This Thanksgiving I'm Thankful for Life

One year ago this week I thought I was beginning to miscarry a baby. I had all the signs of miscarriage. So when I sat down on that ultrasound table it was with 100% certainty that I thought I would hear “there is no heartbeat.” I didn’t even pray for a heartbeat. Instead I prayed for grace to face another miscarriage again, to pass another dead baby—again.

But God had other plans for this baby. These plans were far beyond what I would have dreamed up. In many ways, these plans would have been my worst nightmare.

He had plans for this baby that I feared was dead.

I’ve prayed this prayer before—“God, please don’t take this baby”. I’ve prayed it on the bathroom floor begging for God to sustain life in the face of death. I’ve prayed it in my bed in the dark. I’ve prayed it in an ultrasound room when a heartbeat couldn’t be found. And most recently, I’ve prayed it in an operating room as I waited for my premature baby to be lifted from my body that couldn’t sustain him any longer. I’ve prayed this prayer five times. And he’s only answered it in the way I wanted four. Four living children, two I’ve never met. Some Thanksgivings are filled with much joy and blessing, some with sorrow and grief. Sometimes they are all mixed together.

I’m walking through this Thanksgiving week thankful for the prayer being answered in the way I wanted. But it didn’t come without struggle. It didn’t come without fear. It didn’t come without the ever-present reality that life (and death) are always in his hands, not mine.

I am walking through this Thanksgiving week abundantly thankful for the gift of Benjamin John Reissig. I’m thankful for his life, for his cries, for his fat cheeks, for his laugh, for his smile that lights up his whole face, for the joy he brings to our family, for how hungry he is, and for all the ways a baby makes a family more stressed and more full.

I am walking through this Thanksgiving week thankful that I, too, lived to see another day. Ben and I both got too close to death last May and June. I lived to tell the tale, and he lived so I could tell him of this deliverance as long as God gives us breath. I am thankful that I lived to kiss my sons again. And I’m thankful that Ben lived to meet his brothers that love him so much.

We all have much to be thankful for on Thanksgiving, and every day, really.

Tomorrow I will kiss my boys and my husband with a thankful heart. I will celebrate with friends, with a thankful heart. I will enjoy the good gifts that God has given with a thankful heart. Life is a gift that I don’t deserve. And I will snuggle the baby I thought was lost forever. He’s here and so am I. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

“Our God is a God of salvation, and to God, the Lord, belong deliverance from death”—Psalm 68:20