The day God sent me flowers.

This past Friday, a volunteer at our school walked through my classroom door with a beautiful fall arrangement of flowers in the sweetest little jack-o-lantern vase.

So just, love. I so enjoy flowers anyway, but to be surprised in the middle of the day with a bouquet? Yes please!

Of course the kids and I are all oohing and aahing…{we share our highs & lows in Kindergarten, so flowers for me is like flowers for them} as I tried to guess who they might be from. Mom got the number one guess, but beyond that…I just honestly wasn’t sure who they could be from.

When I opened the card, it simply read “God is always faithful.” No signature, no clue as to who it was from beyond the address of the florist, which is the town we recently moved from. With teary eyes and a shaky voice, I read the card aloud to the kinders {who by this point are practically chanting “who are they from? who are they from?”} and told them there was no name signed.

Their response was priceless, and as kids can often be, so on point.

“Oh. My. Gosh….God sent you flowers?!”

“Y’all. God sent her flowers!”

“Those flowers are from GOD?!”

And from there it kind of digressed into weird 5 year old chatter of how exactly God would send someone flowers, with some adamantly declaring that God himself must have walked into our school while others were confused about whether or not God has legs. Of course Jesus on the cross came into the conversation and pretty quickly they moved into argument mode & had to be shut down…but the truth remained.

God sent me flowers. 

pumpkin

I still have no idea who responded to God’s prompting and sent the flowers my way; but I know I’m so blessed by their gift of encouragement. I have really been struggling with feeling alone and forgotten…so the flowers were a tangible reminder that I am cared for and loved. More importantly, the words were like a balm to my weary soul…a reminder of God’s character and an offering of hope.

God is faithful and I am not alone.

Blessed am I.

“Oh

Woe is me…and yet blessed am I.

Okay, so yesterday’s post was a little heavy. I could blame it on a lot of things {like the fact that I looked at the web page for the adoption agency we originally looked at and realized that every other couple we went through orientation with has already welcomed a baby into their family} but the truth is I have been in an overwhelmed, frustrated, emotional state for quite a while now.

The move isolated us from a lot of people who cared and checked in with us and were faithful to pray. That in itself has been a blow. Then visiting new churches led to a lot of questions about if we have children or not and a lot of “Oh yeah, well no hurry! There will always be time for kids later!” responses when we said no. Double blow. {That and they keep trying to stick us in classes with 20 year olds. I guess we look youngish and the no kid thing throws them. But no. Just no.}

Financially it was a very challenging summer for us. We charged the last transfer, then moved, had an insurance switch that was very costly, had a couple of unexpected yet necessary car repairs…then it was the usual start to school costs. All of that would have been enough, but then I did some…retail therapy. And I was nesting and trying to get us settled into our new home and…honestly…just felt desperate to be in control of something and have something in my life be the way I wanted it to be. So that thing became our home and I did some buying to get us there. So all of that equals a drained savings account, paycheck to paycheck in the checking account, and a substantial amount {for us} of credit card debt.

Needless to say, I’m mad at myself, and I battle feeling defensive. We’ve paid off a lot in our marriage {both cars, multiple student loans, etc}; we paid cash for almost $20,000 worth of doctors costs, adoption fees, fertility procedures…and we don’t typically carry credit card debt. I know we shouldn’t have any now and I was wrong to do some of the spending…so now we are just trying to get everything back in order. This past week we were literally the “poorest” we have been since our first year of marriage probably. So defeating, especially considering we need a minimum of $15,000 to do anything that moves us toward a baby.

When I get to counting my woes, I can really go on and on. The feelings of being forgotten…the trouble seeing the light at the end of the tunnel…the struggle to get on the same page as Chris. The battle against hopelessness. The just plain worn-outness from the beginning of a new school year. The hurts that I won’t let myself write about because there is literally nothing good that could come from doing so.

