things as they happen in my past. Early on I learned to bottle things up and move on. They eventually come out in crooked ways. I've been to counseling to sort through years of build up deep within.

With all that said, how do I now live? I feel deeply grief and loss of our current situation. Hopefully this will work itself out in a healthy way within me.

I am wondering where the phrase "Goodness Grief" comes from. Surprisingly, I could not find it's origination online. (I thought the world wide web could tell me anything). If you know, please, do tell. I know that there is good that comes out of grief. I don't yet know what that good is right now.

Today was a very rough day. I felt and feel angry and teased by God. I don't know why he made everything look so perfect only to take some of it away. I have so many questions that run through my heart and cry out to Him for healing and help. Ultimately I trust Him, but my heart still asks and longs for answers.

I know this is a step in the process. By that, I am encouraged. I feel a strengthening at work within me, if that makes any sense. May God line my heart up with the rhythm of His.

Psalm 63

A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.

63:1 O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
2 So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
3 Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
4 So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.

5 My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
6 when I remember you upon my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
7 for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
8 My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.

9 But those who seek to destroy my life
shall go down into the depths of the earth;
10 they shall be given over to the power of the sword;
they shall be a portion for jackals.
11 But the king shall rejoice in God;
all who swear by him shall exult,
for the mouths of liars will be stopped.

Trying to turn my focus upward to what is eternal and everlasting.

Location:Psalm 63

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Weaver

I came across this poem in an old Elisabeth Elliot Newsletter about suffering and joy. Corrie Ten Boom often quoted it and quoted it to her in an interview. I think it's worthy of memorizing and may be a new favorite next to "Hast thou no Scar?"

The Weaver
by Grant Colfax Tuller (1869-1950)

My life is but a weaving
Between my Lord and me;
I cannot choose the colors
He worketh steadily.
Oft' times He weaveth sorrow;
And I, in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper,
And I the underside.
Not 'til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Will God unroll the canvas
And reveal the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver's skillful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.
He knows, He loves, He cares;
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives the very best to those
Who choose to walk with Him.

Dream of Home

This post may be short. I'm thinking of it as kind of an ice breaker after an unspeakable week. I don't have anything profound or great to say, but just need to say something, so that I can continue to post about how the Lord is at work in my life.

Last Monday we found out that we lost the baby I was carrying and had to have a DNC. We were and continue to be heartbroken. I believe our God is a God of the covenant and that the life he began in my womb, he now holds in his hands. I trust our baby lives in a love that is far greater than mine and I long for the day I will meet him/her.

The night before we found out, I was looking at baby names and a few stuck out to me that had never done so before. One of them was Ashlynn. I didn't really like the meaning at the time so I moved on from it. However now I think it is fitting. We have decided to send our little one home with the name Ashlynn Haven which means "Dream or Vision" and "Safe Place or Sanctuary". He/she causes me to dream of heaven with a deeper longing for God's love in all it's fullness.
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