While I haven’t been blogging in several months, life has been happening. In fact, as I type this I can hardly read it because my son threw a Thomas train at the screen and pretty much demolished it. I have to type, then readjust the screen, then type, then readjust and hope to see something between all the wobbly lines…a perfect analogy for how my life has been the last several months.
Just before Thanksgiving we found out that I was pregnant. This was quite a shock since we were told we were unable to have children. When George came along a few years back we were floored that the Lord would give us such a miracle. And then to find out a second miracle was coming…wow. Obviously we were no longer in the category of not being able to have children!
As long as I live I will never forget how I felt for the next 2 weeks…peaceful, joyful, hopeful. And nauseated of course. But my reality crumbled fast when I started spotting and I realized this season of life may not be all that I was dreaming of. I can’t bring myself to blog about the next 3 weeks of ultrasounds, tests, bed rest….the roller coaster ride that I desperately never wanted to participate in. We discovered that the twins I was carrying were not developing past 6 weeks. I was facing a miscarriage.
I couldn’t seem to embrace the fact that after walking through the most challenging year of my life, I was now also going to experience something that would shatter my heart to pieces and shake the foundations of my faith. I didn’t know it would cause me to examine the very fiber of my belief system, but it did. In my 36 years of living, I’ve never asked the kinds of questions I was asking. Questioning the character of God, His love, or His sovereignty is something I’ve not done before.
Its interesting to me to think of all the things I’ve experienced so far: being a step-mom, having a blended family schedule, being a single woman pastor, then a married woman pastor, rejection from children and other family, moving halfway across the country, poverty, stress, loneliness etc. My foundation secure, I just trusted Him to bring all things together for good, and although I had my own little coping methods (overeating), my walk with Jesus remained stable. Living through all these things and more, I didn’t have many questions for God.
But I did now.
After I miscarried (which was physically, emotionally, mentally worse than I could’ve imagined), I took a day and just drove.
Shane was home with George and although there were several inches of snow I drove to Red Rocks. I needed a secluded and rugged place to wrestle with God.
My footprints in the snow were the only ones in sight as I hiked up until I couldn’t breathe. I tucked myself into a cleft in a rock. I looked to Heaven and poured out my heart. I’ve never wrestled with God before like I did that day. I questioned everything, demanded answers, accused Him of things. I wept. I found myself begging Him to bring some kind of purpose out of all this pain and loss. I realized I wasn’t just grieving the loss of 2 babies…I was grieving over many things. Things I don’t need to blog about, but it dawned on me that I’ve been feeling a general sense of loss for a very long time. I stayed hidden in that rock for hours.
After I got as vulnerable and transparent with my Maker as I possibly could, I finally came to a place of complete silence. I could hear ice falling. Except for the occasional sob coming from me…there was pure silence. And it was beautiful. Although I was still grieving I was able to acknowledge that healing could begin. Once my wounds were exposed, washed and disinfected with those Gentle Hands of His, healing would come.
Over the past few months I’ve come to accept and embrace some facts of life.
Fact #1: Life happens. Just because I serve Jesus and follow Him doesn’t mean I won’t experience life. In fact, He says I will have an abundant life if I accept it from Him. Abundant life doesn’t mean a fairy-tale life. My life circumstances will always ebb and flow with mountains and valleys. It is life in a broken world.
Fact #2: It was never my Creator’s intent for me to experience death and pain. He is a Righteous Judge who looks at my circumstances and judges them as currency. I can take my ashes to Him as an offering, and because of what He did for me on the cross, He purchases beauty for me. My pain, brokenness, weakness, confusion and loss are just what He wants from me. He takes it all and says, “Yes, that’s horrible. I hate it too.” And then he gives me joy, wholeness, His strength and wisdom, His life in exchange. That’s an amazing exchange rate.
Fact #3: It is my choice to either walk through my life in this world alone, or with the One who formed me and loves me. Its where the rubber meets the road. As life happens will I throw off all that weighs me down and run with endurance? (Heb. 12) As life happens will I allow Him His rightful place as the King (sovereign ruler) of my life no matter what? Am I like clay in the Potter’s hand, will I stay on His wheel and trust that He’s still forming me into something beautiful and useful?
My answer as I sift through some ashes and offer it up to Him again today is, “Yes. I choose life.” I have a feeling it might be a daily choice for me as I wade through grief and try to picture a spring and summer of not being pregnant. But I’m OK with that. Its probably good for me.
I know this blog is rather transparent, but my hope and prayer is that through sharing my experience maybe someone can find the True Life-Giver too. I’m convinced that its part of the deal. I didn’t go through all of the above for no purpose. If you find life happening around you, and its painful, and its full of questions and loss…tuck yourself into The Rock and let Him hold you up. His exchange rate is unfathomable and His love everlasting.