No, my title is not a typo. While I do love Fridays, what I am thankful for today is friends.

I have found myself in another hard place the last couple weeks. After another young cousin's death, frustrations at Matt's work, and many other small irritations, I am just feeling beat up. That combined with the fact that while we still long for another child, I have found myself surrounded by newly pregnant friends and family and friends with more young children than I can count. Don't get me wrong, I am really happy for these other people, but as a friend said, "Its not that I am not happy for them, I am just more sad for me." I know that sounds selfish,but it is one nasty part of grief and longing that I still struggle with deeply.

Yet in the midst of these struggles, I have friends (yes, even ones with beautiful small children) that breathe such truth into my life and remind me that my worth is not based in my fertility.

Last weekend, a great friend and her husband, came to visit. Though we don't get to see each other in person often, we email back and forth so much that I forget we are separated by 400 miles. Yet, for this weekend, we got to be together and we had a blast. On Friday, she and her husband took us out for an AMAZING dinner. I am pretty sure we consumed about a weeks worth of protein and cheeses (Actually we did. We calculated it at the Museum of Science and Industry on Saturday.), but it was so yummy. And we topped it off with chocolate fondue for dessert. Two pots of warm delicious chocolate....I was in heaven.

Then we had a blast on Saturday touring the Museum of Science and Industry, eating Italian beef, playing hours of games while laughing and talking, drinking lots of wine and eating even more junk food. Even though it was a calorific weekend, it was so much fun and it reminded me that even though I don't have any living children with me...or in the foreseeable future, there are still things (and people) that I love.

Here's a shot of us getting ready for our amazing, calorific dinner.

Then, yesterday, I met with another dear friend for coffee in the morning. After catching up a bit, we were talking about how I was dealing with a few things surrounding losing Isaiah and my longings for the future. I got a little choked up because I really have been struggling recently. In her tender, supportive way, she didn't make me feel bad or awkward for tearing up. I shared with her how in the midst of my prayers lately, I have been trying to focus on praying more for God's will than my specific plan. Of course, I still tell God the desires of my heart, but I am slowly (very slowly some days) learning to trust that God has a beautiful plan that will be for his glory and my best. Even though it doesn't always feel like it, I would rather get on board with that plan than try to devise my own.

To pray like that is scary though. What if I don't get what I want? Again, I know that sounds selfish...and it is, but that's honestly how I have felt. Then she shared a beautiful insight with me. Remember that night before Jesus' crucifixion, where he is praying in the garden. After wrestling in prayer he says, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done." Now that's where most of us stop and think, "Now that's real faith and trust. That's how we all need to pray." While there's truth in that, my friend pointed out that we shouldn't stop there - the next verse is so powerful. "An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him." The answer to his prayer was that the cup would not be taken from him, yet God would give him the strength to face it. Isn't that beautiful?! God could have said, "Nope, sorry. You are stuck with it. Good luck!" No, God lovingly gave him the strength he would need to get through.

Whether God chooses to answer my prayers, with "Yes," "No," or "Not now," I trust that he will give me the strength I need to face whatever comes. That thought hasn't completely lifted the weight I have been under for the past few weeks, but it gives me great encouragement to know, God will give me the strength I need to lift it. I don't have to do this on my own. Whew!

Its so beautiful to see how God uses my friendships to speak truth and love into my life. I have been blessed with some wonderful friends, and for that I am thankful!


If you could see me now

This week, my family suffered another terrible loss. My cousin Tyler, who is just months older than me passed away after an agonizing battle with Melanoma. So young...so sad. I wish I could think of the perfect words as a tribute to my cousin, but alas there are no words to capture what he meant to our family and to me. What I treasured about him was how present, how loving he was when I saw him. Because my dad left when I was just a baby and created an awkward strain on me and his family, I only go home to visit about once or so every year. Yet every time that I would go home, and get to see Tyler, I remember how he was always happy to see me and made me feel so loved and cared about. I will treasure the conversations I had with him and the times that we spent together.

I am sad that he suffered so greatly in his last days. As devastated as I am that he is gone, I find real hope in the fact that for those in Christ, death is a victory.

The song that I mentioned in my last blog, capture this hope that we have.


We love you Tyler! You will be missed, but we wish we could see you now!