I wanted to share a few of the resources that were helpful to me as I worked through this process in November and also as we survived the two months in the hospital and two more months of crazy once baby girl came home. God prepared me very well for what we went through and I had an arsenal of tools at my disposal. My prayer is that someone else struggling, still stranded in the waiting and watching phase, can make use of the great things that God blessed me with.
The most important resource I used was my family, both spiritual and physical. God blessed my husband and me with each other, amazing parents and extended family, and an incredibly supportive church family. We aren't meant to do life alone, especially the hard parts. My advice is to find a community to plug into, one that has the power to recharge you and allow you to use your gifts. A good church is best suited for this, but ultimately, when things get rough, you need to be somewhere you feel comfortable. Plug in. You may need that support one day or be able to provide support for someone else in need.
While writing my posts, I used ESVBible.org and the ESV Study Bible. It's actually my husband's Bible, but the notes, explication of passages, and references to other related passages were invaluable to me as I sought to understand how the Word was speaking into our situation. I also spent a lot of time listening to the music from Seeds Family Worship. Their music is designed to teach kids scripture passages so it's basically just the words of scripture put to music. And pretty good music at that! I found it very encouraging to listen to, and I loved getting it stuck in my head. It lifted me up when I needed it and helped me to meditate more on the beautiful passages. Honestly, I've just listened to the featured songs that loop on the website! I definitely want all the CDs eventually, though.
A few other random resources... I listen to A Song for the Suffering at least once a week. It's so beautiful and encouraging and healing for my soul. I also highly recommend the connected sermon! I also follow a blog called Chasing Rainbows. You have to read this family's story for yourself to get the whole picture, but suffice it to say they have seen their share of struggles and mountain-top moments. I actually came across the blog on the day that Kate, the writer, lost her oldest son who was 5 at the time. I was seven months pregnant with my daughter with no idea about what we would face with her. When we were in the most difficult times, Kate's very honest posts helped me connect and deal with my own emotions. It helped me feel connected to someone else who had watched their children struggle and I needed that at the time. Today I am celebrating with her as she meets her newest blessing, Hope Margaret! Seriously, an incredible story. I also recommend A Holy Experience, a blog written by Ann Voskamp. Several of her posts have been picked up by major news outlets and I get why. She is a phenomenal writer and has a unique way of conveying her thoughts. She also has an incredible faith that overflows in her words. She manages to comment on current issues in a way that digs into their root and she illuminates how we can see God in those places. I linked to one of her posts when I wrote about my sweet husband. She inspired me!
I have been trying to feel out a direction for this blog from here on out. I love writing. It is so therapeutic for me, and I'm glad there are people who enjoy reading! My tentative plan is to keep writing at least once a week, share what is going on in our lives and what God is teaching me. I love to think God has a vision for where we will go from here, and I want to follow that vision intentionally, looking for Him in our days. I will continue to share any new posts on Facebook, but I also opened up the blog for people to follow by email or RSS feed. Find the buttons on the right sidebar if you want to make sure you don't miss any posts! Until next time...