Thursday, January 22, 2009

God Reaching Out to Us Through...Flowers



Missy here. After reading Linda’s beautiful story from yesterday, it reminded me of a story about faith through one of the hardest times in my life. When I suffered a miscarriage.

I wish I could say that my faith sustained me, and that I held tight to God and His comfort. But I didn’t. I was devastated and couldn’t even pray. I was angry with God. And I thought what I’m sure most of us have thought at one time or another: God, how could You let this happen?

I truly had a crisis of faith. And when it was over (or I thought it was over), I had decided that God really wasn’t interested in being involved in our lives. I decided that God was way far out there, had set the Earth to spinning, and would take us home to heaven whenever we died. But that in the in-between time, we were on our own.

Friends tried to comfort me. One good friend bought me this gorgeous basket of mixed plants. It was mostly green plants, ivy and such. But there was also a beautiful African violet as well. It was obviously a very expensive arrangement, and I remember feeling bad because I knew she couldn’t afford it. But she said she wanted to bring me something to cheer me up. And it did it bit. Of course, I’m hard on plants, and violets have never liked me. After a few weeks, the blooms were gone, and it became a nice basket of green plants.

I don’t have time in this post to tell all the amazing ways God worked on me. But one major one was that I attended a Walk to Emmaus. And on that retreat, I found out a woman had been praying for me by name ever since I first registered—before the miscarriage. And she always burned a candle when she prayed for me. She was going to give it to me on the retreat, but my candle had burned away. It was so touching to know someone had been praying for me even before the pain of losing the baby. Even through the time when I was refusing to pray.

On that same retreat, my table leader was 8 months pregnant. Oh, talk about pain! When I walked up and saw her, I was so bitter. I wanted to crawl away and cry. But when I eventually shared with her about my loss, she wept. She said she almost hadn’t attended the retreat but felt strongly that someone needed her there, and she went anyway. She shared with me some personal things that helped me to heal. And by the time I got home from that retreat, I was in a much better place. My faith was restored, and I knew God had been with me all along, even through the dark times.

Jump ahead two and a half years. After seeing an infertility specialist, we finally got pregnant again. And this time, I delivered a beautiful baby boy, Tyler. I was so happy. But I have to admit, there was a little twinge of sadness that hung over the joyous occasion. It hurt to think of my other babies (I actually had a second miscarriage a few months after the first one). But I was very thankful as I took my son home from the hospital.

The next morning, I got up and walked through the dining room. And I couldn’t believe what I saw. For the first time in two and a half years, the violet had bloomed! I stopped in my tracks and cried my eyes out. I just knew it was a gift from God, an assurance that my other babies were with Him. It was like they (and God) were sending a welcome gift for Tyler. And a gift for me.

God is good. And He gives us what we need. He cares for us even in times when we don’t think He’s near. He touches us through other people. And He touches us by the simple blooming of a flower.

33 comments:

  1. Missy,
    I'm crying too! Thank you for sharing!

    I love African Violets. My grandmother always had them at her house. All of mine have died now, but they were strong for many years. Everytime I see one now, I'm sure I'll think of you and your journey.

    Christy

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  2. Christy, my mom has a green thumb. But I'm terrible with plants! I sure love them, though. We just have to let my husband be in charge of taking care of them around here to make sure they survive. :)

    That one Afican violet bloomed, though, despite me. Because I think God wanted it to. :)

    Missy

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  3. Oh, Missy, I'm crying. I so understand what you wrote about to day. It's what I hinted at during my post last Friday, only I wasn't brave enough to come out and say. I had three! In a two year period. After the third one, I had to go give blood. I'm sitting in a waiting room, there's only two of us waiting, and a talk show is on. The topic: Women Who Waited To Long To Have Children. I squirmed, grew hot, and finally went to the receptionist and told her she'd have to come get me outside when they called my name.
    I love the part about the candle burning. Do you still see this person?

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  4. God bless you, Missy. This post touched me today! Though I don't have children and mostly likely won't, this post touched my soul. God truly is always with us, isn't HE? Even when we try and walk away from Him. He never lets us go. Never. I'm so thankful for that.

