I just got back from running errands and came home to package up some Christmas presents I have yet to send (*gulp*), but my laptop just beckoned me to sit down and write a little more. I want to update on how we're doing, and what we're doing...
So I love to cross country ski. My parents taught me how to downhill and cross country ski when I was pretty little. I really, really started to appreciate cross country skiing when I got older, because it is A) an amazing workout, and B) an excellent winter form of hiking, which I love to do. Enter my California husband, who loves to do things along with me. :) So this past year, I bought some new skis on clearance downtown, and we finished up his set a couple weeks ago. He's only been out twice (once last year with me and my parents, where he did amazingly well for a first-timer), and then the day we bought the rest of his stuff, we took a turn about the neighborhood. Again, he catches on alarmingly quickly!!
On New Year's Day we took our skis to the beach. I love to ski at the beach...it is an alien moonscape in the winter, and I'm amazed at the fact that within six months time, a place that was teeming with people and kids and volleyballs and umbrellas and campfire smoke is now silent, save for the waves crashing against the ice that's building on the shore. It's spooky and beautiful.
For Christmas, Matt bought me a black pearl necklace. Now, I have always wanted a black pearl necklace...at least since I lived in the Bay Area and saw black pearls on Pier 39. But they cost a bajillion dollars there, where they had just been hauled up out of the ocean. Alas, then, for the past few years I have been pining away after elusive black pearls.
Enter a jewelry party I attended a couple months ago for Women At Risk, International. WAR sells jewelry that is made by women all over the world who live in at-risk situations. By making and selling jewelry, they are able to support themselves and stay out of the sex trafficking "industry" (did you know that there is WAAAAAAY more slavery in the world today than there was in the times that we envision when we think of slavery???). Anyway, going to these parties is amazing because you learn about these situations and are able to support these women by buying their stunning jewelry...and the pearl jewelry (which is all real) is appraised for much higher than the cost at which they sell it.
Anyway, I saw this pearl necklace that you can double or triple loop. I didn't buy it at the time, but long story short, Matt ordered it for me when I started to miscarry. He thought it would be something special for me to have, and I love it love it love it!
(You can kinda see my necklace here. I feel very lovely when I wear it!)
Finally, on New Year's Eve I hadn't planned on us doing anything, but when Matt came home he said he was taking me to the Piper...our FAVORITE restaurant. It's near the beach by the marina and is a very eclectic atmosphere with amazing food...and a g-free menu. So we toasted the New Year with some Asti (sp??) and my favorite dish (Michelle Bales, if you're reading this, you know exactly what that is)! Then we watched Anne of Green Gables.
Anyway, we're doing pretty well. It felt good to turn a new year over and anticipate the promise that a new year holds. I miss our Glory Baby immensely. I would be...ummmm...12 weeks this weekend? The tears still come at random times (like when my mom and I went to Younker's to make a return and they had signs up all over the door advertising their new maternity department). I had to get a note from my doctor to excuse me from work the Monday after Christmas (when I had actually started to fully miscarry)...and it didn't even occur to me until after I entered the office that the last time I was there was, oh, the worst day of my life. And to make matters worse, a young woman in the waiting room was complaining to someone else that she was disappointed that she's having a boy because she was hoping for a girl. I truly wanted to kick her in the face. I just grabbed my note, ran back out to my car, and sobbed. I love seeing my pregnant friends, but sometimes in the store when I see someone who is pregnant it's a visceral reaction to just turn away without thinking about it. I don't even have to think about it; I just do it. I hope that passes. I don't want all these pregnant ladies thinking I hate them or something.
I have a soapbox. There are some things that people say all the time that drive me wild. They think they're quoting something really profound and scriptural and they're not. The one that drives me the most wild is "God never gives us more than we can handle." Um, yeah NO. He sometimes...often...give us way more than we can handle - and that's where He steps in and scoops us up and proves He is sufficient for ALL of our needs. If I could handle this by myself, I would only be glorifying myself. And that's just not cool with God. It's not ABOUT me. He WILL be glorified. Sometimes that means He'll bless us and hopefully we'll give the credit right back to Him. And sometimes that means He'll strip everything away, until we have NO choice but to lift our faces out of the mud and look straight past ourselves and up to Him. This miscarriage was way more than I could handle...and way more than our marriage could have handled apart from Him. But He picked me up and carried me - both of us - through the valley. He gives and He takes away and while I wonder why, I don't even desire to ask that question...because I know that in this instance, He saw fit to glorify Himself through loss. Several people have remarked that I've handled this remarkably well...and I need to clarify that I really haven't when it's the moments where I've attempted to handle it on my own. I've said angry, biting things, I've wanted to kick people's faces in (as I so lovingly mentioned above!), I've fought with my husband, I've made no sense. So if it seems like I've handled it really well, it's no thanks to me, but thanks to the Lord who sustains me and holds me together.
So if you're going through something that just feels like it's more than you can bear...you're right: it IS more than you can bear. We are these teeny little people in an enormous universe that is held in the palm of an unfathomable God...and He loves us so intensely that He rushes to our side before we even know we need it, and He lets the weight of the world crush us if that's what's required for us to cry out and acknowledge our need.
He is so good. Blessed be the name of the Lord.