On the morning of July 3, 2012, my husband, 4-year-old son, 1-year-old daughter, and I all headed to my 20-week prenatal check-up. We were all looking forward to finding out if the child I was carrying was going to be a boy or a girl. We waited for what seemed like forever for my doctor to come in, and finally, after the kids had finished their Dum Dums and grown tired of the books and toys we brought for them to look at, he showed up.
My husband got the camera ready. I lay back on the exam table, felt the warm ultrasound gel squirt onto my baby bump, and waited anxiously for the scan to begin.
My doctor turned on the screen and started to move the wand around while he made small talk about his Fourth of July plans. And then he trailed off. I knew something wasn’t right. My heart stopped and my husband turned off the camcorder.
Instead of finding out if we were going to be having a girl or a boy, we found out the baby we were planning on meeting in November no longer had a beating heart.
I’ve never been hit with such a wide range of emotions like when I received that news. I was crushed, I was shocked, and I was confused, all while trying to hold myself together so I wouldn’t upset my children.
The doctor explained that since I was already 20 weeks along, I would have to go to the hospital and deliver the baby stillborn. He was going out of town, so he scheduled the delivery for three days later. Those three days were the hardest three days of my life. Knowing my womb was a tomb, instead of the place of life that God intended it to be, was so hard to wrap my mind around.
Friday night, the sixth of July, I checked into labor and delivery. It took every ounce of courage inside of me to walk into that hospital. I sat with my back to the newborn nursery and wept as I waited to be escorted to my room. A kind nurse took me back, gave me a hospital gown to change into, and explained to me what the night was going to look like. The doctor came in a little while later and induced labor. By that time it was close to midnight. I tried to sleep, but the contractions were coming on strong.
I lay there in pain, in that dark room, and watched as my husband’s silhouette paced the floor. I was getting madder with each passing minute. I was not supposed to be here. I was not supposed to be contracting to deliver a lifeless baby. I was not supposed to be leaving the hospital empty-handed. I felt robbed. I felt cheated. I felt like the devil was winning. I knew what I needed to do. I knew that lying there mad at the enemy wasn’t doing anyone any good. I picked up my iPhone, turned on some praise and worship music, and began to sing and worship my Savior—the One I knew could get me through this.
The first song that played through my phone speaker and filled that dark room with light was Matt Redman’s “10,000 Reasons.”
My husband and I sang these words out through tears that night, knowing they were all true.
“Bless the Lord, oh my soul, Oh, my soul, Worship his holy name, Sing like never before, Oh, my soul, I worship your holy name.
The sun comes up, It’s a new day dawning, Its time to sing your song again, Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me, Let me be singing when the evening comes.
You’re rich in love and you’re slow to anger, Your name is great and your heart is kind, For all your goodness I will keep on singing, 10,000 reasons for my heart to find.”
I delivered Felix Isaiah, the son whom I will someday meet in heaven, the next morning at 6:10 a.m. A few hours later I was home.
Before my head hit the pillow and I drifted off to sleep that night, I told my husband that as heartbreaking as the last few days had been, I believed if we were to sit down and make a list we could think of 10,000 things we had to be thankful for.
One month later, I was in the kitchen cutting up an onion, making dinner, and those words came back to me. I wondered how many things I would have to be thankful for each day to reach 10,000 reasons in one year. So I asked Siri to do the math. She said that 10,000 divided by 365 was 27.397.
How interesting, I thought. If I were to be thankful for 27 things, every day, for 220 days, and 28 things for 145 days, I would be able to say that my heart had found 10,000 reasons to give thanks for, over the course of a year.
I couldn’t shake the idea. I found myself thinking of things I could be thankful for all the time. I knew it was God giving me a new way to look at life and I knew He wanted me to share it with others through a blog.
I didn’t know anything about starting a blog and I wasn’t a blog reader, but I followed where God was leading me and on August 6, 2012, I started 10kreasons.wordpress.com.
Every day, for an entire year, I would share what God was showing me in His Word, and every day I would list 27 or 28 things that I had to be thankful for.
The way I approached my days changed. I was on a mission to see God’s goodness all around me, no matter what, and I found out real quickly, that it’s hard to have a bad day when you are determined to be thankful. My heart healed at a supernatural rate and I know it was because I chose to focus on the many reasons I had to give thanks. The project forever changed my life.
I pray that as you read through this blog that your heart will find healing, that you will begin to see how much you have to be thankful for, and that you will form a forever habit of counting your blessings.