Sunday, July 19, 2009

A funny story...

I just have to share this story. It was pretty funny and fairly painful at the same time. Plus, we all need a laugh every now and then, right?

So there we were... sitting around our house doing absolutely nothing. Boring. Jacob has this obsession with climbing all the 14'ers in the state of CO in the next 5 years or so. He's been researching every website, previous climbers, routes, equipment, etc. It has been fun to watch, but it gets old after awhile. Especially since I am not so inclined to climb 59 mountains that are at least 14,000 feet in elevation. Whew!

I whine to him about getting out of the house as it's nearly 7 p.m. and the only rooms we've been in are his office and our room where I took a nap at one point because I was so bored. Not to mention our puppy, Tank, had been sleeping on and off all day long. We went to church this morning and that was the extent of our activities for the day.

I was hoping we could go for a walk or something but Jake had a better idea. "Let's ride our bikes to Wal-Mart!" I looked at him quizzically and ask, "What's at Wal-Mart?" He explains that he needs a new bike tube for his mountain bike and we need the exercise.

Wal-Mart is only 3 miles away, with a little hill in between. A quick little jaunt for a bike ride at 7 p.m. sounded fine to me. I walk out to the garage to get going when I notice that the sky is darkening with some rain clouds. "You know, we might get rained on," I mention to Jake as we get on our bikes. "No we won't, because we'll just come home if it rains." I'm not wanting to squelch his idea so I hop on my bike. Jake likes for me to get ahead of him sometimes so that he can catch up with Tank running close behind him. I start riding and the wind feels nice as I pedal along the sidewalks. I keep glancing over my shoulder to see where Jake and Tank are. I finally stop by a red fire hydrant, just at the top of the hill on Baseline Rd. I see them coming around the corner so I hop back on and continue riding.

We ride close by for a few more minutes. I felt a few rain drops but nothing major, so I just figured we would make it to the store and if it did rain we could wait it out there. As the wind picks up Jake yells, "Let's go back! I think it's going to rain." I see some lightning not far away and think that he has a good idea.

Not ten seconds after turning our bikes around, the sky opens up and the rain begins to pelt us. Literally. In my mind I'm thinking, Hmmm, maybe we should have kept going to the store and waited there. Or to our friends house, Kim and Greg, but they have company over so we should just go home.

I love rain storms. Sitting in my nice, warm, living room, curled up with a book or something. They are nice to watch from the comfort of your home as you listen to them pound against your roof.

I do not love rain storms when I am out in them. Riding our bikes INTO the storm was torture! Tank was still running faithfully behind me and I kept throwing praise over my shoulder as we rode. "Great job Tank! Come on buddy!!" I can hear Jake ahead of me yelling at the rain. I am yelling too.

The rain drops feel like hail driving into my skin at 100 miles an hour. I'm pretty sure I even saw some hail at one point. Jake said it felt like someone was throwing marbles at his face. I knew the same, stinging feeling. It was so painful to look ahead to where you were going. Rain was driving down at an angle right into our faces. I decided to keep my head down and watch the sidewalk that way. I would glance up every 30 seconds or so to make sure I wasn't going to plow headlong into a tree or someone.

We almost sought shelter in this little tunnel that's part of the golf course nearby, but I realized how close we were to home so I yelled at Jake to push on. "Let's just get home!!" He yelled back, "You're a crazy woman! But ok!"

We continued riding on, the rain lessening as we passed through the shelter of a few trees. I was thankful for the fact that we were riding downhill this time, making the painful pelts of rain go by much faster. I found myself laughing out loud the rest of the way home, certain that the cars driving by were having a good laugh at these idiots who chose to bike in the rain.

Until we rode our bikes into our garage, the rain continued thrashing at us like an angry man down on his luck after a poker game. I was laughing and Jake wondered what I had to laugh about. We looked at each other, realizing how sopping wet we were. I had dirt on the back of my tank top from the bike kicking it up. We could both feel water soaking our toes. Our shirts were dripping wet and my legs were red from the rain drops that had pounded them for nearly ten minutes.

After being home for all of two minutes, we look outside and realize that the rainstorm is nearly over and blue skies can be seen in the distance. Ahh, too bad we couldn't have watched it from the comfort of our home. But that would have been boring and this was too much fun.

Friday, July 10, 2009

He Provides

Today the Lord provided for me in a very unique way. I would have never asked for this sort of provision, but am thankful for how God is using my pain to give Him glory.

