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The Importance of Sharing

The Importance of Sharing

Believing in a God who rescues

A few weeks back, I was given the opportunity to preach at all four of our church’s weekend services.  We were between sermon series at the time, so I had the chance to choose what my message would focus on and what text our congregation would reflect on.  If you have 30 minutes, you might want to check out that sermon by downloading it here: In the Image of Dad.

When given the chance to share my heart, I felt the need to share my belief and hope that God rescues us when we cry out to Him and, that in the midst of our cries, He rescues those around us as well.

In Need of Rescue

I’ve tried to be transparent about the miscarriage that my wife and I experienced last year and have written about what it’s like to go through that loss as a parent, as a father and as someone in professional ministry (A collection of those posts can be found HERE).  I think my hope, in sharing that story in written form and through spoken word, was that God would redeem that story and bring hope where there was only pain.  Reflecting on things, I think I also shared that story with the assumption that it would be the last thing that God would have to rescue me from.

I write this post today with hands that are shaking.  Yesterday, I stepped out of a meeting to answer a phone call from my wife (we have a policy that, if she calls, I answer – no exceptions) and couldn’t get her to put three words together without bursting into tears.  I left the office and ran home to check on her and the kids – I’m not sure what I thought was wrong at home, but I was pretty sure I could fix it.

I’m good at fixing things.

The things you can’t fix

The longer I’m married, the more I realize that I can’t fix everything.  There are days when you wake up in need of rescue and find yourself in the same place when the sun sets that same day.  In life, there are days of “in between” when you feel helpless and vulnerable.  Sometimes you feel like you’re in the belly of a great fish, sometimes you feel like a giant stone has been rolled between you and your Creator, and sometimes you simply lay in bed at night unable to sleep because (as much as you know you’re not supposed to) you worry about something that you have no control over.

Yesterday, my wife and I were told that blood work that was done last week has come back with markers that show that our baby, now in the second trimester, might not be as healthy as we had hoped.  Because we believe in the power of prayer and in a deep call to living in community, we sent this message out last night to our closest circle of friends:

We just got a call that the second trimester genetic screening blood test indicated that we are considered high-risk and should be offered both genetic counseling and an appointment with a high-risk OB. The test is not diagnostic for any certain problem, but we have been offered further testing to determine if a genetic disorder or other problem exists. The baby can still be absolutely fine. We are choosing to discuss the results with a counselor and have a full ultrasound done this week, our appointments are on Wednesday afternoon.
We believe in doing life in community so we will be making this public knowledge and asking for prayer… Please [pray] for the health of Baby Nutmeg and that we won’t be overwhelmed with worry between now and Wednesday. Thanks so much!

The Importance of Sharing

Sharing has never been easy for me.  I was the kid who stole toys from kindergarten because I didn’t want other kids to play with them.  I’m the kid who went to a counselor in High School and spent an entire session refusing to speak.  I’m the one who sits with the TV remote next to me so that I can control the fast-forward button during commercial breaks.  Sharing means giving up control – and I like control.

Friends, though it’s not my knee jerk reaction to share, I believe with all of my heart that God’s people are called to share their story with others.  When we call out for help, I believe that God comes to our rescue and that, in the midst of rescuing us, that others come to know Him.

In this season of worry, pain, grief, anxiety, nervousness and heartache, my wife and I take comfort in knowing that God writes a better story than we could ever dream of.  Please, during the next few days/weeks/months join us in praying for the health of our baby (“Baby Nutmeg”).  And, while you’re at it, pray that God might use our story in a way that leads others to the Hope we have in a God who rescues.

Today is a hard day.

This is why we don’t do life alone.

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Posted by on June 26, 2012 in Thoughts

 

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Losing Baby Tiny

There aren’t words that can fully express the sadness that comes with the news of a miscarriage.

I’ve known this to be true for years – in ministering to families, I’ve walked alongside (what feels like) too many families who have had to mourn the death of their unborn child(ren).

Those words were never more true to me than they are now.

On Wednesday morning, my wife and I were given the news that no parents want to hear during a regularly scheduled doctor’s appointment – our nurse was unable to find the heartbeat of our unborn child, Baby Tiny – we had experienced a miscarriage and our baby had died.  The rest of that day is a whirlwind of sadness and confusion – and, days later, we’re still processing what just happened.

So, today, I thought I’d put some words down to help me process and to share a little about our experience for the many others out there who are going through, or have gone through, a miscarriage.

Mourning in Community

When Christine and I first discovered that we were pregnant, we had a question to answer – when do we tell people that we’re expecting?  We decided, as many of you know, to share our news in a fast and furious fashion (see our video here).  If the worst were to happen, we discussed at the time, we’d rather mourn in community than feel as though we were alone.

Now, 2 months later, we are faced with the reality that we now have a lot of people that we need to share our not-so-great news with… and, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  As hard as it is, the fact that we’ve had a community of friends to rally around us during our sadness has far outweighed the negative aspects of telling people the sad news.  Our closest friends spent the first evening with us and brought us all of our favorite comfort foods.  We sat around, crying a bit, laughing a bunch and just talking about life together.

Had we waited until later in the pregnancy to share our news with everyone, we would have missed out on that time we were able to spend together – I’d be willing to bet that the friends who were with us on that night will be in our lives for a long time… mourning together tends to grow people closer together.

Bad news never travels fast enough

Nobody likes sharing bad news.  People don’t like hearing it either.  That’s why I think people feel the need to turn bad news into good news.  In telling people about our miscarriage, I’ve noticed that most people try to put their own spin on the news.

“At least it happened early in the pregnancy.”

“Well, you’re young and can still try again.”

“You already have 2 kids… that’s something to celebrate!”

“I don’t know how to keep my mouth shut, so I’m going to just start talking.”

Okay… nobody actually has said that last one.  But, it’s kind of at the core of most people’s response to the news.  Everyone feels like they need to turn the bad news into not-so-bad news, so they try to spin things to lessen the sadness in the room.

I write all of that to say this – if someone tells you bad news, just listen.  And, if you have sad news to share, please know that even the nicest person can say hurtful and stupid things in the midst of sadness – please don’t hold it against them.

—-

I know a lot of people who will read this are in ministry.  I’d encourage you to check out an event that one of my ministry friends, Kenny Conley, has put together for his church – Born into Heaven (http://www.childrensministryonline.com/family/born-into-heaven/).

If you’re a friend or family member reading this, you could help us out most by telling one other family our news, and encourage them to do the same.  We’re a little nervous about church this weekend and having to tell and re-tell our news to each person we see (I’m trying to figure out how to tell a couple hundred kids who love and pray for my family about what happened) – it would be helpful if you helped spread the news.  If you don’t know how, just tell them the basics and send them to this post.

I think what I’m most sad about is that I won’t get to ever know what kind of kid Baby Tiny would have been.  Would he have his brother’s need for structure and love for Lego Star Wars?  Would she show no fear around a swimming pool like her sister and have a passion for destroying her brother’s Lego towers?  In mourning the loss of our baby, I’m forced to also mourn the loss of my hopes and dreams that I had for her (I had been hoping for a girl, btw).  That seems like it’s the saddest part.

We’ll spend part of today at the beach putting together a little ceremony for Baby Tiny.
I’ll share pictures and more about that ceremony sometime next week.

Thanks, in advance, for your prayers.  We know that we’re not alone – and we appreciate the support.

 
29 Comments

Posted by on August 19, 2011 in Thoughts

 

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