Guilt

I struggle with guilt a lot...

Yes, even now, with Mercy home, growing fast, and healthy as ever... I still find myself questioning what I did to cause her early arrival. I ask Chris on about a weekly basis, "Do you think (blank) caused my amniotic fluid to drain or (blank) caused (blank) and that made my blood pressure rise?" "Do you think if I had noticed (blank) sooner we could have kept her in longer?" "Do you think...........?" In fact (get ready) I sometimes feel

pre-

guilt over the births of our possible future children, in the off chance they come early too, maybe even earlier and in worse condition than Mercy was, and we could have prevented it by

not having more

... afterall, we know that there's a good possibility of recurrence of both cholestasis and preeclampsia in future pregnancies.

Guilt... it's a funny, sneaky little sin, isn't it? Oh, how the enemy has been using this one in my life recently... I've been going through a lot of our CaringBridge posts, trying to compile them into a book for Mercy to read one day... I find myself CRYING, reliving all of those emotions, and

not getting it

, but just knowing,

KNOWING

, that it was my fault, and if I had just avoided whatever it was I should have avoided, we would have a one month old right now who never had tubes down her throat, is a nursing champion, gaining weight without supplements, and we wouldn't be lugging this heart monitor around worrying that she might stop breathing...

Silly, right? I know, I know.

It is!

 But... in the same moments that I start getting a little wispy and frustrated with my body's inability to carry my child to term, I look down at that sweet face and my heart fills with gratitude that I've gotten to look at those beautiful eyes and kiss those sweet cheeks for three and a half months. I just know,

KNOW

, that her birth story was

on purpose

and it

wasn't

my fault... then I really start getting wispy! Oh, the grace of our God to give us this precious gift so soon!

What it really boils down to I think, the real issue behind the guilt that creeps daily into my life and emotions, is

lack of trust

. I know what you're thinking, "How can you

still

not trust Him??" I've written many

many

times over the last three months about my attempts to overcome my trust issue, and the thing is... it just

continues

, it seems to be the main contributor to most of the struggles I deal with on a daily basis, so I guess I'll keep writing about it... it's a pretty big deal.

You know, it's kind of a funny thing though... why would I lack trust in God over something from three months ago that has turned out to be an incredible blessing? Over a story that I never could have written more beautifully or perfectly? How is it so easy to forget the work He's done? Do I

really

wish my body had done it's job right, and Mercy had come around the end of March???

I've been reading a lot of preemie blogs lately and I think guilt is a pretty universal emotion among us... If I could really get one message to sink in to

myself

and to other preemie moms, it's this: Our bodies 

did

do their jobs right. They did just the job they were given to do before the creation of the world when God wrote our baby's stories and

it's not our fault

.

Instead, it's HIS good and very perfect plan for our families. Yes, it's hard, it's scary and sad, it's emotional and sometimes just downright awful... but God is good, and in the fear and awfulness of it all, let's remember that it's beautiful, it's perfectly planned, and whatever happens,

God is still good, still

trustworthy

.

That's how to live guilt free as the momma of a preemie...

Stop

questioning my body, blaming myself, being sad about the past. 

Start

being confident in His plan, being grateful that my body carried her well for 6 1/2 months, rejoicing for our smooth time in the NICU, the relationships we built there, and remember how His good and perfect story for her first few months has touched our lives, and the lives of each person who has loved and prayed for our Mercy. Remember that He has an incredible purpose for her birth story and He's gonna use it in awesome ways...

He already has!

And that's not just how to live guilt free as a preemie momma... that's how to live guilt free when you're walking in the will and grace of God your Father through whatever journey you're on!

"

This God—his way is perfect;

the word of the LORD proves true;

He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him."

Psalm 18:30

Let's decide to trust Him today... with our past, with our health, our family, our future. He is, afterall, the One who set them all in motion!