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Hummingbird

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We had dinner with friends several weeks ago and I was excitedly talking about this new book Bread & Wine that I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of in my mailbox. When I declared Shauna Niequist my favorite contemporary author, one of our friends perked up. “Favorite author? He said. Wow, that’s quite a statement.” That night, I gave his wife, who also happens to be in a book club with me, Shauna’s first book Cold Tangerines. A few days later she returned it to me saying she couldn’t put it down. My feelings exactly.

I did the happy dance at the mailbox when my advance reader’s copy of Bread & Wine finally arrived. {Partially because I was freezing cold and wore no shoes to run to the mailbox because I like to live on the edge like that but mostly because I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book.} Shauna’s second book Bittersweet came out at a time when I was myself healing from two miscarriages and in the beginning months of my pregnancy with Lydia. Her words felt like a hot bubble bath that seems to make the pain just a little less sharp.

Reading Bread & Wine was like reading my own heart in black ink on a white page. The pain of losing a baby makes the joy of holding one so much greater. When you’ve lost the innocence of pregnancy you value every tiny shred of positive news that much more. Shauna describes it perfectly in her chapter Hummingbird, “After the miscarriages, I’m one of those patients who drives doctors and nurses crazy, because I know too much about the dark side of this. I what we’ll see means, and what hmm means, during an ultrasound. Worst of all, I know what silence signals. Silence is always, always bad.” That last sentence hits me hard because the past 18 months I have walked with one of my best friends through the loss of her two babies. The silence is so painful.

But I have witnessed two miracles in the past three months, two babies in two of my most beloved friends’ wombs. Two babies who defy medical reason. Two babies I have prayed countless prayers for and two baby hearts that beat echoing the faithfulness of our Creator.

To those strong women and the faith God has given them, to my precious friend who has heard much silence but will one day hold another baby and to others who are grasping for hope in the midst of silence, I offer you Shauna’s words from Bread & Wine, “Our little hummingbird was still beating its tiny wings, and even though my fear was detonating over and over like bombs dropping, the fragile and fractured wings of my heart dared to beat as well, and alongside all that fear and all that gratitude, I felt the first precious rush of hope.” 

Shauna’s book Bread & Wine releases April 9th. You can pre-order your copy at Amazon. I didn’t even mention the recipes… oh, the recipes. They are divine! This book will fill your heart and your tummy. {Which in my case, I’m pretty sure the two are directly connected :)}

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