I have been wanting to post since August 19 - the 4 month anniversary of Chloe's delivery. But, I haven't made the time to sit down, be quiet, and feel. I know it will be hard and the tears will come, so it often feels "inconvenient" so I procrastinate posting. Thoughts run through my head that I want to share, but I haven't sat down to type them out. As we approach Chloe's original due date on September 4, the feelings are starting to spill out and I can feel the tension in my body. I can't procrastinate it any more.
August 19 was actually better than I imagined. On my way to work, I literally thought about how thankful I am. That won't make sense to many people. Although the thought caught me by surprise, I thought about it and realized I really am thankful. I'm thankful that we had Chloe, even though it wasn't enough time for my preference. I'm thankful that we were blessed to spend 5 months with her in the womb. I'm thankful that we were able to see here perfect little body and hear her heartbeat through the ultrasound. I'm thankful that we know she was a girl, named her, and were able to hold her. I'm thankful for the way that she has changed me forever. I'm thankful for the way that she brought me closer to her Daddy. I'm thankful that she was my daughter. And I'm so thankful that she is having the best life possible in Heaven.
As I was thinking about all that, I wondered, "Are you thankful enough that you would do it all over again?" If I had a choice - to not have been pregnant with her and therefore still be in "la la" land, or go through the tragedy of losing her, I still would pick the pain. I suppose it is easier to say that because I know that she wasn't in pain. The impact her little life had on us and so many others, is so precious to me, and so important, that even with tears streaming down my face, I can say that I would rather have walked through it than never met her. And I'm glad I didn't get a vote - because I wouldn't have had the courage to go through this if I was given the option. I wish we could be refined without all the pain, but life on Earth doesn't work that way.
Since I'm a visual person, something I read in a book last year has really stuck with me over the last 6 months. The author was far more eloquent, but you'll get the idea.
There is far more beauty in a crystal cut vase than a plain crystal vase. When the sun touches the crystal cut vase it illuminates with light. It creates beautiful prisms of light throughout the room that dance around the walls and anything in its path. It is something to behold.
But put a plain vase in the sunlight - it isn't as beautiful. It is more dull and doesn't project the light in the same way.
In order for the crystal vase to have the deep sharp edges that allow the light to bounce in so many glorious directions - it has to be cut. The work is precise. It is rough and sharp, yet delicate so that the vase doesn't crack or break completely. There is so much craftsmanship that goes into making a treasured, valuable vase. It is worth the effort because the artisan knows that the results (the purpose of the cutting) are grander than we could ever imagine. And the beauty when it is complete, is well worth the discomfort and work that it took to create the final product.
The plain vase without any grooves, depth, or interest is easier to make. It doesn't require an artisan craftsman and it doesn't take as long. It also doesn't shine as brightly or illuminate the light in the same way. It still serves its purpose - it can hold beautiful flowers, but it doesn't shine in the same way.
I remembered this illustration several months ago and since then have had a beautiful cut vase on our table. It doesn't have flowers in it. It doesn't need them. The vase is the reminder.
We are that crystal cut vase. We have had serious life stuff happen to us. Each painful experience is another deep groove that is cut into us.
My mom's death - cut.
Chloe's diagnosis - cut.
Cut. Cut. Cut.
It is uncomfortable and painful. It is dangerous. It is messy.
It is delicate work that could break us at any minute.
But the Master Craftsman knows exactly what He is doing and He is delicate with us, even through the refining. He doesn't allow more than we can handle, and He protects us along the way. Because He knows what we will look like when we are complete, when the work is done, He allows the process to take place.
And when it is complete, we will radiate His light more deeply, more richly, and more brightly because of the deep grooves in our lives. The deeper the cut, the more brilliantly the Light will shine through. It doesn't make it easy. And it doesn't make it fun.
But I believe His promise that He will work all things for good for those who are called according to His purpose. I know that God had a purpose for Chloe's life, He had a purpose is making us her parents, and He has a purpose for her legacy.
That is all for now. This week is tough as I am anxious about September 4. I don't know how I will feel and I know it is a big milestone. God will get us through it, but we would appreciate your prayers for comfort and peace. Thank you in advance.
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