I recently reconnected with a friend of mine from high school. She is a year younger than me, but was a dear, sweet friend. I had heard a few things that she had gone through since high school - her mom is a good friend of one of my cousins, so I had heard bits and pieces. I was not prepared for what she had actually been through. She has lost not one, but two children. Her daughter lived for 5 weeks and her son was stillborn. She has a condition that doesn't allow her babies to grow properly in the womb. She isn't able to have more children. Not only has she been through that amazingly devastating loss, but a couple of years after that she also lost her husband to cancer. She's a year younger than me - not even 30 years old. I was saddened to my core when I heard all of the trials and grief she's been through. The amazing thing is that God has brought her through all of this with a stronger faith than she had before. I am so proud of her and so amazed at what God can do in one person's life, despite all the loss that she has suffered.
While her husband was still alive they adopted a little girl who is now 5 years old. What a blessing! I'm incredibly thankful that God has given her that bit of sunshine and joy!
Just a couple of days ago I read a book titled I Will Carry You by Angie Smith. She is the wife of one of the members of a Christian band called Selah. It is an incredibly moving story of their fourth child who was born and only lived for 2 hours. It reminded me continually of my sweet friend. I cried often while I read the book, thinking of all that she had gone through and overcome, and I prayed for her many times. I recommend the book, but only if you want to weep uncontrollably! If you've ever lost someone, specifically a child, this book would be great to read and might help you through the grieving process while giving you hope and encouragement.
I realized through all of this that there are many things that I take for granted. One of those things is having a child. My pregnancy was so easy. I never once got sick - queasy a couple of times, but not sick. I actually really enjoyed my pregnancy until the end. I did go through a long, intense labor ending with having Xander through c-section, but the surgery itself went very smoothly and he was absolutely perfect when he was born, albeit a little bruised and misshapen around his head. The thing is, things could've gone so differently! But God intervened and allowed things to work in my favor this time. He doesn't always allow it, but this time He did. How thankful I am for that gift! And what a blessing my sweet little Xander truly is. I realize fully that God has put me in charge of this child for a season. Xander's not really mine, he belongs to the Lord.
Something else I often take for granted is my sweet husband and the marriage we have. I really couldn't ask for anyone better than my David. He is so kind and generous. He loves me in a way that makes me melt, he serves, protects and provides for his family, and continually amazes me with his talents and wisdom. He has an incredibly teachable spirit and faithful heart.
I am blessed.