How long should I blog here?
Initially I decided that I would blog
for as long as I felt it served a purpose,
then later I decided I needed a more finite goal.
I would blog about our journey with Amelia, each Wednesday,
until what would have been her 1st earthly birthday,
July 28, 2011.
That is kind of where I am at now.
In thinking about how long I should continue to blog here,
it got me thinking about the reasons I blog.
Why do I do it?
Who is the blog really for?
Should I talk about the new baby growing inside of me here?
Should I share updates about Noah here?
Should I delve into my grief here without sensor?
Is this my personal journal
or Amelia's journey?
It isn't as easy as you might think to sort it all out.
When I started the blog it was a way to update our family on the day to day changes with my pregnancy with Amelia and as a way to share our little girl's brief life with a family she would never know on this side of heaven.
In the weeks that followed the blog reached so many more people than I ever dreamed would be touched by our story and our Amelia. The blog took on a new voice and became a testimony of our Lord's hand in all things. It became my daily devotional, recording the ways God was leading us down the dark and twisty path laid out before our family. The blog is Amelia's story, her legacy.
The blog also became a lifeline for me as it connected me with so many amazing baby loss families experiencing a loss similar to ours. These women have walked along side me, offering encouragement, solidarity, prayer and love. I have not, and likely will never, meet any of these women (and men) but they are continuously in my heart, mind and prayers. I like to think Amelia's blog has served as a lifeline for parents who received a similar or terminal diagnosis in the weeks and months following March 15, 2010. I prayed that parents receiving the diagnosis "Anencephaly" would in their hunt for more information, Google to find our story, rather than the horrors and negativity we initially found online. I prayed that these parents would find us and be encouraged, strengthened and supported as we were when we discovered this amazing community of Christian Baby Loss Moms & Dads.
Believe it or not, this blog has pushed my own personal boundaries of what I keep buried deep inside myself and what I allow the world to see. Though in so many ways I am a very "public" person - when it comes to my grief I would much prefer to keep it all hidden. I HATE crying in front of people. I don't even like to appear sad in front of people. My entire life I have worn the mask of a smile and it has been my shield. I believe daily, hourly even, we are given a choice of how we will react to things. I prefer Joy to all other expression. Who wouldn't really? Who doesn't love to be happy?!? The loss of my daughter is the first time in my life where I am so overcome with sadness that it truly is an effort to be joyful at times.
The blog has been a "safe" place to share the sadness I carry (as well as the Joy) that I do not feel comfortable exposing in person. I feel there is a great value to sharing the emotional struggles grief has forced upon me with other women who are facing similar battles. In our honesty, we can support and love each other, we don't have to remain silenced or isolated by our sorrow. Sometimes I do feel compelled to sensor what I share here knowing that there are people I see daily that cannot understand this grief and it's ugliness. Sometimes that makes me sad because I feel I am choosing to protect myself and those in my "real life" rather than offering solidarity and openness to those in my "virtual life."
Occasionally I am thrown a loop at the consequences of sharing our journey, my grief and our daughters legacy in such a public format. Sometimes I fear I have hurt people's feelings. Occasionally peoples comments hurt. Sometimes it opens the door to criticism of how I share and muddle through life with and without Amelia. I have been tempted to stop blogging, to draw the curtains and keep people out rather than welcoming them in and letting them see God at work in all parts of our lives. It is very scary to reveal your failures as a mother, wife, friend and as a Christian. Particularly scary when you reveal it to strangers you cannot see peaking into your life from the other side of a computer monitor!
But I feel strongly that I should not limit where God chooses to take our daughter's story no matter how that challenges me personally. And so I blog, and I pray, and I pray some more.
I still feel this blog has purpose in reaching other parents having just received a terminal diagnosis or going through the days, weeks, months and years that follow.
I pray that God continue to use me, my family and my daughter to reach people with his saving love and grace.
With all of the above in mind,
I have decided to stick with my original goal to blog here until Amelia's first birthday.
Wednesday will always be her day, whether I blog or not.
I have left the door open beyond that date and will continue to pray for guidance in the direction of Amelia's blog.
I do intend to blog about Amelia's baby brother/sister here on her blog. I feel that this pregnancy, a pregnancy following a loss, has a purpose in sharing God's grace, timing and perfect plan for each of our lives. This child is a part of Amelia and her legacy and in that way alone, has a right to be shared joyfully here on her blog; this journal of LIFE.
I ask for your prayers as I continue this journey of blogging in honor of our sweet girl. I will in turn be saying prayers for you. Prayers that God use our story to bring you closer to him.
On that note, if you would be so kind...
I ask that you share with us if and how our Amelia Grace has impacted your life. I will never tire of hearing the ways in which our Lord has used our little girl to touch you. You can comment on the blog or email me directly if you'd prefer at firstname.lastname@example.org
"These things I have spoken to you,
that in Me you may have peace.
In the world you have tribulation,
but take courage; I have overcome the world."
Be anxious for nothing,
but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God,
which surpasses all comprehension,
shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.