February 26, 2013

Letting My Dreams Go and Choosing Joy

We've had a lot going on lately. I had my first birth photography experience this weekend and it was amazing. I am so, so thankful they let me be a part of such a beautiful experience.

It was also difficult in some respects. I had a front-row seat to the fact that part of this journey we're on is dying to old dreams and embracing new ones.

I always wanted all of our kids born in Montana. In fact, our boys were born in the exact same room at our hospital, 18 months apart. Baby Grace will welcome the world in Seattle.

I wanted to experience our Labor and Delivery's newly finished renovations, these beautiful birthing suites. I remember making the comment several times how excited I was that with our next child we'd be able to experience it. I'll birth in a hospital I've never stepped foot in.

My greatest joy with my babies is breastfeeding. Those first moments after birth, cuddling skin to skin, the first moment of connection, taking all the time I want to study their sweet faces and breathe in the smell of new life that never gets old. I'll be thankful to have even a few moments with Baby Grace after her birth before she's whisked to a hospital a mile and a half away for tests and prepping for open-heart surgery.

Honestly, there are days I hate our new normal. I struggle with jealousy and envy of others. I wonder why it's so easy for some families to have such healthy babies and kids. I envy that their child will not be defined by a major health obstacle the rest of their life.

We used to entertain the thought of a homebirth. I can't even imagine that now. Now, I just look forward to bringing her home at all.

Some days I struggle to accept it all and other days I have a deep peace and contentment.

I've made the comment to Matt several times that I miss the Cleaver life, the rainbows and the unicorns.

I've read more on suffering than I have before and I read now with new understanding and insight. The hard, brutal fact of the Christian life is that suffering is part of it, and through it we draw closer to Christ and his suffering. I'd need pages to list every verse that talks about this.

Suffering produces compassion. Empathy. A softened heart. Deeper grace. Humility.

If we let it.

Or it can produce bitterness, anger, envy, jealousy, a heart turned from the Lord.

At one point in Jesus' life many of the people following him turned away from him because of his difficult statements of truth and Jesus asks the disciples if they're going to leave him too and Peter says, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life (John 6:66-68).

I feel that. Each of us turn to something when it's hard. I want to turn to Jesus. I don't want to miss one moment of becoming like him in this journey.

I want to choose joy and thankfulness. Even when it means choosing it over and over and over.


  1. Another wonderful entry, Sara. I hope I have the pleasure of meeting you someday. I can't say, "I know how you feel", because I don't. However, I have had four pregnancies and yet only have two babies that I hold in my arms. After our second miscarriage, I remember saying to my husband the exact words you wrote - "why is it so hard for us?". The day we found out there was no heartbeat, I came home, opened my Bible, and said "What now, Lord? What do I do now?". He gave me clear instruction - "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." So I have strived for that since that day. I hope that is an encouragement to you as well. Thank you for sharing your heart.

    1. Serena, I hope I get to meet you sometime soon too! I'm sorry about your losses. I know we naturally choose the route of least resistance but I also bet we wouldn't trade how we come to know God and love him through the difficult times. Thank you for responding and sharing your heart and for being so encouraging!

  2. Sara, I don't know if you remember me, but I met you at book club about a year ago at Good Food Store just after we lost our baby, David, to a heart defect caused by a chromosomal abnormality. I understand what you're going through. Grieving the bad news when you expected a perfectly healthy pregnancy. Suffering. Sorrow. A deeper love for your baby than you ever knew possible. If you ever want to talk, I'm here. I'm on Facebook as Heather Platt Henry. I am due to give birth to another baby boy in five days. So I may be out of pocket for a while. But I am here. There is a fellowship in suffering. You are not alone. Praying for baby Grace with you.

    1. I do remember, thank you so much for taking the time to comment and especially for praying. I just came from reading your blog, and I am so very, very sorry for Baby David. I will pray especially for you and your family tonight and for your new gift coming soon. Thank you so much. :)