Thursday, November 24, 2011

Here I Raise My Ebenezer

It's Thanksgiving and a great time for reflection over the past year.  Most people reflect on their year at New Year's, but this year it only makes since to reflect on Thanksgiving.  It was 1 year ago today that we found out that we had lost our tiny baby in the womb. 

When I look back on the past year, it will be as a year of growth.  I have never grown more in a single year than this particular one.  What started on November 24, 2010 triggered a series of events that forced me to depend on God more than I ever have before, and not all of those events were bad. 

As a quick recap, here is what we have been through in the past year.
  • We lost the baby
  • My body took 5 1/2 months to recover from the miscarriage
  • I got pregnant again the first month my body was back to normal
  • The early stages of pregnancy were filled with anxiety
  • We found out the baby I am now carrying may have Downs Syndrome
  • Ryan's Grandmother had a stroke and passed away
  • Ryan's family dog passed away
  • Our dog Libby passed away
  • We found out that Ainsley has a gross motor skill delay
  • We found out that the baby I am carrying now more than likely doesn't have Down Syndrome
  • The end of this pregnancy has been drastically more difficult than my pregnancy with Ainsley
And when I look at that list and see blessings and struggles, what I see more is God's grace.  Through each of those circumstances, God has taught me so much about His grace and His love for me.  He has used His Spirit, His People, and His Word to minister to me. 

I am calling this past year my Ebenezer year.  I am putting a stone on the ground in my memory of this year so that when I look back at my life, I can always remember God's goodness and mercy.

Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Thus far has the LORD helped us. 1 Samuel 7:12

And seeing that it is Thanksgiving, my heart is overflowing with thankfulness.  Thankfulness for struggles.  Thankfulness for blessings.  And most of all, Thankfulness for a God that loves me. 

Come, thou Fount of every blessing,
tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing,
call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it,
mount of thy redeeming love. 

Here I raise mine Ebenezer;
hither by thy help I'm come;
and I hope, by thy good pleasure,
safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
wandering from the fold of God;
he, to rescue me from danger,
interposed his precious blood. 

O to grace how great a debtor
daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
here's my heart,
O take and seal it,
seal it for thy courts above.

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