Tuesday, June 16, 2009

from vision to reality

I'm re-posting something that I wrote in April of 2008. Go ahead and read it, and I'll tell you why I think this is pretty downright amazing.

Children of Promise

I recently started running again, and I was quickly reminded that it is a form of exercise I like in theory more than reality. It's a love/hate relationship because I truly do like it when I'm good at it, but right now, being a year out of practice, I stink. I'm trying to push through, and I've set a goal to work my way back up to a 5K hopefully by next month.

I think one of the reasons I'm struggling right now is the boredom factor. I run outside with no iPod or music entertainment of any sort, making it incredibly easy to focus on the shortness of breath and pain in my side rather than anything positive. But the other day something broke through the tedium. It wasn't a vision, but it was something I envisioned as clearly as if I was seeing a photograph in front of me. It was like all of the sudden I had this image of babies and children outside on a blanket, bunched together for a photo shoot. They didn't look at all alike, but every one of them was smiling. As the picture floated in my head, I felt God telling me, "These are the children of promise."

I remember years ago on the first anniversary of September 11th seeing a magazine with a front cover spread of the babies who had been born after that date. I remember thinking they were a dual symbol of grief and hope. They were reminders of so much that was lost, yet they were also beautiful pictures of life after the tragedy. "I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." Psalm 27:13

This is the closest thing I can think of to compare what I saw. The picture in my mind had so many kids, and one of them was mine—the baby we haven't yet adopted, but who we know God has already chosen for us. The others were the children of my friends who walked this road with me. The kids didn't know it, but what they all shared in common was the fact that they all had a brother or sister in heaven who they would never know. They had no idea how special they were; they had no idea that they were the children of God's promise.

I doubt that photograph will ever be taken physically, but I feel the truth of the image is certain. I don't know when or how, but I believe that God will provide for each of us, in His perfect way, and in His flawless timing. That does not mean the road will be all sunshine from this moment on. God hasn't promised that. But He has promised in Psalm 30:5 that "Weeping may last for the night, but 
a shout of joy comes in the morning." I've already experienced this shout of joy in many ways, but I don't think it is complete. God has put on my heart the desire for another child, and I believe He wants to fulfill this in my life. I'm looking forward to seeing His promise play out, one beautiful child at a time.
***********
That picture I envisioned one spring day last April, has become a reality. Yvette, Christy, Kim, Kenzie, Chrissy, Karen, Emily, and I, the members of the Atlanta Eight, all have our children of promise. Seven of us have those babies in our arms, and in just a few months, Karen will as well. This has been one front row seat I wouldn't have traded for the world, as I've gotten to see how God has worked in our lives individually and as a whole, bringing healing and new life in His perfect timing.
And now it seems like something is brewing—something as you can tell from the old post that I never expected to happen. It looks like we just might get that chance to come together again, all of our babies with us, and take that picture I saw in my head last April. The details are not all in place, but I feel in my heart that it is going to happen. These babies did not heal our hearts—only God could do that—yet they are symbolic of God's love, His grace, and His provision.
I want to leave you with this. It is a clip from a Beth Moore conference that Chrissy was able to attend last weekend, and to me it is simply God's sweet confirmation to all of us that He uses those who are willing to give their situations over to Him, and He redeems the pain for His good. I got chills when I listened, not because she was talking about me and my other friends, but because she was giving testimony to something that is straight from God. I am in awe of the mighty God we serve!

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is wonderful that you and all of your babyloss friends have had more babies, but what about those of us who don't? Does the "joy in the morning" after baby loss come only in the form of another baby? It seems like you and your friends have thought so... why is it that we think happiness and joy will only come when we have another baby?

Michelle said...

It has brought joy to my heart as God has blessed each one of you with a new life. I have learned so much in reading your words on this journey. I cannot WAIT to see a picture with all of you together!

Chris and Emily said...

Loved this post... while I don't know any of you personally and I only came close to joining each of you on your journey...I have followed most of you closely through it and it just brings a smile to my face and tears to my eyes to read your old post. I am trilled that you may all get to reunite again with your promise babies!!! What a happy blog hopping day with you all get that picture!!

I have never felt like any of you have ever put your joy in your children that have come after each of your heaven babies. I am constantly moved by how God is the center in your life, how God brings you your joy, and at how gracefully you each allow God's blessings(ie. other babies) to only magnify( not be the source of) the joy that you each find in your Father.

I pray for all of your families and for other families who may still be waiting for their promise babies.

my3sons said...

Great post. I have been following all of you ladies for a long time. I think I somehow found one of you and then all of you! Like I have told Emily many times, I have prayed for all of your hearts! It has been such a joy for me to see the Joy come back to all of you. You ladies have been through worst pain a mother can feel. I shed many tears reading your blogs, and now they are tears of happiness for all of you. I didn't think you implied that the joy only came because of another baby. I read that you were comparing where you all were a year ago to where you are now, and how things can change when you don't think they will. Katie

amanda said...

