Thursday, October 29, 2015

Beatrix Sonnet

When Faith turned one we started trying to get pregnant.  If we had been successful right away, I surely would have been overwhelmed to have kids so close in age - especially considering Faith's needs and abilities.  But, I reasoned, if we were never able to get pregnant again, I didn't want to look back at those months and wonder if we had missed our chance.  So in September of 2013, we started trying to get pregnant.

When we were coming around the bend to the one year mark, I was losing hope.  It took us 6 months to get pregnant with Lila and before Faith came into our lives, we had tried for 9 months again.  So added up together, we had spent nearly two years of our marriage trying to get pregnant.  20+ cycles of hope and disappointment.  And as each month circled around, the disappointment dissolved into despair and heartache.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.

In the summer of 2014 we had sold our little house and were living with my parents for a few months while we looked for our next house.  (Related: living with your parents is not an ideal baby-making environment.)  One morning I came across a website for dresses for mommies: Sonnet James.   I remember thinking, "Sonnet.  That's a cute name.  I wonder what it means."

Of course I knew a sonnet was a lyrical poem, but I am a tad obsessed with literal translations of words and names.  So I did a quick internet search and found that sonnet is derived from the Italian word sonetto and literally means "little song."

And just as I read the words "little song," that Still Small Voice reverberated around my heart: I'm going to give you a new Little Song.

You know how sometimes you want something so bad that you start to invent "signs" or reasons to be convinced that it's the right thing for you?  I thought it was that.  I thought I was manufacturing God's voice promising me a baby.

But still, I couldn't help but hope.  I kept the page with the definition of sonnet open on my phone so that I would be reminded of what I thought I heard God say when I would begin to lose hope.  I'm going to give you a new Little Song.

And then, miraculously, a few months later I was staring at two pink lines on a pregnancy test.  Our dream fulfilled.  Our Little Song.

Then, in December, the world came tumbling down.  I don't know that it will ever be appropriate to share the details of these last 10 months, but suffice it to say, we endured - are still enduring in many ways - the most difficult and darkest months of our marriage.  I was grief-stricken, heartbroken and distraught, but still, there was this little baby growing inside me.  Her life was a glimmer of joy in our sorrow and pain.  In my fear and in the darkness, I was reminded with each kick that God had spoken a beautiful promise into my heart and here she was, in the process of being fulfilled, as her cells came together in that mysterious and miraculous way of new life.  Even in my sorrow, my growing belly reminded me that God hears my prayers, knows my pain, and desires to fulfill my dreams.  God was near, he had not abandoned us, he was in the process of making things new.

Weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning.

As we searched for names for our Little Song, we knew we wanted an older name to fit with our Lila Josephine and Faith Margaret.  When we would come across a name we liked, we would look up the meaning of the name.  There were a few we truly loved, but the meanings were so-so.  Then, one day, I came across the name Beatrix.  I have always loved the charming books by Beatrix Potter and the name was romantic and beautiful.  So I looked up it's meaning and the name suddenly became so much sweeter.

Beatrix means Bringer of Joy.

Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.

We didn't decide right away on her name - in fact, we still hadn't totally decided when she was born!  But now I know, it has always been her name.  Her name is a sort of statement of faith for us.  Despite the adversities of the last year, we choose to turn our faces to the One who made us.  We are his, the sheep of his pasture. With her name, we lay claim to another promise from the Good Shepherd: that he would redeem our suffering - that he has already begun to do so by giving us our little Joy Bringer.

She lived up to her name in her first minutes of life.  Her existence in our family has brought us such joy.  Right now our story is still unfolding.  There are many things that still wait to be redeemed.  But the story of my life has this golden thread of hope and promise wound sparkling through it and I know that each seed of sorrow I plant will reap a harvest of joyful praise to the One who redeems all things.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.

Beatrix Sonnet, our Bringer of Joy, our Little Song, is a Tree of Life for us.  She is living, breathing (pooping, spitting up) proof that God keeps his promises.  She is a piece of the harvest that we are already tasting.

I hope that through her life, people will look at us and say, "The Lord has done great things for them."

The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.

Psalm 126
A song of ascents.
1When the Lord restored the fortunes ofa Zion,
we were like those who dreamed.b
2Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
3The Lord has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.
4Restore our fortunes,c Lord,
like streams in the Negev.
5Those who sow with tears
will reap with songs of joy.
6Those who go out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with them.