    Blessings to you!

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  5. Oh man, this brought tears to my eyes! What an amazing story. I can't imagine having a miscarriage. What a horrible pain.
    When I was pregnant with my first son, my husband's best friend's wife was also pregnant.
    She had a miscarriage though and I didn't know what to do or say. It was a very sad time.
    I'm so glad God brought you through it.

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  6. Missy,
    Your post was so moving, thank you for sharing your heart. I also had 2 miscarriages. The second one was especially hard as I was almost 6 months along. As our hearts were breaking, God surrounded us with amazing care and loving people. We named our son Judah which means "I will praise the Lord". Only God can bring praise out of our darkest days! Violets will bring your wonderful testimony to my mind from now on.
    Blessings, Mary

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  7. Missy,
    Your post was touching. It's hard sometimes for me to really "get" the fact that the Great Creator of the universe cares about his children enough to send these small reminders of His great, surpassing love.
    Hugs & more hugs,
    Lyn

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  8. Pamela, I know how hard it was to see pregnant people on TV or to see pregnant women at church. Such a reminder.

    I don't even remember the woman's name who prayed for me and burned that candle down. I never saw her again. But I was so touched. She said she usually saved the candle to give to the person, so was so surprised when she realized there wasn't enough left to bring to me. I believe God put me on her heart, probably through the hardest of times right after we lost the baby.

    Thanks for sharing your story, Pamela.

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  9. Amen, Lynn! He won't let us go. I tried so hard to ignore Him and pretend he wasn't close by. But He had his arms wrapped around me all the time. :)

    Missy

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  10. Jessica, I think it is hard for the ones who are pregnant when someone close to them loses a baby. They feel so awful. I had a friend who was pregnant at the same time I was, and I know she almost felt guilty. And then it was so hard for me when she had that baby. Yet I was happy for her at the same time.

    I'm so glad God brings us through those times.

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  11. Mary, I think it's wonderful that you named your son Judah. That is such a testimony to your strong faith.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Missy

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  12. Lyn, it is truly amazing how much He cares, and how much one little reminder, like Linda's lilacs blooming out of season or my violet blooming the one time I most needed it, can mean to us.

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  13. Missy, what a beautiful story. I know in a time of loss, all words can have an edge to them. Words of comfort can hurt terribly in unexpected ways.

    I remember a friend going through a terrible time and everyone who talked to her, she hated because of the stupid things they said. And everyone who DIDN'T talk to her, she hated because they didn't get in touch.

    There was just no comfort for her for a long time.

    God bless you. Thanks for sharing this story with us.

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  14. Mary, I still cringe to think of words of comfort I've offered in awkward situations before. Sometimes we just don't know what to say. And sometimes, when we're the one grieving, nothing helps. We just need God's Spirit to comfort us.

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  15. What a beautiful story! Thanks for sharing, Missy. I'm continually amazed at His goodness and love.
    Margaret

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  16. I'm amazed, too, Margaret. And you'd think we'd eventually learn to expect it! :)

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  17. Missy -- that is a beautiful story. thank you for sharing it.

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  18. Oh Missy....what a sweet, sweet story. Thank you for sharing with us. God is SO amazing, and I love the ways He does things like that to show us He's with us and always cares about what we're going through. ~ I LOVE African Violets...but sadly I need some new ones. My other ones decided they just didn't like my windowsill anymore-LOL! Hugs to you, Patti Jo :)

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  19. Oh, Missy, I'm sitting here writing this with tears in my eyes because so many times in the last few months, I have felt exactly the same way. Thank you for your courage to share this painful memory and for your unbelievably timely encouragement because I really needed to read it today.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  20. Hi, Janet. Thanks for stopping by.

    Patti Jo, African violets are so persnickety. So don't take it personally. :)

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  21. Julie, I know you've been through so much the last few months. I'm glad God led you over here today.

    Missy

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  22. Missy, your beautiful post brought tears to my eyes. God is good. He understands our hurt and anger during hard times.

