Saturday, May 16, 2015

FMF: Following Jesus

Joining Kate  for another Five Minute Friday


As a child, I used to read the verse, "take up your cross and follow me," and I never really understood what it meant. I used to think it was very strange. As I grew I started to understand it a bit better, as I had to bear things like ridicule from non-Christian friends, and being left out of things that happened on Sunday mornings because my family went to church every Sunday without fail unless you were home sick in bed.

Now in my adult life, I am learning a whole new meaning to the phrase, "take up your cross and follow me."

I am learning that every single one of us has a cross to bear. We were given it at conception in our mothers' wombs along with the sin-nature that was handed down from Adam. We all have to bear that symbol of death and destruction due to sin.

We don't have a choice what our particular cross looks like. For me, it partly looks like saying good-bye to my precious babies. For my cousin it partly looks like raising four preschoolers one of which has special needs including a feeding tube. For my college roommate and dear friend it partly looks like losing her father as a teenager.  For a dear friend and colleague this week it partly looks like holding her mother's hand in the hospital not knowing if she will ever come home on earth or if it is her time to go home to heaven.

We do not have a choice whether or not we will bear a cross, and we do not have a choice what our particular cross might look like each day, but we do have a choice of what to do with our cross. Some choose to buckle under the weight of carrying our crosses ourselves, barely inching along life's road weighed down, tired, and discouraged. Others choose to try to ignore their crosses, paint them up fancy and disguise them to look like something else. Some might just plunk their cross down in the dirt and refuse to go on.

Me, I have chosen to daily pick up my ugly, heavy, pock-marked cross, and follow Jesus. I follow Him because He bears my cross alongside me, shouldering the heavy load. I follow Him because He doesn't disguise it or ignore it, but rather promises to one day exchange it for a crown of glory. I follow Him because He gives me strength to put one foot in front of the other, even when I cannot see where the road I am walking goes up ahead, and I am surrounded by darkness.

And one day when I get that crown of glory, I will lay it down again at His feet and I will be able to say with that great hymn, "All the way, my savior led me!"

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Happy Bereaved Mothers Day!

A day that I never knew existed until last year is here - Bereaved Mothers Day. You learn a lot when you lose a child. 

And I know some people would question my blog post title, because how can anyone ever put the words happy and bereaved in the same sentence? And yet, even as a bereaved mother, I have a lot to be happy about.

I am happy that I had the opportunity to carry my babies in my womb even if only for a short time.

I am happy that I have a sweet sunshine daughter June Bug who loves and remembers her baby sisters Mikayla and Selah.

I am happy each time I remember Mikayla's kicks, that hot chocolate always made her dance, and I am happy I got to see her face even though it was only a brief moment. Though all these memories are mingled with sadness, there is happiness there, too. 

I am happy that Selah passed peacefully and at home instead of in a cold hospital bed with drama and needles and doctors and nurses. I am happy I had the time to truly say good-bye. Again, I wish the ending could have been different, but if she had to go away so soon, I am glad it happened the way it did.

I am happy that I have a rainbow on the way who will not in any way replace Mikayla or Selah, or make me love or miss them any less, but who will enrich our lives and bring joy to our family.

I am happy that I have a loving heavenly father who knows and understands the pain in my heart and offers His comfort and peace.

I am happy that the same heavenly father is holding and loving my precious babies for me until the day I get to see them again. 

I am happy that through the wonders of the internet I have learned and found other beautiful and courageous mothers who are walking this most difficult of roads alongside me. I am happy we have each other for support and encouragement, and the healing power of a simple, "Me, too!"

So yes, I wish each and every mother who has ever had to say good-bye too soon to her precious child a very Happy (though probably bitter-sweet like so much of life) Bereaved Mother's Day.