After all of the miscarriages and six years of trying to have a baby, it took a long time to feel like myself again. Physically my body was a mess. I was black and blue from shots, and my digestive track was a continual mess from all of the fertility drugs. And I need not speak of my emotional state. Even though we came out of that dark era changed and with many war wounds, the experience strengthened our marriage and our faith.
I knew that all of that tragedy, stress, and pain had been allowed for a reason. It sounds strange, but I knew God would use it for our good. Somehow. I think of those years as those that the locust ate. On top of the losses of all of the babies, we also lost Stephen's sister to cancer, my grandmother to old age and dementia, and our cat Sam to some strange nasal-cavity malady. The final blow was the loss of my heart-dog, Tessa, who had been my fur-baby for eleven years. After all of that, Stephen and I both said we were through with loss and tragedy.
Then, three blessings occurred. We adopted a retired racing greyhound that we named Chase. He was a five-year-old, seventy-five-pound goof ball who turned our life upside down (in the best possible way). My little Tessa dog had been a quiet, self-sufficient dog who required very little. Chase needed a lot of time and attention. In fact, he was sort of like caring for a child. We loved him instantly. After Tessa died, we adopted Trinity--a twelve-pound Italian greyhound who became our "little baby girl." She was affectionate and cuddly and really filled the "baby void" for me.
In 2013, my husband suggested that we do something that we couldn't do if we had kids. We decided to go to England, Scotland, and Wales where I was able to show him all my old stomping grounds from when I'd once lived there. What thrilled me more than anything was how much he loved it. The trip meant as much to him as it did to me.
We now define that period in two different eras--before England and after. We were different people when we came back...we felt strangely healed. It was as though blinders had been removed from our eyes and we no longer mourned. An emotional wellness settled over us both, and we thanked God for these seemingly small blessings that had such a huge impact on our lives.
During this time, the song "Blessings" by Laura Story meant a lot to me. I think it holds true no matter what the tragedy or the trouble. Sometimes blessings do come through raindrops.