It went something like this:
Jes said, "Hey, let's start trying to get pregnant."
Brad replied, "Okay. I agree, now is the time."
One month later we were pregnant...with twins. Two months later we weren't. We had suffered a miscarriage. We found out the day before Thanksgiving. We had our first D&C the day after Thanksgiving. Needless to say, it was a tough Thanksgiving Day in the Phillips house. No one wanted to say the glib, "You'll try again. It'll happen. Just give it time. God has a plan. You'll be pregnant by Christmas." Everyone in my family knows better than to say things like that to me when I'm grieving for fear of getting throat punched. Instead my family gave me what I needed, a hand to hold, a tissue to wipe the tears away, a laugh at my expense (or my Mom's expense, or my Sister's expense), and most importantly, they gave me family time in the kitchen.
If you know me at all, you'll think that last line was a major typo. "Jessica doesn't cook. She calls her kitchen an "accessory." Like a wallet that comes with a purse, a kitchen comes with a house." Yes, I know I'm no Martha Stewart. I'm more Frankie Heck from "The Middle" when it comes to cooking. But Thanksgiving and Christmas are holidays that I like being in the kitchen with my Mom, Sister, Mother-in-Law, and every other person we can squeeze in. Cook. Eat. Clean. Eat. Reheat. Eat. Repeat for the next three days or until the leftovers are gone.
I didn't eat much that day. My appetite was subpar because my heart was broken. But the time I spent with my family filled me up. It didn't just fill up my stomach, it filled up my soul.
God is so good. Someone needs to hear that, to be reminded of that. Even in our greatest heartache clouded with grief and questions and doubt, God is still good.
Psalm 34:8 says, "Oh, Taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man (woman) who trusts in Him!"
I couldn't eat enough of my feelings on that Thanksgiving Day in 2008 to feel good. But I could taste the things of God and be renewed with a sense that He is good and I'm in good hands, even though I was hurt and didn't understand why this heartbreak had landed on us.
The way that I practically "taste and see" is through gratitude. I write out what I'm thankful for. Or I spend time in prayer or praise just saying out loud to God the things that He's blessed me with. I count my blessings. It's corny, but it really does turn my frown upside down. And when my heart has been so heavy that a smile might just fracture my face, I praise Him, thank Him all while sobbing my eyes out to Him.
Brad and I tasted and saw that the Lord was good during the first miscarriage, and the second miscarriage and about five surgeries & procedures and fertility drugs...and you know what we learned? The Lord is good. The Lord is trustworthy. And we are blessed!
God gave us a baby in 2011. A little girl, Emery Noel. I often tell my little Emmy that she's so sweet and yummy that I just want to eat her up. She giggles and says, "No eat me Mommy!" And I tell her, "Oh Emmy! I've tasted! I've seen! The Lord is good!"
Trust Him. Even when your hope is dashed and your heart is hurting, He is good, He loves you and your biggest blessing and miracle is on it's way. Through Him you can KEEP GOING!
PS - Here's a throwback for you! Enjoy.
Thanksgiving Day 2008
Count your blessings name them one-by-one!
Jenni & Mom
(two of my life's biggest blessings)
Just a swingin'
Seeesters. Laughing til we cry.
My handsome hubby, Brad. BIG, HUGE blessing!
He was watching us crazy girls on the swing set.
My niece, Karis Paige.
She was one of the GREATEST blessings I counted that year
(and every year)!
Fast Forward to August 2010
3 months pregnant with Emery
We sure are puuurty after we've been airbrushed!
Emery Noel Phillips
Thank you, Father, for blessing us so richly.