Friday, 8 November 2013

FTF: Grief Covered In Grace (Part Two)

A Short re-cap from last week ...
It was only a short period of about five and a half months that we shared together as nine-teen and twenty year old ‘newly-weds’ before our first child, a son, was born (2002). I instantly fell in love with him and his squidgy baby cheeks, long dangly legs and arms and sweet nature. I fell in love with motherhood. I had found my purpose.
The continuing story ...
However, being so young, I was unsure in many ways as to how to raise a child apart from feeding and keeping him safe and clean. I knew very little about teaching morals and standards, values and beliefs into a child (even though we had been raised well in these areas).

We committed to a parenting course run by two of our (still to this day) closest friends, who mentored, guided and sometimes (actually most times) dragged us through the early years of parenting and marriage! Our parents and extended families continued to be an amazing support and encouragement and this blessed us immensely. Through the parenting course I began to love teaching my son. Showing him skills, sharing values and morals to him, connecting with his heart.

Our second child was born, our first girl, app. 2 years and 7 months after our son (2004), and we both fell in love with this beautiful little bundle that looked like a porcelain doll with red rose bud lips. She was divine (she really was even though I am ridiculously biased!) And so my heart filled with more love and more purpose and more satisfaction.

Even after horrendous times of struggling with post-natal depression after each birth, I was ecstatic to find out our third child, another girl, was on her way! (2007) Right from the start this little miss has been determined, delicate, sweet and stunning. Another heart to love.

Travel a few hundred kilometres to a new town in the country, our first home away from parents, and we experience a miscarriage at the ten week mark. I was devastated. It just didn’t seem like it was reality. I thought that that was it; there would be no more children for us.

God is amazingly patient, faithful, compassionate and loving towards his children. He healed our hearts over time and helped us move forward. It was the most precious, beautiful and wonderful moment when we found out (after a massive snot-sobbing prayer to God asking him for one more child, and if he could please let it be a boy with brown eyes like me! Not too hard right?!), that I was expecting our fourth child. Little did I know that I was already pregnant with our last boy, as I sobbed that night (2009). And yes, his eyes are brown! Four little people to love, mould and raise in the knowledge and ways of the Lord. To nurture, enjoy and live life with. He has been so very good to us.

So needless to say I have spent the better part of almost 12 years having, feeding and raising our four babies. So, in that doctors surgery that day I began to panic. And I entered into a very long hard period of denial and grief not long after this point. How could it be finished so fast? How could my time growing babies, nurturing babies and little people have wizzed by so incredibly fast? Surely we should have two more? After all, I have their names picked and everything!

I spent the next four years in a state of confusion, grief and a lot of the time, unbearable pain. I still cannot believe how much it hurt to know that I was not going to be having any more children of my own. I felt as if someone had cut off my arms and legs and expected me to function as normal. What was normal? I didn't know anything outside of high school except the incredible pleasure of motherhood.

I struggled with thinking, "You're being so ungrateful and so discontented. Be satisfied with what God's given you". I am thankful beyond words! I am not so naïve to not know that there are countless amounts of incredible women out there who cannot have children of their own after so many attempts at conception. I am completely aware that there are also mothers out there who are lacking in the care and provision they give to their growing amount of children.

I would say to my husband, "I know I'm still a mother. I know I am blessed. I can see God's hand of blessing abundantly in my life but I just can't not have any more kids!" I would become angry and bitter with my husband when he would tell me he was completely at peace with the decision. How can he be so content with his life going on all happy as usual while my life is continual pain?

To people looking on the outside, I appeared as normal. I was happy, fun, encouraging, loving; but on the inside I felt near dead. It's so much easier to put on a face, then it is to let down your guard and confess the truth to others of what's really going on inside.

So, what was the truth?
To be continued ...

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