I have prayed for God to give me grace so much lately. Literally every day I say something along those lines, whether it is for me to handle insensitive comments, or deal with the realization that Polly is not here, or for me to be gracious and enjoy these calm moments of pregnancy instead of worrying all the time, or grace to just make it through the day. I pray for that a lot because I struggle a lot. We both do. Something hit me today that really struck me and I felt the need to share. Whit has been listening to a Christian talk station and has found a few pastors really encouraging. We talk about the things he has heard often and they have become a great way for us to grow in our relationship with the Lord. Whit borrowed my car and left the station on this morning (I'm sure God planned that), so today when I was running errands and wasn't paying attention to the radio. I heard the announcer say something about kids, which caught my attention. They were interviewing a couple, the man was a pastor, who was telling a story of a tragedy, although I didn't know what happened yet but knew kids were involved, it got my attention. Their tragic day happened in 1994 outside of Milwaukee and the family was traveling to celebrate 2 of their children's birthdays at one of their older son's houses. This couple had 9 children, 3 were grown and the other 6 were in the car ages 6 weeks to 11 years old. They were traveling on the interstate when suddenly there was a large piece of metal in the road, the husband tried to steer out of the way but it was too late and the van struck the metal which made the gas tank explode and the entire car burst into flames. They lost all 6 children who were in the car. The father said that they get asked a lot "when did you realize what had happened, that they were all gone?" and his answer is "in about 30 seconds". It was at that instant as his wife and himself stared at the car that was engulfed in flames. I of course am crying so hard as I hear this story at this point. I can't even imagine. And here they are, almost 20 years later talking about their faith and how they were strengthened that day through this tragedy. The father is a minister and one of the first things he said, moments after this happened, was that "God had prepared them for this". He said he didn't know why he said that to his wife, but that calmed her as they took in what had just happened. And they didn't turn away from God because of this horrible tragedy and rejoice knowing their children are with the Lord. I would have been in elementary school in 1994, and here I am being touched by their story and in a way able to relate. It made me realize something, that I need to focus more on my walk with God than on the grief that can so easily overtake you. It is much easier to lay in bed and cry all day about Polly being gone than having to get up and face the world and there are many days that I want to just cry in bed. But I have to realize that instead of asking God why did this happen, that I have to understand (and it brings me to tears to think this) that God wasn't doing something TO us, but He CHOSE us to be Polly's parents. And that for Polly's little sister, we pray she is ok and healthy and will be able to be part of our family on Earth, but He also chose us to be her parents too. I can't know what her purpose will be and I can't focus on the fact that this can happen again because it can. I choose to focus on the fact that God picked us on purpose and we are blessed to say we are Polly's parents instead of looking at ourselves as "that couple who lost their child". These are all ideas that have crossed my mind but I finally really realized that today. God isn't mean, didn't do something terrible to us, He chose us out of the billions of people in the world to be Polly's parents, her biggest fans. I just had it on my heart to share such a huge story about this family and that I believe in my heart that like that couple's children, Polly had a purpose which she fulfilled in a mere month. And we are very proud to say we are her parents.
2012 has been a difficult year to say the least and although the intense feelings of grief have either dulled slightly or we've figured out how to manage them better (or both), we do have hope for 2013. Hope in this sweet child in my belly who will be here before we know it. Below is a link to the story I was telling you about. It is very tragic and heartbreaking, I can't read it without crying, but it is worth it and you will gain something from it. There is even a sermon from the father at the bottom. Thank you for not forgetting Polly and for praying for us and her sister. We are 30 weeks this week and praying for grace yet again, this time for the grace to get through the last 10 weeks of this pregnancy.
Monday, December 10, 2012
As Christmas gets closer I find I am missing Polly more and more. I had always had such vivid dreams of what we would do on her first Thanksgiving and Christmas and I never could have imagined she would not live long enough to enjoy those holidays. After going through one round of holidays without her you would think we would have a better grasp on things and can handle it better the second go around. I am finding it very difficult. Thanksgiving I got through but Christmas is big. Such a huge and important holiday. I should be buying gifts for a 14 month old and making those holiday memories with my tiny family. Instead we have a huge hole in our hearts. I've thought about sponsoring a child that is Polly's age each year to buy presents for, but this year I just can't do that. It is too painful to look at all of the little baby items, I've pushed most of the baby stuff out of my mind to help me cope. The holidays are going to be tough especially because both of our birthdays are around them, Whit's being before Christmas and mine shortly after. There is a lot of celebrating and we honestly can't jump into celebrations like we used to. Our hearts are so tender and sad without having our little blessing here to celebrate with. I've gone back and forth about buying a stocking for this baby, but have ultimately decided to wait since we don't have a name for her yet. I bought Polly's stocking the day before I had her, knowing exactly what she would be called and even though I had 2 months until Christmas I just had to go ahead and order it. I have 2 months left in my pregnancy and I just can't bring myself to plan ahead that far, although that isn't a lot of time. So this year we are having to do things differently just to make it through. Christmas is still my favorite time of year, but you can imagine the heartache that comes along with it. There is nothing we can do to make that pain go away, but we are trying to focus on the meaning of Christmas this year, instead of how we should divide up our gift list to our family members. I've also felt God trying to reach out to me lately. Sometimes I feel so distant, even from God, but I know it is only because I have blinders on and don't take time to listen like I used to. But I think I have just felt lost and alone but lately, one after the other, I've heard or read things that have said basically that God knows your heart and He knows your pain. He understands when others don't. And He loves me, He hasn't forgotten about us although I honestly wonder that sometimes. People get busy with their own lives and I imagine God gets busy because He is God, but I've reminded myself that God knows everything and has never left me. So just working on my faith and with the emotional rollercoaster that is missing Polly, being pregnant and praying for this child, and for the upcoming handling the Christmas season. And as far as an update on our rainbow, there really isn't much. This pregnancy has been just as uneventful as my pregnancy with Polly. I even had to do the 4 hour re-test for diabetes and passed the second go round, which also happened with Polly. We are in our third trimester now and starting to realize, which may sound silly, but that this is really happening. That our second daughter will be born in February. We are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. I am getting more attention while out in public, which I try to shy away from the chit-chat questions I get. It is hard to answer them when the person asking doesn't know where we've been, doesn't know the heartache we've dealt with, and that we have learned that just because you see someone pregnant out and about doesn't mean everything is going to work out. But I am so thankful for everything being smooth sailing, it is just eerie how similar both pregnancies have been. I pray history doesn't repeat itself and that next year we will have a child to share the holidays with. Missing Polly today and always.