imprints

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Yesterday was officially Infant & Pregnancy Loss Awareness Day.

Those of us who have lost a child know three key things from our loss:

1. We think about it way more than once a year.

2. We need to talk about it more than once a year.

3. Things have been forever changed.

Once a year only serves as a jump off point for those who need to heal from this kind of loss.

Let me tell you, almost nothing in my life has been more traumatic than the loss of my first pregnancy.

Discovering that I carried him, and the heartbreak of losing him all within a six week period impacted me hard, like falling into a cement block would.

Yet this wee one, whose feet never touched the ground, had a positive impact upon me too.

For God reminded me:
– He had made him (I believe his name is Andrew) and gifted us with him. 
-all life is precious to Him, regardless of how long we get to spend here on earth
-He was with me in Andrew’s conception, his growth and his departing. He never left my side through it all.

I think often what life would have been like had Andrew made it to birth, and at every stage I have celebrated in wonder as my two miracles have grown before my very eyes.

You see, I was so traumatized by losing my first child that I was literally a fear time bomb when I realized I was pregnant again, with my daughter.

Yet God was so gracious in how He poured love, freedom and hope within me as He reassured me He was with me, every time I ran to Him & nestled into His embrace.

I discovered joy in both my following pregnancies, despite my fear.

My delivery of my daughter was a whole other drama (think about having a dozen witnesses!) but I made it through, and delighted in her arrival.  My son’s delivery was scarier, yet God gave me a peace beyond comprehension that he was going to make it, and he did.

Because I had been set free from the heartbreak of loss, I was able to whole hearted accept the gift He handed me. New life.

All my children have been incredible gifts.

One i will meet face to face beside Jesus.

The other two I am honored to say I will have the pleasure of introducing to their sibling who went on ahead one heavenly moment yet to come.

Sometimes when you have lost, in my case, the depth God went to to heal me from my miscarriage, you are blessed to have a heightened wonder at what you have been given afterwards.

If you too have lost a child, in utero or after birth, my heart goes out to you.

My heart has been made whole again despite my losses, grief and trials because its Maker has touched me and brought me back to life.

My prayer is that you will allow Him to do the same.

And may He rise up around you those who you can share your burden and grief with, who will direct you back to the Healer of all wounds, hurts & brokenness, as they love you alongside you in your loss.

Yet Andrew’s tiny feet have left an imprint on my heart which will never leave, nor do I want them to. I am a better mom, more compassionate friend, and can find joy in the mundane of the day to day because I know that I know He is with me, each step, every moment.

Losing Andrew and meeting God in the whirlwind of the emotion which followed taught me that.

womb with a view

This title would not let me go:
Womb with a view.

What else would you call it?

Jesus, one third of the Trinity,
enfolded His divinity
with the help of Holy Spirit
and became flesh,
bone & blood
in a virgin’s womb.

Wow.

Just that action, a flash of a nanomoment in human time, sent shockwaves out across the universe & heaven in an act intended to rock all known existence.

God with us, on His way.

That is mind boggling enough, but here is where I am drawn today…. and maybe, just maybe you might be too.

Jesus, full of Holy Spirit and yet fully human, in the womb.

Could He chat with God from in there?

Could He hear His Father’s voice in the womb?

If so, the womb takes on a whole new significance with Jesus within.

Children in the womb take on the mix of their parents’ traits while developing.

Was Jesus growing with any of Joseph’s physical traits?

Because I suspect after all the shock Joseph has already gone through, and might be up ahead as the father of the Messiah, God would have made Jesus look like Joseph.  Not 100%, as with any newborn, but enough that Joseph would wonder again at the miracle, and his heart would be melted towards His son.  Maybe his nose, or build…

Because God chose Joseph to raise His son, I have to believe His compassion would be for Jesus to resemble His earthly father, enough for tongues not to wag too much about His parenthood.

I wonder how much of Mary was already visible in the baby in her womb? Did He already have her heart for worship? Her eyes?

We know Jesus was fully human & God from the second that creation spark started Him growing in the womb.

We just don’t know what that looked like, really, as He grew there.