I got a call from a friend’s husband who asked me to come to the hospital to be with his wife. They had just miscarried their baby. I was one of few friends who were called. I dropped what I was doing and drove to the hospital to be with them, thankful that I had nothing going on. Hugging her husband as I entered the room I could tell that there were tears springing into his eyes. I sat with my friend as we talked and shared hearts. We had been pregnant together for our first pregnancies. Now we were sharing the pain of losing babies we barely knew, but had prayed for and dreamed over.

I took her home, her hands holding a soft blond teddy bear, a gift from the hospital. She mentioned as we left that she had now done both: left with a baby and left without a baby. I knew the pain she felt. It was just 2 months before that I was in her same place, clutching a bear and feeling the pain of an empty womb.

I see this as an open door from the Lord. A provision for me in my current state of feeling a deep sense of loss and no purpose to call my own. I would never ask to share this unique heartache and pain with a close friend, but am incredibly humbled and honored to have been called to the front of the battlefield. I have offered to help her with her son and the work she has to complete that seems overwhelming. I told her that I had nothing pushing me forward and that I would love to help her. Thankfully she accepted my offer gladly and I start working with her next Wednesday.

I see this as an opportunity to share pain, talk openly and honestly, be authentic, and share tears mixed with laughter. I pray that I am encouraging and helpful, a cool drink of water in a very dry time.

So I give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. He has given me a purpose in my pain.

Thank you, Jesus.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Good grief!

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted here. Jake and I spent the last 2 weeks on the road visiting Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and Utah. We really enjoyed our trip and had great conversation and lots of laughs. We even got to meet up with Jake’s brother, Ozzie and his wife, Johanna for part of the trip. We met them in Utah, at Zion National Park and really had a good time hiking, eating at Oscar’s, chatting in our tent till midnight, and seeing some great parts of our country together. It was a really fun time to go on a trip with another couple, especially one in our family!

I have so much I want to write about but am afraid it won’t make sense if I just unload here so I’ll have to write a piece at a time.

Recently, Jake and I have had the opportunity to adopt a baby boy who will be born in the next few weeks. We prayed and prayed and sought advice and prayed some more. The idea of having a child in our home by August was incredibly appealing, to say the least. But we just weren’t quite feeling 100% about it either. Last night we decided to let this adoption opportunity go to someone else.

I knew that it would be a good decision either way. If this is not our baby then we would let it go and somehow we’d see how that decision was a wise one. If this was our baby we would see the good in it and enjoy every moment. Unfortunately for me, after making this decision I experienced feelings of deep depression. I felt worthless, aimless, a waste of space, and without a purpose in my life. I don’t have a job or skill that keeps me motivated and I am not pregnant, counting down the weeks. Late last night I really heard some lies from the enemy about my worth and I let them enter into my heart for a time. Then I realized that none of those things were true. I asked the Lord to help me focus on truths rather than lies. And it helped.

Did my sorrow and sadness end there? No. Did I bounce back and think, “Wow, I sure am content not having any babies in my life! Thanks God!” Absolutely not. This was no quick fix. No easy solution or magic wand that could take away my pain and sorrow. It was all still there and I felt immense pain and anger at our current state. Why was God withholding the desire of our hearts to have children in our lives? I have no idea. I can only guess that it is for the refinement of our hearts that He is waiting. Sometimes I wish He wouldn’t be so mysterious.

Waiting is difficult. We wait every day for things all the time. I wait for the water to boil or for the light to turn green. I wait for Jake to come for dinner or my computer to start up. Those things aren’t hard to wait for because I can easily tell when the waiting will be over. I know when the light will turn green because I see the other cars stopping to begin their wait. I know Jake is coming for dinner because I hear him running down the stairs. The hardest things to wait for are the things that we can’t see any progress in. I can’t tell if we are any closer to having a child in our lives. Even if we become pregnant again, we will still have to wait 9 long months to meet that child. And that’s assuming we have a baby that is healthy, like so many others have every day.

It’s pretty excruciating for me to wait right now. I feel the huge void in my heart that only God can fill with a child. I carry it with me every day. On some days I don’t notice it while other days it seems to be shouting in my ears, taunting me. In the midst of my sorrow and sadness, I find it empowering to say:

I am worthy.
I am a child of the most High God.
I am beautiful.
I am lovely.
I am filled with the purpose of loving God and making Him known.
I am a Princess to The King.
I am dearly loved.
I am worthy.