    Violets have a special place in my heart. When my mother died, a friend gave my dad this huge African violet. Four years later, he and that violet came to live with us as he entered hospice. I still have this precious reminder of my parents.

    Christy, violet plant food helps keep them strong and blooming.

    Janet

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  23. Oh, Janet D., that's amazing! I'm so glad you shared about your plant.

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  24. Missy, Thank you for sharing this story. I haven't been to the blog for a few days and am so glad I showed up. Grief is so hard to bear and the way it touches us and how we react is so individual and sometimes unexplainable. You put into words how my heart felt when I lost Wayne. I had a crisis, not of faith, but of prayer. I stopped praying because I felt like God was going to do what He wanted to and my prayers wouldn't change anything. I know that isn't true but in the midst of my grief and all the way until this year I had a hard time. Anyway, I can't imagine losing a child. Bless you!

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  25. I can very well relate to your blog here. I miscarried 2 years after my first daughter was born. I didn't even know I was pregnant. I was hurt by my Pastor telling me it was God's way of getting rid of something that wasn't right. Why would God even make something that wasn't right. The only person who ministered most to me during that time was a Mexican friend of mine who knew not what to say and said she would cry with me and hold me while I cried. I never forgot that. Like you I blamed God off and on for 2 years. Those were a hard two years on my husband as he did not know how to help me. One day God told me time to grieve was over. Through three different messages in three different states, he told me he was going to restore what the enemy stole from me. I never quit bleeding. I was bleeding every two weeks and I came up pregnant. Now you know that is a miracle. It is even a greater miracle because my youngest daughter looks so much like her earthly Dad. She is now 22 years old. God has given her back to me two other times since then. One car wreck we hit a tree and for weeks we prayed because they were going to take out her spleen. I had a broken ankle and couldn't even be with her. I am still suffering from that accident. But my daughter never had her spleen out. That was in 1997. In 2003, she flipped our car upside down. We were going around a dead deer coming home from church after an annointed Missionette meeting. When we went around deer, ty-rod on back wheel of car broke. We were going straight and all of sudden couldn't control the car. God wrapped both my daughter and me in angel's wings and we felt them and protected us as the car flipped over and upside down in ditch. My daughter's neck would have been snapped otherwise. The windshield broke but not one piece of glass fell to floor. We were able to crawl out of car unharmed. We will never forget the angel winds.
    God has used this miscarriage for me to pray with other women who have had a hard time conceiving. One woman was 36 and wanted kids. I told her she would have them and prayed with her. That's how old I was when I had my youngest. She now has three boys. Another woman has a four year old girl. You are now sharing your story and it will touch others and help them.
    God bless you and keep you annointed and writing things to uplift and encourage others.

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  26. Debbie, you're so right about how grief is so individual. And I'm sure God knows that and meets each of us right where we need to be met.

    Missy

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  27. Squiresj, thank you so much for sharing your story and about the amazing protection you and your daughter have had.

    One thing that you said that will stick with me is that your friend just cried with you. It's good to know that sometimes that's all we need to do for our friends.

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  28. Oh my goodness, Missy. I'm crying. Thank you for sharing your painful journey and for your honesty about your feelings. What a beautiful story, and as He did for me, God made the flowers bloom just to say He loved you. Wow!

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  29. Isn't it amazing, Linda. And your post reminded me of it. :)

    Missy

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  30. Thanks so much for sharing! I was so surprised to have a miscarriage after 3 amazingly successful and easy pregnancies! I miscarried about a week after I found out I was pregnant, the day before my birthday. Believe it or not, I got pregnant just over a month later! I can't imagine my life w/out Ryan, but I wonder what Taylor Lee, as my daughters named the miscarried baby, would've been like. God knit us together in our mother's womb and I believe He knit Taylor there for that little period of time as well. Don't understand the purpose, but there's a reason.

    Blessings,
    Mimi B

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  31. Mimi, what a wonderful Bible verse to bring up. Thanks for sharing it and for sharing your story.

    Missy

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