This is my post-Thanksgiving post...because I'm a slacker and didn't post while we were out of town...so, let's just pretend it's still Thanksgiving...
I was going to title this post "Thankfulness" like every other blogger has for their "Thanksgiving" post...but, I realized I already did that last year and I'm not feeling very clever...so, the best synonym I could come up with was "Gratitude."
It was a long 11 hour drive to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida for our Thanksgiving festivities, but it was worth it for some sunshine, friend time, family time, beach time, and a double date one night without the little lady in tow. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE being with my girl, but it was nice to have an evening without being interrupted to watch "Pooh...mommy..peeasse (please)!!" and actually be out of the house past 8pm!
I've been trying to come up with something both inspirational and original to write about regarding Thanksgiving. But if I'm being honest, I was really having a hard time this past week feeling gracious for all that I have been given. I know this is wrong. In the book of James, it says we are to "consider it pure joy when facing trials..." I should be grateful that God is shaping me through all this. I should be on my knees thanking Him for brokenness. But, it's hard to get on my knees and say "Oh how wonderful you are God for allowing me to suffer. Suffering is so GREAT because it brings me closer to you." Yeah, that's not very easy to do.
But, dear friends, I am just a sinner. A sinner who can be very ungrateful and selfish. A sinner who sometimes has a hard time praising God when life gets tough. Sure, I run to Him out of desperation...but, not praising Him when times are tough.
So, on Thanksgiving morning I was trying to get myself in the spirit of Thanksgiving. I begged Andrew to take me to the beach. I just needed some alone time with my little family before all the extended family and friends showed up. I needed to see the ocean...one of God's most beautiful creations. I needed to talk to God...and something about watching the waves of the ocean makes me feel close to Him.
And there we were. The three of us. Andrew played with Ella and I snapped some photos. I stared out at the waves and asked God where He was...why had He forgotten about me. In the midst of my grief, I had felt like God was so far away. And as I was fiddling around with the settings on my camera, I looked up and saw this...
What a beautiful God. Thank you for painting this picture in front of me. Thank you for a husband who loves me unconditionally. Thank you for the gift of my daughter. Thank you for allowing me to struggle to conceive before you gave her to me. Thank you for my trials because I know I love Ella more because of them. And thank you for this continual struggle to conceive a second child...I will be a stronger and more humble and more gracious woman because of it....
I drew this heart in the sand in memory of our little one that we never got to hold in our arms. I will never be able to take a picture of this baby whose eyes we never looked into, but I don't ever want to forget this moment in my life. I stare at the sand and pray for God to open up my ears to hear Him. It was one of those moments where you are saying "God, just give me a sign." No sooner than I drew it that the ocean washed it away. I felt God's presence and a whisper in my ear. "I have a plan for you Sarah."
Really God? Isn't there some other way? I'm waiting. Sometimes I feel like all I do is wait on you.
And yet, I'm supposed to keep praising God through it all. That is hard.
Gratitude. Thankfulness. Praising God...for my trials. I have to praise Him...because I can't get through this alone. I know, that one day, I will look back and it will all make sense. If God's plan is greater than my own, than He must have something AMAZING in store for me.