I believe He would have had a sensitivity to learning about His earthly parents while inside.  Prayed for them on the hard days, rejoiced with them in the moments of celebration.

I wonder if He tried not to kick Mary too hard as they traveled to Bethlehem.

I wonder if He prayed for a smooth delivery, for God to be with Him in the shock of entering the world, for angelic protection as He did.

All we know: Jesus was fully human, and fully God, all in one miraculous present.

And somehow, God would have worked out all those details of human appearance intertwining with Godly character in the arrival of Jesus.

Who is still in the womb on His way to Bethlehem.

While we may wonder at the view He had in the womb, how He was born of Mary and all God all rolled into one tiny baby is a fact!

#AdventuresinAdvent continue ūüėČ

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broken to blessed- Joseph

There was a heart broken in the Christmas story.

That of Joseph.

Mary’s fiancee.

It became obvious that Mary was pregnant.¬† I am guessing either Mary with her parents, or Mary’s father would have broken the news, and tried to explain what had happened. We don’t know exactly who told him, but I am sure all Joseph initially heard was the fact the baby wasn’t his.

How his heart must have broke and his eyes wept bitter tears for his shattered dreams, his crushed beliefs.

The woman he thought would be his, had been with someone else. The woman he believed pure and innocent, the woman he has imagined spending the rest of his life with.

Despite his wound,

Joseph, chagrined but noble, determined to take care of things quietly so Mary would not be disgraced

.

Despite his broken heart, Joseph’s heart still showed his love for Mary.¬† He was determined to protect her, despite his devastation.

I wonder how long it was between his heart break to God’s angel visiting him in his dream.

The bible doesn’t say exactly when, but does reveal it was while he was trying to figure a way out.

Imagine Joseph’s shock & his mental dialogue when he heard these angelic words in Matthew 1:20-23:

Joseph, son of David, don’t hesitate to get married.

Umm, really God?

Mary’s pregnancy is Spirit conceived.

Stunned silence.
A sense of awe and wonder falls.

God’s spirit has made her pregnant.

You said it again, God.  I hear You, loud and clear.

She will give birth to a son…

A son!

When she does, you, Joseph, will name Him Jesus- ‘God saves’- for He will save His people from their sins. This will fulfill Isaiah’s prophecy: ‘Watch for this- a virgjn will get pregnant and bear a son; They will name him Immanuel! (Hebrew for God is with us).

Wait…if God is His father, than He will be the son of God…and I am to name Him Jesus, God saves…. pause…Mary is carrying the Messiah! God is coming down to us as a baby!?!?!!

I am going to be the Messiah’s step father?!!

Oh God, what an honor.

I am about to be blessed beyond belief.

Oh God, I need You, because I can’t raise Your son or marry Mary without Your help.¬†

Help me to protect her Lord, and keep Your son, our Messiah safe from harm.

We get a close up look at Joseph’s real character in his immediate response to the angel’s words.

The Joseph got us, and did exactly what God’s angel commanded in the dream: he married Mary.

Joseph believed God. And chose to honor his commitment despite his broken heart.

Because knowing the whole story gave him the big picture, but I am sure it still hurt when he thought about Mary’s first horn being God’s son, and not his own flesh & blood.

Oh sure, it is an honor and pressure beyond imagining to raise God’s own son as your own.
But how many of us feel we could have done so, if we are really honest with ourselves.

Joseph must have absolutely been smitten with Mary to follow through and marry her anyway, which Joseph did.

Note it also says Joseph did not consummate the marriage until after Jesus was born.

Joseph was respectful of not only Mary, but Who she was carrying.

The heart that was broken became blessed beyond belief.

Awkward family moments continue in this past of the Advent story.  A fiancee waits until after his bride gives birth before making it official.

People would have been talking behind their backs about how quickly Mary would have begun to show, smearing both their characters.

But there is no mention of Joseph waffling, but rather accepting the assignment God has given him wholeheartedly.

Joseph was an incredible man, remembered forever for both showing honor towards his bride, and helping raise another’s son as his own.

#AdventuresinAdvent

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