Wow, I feel like so much has happened since I last wrote. Since we began this blog back in August, I have never taken such a long break from writing, but it has certainly not been due to a lack of anything going on in our lives. Quite the contrary, so much has happened I have not found free moments to stop and put down in words what is in my heart. Usually at night as I lie in bed, when my mind reflects back on everything that has happened, I think of all the things that I want to share and I attempt to store them away in some corner for safe keeping until I find a chance to revisit those thoughts and put them into words. But over the past few days as I've considered the many things I would like to write about, a question presented itself and began nagging at the corner of my mind. The more I put off writing, the more the question nudged itself to the forefront of my thoughts and discouraged me from actually sitting down to begin typing away on my little macbook. The question I was faced with was this: Why would people, especially those who don't even know me, want to continue reading my thoughts? After all, the namesake of this blog is gone. There was a purpose and a reason for writing as long as she was with me, but what about now?
I've turned this over and over in my head over the past few days, trying to understand why people continue to visit this little corner of the internet. I'm overwhelmingly grateful for the love and support we have been shown by the people who have become a part of our lives by traveling this journey with us, but now that it's over, I find myself considering "what do I have to offer that anyone else would want or need?" I don't know if I have a complete answer to that question quite yet, but maybe I have the beginnings of an answer.
In all likelihood, the vast majority of people who have come here to read over the past months will never lose a baby to Trisomy 18 or any other fatal condition. In fact, most will never even experience the loss of a child at any age. Yet over and over again, people have written and expressed that what we have gone through has meant something to them. At first this surprised me, but the more I thought it over, the more I realized how much that concept made sense after all. Why? Because there is something universal in suffering. No matter how vastly varied the details of two people's difficult circumstances might be, there are always going to be aspects of universality in the experiences. For example, if we are honest, we will have to admit that we don't understand God. Who has not cried out "Why, God?!" when faced with the unavoidable reality of suffering in this world? Who has not experienced the excruciating pain that comes with being seemingly at the mercy of suffering without any power to alleviate it?
It is this common bond that must play a role in drawing us together, even when the hardships we endure share very few similarities. This is why the magnificent stories of the Old Testament are more than just beautiful pieces of literature. They are alive and powerful in their ability to change lives, to speak to hearts, to unveil some aspect of God's love, justice, power, and wisdom even though thousands of years and hundreds of cultures separate us from those people who lived so long ago. In God's unfathomable wisdom, He knew that the stories He penned through the hands of His servants like Moses, David, Samuel and others would have life changing power for people in every generation throughout history. His faithfulness to Noah, Abraham, and Joseph has molded, encouraged and strengthened my own faith and helped me to face Poppy's sickness with more of an eternal perspective. The great thing about the people in the Bible is that as I read, I can see the big picture. I can see how God orchestrated the events of different people's lives in order to achieve His plan and purpose. I can see that even what couldn't have made sense to the individuals at the time, makes perfect sense in the light of God's overarching design.
So, what do I have to offer to anyone who stops by to read? Only this: the story of God's faithfulness to me. Even though Poppy is gone, that story will never end. I don't fully understand it, but I am so humbled that God could use what He has shown me to help somebody else regardless of shared circumstances. It thrills me to know that the journey God has brought us through might play some small part in a journey someone else is walking, about to walk, or has already walked. When I stop and think about it, all I can say is "wow." God's plan is bigger than me. End of story. I'm never going to fully "get it" but each new little part I see just makes me love Him more. Will I keep writing? I guess the answer to that is, for now, yes. I have no idea what the future holds or how long I feel adding to this site will be what I need to be doing. But today, the answer is that I still want to write. I still need to share the story as it continues to unfold of how God used and will keep using the little baby He gave us.
All of that to say, over the past 10 days since I last wrote, my experiences have been full. Christmas brought with it the usual busyness, but it also brought a greater awareness of what is truly important than I have ever experienced before in my life. I still don't know if I could ever actually choose to go through what we did, but I do know that I wouldn't trade the things that came along with it for anything in the world. I wouldn't go back to the comparatively care-free way of living I had just one short year ago because if I did, what I would be giving up would be so much more valuable than what I would gain.
In closing, I want to share a few verses from Romans 11 that have meant so much to me. This passage says "Oh, the depth of the riches both of wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen."