I think it's time to give away another free printable!
In January I introduced my idea of giving away a printable each month and kicked off the year with a gorgeous lettered piece by Sincerely Amy Designs. This month I'm thrilled to offer you a 5x7 print by my sweet friend Mary of MarydeanDraws. Mary created this piece after reading a post I wrote on my old blog last May:
I’m torn between two very strong feelings: that God is calling me to shine a light on my grief (however ugly it is) and that it hurts too much to sit and dwell and reflect and re-hash.
A month or so ago I listened to a sermon by Andy Stanley, and he said something I can’t get out of my head. He said, "You have no idea what or who hangs in the balance of your decision to remain faithful when everything around you says "Be faithless." You have no idea what God might be up to through your faithfulness when everything around you says, 'There's no point...”
Then, a few days ago, I listened to a sermon by my sister-in-law about God’s purpose for us and why we need to embrace the gifts He has given us. She talks about our place in the body of Christ — how we might think of our role as unimportant, but that truly the body is made stronger and better when we take our role seriously and use it to serve Christ and others. She said, "It’s the enemy’s greatest fear that you guys are walking in the plans that God has for your life.”
Do you think God might be trying to tell me something?
Part of the struggle with sharing my grief is that I don’t want to be that person who is allowed to suffer so that her suffering might be used for God’s glory. I don’t want losing two babies so I can witness to others to be God’s plan for my life. You might think that’s fair, or you might think I’m being terribly selfish or terribly un-Christian. But the thing is, now that it’s happened (my losses), I DO want to bring God glory through my suffering and how I choose to share about my grief. I just wish the losses had never happened in the first place. I wish there was some guarantee that my grief is over — that I won’t lose anything else. I thought John was it, and then I lost Jane. The fear doesn’t come from what’s already happened as much as from wondering if this is my lot. I wonder what else I will be asked to give, or how long I will be asked to wait.
I wonder what hangs in the balance of my decision to be faithful.
I wonder what being faithful is supposed to look like for me. Does it look like telling the story of my hurting, slowly healing heart, even though I desperately wish I didn’t have this story to tell? Does it look like listing out my sufferings like Paul, so I can point to the list and say, Hey, all these terrible things happened to me. Did you hear me the first time? I’ll tell you again. I suffered. I suffered. I suffered. One thing has never changed: God is present, God is good and God is working in my life.
I had a great Saturday. I started the day off with a run (!!!), attended a “packing party” where I ate delicious scones and coffee and boxed a million DVDs while chatting with a friend, snuggled my pup and read a good book on the deck. I took a fabulous shower and was excited about our plans to go out that evening with a group of friends. I started to dry my hair, and then, out of the blue, I started sobbing. Loud, gasping sobs. I grabbed a pillow and screamed into it, laying sideways across the bed and thinking, whaaaat the heck?
It’s simply always there. The cost of being sad all the time is that it’s miserable to be sad all the time. The cost of setting grief aside for a bit is that it eventually bubbles out of you and you do yourself a disservice by not letting yourself feel.
I miss them.
I gave myself five minutes to cry. Then, I pulled it together, put on my makeup and went to dinner. I had a wonderful time. I can look back on that day and think, the old Laura is coming back. I can see the “new” Laura is present in the story, too... the Laura who cries out of the blue sometimes, who misses her babies and often feels very alone. The Laura who would really like for God to send a baby to her doorstep, preferably with a note that says, "John and Jane are waiting for you. Here is a little one to hold. You get to keep this one."
The Laura who never thought the decision to be faithful would look like this.
It's been almost a year since I wrote that post, and here I am, still chugging along. Still wondering what is in store and still trusting in God's character.
Click HERE to download your free 5x7 printable! Yay!!! Thank you, Mary!
Hugs to all of you sweet readers. Keep chuggin' on. Stay faithful.