I am wife to a magnificent man and mother to five wonderful children. Three of my children were born in the Northwest and two were born thousands of miles away in Liberia, West Africa. Birthplace is no matter, all of my children were born in my heart. This is our journey.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Trading ashes for beauty

For me autumn always seems to usher introspection in with the colors. I felt the shift a few weeks ago. Everything around me takes on deeper meaning, highs are higher and lows lower. At times I welcome the depth of emotion and stay there awhile. Other times I avoid books, blogs and passages of scripture that challenge my core knowing it will go to a place I am fiercely protecting. I deny the journey for a moment convinced I will drown in the darkness.

It was a cold and brisk fall day when I went into labor much too early with our first daughter. The colors were changing and Steve was woodcutting with family. The smells and colors of fall bring it all back in an instant. I'll turn the corner on a country road and the autumnal display of reds and yellows will make me catch my breath as the reminder brings it all rushing back. The smell of a warming fire or the sound of crisp leaves under my feet is all it takes.

It was the following fall when we welcomed our second daughter into this world, this child we would take home to keep. I spent the nine months fighting grief refusing this child I carried to know only a crying mother. Her arrival, however, opened my heart to joy once again but also to the grief of my loss that snuck in the same door. A joy we desperately clung to, this child of grace who brought healing to our hearts. Unaware her joy and grace were a salve to our wounds, a sling for our hearts and a safe place to let go.

It was that same fall it became clear to both of us that God had plans for us still. Plans for us to prosper, for a hope, for a future. Our little family of three would not be the same. Our little girl was just five weeks old when we made the decision to accept the call on our hearts to open our family to two little children across the ocean. The prayer of my mother's heart she prayed on our wedding day coming to fruition that we would be blessed with children and a blessing to children. Life is a gift we said, one we have now with no guarantee of tomorrow. Now is the time.

It was again fall the next year when those little round faces joined our family making us a family of five. Three more years and two more little faces born to us, now a family of seven. Each change of the seasons bringing more and more life as the grief slowly faded.

Watching the colors change this year I am once again reminded of my grief. Once again I feel it washing over me but it does not overtake. When I catch my breath and look around my table, I see the blessings of my children that are my beauty from the ashes.


Faith said...

Beautiful, just beautiful. Praying for you during this season that God would lift you up!

MommaofMany said...

i know exactly what you mean. When I had my second miscarriage, we were learning a new song at church. I still can't sing it at all, or even sit through it without tears. (((hugs)))

Heidi Girl said...

Angie, I love the way that I can hear your heart as I read your post. The words are so incredibly beautiful!
With love, Heidi

Jennifer said...

I still can't sing it at all, or even sit through it without tears. (((hugs)))