Saturday, July 30, 2011
Today Is the Day
I've been hesitant to share this part of our lives. Actually, still am. My feelings and emotions are such a part of me and they are so raw, that to put them out there makes me a bit apprehensive...yet, I trust that God can and will use this for His glory despite my desire to keep it in the vault forever.
Today is actually a significant day. It's the day that we were expecting to welcome our 4th baby into the world. Not many knew that we were pregnant, so then, not many knew that we lost the baby at 8 weeks...
Although we trusted the Lord and His sovereign hand, we grieved and mourned the loss of our child and felt we were on a bit of an emotional roller coaster. No matter how much faith you have, there is still mourning that needs to take place as you recognize your sadness in simply losing a child. I struggled with feeling that it made me less spiritual that I was having a hard time and dealing with sadness. The Lord comforted me and allowed me to grieve without that silly condemnation nagging at me. But, it's real and I have talked to several women who have felt that way. They have mentioned genuine friends wanting to help and try to "fix" what's going on by saying the exact right thing about God's sovereignty or your faith in Him. It's not an issue of faith and it's certainly not an issue of someone saying the perfect thing...there is simply grief as a result of losing a child. Prayers and hugs are perfectly sufficient. I also know that different people grieve in different ways, so what is helpful to me may not be to others.
I understand "fixers" because I am married to one. We have worked out a system that when we sit down to talk, I am upfront about what I am expecting from that conversation. If I simply want him to listen, I let him know that. If I want his help coming to a decision or thinking through something, I state that. It's pretty simple and effective because what I am wanting from him changes so frequently. Imagine that.
The Lord was gracious to us as we walked with Him and saw His strength shine through our weakness. By His grace, we were able to take courage as we waited upon Him to calm our emotions, clear our thoughts, and discern His direction for our family as He healed us. Amidst all of it, the death, the suffering, the unknowns, the healing, He did something amazing.
He showed us a piece of Himself that we had never seen before. He revealed Himself as Comforter to our hearts. And that revelation was astounding. I began to see Him so clearly in the everyday, in the mundane, in the things that I normally would have been too busy to see. He opened my eyes to see Him as I never had and I was so grateful to know Him in a deeper, more intimate way because of it. Although I don't understand how taking the baby fits into the bigger picture, I do know that His ways are higher than my ways and His thoughts as well. And I trust that as He emptied me out and was my sufficiency in a dark time, He would also fill me up again, even fuller this time from experiencing His love in a new and refreshing way that made the mirror less dim than it already was.
We stand hopeful that our baby is with Jesus, dwelling in His richness and glorifying Him in heaven. What a beautiful picture and reminder that we will all see Him face to face...may those who know Him long for that day! The day when he will wipe every tear from our eyes and death shall be no more...the day when there will be no mourning nor crying nor pain anymore. Behold, He will make all things new!
I write all this to be an encouragement. I hadn't thought about the baby often in the past 5 months, except a passing thought here or there. But as it got nearer and nearer to my due date, I began to realize that it might be a sad day for me. I have to remind myself that it's okay to grieve. I'm not holding this with an iron fist. The Lord gave and my hand was seemingly open for Him to take away. That's His possession to do as He pleases and He loves that little one more than I ever could. I knew the truth in my head, I needed it translated to my heart in full faith. The heart that was full to the brim and sometimes overflowing with emotions.
If you have experienced this kind of loss, I am so sorry. Sometimes words are too much and you just need a hug and a good cry. Be honest about what you need from people who care about you. Turn to the Lord to be your comfort because people will let you down, but the Lord never will. He will be your portion and your strength.
A precious gift, given to me!
Oh how wonderful; this portion is mine.
"Wait a minute", says God as takes my hand,
Reclaims the sweet gift and says, "Now is not the time."
"What? How could you?"
Oh wait, that was His to begin...
Why then were my hands gripped around it,
If I knew that He could give or He could take, in the end?
Do I still trust Him? How could I not?
I know of His faithfulness; I've tasted His love
So, though there be sadness, grieving and pain,
I am compelled to trust my God in the heavens above.
My God who gives blessing may freely retrieve
to please His sovereign will
I'll open up my hand to Him,
With His strength, saying "not my will, but Your will."
I have no grounds for doubt or dwelling in fear,
He's proved Himself o'er and o'er
Though in suffering He empties me out,
He's readying me to be filled even more.