A Labor of Love.

For some reason, it helps me to write about hard stuff. Like, the stuff that no one usually talks about except [maybe] with a trusted friend or two. But it is therapeutic for me to write. I write it here, because I find it can help others as well who are dealing with the same issues, but are afraid to voice their feelings.

Well this past week, I couldn’t help but reflect on my labor experience with my Levi.

I mean, I feel like it’s pretty normal to reflect on birth events when it is a child’s actual birthday.
One year ago today, I… 
Three years ago today, you… 
Six years ago today, Daddy… 

But I dwelt on it a lot over the past couple of weeks.

Maybe it is because tons of my friends have had babies lately, so I’ve been able to google over their adorable fat rolls and sleeping faces and tiny newborn clothes. Or maybe it has to do with losing baby Grace, because, yea, I’m still dealing with that day by day. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s because I’m still wondering why it happened the way that it did.

Should I be surprised that God is still using that experience to speak to me and teach me? No.
Should I be surprised that the very week that Levi was discharged from the NICU last year is the same week that a close friend’s baby was admitted to the NICU this year? For the very same reason. No.

God is working. He is still working in me. Even when I thought I had recovered, gotten over it, moved on, He brings up all these restrained feelings that I had never worked through.

Things like:
God, why did I never have the experience of getting to snuggle and hold and love my baby the minutes and hours after his birth?
God, why didn’t I get to really spend time with him until he was nearly 6 hours old?
God, why does my husband have to go back to work after 2 days?
God, where are You in all of this? Why do I feel alone?
God, what is Your purpose for this experience?

Yes, I know the practical answers to most of these questions. And those are the things I told myself at the time.
Levi can’t breathe…and they need to take him away to help him. 
Brian can’t take an entire week off of work. We have bills to pay.
God tells me He is always with me and that His plans are better than my own.

December 6th, 2012: The day Levi came home from the NICU–after 5 emotional days of asking myself these questions over and over.
December 6th, 2013: I’m still asking.

I’ve been talking to my dear friend all week as her brand new baby boy deals with the same struggles. And as she and her husband deal with the same pain that Brian and I faced. I’m confronted with these emotions all over again. Why, God, why?

And I truly believe that now, one year later, he has revealed some of the answer to me when he says:
I am the Great Physician. I sustain life and I end life. I gave Levi breath in his lungs and I helped those same lungs to develop rapidly over the course of 5 days. I am the Great Physician.

I am the Creator. I created and fashioned that precious boy in your womb for 36 weeks and I told him the time to enter the world. I never left either of you. I am the Creator.

I am Sovereign. Yes, I control all things. I do. Not you, but I. You thought you had the plan, the ideas, the vision of how this was going to go–but daughter, I have the control. Relinquish it. I am Sovereign.

I am the Provider. I provided you and your husband with work–work that you both enjoy. Be thankful for it. I’ll take care of you. I am the Provider.

I am a watchful Protector. In those hours that you couldn’t spend with your newborn son, I was there. I held him dearly. I not only kept him alive, but I loved Him more than you even could. I am a watchful Protector.

Seriously. God has been teaching me these things this week. And it’s not any new information. It’s truth I’ve heard since I was a child. But this situation brings new meaning to those words. It’s these very words that I can use to encourage my friend who is battling with the same trust issues with God that I was just a short year ago.

In all honesty, I do still deal with my questions of “why?” and I’m sure I’ll continue to work through them. If things had gone my way, I would’ve been able to hold my baby in my own room up until the day we were both discharged together. I wouldn’t have had to pump milk and deliver it to the NICU around the clock for days straight–I would have instead been able to nurse Levi within minutes of his birth. Instead of arriving home on December 3rd without our son, the three of us would have entered our door together, anxious to begin this new adventure.

But, you know what? Things didn’t go my way. And that is okay.

God provided a child for us! An overall healthy, beautiful baby boy. What a blessing! Totally God.

God provided around the clock care for my sick little baby–the best nurses we could have ever asked for. Certainly better care than I could have ever given him at that time. Totally God.

God provided milk that I could pump for him in the hospital. And when he got home, the tiny guy who could barely eat 1/4 of an ounce, nursed for the rest of his first year without any issue at all. Totally God.

God provided me with three days of physical and emotional rest at home, before that little man was discharged and turned our life upside down! Totally God.

I learned a lot from this experience. It’s not something I would have chosen and certainly not something I desire for any future children, but God knew what He was doing. He knew that it would bring us to the end of ourselves and encourage us to fully rely on Him.

Relinquish control, My daughter. Just give it up.


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