"...to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion--to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor."
Isaiah 61:2b-3

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Friday, May 10, 2013

Beauty from Pain

It's been a little tough here the past few weeks. I've had a situation in my family that brought out all my hurts of infertility and miscarriage. It's been hard, but yet it's been great to watch God work through me. I'll start at the beginning. My sister announced in April that she was pregnant. It was a bittersweet moment because she hadn't ever been able to get pregnant (she's 6 years older than me). It was great to hear that she was finally pregnant, but it was tough realizing at that moment that I was the only one not able to have a baby of my own. I was so excited for her, but it hurt my heart at the same time. I was strong for her on the phone and when we hung up I sat on my basement steps and had a good cry. I knew that I needed to quit being selfish and be excited for her, not crying over me. I also immediately started praying that God would not allow her to go through what I went through in my loss. No matter how sad I was, I would never wish that on anyone. 3 weeks ago my sister called me on the phone to tell me that I needed to pray for her. She had just been to the doctor and they couldn't find the heartbeat. They wanted to do more testing the next day, so they sent her home. She was terrified and was already extremely upset. I tried to keep her calm, sometimes these things just happen and a woman can go on to have a healthy baby. This was not the case with my sister. She called me later that night to tell me that the miscarriage had already started. She was in a lot of pain and the bleeding had started and was getting bad. I knew I needed to be strong for her, but at the moment she told me this I just broke. I started sobbing and all I could say to her was that I was so sorry this was happening. I guess this spoke to her that I had such strong emotion about it all, we've actually been closer because of this situation. She has had many questions, during and after the miscarriage, and I've tried to answer them the best I can. The toughest is knowing that I can't just take the pain away from her. But it also has brought my own personal pain closer to the surface. It made me question if I was ready to really minister to women hurting in this way. But then I went to my 3rd Women's Encounter and shared my testimony. God showed up in a huge way. I knew without a doubt I was supposed to be there. I was supposed to share the pain that I've been through in dealing with infertility and miscarriages. I was supposed to be feeling it as if it was a new pain, because I was able to fully be there for the women who needed to hear my story. I shared with them how much pain I felt, but also how much freedom I've had since fully giving it over to the Lord. I don't remember if I've shared this on here, but last summer I fully gave my dreams of having my own baby over to God. I had my hysterectomy in May of 2012. It was so hard to do, but in doing so, God has blessed me beyond what I could have ever imagined. I don't have the burdens that I did before. I might sometimes feel the pain and even grieve a bit, but the joy that I have stirring in my soul was well worth the sacrifice. For the first time ever I've been able to feel thankful that I went through what I did. I've loved being able to be there for other women struggling. I hate that they have to go through this pain, but I'm thankful that I can walk along beside them and show them that God still loves them and has a perfect plan for their lives. That they can be blessed beyond what they could imagine if they just fully trust in the Lord.

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