Angie! loved this post past and present. it is so awesome how the Lord weaves things together in our lives for His glory and our good.
i am seeing slowly how thought we don't know the what/why, to trust Him because He does and He is wanting to bring something amazing out in our lives that we couldn't have imagined.
i haven't had the opportunity to have one baby yet (we hope to adopt soon) but i feel that i have already been able to experience "joy in the morning" because of the relationship I have with Jesus. He has been such the comforter to my husband and I. I would not change our circumstances at all because He has grown us together so much and taught us so much about Him through our experiences.

Just Me said...

Wow, from vision to reality indeed! I actually remember reading this post when it was first written. None of you could have even imagined last April that you would be in this place right now...I'm not even sure all of you knew you would be heading to Atlanta that summer...Wow, God is SO great and it has been SO wonderful to watch how He has worked in all of your lives...through the grief, in the joy, missing your babies, but loving all that their short little lives taught you. Thank you for sharing this...can hardly wait to see that photograph!

:o)Amanda

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

Beautiful...

Kenzie said...

Angie-

I feel just the way you do... that these children that we hold in our arms are indeed a promise from God. I feel almost silly saying that about Faith Clare, like she is filling Maddox's place or that my joy is solely in her, but I know (we all know) that these babies are TRUE ANSWERS TO PRAYER! God is amazing and only through Him can we stand up and praise Him for each and every day and blessing. I love you friend and can't wait to be part of that amazing picture!

Michelle said...

I wish I could get ahold of anonymous that posted first, I have "joy in the morning" and I have not had another child since my loss nor do I plan to, I however cry tears of joy everytime I see a mama with a new blessing, can't wait to see that awesome picture....my email address is paperglueetc@yahoo.com and welcome emails...anonymous I would love to hear from you...

TN Lizzie said...

Dear Angie,

Now how cool is that? I am loving the idea of a new photo to go on the other side of her computer!!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
One evening (a long time ago!) at Bellevue, Rob Mullins had Laurie Berry lead the College students in worship music. One of the songs that night was "Nothing I desire compares with You." Laurie challenged us to replace the words "Silver, Gold, and Diamonds" with things that we desired. She asked us what had the potential to stand in the way of our love for Jesus. I will never forget my version of the song:
"Lord, You are more precious than friendship. Lord, You are more costly than love.
Lord, You are more beautiful than children..."

To the Anonymous poster of the first comment I ask, "How would you sing that song?" Can there be joy for you without another baby? I know that Angie loves Jesus no matter what. She knows that Jesus is enough, even if He is all that she has.

Not a one of the girls you call "babyloss friends" has any guarantee of tomorrow. It seems to me that they have chosen to find and experience joy in the middle of their journey.

I am so sorry for your pain, and I pray that real joy will find you wherever you are. His name is Jesus.

Laurie in Ca. said...

Beautiful, just beautiful Angie. I agree with this in my heart and know it is the Lord weaving it all together. I love you and all the girls to the moon and walking this journey with all of you just keeps blessing my socks off. Thank you for letting me come along with you:)

Love and Hugs, Laurie

Susie (So Blessed) said...

It has been an amazing blessing to me to witness God working in the lives of all you girls. Indeed His plan for each of us is individualized (and perfect)...and we all know that "every good and perfect gift is from above". As His children, we can trust that the true source of our joy is our Heavenly Father.

Kim said...

I believe that these babies are blessings from God. And I am SO VERY HAPPY that each of you have your arms full.

(The following comment, I want to add, is something I chose to withhold until I saw the video and only chose to post AFTER I heard the comment from Beth Moore about how God is faithful because you have new babies...or something to that end.) However, I absolutely agree with anonymous, and here is why - I am single. VERY single, and for a long time, very sad about it. But then slowly, very slowly, I have learned to be content, and even happy. But when people look at a baby, or a wedding, as "God being faithful," when he is fulfilling a loss, it makes me cringe, because God is STILL FAITHFUL to me, even though I am not married and not a mother. God is faithful to have given me 10 amazing students that I love and cherish every day. He has given me a niece and nephew that I love. He has given me eternal life. He's given me friends, and brownies (Oh yes, I said it), and a bed to sleep in, and even if he hadn't, he is STILL GOD.

I guess that is where anonymous is coming from and where I am coming from. For every Cinderella story and every tragedy that is redeemed with a new baby, there are 99 other women who are still single or still childless (or still without their second child, or third child). I think that the promise is that God is going to redeem you, not that God will give you another baby.

I am not trying to be controversial...just trying to explain why some are sensitive to this viewpoint. I feel like it can devalue those of us still waiting.

Much love and many blessings to ALL of you, and I hope you get that picture! :) P.S. to Chrissy - Dominic is SO ADORABLE!!!

Kim said...

Called Chrissy's new little guy the wrong name - DANTE is gorgeous! Sorry. :) He's so very handsome.

Jason and Vanessa said...

Wow that was a really sweet and well written post. I came over from the Really Living blog and I'm so glad I did.

I am pregnant with our first child after losing our twins last November. I have a huge mix of emotions but you just summed it up so well.

Thank you for sharing your heart.

Vanessa

The Kielstra's said...

Beautiful post!
I also am holding my promise baby, she is such a blessing to us! I lost my 3rd baby, Alyssa, last may and welcomed my 4th, Amaya, in April.