This is the final guest post by my friend.  If you're just joining us, you'll probably want to read Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Intermission One, Intermission Two, Part Five and Guest Post One before starting in on this post.  Otherwise, you'll be hopelessly confused.  :-)  Whew!  That was a lot to type out and link to!

And now, here is her post.

The Bible verse that started my thoughts on a new path was Luke 11:11, where a child asks for bread, and the father gives him the good thing that he asked for instead of a rock.  My dad once gave me a rock for Christmas, possibly to teach me something about the nature of God but most likely just to see the look of confusion on my face until he showed me the real gift.  My miscarriage after a pregnancy that I wasn't necessarily trying for seemed kind of like God saying, "You didn't ask for this bread, but here it is," only to come back before I'd even had a chance to enjoy the warm aroma and replace it with a rock.

But, I know that's not what God is really like, so there must be some other explanation.

What's in this box? I hope it's not a rock. Hmm, it looks kind of like dirt.  Smell it?

Credit To: shanegenziuk Creative Commons

It's coffee!

Have I been mistaking coffee for dirt all this time?

When I want to talk about stuff like this, I turn to Missy.  I love Missy.  She and I can be blunt with each other in a way most people aren’t.  In our Skype conversation, she proposed the idea that God had been giving me opportunities, and I’d been wasting them.  Did I mention that I love Missy?  Though at the time I was not ready to hear her words, they were just what I needed to hear.   So, prompted by the words of Missy and of Linda (the author of a blog post I linked in my previous post), I began to consider what I’d been doing with God’s gifts.

I realized that He has been offering me good gifts. Some I’ve accepted but not appreciated, and others I’ve been letting slip away, either through fear or neglect.

First of all, it is entirely unfair of me to act like I’m not thankful for my marriage.   (Re-reading the last line of my initial letter, I cringe.)   My husband and I don’t have a perfect relationship, but we are there for each other, and we enjoy the vast majority of time we spend together.   We’ve worked on it little by little over the years, but I could still try harder.

As for the other things I lost, it’s not God’s fault that I have neglected my exercise plan for the winter, and He has certainly provided us with a loving church.  It’s my own fear that has kept me from forming close friendships with more of the Christian women around me.  The hardest thing for me to face has been the changes in our lives since I started working from home.  I was not honest with myself about how many opportunities I’ve blatantly wasted.   Some were half-hearted attempts that predictably failed because I didn’t try hard enough.   I rejected others out of hand as too hard or too scary.  So let's count those "losses" as even and focus on the gifts that have come as a direct result of my second miscarriage.

I'm doing what I've always dreamed of doing but never thought I would.  Surprise!  So, why did I mistake this coffee for dirt?  Well, two reasons.  One is that my dream job does not pay very well at the entry level.  And secondly, I have ended up working from home in a branch of my chosen field very far away from my original roots.  But I’m learning my new business better every day, and what’s more, I think it could become my most amazing ministry opportunity yet.

Maybe, if I had been a new mother struggling to bring in a little extra money while dealing with a baby, I would have come to this same career somehow, but timing is everything, and the Lord’s timing is perfect.   I am thankful that I’ve had time to learn the ropes of my new career, and I think that I’ll be able to keep it up even with a baby someday.

Another gift I’ve gained is empathy. I have never stopped believing the principle in Second Corinthians 1:4 that God comforts us so that we may comfort others, but I have wondered several times why experiencing only one miscarriage couldn't have been enough for me to learn this.  The answer, of course, is that God’s timing is perfect and never more or less than we need.  If I were writing my life’s story as fiction, the idea that a longstanding friendship between two women would be tested and strengthened by the shared experience of a fibroid would seem a little contrived and not good drama.  It is, however, the truth, and only one example of how I’ve been able to reach out to someone else with more empathy than otherwise possible.

The final gift (Yes, I’m giving you your blog back soon, Missy) is a greater desire to know the Lord. Through all of this reliving of memories, anger, and tears, I have talked to God in a way that I haven’t in a long time. For the first time in years, my Bible is where I’m turning for real answers and not just that book I read because I’m supposed to.

Over the last week, Missy and I have discussed several deep topics as we tried to uncover the secret of what constitutes a good gift.  In between crying out to God, we’ve been theologians.  Carolyn Custis James says, “We are all theologians,” and she especially encourages women to sit at the feet of Jesus.  When I think that my Father allowed me to go through this to draw me closer to Him, it feels a lot more like a gift.

I still haven’t decided I’m ready to try pregnancy again. Just thinking about it makes my whole body clench up with fear. But, I am ready to pray about it (as opposed to before when my answer was NO WAY), and I’m ready to talk about it with the one person I should have been talking to all along: my husband.

I don't know if I'll ever be a mom (let's save the adoption debate for later).  But, through this, I have determined that if we decide to "give up," it will be a decision made -- not out of bitterness or fear -- but out of faith that that decision is God's plan for our family.

Part Six
2 Responses
  1. Suanna Says:

    Thank you for sharing these gifts that God has given you through your experience.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    I am the mother of 19 children, 14 in heaven waiting for me. I've experienced many years of sorrow. Years ago my father sent me a music box with this poem. It helps remind me that the Master Creator sees everything and knows what is best.

    written by B.M. Franklin

    My life is just a weaving
    Between my Lord and me.
    I cannot choose the colors
    He weaves so skillfully.

    Sometimes 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 explain the reasons why-

    The dark threads are as needful,
    In The Weaver’s skillful hands
    As the threads of gold and silver
    In the pattern He has planned.

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