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Moving Forward

It’s easy to get stuck, eyes looking back at an event or circumstance. Like it has a grip on you, a hold over you. Thoughts of “what if” and “if only” and “why” keep your focus glued on the past. It’s easy to look back. It’s important to remember the past, honour it, process it, acknowledge it. It is also important not to get stuck there.

It’s hard to look sideways, to see where you are right now. Well, it’s easy in a way. It’s easy to see the hard bits, the tiring bits, the frustrations and difficulties. It’s harder to see the good things. The sticky hands that want to play with your hair can be annoying, but there is sweetness in it. Looking sideways, I have a husband who works, a toddler who plays and challenges and gives huge cheeky grins, and a baby who cuddles and smiles and puts much energy into growing like a bean. It’s tiring but it’s blessed. I need to remember to look intentionally so I see it.

It’s impossible to look sideways and then forget to also look up. Inevitably recognising what I have here, reminds me of the One who gives it and blesses it. Not only that, but I remember who is “up there” with the One who cares about them – and me – more than I can imagine. So constantly am I reminded of the babies up there, now I have a little boy down here, who occasionally gets called the name of his heaven-dwelling brother.

Backwards, sideways, upwards.

Forwards.

Acknowledging the past, letting myself heal. Appreciating the present, and the presence of my loved ones. Remembering the One who guards my life and the little ones with Him. Then, looking forward, with love, hope and faith, because if I can see God when I look backwards, sideways and upwards, I can trust that He’ll be there in the forward journey too.

 

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Hope is…

 

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When we moved house down to beautiful southern Tasmania, we had to do a lot of driving. That week there was rain every day. And you know what else? There were rainbows every day. Driving along the Huon River, there was rarely a drive where we did not see a rainbow.

Sometimes, in the midst of the storms and rain, it can be easy to focus on the mud. If we just look at our muddy feet or mud-splattered windscreen how easy it is to miss the glory above us. You can’t see a rainbow if you don’t look up.

I have been thinking on this: hopelessness, not death, is what should be feared.

If we love Jesus, believe in his promises, we grieve with hope. Hope that one day restoration will come. Take hope away, and what is left? “Lessness.” Just… LESS. Hope expands us, revives us, gives our spirits room to breathe. Vision for a better future, a healed, connected future… it gives us a reason to keep pushing through the pain.

Anyone can grasp this: do we not hope that broken legs will heal again? Without hope, waiting for broken bones to mend and the body to be restored would be horrible and depressing. The wait would seem unending, and anyway, how could we know that the leg won’t just stay the same?

Hope says, I believe my circumstances aren’t always going to be like this. Things will get better. One day I’m going to walk on this leg again. One day my heart will be healed.

We see in a rainbow a declaration of nature: the rain isn’t over but I’m grabbing hold of the sunshine that’s peeking through. The storm isn’t done yet, but I’m not going to wait to shine. It’s wet and miserable, but look at me, I am transforming this greyness into vivid beauty.

A rainbow reminds us that hope is most beautiful when the rain is pouring. If the rainbow waited until the rain was over to shine, it would never shine at all.

If we wait until life is good before we hope again, really, we have missed the whole point and purpose of hope.

Hope is planting seeds in spring.

Hope is pruning your fruit trees.

Hope is wearing thongs on your feet when Spring has barely begun.

Hope is buying a bigger car, because this one just won’t fit three kids.

Hope is getting that book you love, even if you don’t know how you’ll find time to read it.

Hope is declaring, “I will rejoice in my Heavenly Father, even though I don’t understand his ways.”

 

Beauty, Passion, and Hope

Esther’s House Gala Dinner, 2016

I was not sure what to expect when I walked up the steps of the building and toward the room hosting the third annual gala dinner for Esther’s House, for this was my first time attending. I had heard wonderful tales about a dessert auction and had been warned to that I would most likely cry at some point, so I came well prepared with cash and tissues.

The first thing that I noticed when I walked into the room was beauty. The room I had entered was beautiful, with tall white and green flower arrangements and soft candles. The women at the door were beautiful. Throughout the evening, there were continued moments of beauty: the singing, the honouring of people, laughter, beautiful cakes, and the beauty of so many people gathered together with the unified aim of supporting Esther’s House. Not least was the the inner beauty of the woman who spearheads Project Esther, and the beauty of vulnerability that she and the other speakers shared with us.

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As beautiful as it was, the night was just as passionate. I was moved by how deeply Gaye believes in this cause. Nothing said that night was just words. Everything was from a place of deep conviction. Each of the three speakers were eloquent and moving, compelling me to look at myself and ask, “what can I offer?” I was challenged by their passion. Pregnancy and motherhood has been something I have long been interested in, amplified after I lost several pregnancies, but I have struggled to know how to act on these interests. While at this dinner, I began to see how I could start putting actions to my beliefs.

The night was a lot of fun. It was fun to be with friends, acquaintances and other like-minded people – people who believe that there is hope and solutions for women who find themselves in impossible situations. It was fun to be silly and to not be looking after my toddler (back at home with daddy), and to catch up with people I had not seen for a long time. And this might sound trivial, but it was so enjoyable to dress up. I have not had the chance to wear my favourite dress and pile on sparkly eye-shadow for some time now, and I took full advantage.

Did I cry? Yes, a little. But I laughed more, and I feel like fresh hope was breathed in to me. There are people taking action to help provide resources, support and help to women who find themselves in vulnerable or even scary positions.

And I am sure you are wondering about the dessert auction. Let me assure you that it is all you can imagine, and that the Death by Chocolate cake our table won was a wonderful way to top off a beautiful, passionate, fun, and hope-filled evening.

The First Post

Starting a blog is always a bit scary. It is the first step – the easiest step – of a journey which you know will only succeed if you put in the effort to make it do so.

And so, my aims:

– to share my personal journey after pregnancy loss

– to be real and honest

– to share the good bits and the hard bits

– to create and foster a place of support and understanding and care

 

Let’s see how it goes.