This past weekend God's grace was so clearly given to me. Erik and I packed the kids, the stuff, and ourselves into the van and headed up to Washington to spend the weekend with our good friends Doug and Paula, and little baby Parker, who is now a happy, healthy four month old girl. (Many of you prayed for Paula during her difficult pregnancy, when we weren't sure Parker was going to make it into this world.) Paula and I have known each other since our high school days and shared many things over the years. This last year brought us even closer as we were both pregnant and happily comparing notes on morning sickness and due dates. Then in the late summer she nearly lost her baby and spent the rest of her pregnancy on bedrest, praying for a miracle. In September, and again in January, Erik and I went through the pain and loss of miscarriage. When I was weak and unable to be up and around, we talked on the phone nearly every day, praying, crying, laughing, sharing one another's burdens. We joked that if only we weren't two hours apart we could be lying around together.
As the months went by things looked more hopeful for Paula, and the weekend of her baby shower God helped me get through it with nothing but joy for her. In January, just a week after we knew we had lost another baby, little Parker was born, and again God helped me as I went to visit and hold this little miracle, only days old. As this weekend approached I wondered how it would be; sometimes seeing a pregnant woman in the grocery store is enough to cause me to run out to my van in tears. Seeing other Moms with new babies in church causes the sadness of loss to well up within me more often than not.
But God's grace was abundant. Throughout the weekend I experienced His peace in my heart, and was full of joy for the beautiful gift He's given to Doug and Paula. I was able to hold little Parker, play with her, and snuggle her without pain for the loss of our own little ones. I was able to look at her and think of my babies, one who would be two months old now, and not be overwhelmed by grief. Of course there was sadness; I wonder what she would be like and would love to hold her in my arms. But I know she is held in arms much stronger and more loving than mine, and I feel genuine peace. I know the journey of grief and healing is not yet over, but I'm so thankful that God is with me, upholding me with His love. I give Him glory for carrying me through this difficult season, and I trust that He will carry me still.