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I have always thought of myself as a “kid person.” I did a lot of baby sitting as a teenager, I taught Sunday School for years, and I even had the opportunity to work as a live-in nanny for one spunky little 5-year-old. Jonathan & I met while working at a bible camp. {For the most part 🙂 } I enjoyed working with kids.

I assumed, one day, when the timing was right, we would have a family. I enjoyed my pregnancies. They were not always comfortable :), and I was so very thankful when I could take a deep breath again, see my toes again :), sleep better again … well, that didn’t come for several years, actually … but I always felt like pregnancy was a gift.

And then, suddenly, I wasn’t sure I would ever experience it again.

Kezia was our second baby, and she was born slightly early – only by about 10 days or so. But, as silly as it seems, I wasn’t ready to be finished with pregnancy yet. And in the days and months of fear and grief that followed, there was a deeper, underlying pain….

…. What if we never go on to have any more children.

After that, holding other people’s babies was hard. HARD. Celebrating other joyous arrivals brought times of preparation for myself – wrapping a gift, preparing a meal – in tears. After, I would chide myself, whispering …  Just be grateful for what you have. What you have is good. It is enough. Get over it already.

Ah. But grief. It requires honesty before it can move forward.

When things like this turn out in ways other than what we have dreamed, whether it’s a lost baby, babies that we never held, family life that looks significantly different than anticipated, it can be as – or even more so – challenging than dealing with a specific diagnosis. Navigating the thoughts and feelings and even relationships, especially with your spouse or close connections that seem to be receiving what you are longing for, can feel crazy. And it is good to have a safe place to go to help process it all.

And yes, we did go on to have another child. The journey toward Baby #3, Lexi, is a story in and of itself. A beautiful story of healing and redemption, complicated conversations and a whole lot of waiting! Her pregnancy was not without its own worries and I was relieved when that part was done.

But if we hadn’t — would that have been hard? Yes. It would have been. Very hard. But, before we moved toward a third baby, a significant healing had already taken place. I knew, without a doubt, that we would be okay no matter what. One morning while reading from the psalms, this gem stood out to me….

my portion and my cup - delightful inheritance Psalm ch 16 vrs 5-6.jpg

Source: akmayes.com

What we were already given was more than enough. And somehow, if things were different than we had initially anticipated, that was a part of life that we would learn to embrace.

Now … I do love to hold other people’s babies. I can snuggle them … and rock them …. and then hand them back and go home and sleep through the night :). HA! And this past weekend, we celebrated the arrival of a nephew – my sister’s son. And I marvelled.

As I held him, and saw life, I was also deeply thankful. No more tears.

The LORD has healed.

Sometimes we still get asked if we are “done” having babies :). Honestly, I’m not sure if I’ll ever be “done.” Is it something I anticipate? No. Not exactly. Life is full and good. But you never know what blessings lay around the next bend :).