This weekend was baby brother’s baby shower — so many friends and family showing so much love and generosity. I had been looking forward to this day for quite some time. But until I opened a card from a dear friend at the very end of the day I hadn’t known how much I needed to hear what she wrote. Her words felt like such a balm to my soul, in light of all the conflicted feelings I had been experiencing - the significance of the day yes, but along with the joy and excitement there were surprising layers of grief and feeling overwhelmed mixed in — that I hadn’t stopped to process until her words basically laid it out for me: “Jillian, I was reaching for the congrats card. But it felt inadequate. Too brief, to shallow to convey the depth of what I want to express. So instead “wishing you comfort.” Like laughter and smiles, presents and sweets at your baby shower. We had wished for this kind of day twice before, but never got to this point. If longing for them could have brought them into being, we would have had them, surely. So today, on this joyous, comforting occasion, I want you to know that the babies you longed for and were forced to part with, they are not forgotten. You are loving them even now as you delight in your baby boy.
Can you believe you’ve made it this far already? What once was just normal has now become sacred. Deuteronomy 1:31 “you have seen how the Lord your God carried you...all the way that you went until you came to this place.” The Lord has carried you! Praise Him!” And that’s what this pregnancy has been. I had expected it to be pure joy, because I REALLY knew how badly and how long I had wanted this. Because I knew how much of an answer to prayer a sustained pregnancy was. But instead it has been surprisingly more complex than that, with so many more layers of pain and fear that have surfaced, stemming from my personal experiences of pregnancy having shown so much propensity to wound me, to fall out from under me, in fact twice as often as it has yielded the joy of new life in my arms. And it’s through that the Lord has indeed carried me. (Cont’d in comment below)