I'm a recent subscriber to (in)courage, a fantastic blog written by extraordinary women I hope to have the privilege of meeting someday. One story in particular really spoke to me as I read how a woman suffered the loss of her baby at 18 weeks, enduring the labor and delivery of her stillborn daughter.
I almost couldn't read it, the pull to return to my dark and scary places so strong that I had to read bits at a time, forcing myself to stay in the present. It was actually a really good exercise for me, to stay in the now, where I seem to be spending almost all of my time these days. What a relief to feel like I'm on the other side of the hump able to make continual steps forward. A year later and I finally feel like myself again.
Do you know what the most interesting part of this process has been? I actually feel blessed to have suffered- it's the strangest thing. If you had asked me a year ago if I felt like it was a privilege to watch my long-awaited miracle rip from my body I would have spiraled into the deep. Looking back though, I can say I've never in my life experienced a season where I've been so raw and vulnerable before God. Never have I been more bare, more naked of soul. To finally understand that I don't need to always "feel" God's presence to trust that He is not only there, but active.
Easter had special meaning for me, especially as I read Arianne's post. We spent the morning together as a family, revelling in the memory-making with Jeremiah and I wondered if my grief has made me a better mother to him. That if in the whole process I've been able to show him how to cling on for dear life, to wait patiently with hope (my longtime nemesis and now friend), to cherish every incredible moment and milestone, to fiercely fight through the dark and scary places, but most importantly how to love the God that we don't always understand. To let God mold, especially in the suffering.
I've been searching for significance in this whole journey since it started, more focused on how my desire would eventually be fulfilled than on what God is doing in and around me. To have made our life, our pain, our story "public" means that others are watching and waiting with us and I can't help but think of the disciples after Jesus' crucifixion. How their faith was tested when they had to see the God they believed in die, to wait while grieving their loss, to hope that loss wasn't the final chapter, to know that their process was so very public. What must if have been like to see their broken hearts and yet their stubborn determination to see it through?
So again my focus shifts and I cannot help but think of my incredible little boy, who is sponging up more of my life than I'm aware of and the incredible privilege it is to have him with us. What I want Jeremiah to believe about God has to be lived out in my own life and with that I will continue to step forward.
So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
*I've been motivated to make my blog a bit more interactive and with that I pose this question: Are YOU waiting for something? Perhaps you're trudging your way through your own dark and scary place- tell me your story!