I’ve struggled in my walk with God, and I know it’s my end. I was grieving for a while…which was really okay I think. But I allowed myself to get stuck in the grief, and that’s not okay. It has resulted in a lot of confusion on my part; in a lack of direction.

But now for some good news. 

As I struggled to unbind my heart {nod to former posts from a Beth Moore simulcast I went to} and pursue God in an open, genuine way…Chris randomly stepped it up. {Randomly meaning by God’s prompting, of course.}

He started reading the Bible to me at night. He started praying for us more willingly and often {not something he is typically opposed to, but it has been a growing process for him}. He started praying that God would change his heart in several areas. It was the type of spiritual leadership I didn’t recognize my need for until after the fact.

Not everything has changed, obviously. But my heart has softened and opened, and I can feel a shift happening. More of a willingness to listen, I guess.

Through our reading in Psalms, it has started pinging me around to different verses and chapters and commentaries. Writing, even just the little I did yesterday, has started to help as well. Reading and writing are my forms of processing, and I wasn’t doing either for a while. I lost my words I guess…or perhaps I shoved them under the couch cushion while I sat in denial.

The scripture I quoted yesterday eventually led me around to the story of Jacob wrestling with God. I’m not done digging into that just yet…it probably needs a post to itself.

So I’ll wrap up tonight’s “woe-is-me” post with these words from a blog post on desiringGod.com…
“Sometimes faithfulness to God and his word sets us on a course where circumstances get worse, not better. It is then that knowing God’s promises and his ways are crucial. Faith in God’s future grace for us is what sustains us in those desperate moments.”

Faith in God’s future grace for me. For me.

I am no doubt in a desperate moment.

But He has a future grace for me, and His word promises that He has not forgotten me.

And if for that reason alone, Blessed am I.

What hurts the most.

It’s a hard place when the things you know to be lies start to feel true.

I feel so…forgotten.

I feel other things, but that’s the one that hurts the most right now.

Chris read to me from Psalm 13 last night and it resonated with me…

1 How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
    How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
    and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
    How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
    Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
    and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

But I trust in your unfailing love;
    my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
    for he has been good to me.

Bring me to that place Lord. Place songs of praise on my lips. I am so hurt and scared.

Even so, blessed am I.

7/26/2015 – unfinished

I last sat down to write just short of two months ago. I lot of life has happened in that amount of time. We’ve moved and settled into a new home, welcomed a baby nephew into our family, started visiting new churches, and put probably 10,000 miles on our vehicles with all of the to and fro traveling we’ve been doing. {Okay…maybe 10,000 is a bit of an exaggeration. Math estimation has never been my strong suit.}

So much is new, and yet…so much is the same.

Part of my hiatus from writing has been because of the busyness. That excuse worked through about July. Since then I have been bouncing around quite a bit, but there’s also been a lot of lazing around. So this second part of my hiatus has been because I feel…stuck. Like I’m not even sure what to say, and certainly not sure how to move forward.

We’ve moved everything we had from one town to another…except for a beautiful crib that had to stay in my in-laws spare closet. That was a ‘put on your big girl panties’ moment if I’ve ever had one.

We’ve started having to answer the question of “So do you guys have kids?”…and it makes me feel so anxious. While I know that ‘no’ is the socially appropriate answer, it feels weird to say that after all that we’ve been through. I have mothered little ones, in my own unique way…but there’s no short, easy answer for that.

We’ve been to an appointment with the fertility doctor to talk about IVF…and we still haven’t been able to get past the sticker-shock of knowing that we are going to need at least 15k to move forward with that route. {Why we would even be considering IVF is a different post in an of itself.} Add to that the credit card that is no longer paid off and it’s all quite overwhelming.

We’ve fallen in love, and watched my family fall in love, with just the most precious little guy. I thought I was prepared for him coming, but it turns out there are just aspects of it that couldn’t be prepared for. That’s what loving big does I think…it opens the heart up to all of the big feels, which unfortunately, includes some struggle. It’s not something I particularly care to write about I think, at least right now. All that matters is that I love that baby with all of my heart.