Sunday, June 8, 2008

In the Meantime

It has been a while since Spencer and I have received any real news about our little man. Granted, it was wonderful to hear at the echocardiogram that his heart has 4 chambers. Sometimes the waiting, though, is just so hard. We're approaching our next prenatal appointment this Tuesday, and those are usually uneventful... a heartbeat check and then lots of dialogue with my OB. A week from Tuesday is our big day at Children's Hospital, a day where I hope we have a better picture of what's going on with our little guy, and hope even more that the picture and prognosis are better than anyone would have ever hoped or dreamed.

What has been hard lately is knowing how to live life well in the meantime. There are days where that's a breeze, and other days where I find myself in situations just not feeling like myself. Work has been like that lately. I haven't told my students that I am pregnant, even though it has become quite obvious and I am pretty sure they've figured it out (middle schoolers love to talk, ya know!). That has been weird. This past Friday evening I was back at my home church for a Sara Groves and Derek Webb concert to benefit Blood:Water Mission (if you've never heard of it... check it out at http://www.bloodwatermission.com/!). I ran into some of my sister's friends and some of my old friends from growing up, all of whom were congratulating me on my pregnancy and asking all of the "normal" questions.... Is it a boy or a girl? When is he due? Do you have ideas for a nursery yet? Any names picked out?

I wanted to say, "But wait... you don't understand... it's not like that... this isn't good... we don't know what's going to happen." But I didn't. Because it is good... it's not the way it's supposed to be, but God is soverign, He is allowing it, and He is always good. So it's good.

I have had a paradigm shift lately in my understanding of what "good" means. I always used to think of it as something favorable. This circumstance certainly isn't favorable... it's not the way I would plan it or have wanted it to be.

So I looked up the word "good" on dictionary.com, and do you know what the first definition said? " 1. morally excellent; virtuous; righteous." I had never really thought of those words first when I thought of "good." All the time you hear people say that God is good... doesn't this definition just fit? And if He is good, then this trial... this valley that He is walking us through is also good because somehow it is shaping us into people who are more like Him.

Living life well in the meantime has been on the forefront of my mind for a while now. It's easy to let your circumstances get you down and to pull you into this viscious cycle of self-pity and pessimism. And there are days where the sadness and grief are real, and for good reason. I've been learning that living life well in the meantime means giving yourself the grace to have those moments, but then having the courage and the strength to choose joy in the midst of hardship... just like Paul when he is imprisoned talking about his hardships and then proclaiming that his joy knows no bounds.

Living life well in the meantime also means allowing yourself to be vulnerable. I have always been drawn to the story of Abraham and Isaac because I have always been astounded by Abraham's faith and God's provision. Lately, I have felt like Abraham because of his call to be willing to place Isaac on the altar and to let God do what He is going to do. That type of surrender is heart-wrenching, I think in part due to the amount of vulnerability that it requires.

So I am still learning what it means to live life well in the meantime, but so far God has been gracious in allowing me to find joy in the midst of hardship and has brought me to a place of unprecedented reliance on Him.

Would you please pray with us for our upcoming appointments? Particularly for our day at Children's Hospital, that we would receive more information, that Spencer and I would be able to maintain hearts of peace regardless of what we hear, but most of all, that the baby's heart, lungs, brain, limbs, size would all be perfect?

3 comments:

Lauren said...

Hi!

Just stopping by and wanted to say 2 things...

1. How is your friend Kristin and her little one?

2. Something that always helped me was what one of my friends told me during my first miscarriage (which was over a week of bleeding and supposedly the baby was fine - per ultrasounds - followed by delivery at home). Anyway... I started getting so disheartened during the "waiting" time and my friend who also lost a baby at 19 weeks told me that God taught her to treat the baby like it is alive for as long as it is. At first I was like... yea... easier said than done. But, then I realized that it was the Lord's heart because we all know how he feels about LIFE. Eventhough I still struggled through that and the following pregnancy experiences including NORRAH... it was a good reminder that this baby deserves a positive, happy, excited mama who makes plans and shares the joy of being entrusted with a life. That is what I thought of while reading your post! You are doing so wonderfully and God is really using you and shaping you. I want to say I LOVE YOU! Eventhough we never met! HA HA!

OK - bye.

amrisser said...

Stacy,
We are still praying!! I am also praying for you to have peace and faith, and to take each day as it comes. No words can make your grief subside, however at one point when things were really looking bad with our little guy, my mid-wife told me " You have to treat this baby/pregnancy just as you would otherwise" Do fun things,baby things, and try to stay positive" Easier said than done?! Yes, but she is/was right. You are mourning the loss of a "normal" pregnancy, and I am praying with all my heart that you will find peace from that grief, and keep staying strong in God's faithful plan he has for you and your little man!! keep us posted on all your visits, and remember we are praying for you :)

julie said...

You are such an inspiration. I love that you are feeling your precious baby. I know you have an appt today. I can't wait to hear how it goes. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. xoxo Julie (mrs.ross)