Monday, January 5, 2015

New Year

Wow... it has been a while.  2014 was a significant year in our household.  The year began in the wake of significant heartbreak following the loss of our sweet Ethan.  That loss really opened up something in my heart that freed me to quit trying to hold it together or work hard enough to earn God's favor.  It was simultaneously painfully difficult and wonderfully freeing to come to a point of real brokenness, allow myself to feel hurt, anger, disappointment, and deep grief. 

In His mercy, God did not leave me there.  He showed himself to be ever-present and no matter how I came to Him - angry, defeated, hopeless - He did not withdraw His hand and continued pour out kindness.  In the Spring, shortly before Jeff's birthday, we found out that we were pregnant again.  I remember feeling immediately terrified and not very joyful.  Through each doctor's appointment and ultrasound, God carried me, despite the terror and the uncertainty - He was faithful.  I was consistently reminded that no matter what the outcome of this pregnancy was - I would be okay.  That is a benefit to facing your worst fears and coming out on the other side ... there isn't anything to be afraid of anymore. 

On November, 18, 2014 at 11:58 AM after just a few hours of labor, we welcomed our daughter, Lydia Grace Priour to the world.  She is perfect.  She has a ton of hair, a beautiful smile, a sweet and easy going nature.  She is all we prayed for and hoped could be ours. 

Our first meeting

While this is certainly what we prayed for and we were overjoyed to bring our daughter home, it doesn't re-write our story.  There is a Lydia because there is not an Ethan, there was an Ethan because there was not a baby conceived before him.  There has been significant loss that will always be a part of our family.  I couldn't have chosen this path and having a healthy baby right now does not erase the pain of the years prior.  However, having been through that pain I learned things about myself and my family that I can't imagine we would have learned otherwise.  I am certain now that God will be enough ... no matter what.  When Lydia won't go to sleep, when she screams at me and I don't know why, when being Mommy is hard, it is much easier to choose gratefulness and patience.  I am grateful for our family, and I am also grateful for the journey to this point - even the painful, terrible parts.  It has shaped each of us - Jeff, Haydn, myself.  I don't pretend to understand why for some the journey to grow a family is difficult and painful and for others it is seemingly effortless, but I do know that no matter what your story is - God wants to use it, if you will let Him.  I am excited about 2015 and the new adventures God has in store for us.  One day at a time, that is all we have been given and what is entrusted to us... one day.  Live it fully, whether rejoicing, grieving, or waiting, God has a purpose for this day.

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