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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Blessings in Disguise


                 Blessings by Laura Story

 We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering

All the while You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You're near?

What if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise?

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough

And all the while You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You're near?

And what if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise?

When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It's not our home

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You're near?

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst
This world can't satisfy?

And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise?

     This song, without fail, brings tears to my eyes each time I hear it. This morning on my way home from the dentist, I heard a short interview with Laura Story, who sings the song.  During the interview she talked about how we often believe that blessings are answers to our prayers. When God gives us what we ask for, or when he provides exactly the answer we wanted.  But often, she said, God does not answer our prayers the way we would like. Sometimes he responds in a way that we did not expect our anticipate. Our answered prayers do not always turn out the way we had hoped. 
     This rang so true in my heart this morning. As I was driving alone in my car, I realized that so often when we pray, we just expect that God will hear our request and then make it happen. I remember praying even before we knew Caroline existed, that he would bless our home with happy and healthy children. I remember once we found out she was growing inside of me, still so very tiny, that we prayed constantly for God to help her to grow strong and healthy. We prayed that he would form our little baby into a beautiful child of his, and that he would bless her with a long and happy life. We prayed with eager anticipation that God would prepare our hearts with wisdom to be her parents. However, looking back now I realize that those prayers did not get answered in the way that we had hoped. Even though we prayed diligently, and with strong faith that God would grant us those things, we did not get the answers we desperately wanted. 
     Yet this morning as I reflected back on the past year of our life, I realize that we have truly been blessed beyond measure. God did not answer our prayers in the way we had hoped for, but that does not mean he has not answered our prayers.  As the song says...

                            Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
                            What if Your healing comes through tears?
                            What if a thousand sleepless nights
                            Are what it takes to know You're near?

                            What if trials of this life
                            Are Your mercies in disguise?
    

   My blessings did not come through the exact answers to my prayers. But I have learned that a blessing does not have to be an exact answer to my prayers. Sometimes God chooses a different path for us to walk. That road is not always the happy and sunny road. Sometimes we must face the storms, and the rain. Sometimes the path God chooses for us brings countless days filled with tears. Sometimes the path God chooses for us includes night after sleepless night. Sometimes the path God chooses for us seems like it will never end, and that we are constantly trudging through the dark shadows, unsure of where our next step will lead. I wanted so badly to be a mom. I wanted so badly to carry her in my arms as we left the hospital. I wanted so badly to hear her laugh, and see her smile. But those are not the blessings that God choose for me.
    But let me never fail to say that I am blessed. Although I never would have said this before, I have learned that God has used my tears to bring healing. He has used all of my sleepless nights to remind me that he is near. I have found above all else, that in the midst of the most heartbreaking pain, God does fill me with his blessings. In fact, his abundant blessings have become so real to me throughout this entire journey. 

     

   
     One of the ways that I have been blessed by God is through the beauty of nature. I recently stumbled across a website of a lady who used photography as a way of healing as she dealt with the loss of her daughter. I am by no means a photographer, I do not have an eye for that kind of thing! But her journey inspired me to try it for myself. I have taken my old camera outside as I go for walks, and I snap pictures of things that catch my eye. The picture above is a rose that I watered over and over when Caroline was still with me. I remember talking to her about the color of the roses, and how the water felt on my hot feet. Now as I took this picture,  I smiled.  This rose was a blessing then, and it is such a blessing now. The beautiful pink color reminds me of how beautiful and delicate my sweet girl was as I held her in my arms. It also reminds me of the happy memories that she and I shared together. God truly does give us beautiful blessings! This journey has taught me that often the blessings from God do not always just stare at us right in the face. Sometimes we have to intentionally stop and look for them.
     Another way I have been blessed by God is through music. There are so many songs that speak directly to my heart. But some of the songs are incredibly difficult to hear. Many times they bring back memories that are so painful. I have found myself changing the radio station multiple times, when the pain is just too great. I have not been able to listen to the song "Overcomer" yet,  because that was the song that I sang to Caroline often, and she loved it. But sometimes when I just need to cry, or hear words that describe how I am feeling, I love to listen to music. I find that it is not only healing,  but it also brings me comfort. Often I have found myself pulling over in my car because the tears are falling so heavy that I cannot see. There are so many songs that I can relate to, because they are able to put words into what I am feeling. I believe that God has blessed me with music at this time, to help me process the pain, hurt, and grief that I am feeling.
     God has also blessed me with so many amazing people in my life. I just continue to stand in awe of the cards, flowers, phone calls, messages, gifts, prayers, and words of encouragement that continue to flood over us. I cannot even begin to express how much it means to us. God has truly blessed us with the greatest support system, and we can never say thank you enough. As difficult as it continues to be, we would have never realized just how blessed we really are, until we have gone through something like this.


     As real and as true as God's blessings have been in my life, it is not always easy to see them. Some days I cry out to God, asking him why he would take my baby away from me. I ask him why he could not just answer my prayers the way I had asked.  I question why other moms get to keep their baby forever, and I am left alone. I get angry and upset. It hurts more than I can ever express. It is not fair. It does not make sense. And most of all, I question why God would not even give me answers. As the song says...

                              We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
                              We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
                              We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
                              As if every promise from Your Word is not enough

                              And all the while You hear each desperate plea
                              And long that we'd have faith to believe

     I do understand why God would choose to let us face the cruel reality of losing our baby. I do not understand why I must cry more tears than I ever thought possible, and then cry again some more. I do not understand why I must lay awake in the darkness of the night, while my mind fills with guilt and sorrow. Those are all things I never would have prayed for, and they are certainly not things that I would consider to be blessings. But. ..

    I believe that God heard each and every prayer. He heard the prayers of my heart from before Caroline even existed. God just chose a different path for us to take, and although the blessings I have received are not necessarily ones I would have ever asked for, they are enough for me.
     I am so thankful that God has been able to strength my faith in him, and that he has used this journey to show me blessings that I never would have seen before. He does not promise to always give us what we ask for, but maybe that is not what a blessing really is. I believe that God gives us blessings as we face the journey he has placed before us. He does not expect us to walk through the trials of this life alone.  When we are facing the darkest moments in life, God uses them to reveal his mercies and his blessings to us.

     The most beautiful part of the song...

                                When darkness seems to win
                                We know that pain reminds this heart
                                That this is not, this is not our home
                                 It's not our home

     The pain and the heartbreak that I am feeling truly does remind me that I will not be here forever. One day, I will be reunited with my precious little girl! One day I will hold her in my arms once again. I do not grieve without hope. Because I have hope, deep down in my heart, that one day I will see my Caroline again. It will be a glorious day! I long for that day with every breath that I take. There was a sign that I saw recently which read, Hope Can See Heaven Through The Thickest Clouds. Even though I am walking down this journey with aching empty arms, and even though I wonder if my life will ever be okay again, I do have hope, which gives me the strength to keep pressing on. I know that the pain I am suffering here on this earth will only seem like a moment,  compared to the joy I will have in heaven with my daughter forever. And that... is God's blessing to me!


                                          To Caroline,  my greatest blessing from God!




   

3 comments:

  1. This was a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing your pain so honestly. Praying for you during this difficult season.

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  2. Amalia, this is Jill from Tumble Time at Milestones...I just discovered your blog and I wanted to let you know how much it has touched my life. You are constantly on my heart and I pray for you daily.

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  3. thanks for keep sharing Amalia

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