The Ache of Christmas Eve

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Do you want to hear a story of God’s faithfulness? This particular story happened one year ago today.

It’s an ugly & messy & painful wound. But it has become one of the most beautiful scars a woman can carry.

After we lost our first baby on October 1, 2011, I wanted to find was desperate to find an ornament for our Christmas tree. Not any ornament, but one that would represent our baby. One that would remind us of God’s goodness & faithfulness. One that would tangibly tie our baby’s life into all future Christmases.

I told no one of my search. Only my husband & my God knew the importance of this simple little object that I longed to hang on our tree. I repeatedly asked God to lead me to my ornament. I went to countless stores trying to find the perfect one. But it was nowhere to be found. I would not buy an ornament, just to have one. I knew in my heart, when I saw it, I would just…know.

And then…

one afternoon, a small box arrived. It was from a close, “adopted” aunt. I opened the unexpected package & there it was. My ornament. My precious precious ornament. She did not know about my search. She did not know how many stores I had explored. She did not know how deeply my heart ached for it. And the moment I saw it, I knew…it was the one.

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My aunt mailed it, but my God sent it. And His words filled my heart.

“I see you. I hear you. I know this is important to you. And it’s important to me too. Here it is. I love you.”

Time went by. My beautiful daughter was born. And the Christmas season of 2013 had arrived. I was pregnant again. And Christmas Eve had arrived.

One year ago today, I was bleeding.

I walked into the same ER I was in when I lost my first baby. I walked by the very room where I felt His presence closer than the air I was breathing. That white-walled room that held my cries to Jesus, our prayers to our God & the realization we would not be bringing home our baby.

They admitted me to a room down the hall. Tests were done. Blood was drawn. Ultrasounds were taken. And it was confirmed.

I had lost my baby.

One year ago today, I walked through the darkness again.

I screamed. I yelled. I cried. I beat the floor with my fists in anger. I was not angry at God. I was angry at the enemy. This was personal.

But this time, my heart recalled memory after memory of God’s faithfulness through my first loss. The details were covered with His fingerprints. He was there. And he mourned with us. He showed us we were not alone.

So, I claimed His faithfulness once again. I clung tightly to Him once again. I entrusted my broken heart to Him once again. Because I knew it is only in His hands that my shattered heart can rest & be restored.

One year ago today, my husband & I left the ER & began driving home, where I would see our Christmas tree in the living room & my baby ornament hanging.

I told Jarred I wanted to stop by the mall to get an ornament for this baby. Tomorrow was Christmas & our baby ornaments could be together.

But as we were driving, I knew I was too physically & emotionally depleted to muscle my way through crowds of last-minute shoppers, so I told my husband to just head home.

We pulled up in the driveway. On our front step was a box. It was from my adopted aunt. I opened it & began to weep.

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The perfect ornament. It even looked similar to my first baby’s ornament.

My aunt mailed me this little box days before. Nobody knew I would spend Christmas Eve in the ER finding out that I lost my second baby.

No one knew…

Except for my GOD.

And so, today, one year later, I hold my 3 month old; I snuggle my 2 year old; & I stare at my 2 baby ornaments. I declare my God as faithful in every day, every pain, every joy.

He loves us beyond measure. He is so very present in this very moment. And I am overwhelmed by His faithfulness.

Merry CHRISTmas.

Lord, Do you see me?

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“My child,

I see you. I see you right now, in this very moment. My eyes were the ones that first beheld your beauty; long before anyone else was captured by it. I created your inmost being; I knit you together in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13). Even before I formed you in that secret place, I knew you. I set you apart & I appointed you as a prophet to the nations (Jeremiah 1:5).

There is not a part of you that I don’t understand. There is not a piece of you that I do not love. There is not a wound you have that I cannot heal. You are my masterpiece. I take delight in you with gladness. I will calm your fears with my love. I rejoice over you with joyful songs (Zephaniah 3:17).

I am so pleased with you when you do what is right (1 Peter 2:19). I don’t ask for perfection, I ask for obedience. Our relationship is an ongoing, always-deepening one. It’s a journey. Keep chasing Me.

I know there are times when your heart aches. I promise to give you my peace that goes beyond your understanding (Philippians 4:7). When you are brokenhearted, I am closer to you than your next breath. I will save you when you feel your spirit is crushed (Psalm 34:18). There is not a depth vast enough, or a darkness strong enough to keep me from you. You are always in the palm of my hand & nothing can change that. No one can take you from me (John 10:29).

Do not rely on your own inadequate strength. You were created to rely on me. It is I alone who arm you with strength and keep your way secure (2 Samuel 22:33). Look to me; seek my face always (1 Chronicles 16:11). I have overcome the enemy. The victory is already yours.

I am El Roi, God who sees. I see you, my precious one. And oh, how I love you.”