So much this!

I read this amazing article today that’s a few years old, but right on time for where I am.  I’m going to link the whole article, but this poem she quotes within the post really struck a chord with me.

I walked a mile with Pleasure; she chatted all the way.
And left me none the wiser with all she had to say.
I walked a mile with Sorrow, and ne’er a word said she,
But oh, the things I learned from her, when Sorrow walked with me.

Really, the whole post is just excellent.  I’ve read it a few times, and every time I find myself nodding along with one part or another.  Thank you, Kendra, for your words!

http://www.kendrabroekhuis.com/blog/im-the-same-but-im-different-since-losing-our-child

You Are What You Eat

Or more fully, you believe in and function on what you consume.

Pretty sure most would agree that this has been a pretty rough season of life for us. Along with the loss of our baby, our oldest child has been having a hard time – part grief, part pre-existing him-ness. I’ve had some health stuff creep up. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

One of the things that I was encouraged to do after Sebastian died was to find a group of other loss moms for support.  So I joined a group on Facebook of others moms (and a couple dads) who have lost babies to miscarriage and stillbirth.  For the most part, this group has been a lot of newer loss parents sharing their stories and their baby’s photos, talking about how they’re getting through or asking about gravesite or memorabilia display – things that others who haven’t been here don’t necessarily want to listen to and talk about.  Every now and then there are those who are despairing so deeply about going on with their lives after losing their baby – those are most painful when the loss was decades ago.  And one of the rules is that you cannot speak about religion until you’re talking about your own experiences or are asked how you are getting through.

I also looked into going to this organization’s local gathering until a speaking with a friend who had been there.  My friend, A, went with her mother-in-law after A’s brother-in-law (MIL’s son) died from cancer.  This group is for all loss families – miscarriage, still birth, infant an child loss from birth until mom dies.  A said these meetings were so depressing.  She strongly encouraged me NOT to go – that I wouldn’t find the hope in Christ that I’m used to and looking for… I’d find deep, inconsolable grief and pain.

I love these women (and men). My heart breaks for them in their despair. I can offer e-hugs for what it’s worth. Talk about the physical healing or the slow yet fast marching of time. But I can’t offer the real hope I have.  Every opportunity that even has a shadow of an opening, I HAVE to talk about the hope I have in Christ.

But I’m calling into question the idea that it’s super important to get into a group like this right away – someone to walk with you through what they’ve been through. The more time I spend in these groups (oh goodness… here comes the lynch mob), the more depressed I get! Last weekend was H-A-R-D.  Did you know there’s a “Bereaved Mother’s Day?”  The idea behind it is that Mother’s Day can be hard for those who have lost a child, so lets recognize that – that mothers are mothers whether you see their children or not.  Great idea!  Really! Pretty sure that’s what October 15th is about (Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day), but of course that doesn’t include those mothers who lost older children. Regardless, back to my point. Leading up to last Sunday (which was also 3 months since we lost Sebastian), post after post, sappy meme after sappy meme with phrases like “empty arms,” “broken heart,” “I’ll never be the same again.”

A steady diet of this can bring nothing BUT despair! Are my arms empty – yes.  Is my heart broken – to an extent, sure. Will I ever be the same again – no… but is that a bad thing? I need a different diet!

This doesn’t make me better, but my diet HAS to be Jesus.  It just has to be! He didn’t bring me to this valley of the shadow of death to leave me and my heart among the evil of sin. He is WITH me.  HE comforts me. His Word promises this to me – and God doesn’t lie.

So when I’m having a bad day – when the tears come easier than my standard smile and laughter – I feed my soul. We live in an age when there’s so much information available at our fingertips at all times. If I have internet access – I have the Bible in hundreds of translations.  I can listen to the sermons of trusted pastors with a couple taps on my screen.  There are podcasts and YouTube videos and chat windows with supportive Lutheran friends who haven’t lost a baby… but they’ve been found and held and loved and cherished by a Savior – and they remind me I have been, too.

You are what you eat. Be fed! Be filled up! Listen to Christ saying I’m here, I’m with you, and I love you as my own… because you are.

Some of God’s Greatest Gifts are Prayers Answered, “No.”

Tonight at Bible study, we talked about how we can comfort others (and personally handle) when the answer to their heartfelt prayers seems to be no. Or at least not yet… but it might as well be no to the prayer.

So many times we inadvertently land ourselves in the place of turning God into a genie. If I pray hard enough or the right way or I’m faithful enough, then He’ll give me the desire of my heart. I don’t think that’s the intentional plan. At least I don’t know anyone who would admit that they are trying to gumball machine the Lord: perfect prayer in = heaven-sent reward. But it’s an easy trap in which to fall prey. 

It’s just as easy to become ensnared in its counterpoint: if I don’t receive that for which I prayed, it must be because God is displeased with me. Worse, it’s that God doesn’t care – for me in particular or at all in general. Nothing could be further from the truth! 

When we put our trust in feeling, we put our trust in human reasoning, something we know is not impartial, and something that isn’t Truth. Our trust must be placed in what we have been given as unfailing: God’s Word. But God feels far away – He feels like He dumped me in this pit of yuck and ran off. Those times feel horrible! But what Scripture say?

Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust. O  my  soul, you have said to the Lord , “You are my Lord, My goodness is nothing apart from You.” As for the saints who are on the earth, “They are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.” Their sorrows shall be multiplied who hasten after another god; Their drink offerings of blood I will not offer, Nor take up their names on my lips. O Lord , You  are the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You maintain my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Yes, I have a good inheritance. I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel; My heart also instructs me in the night seasons. I have set the Lord always before me; Because He  is at my right hand I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope. For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalms 16:1‭-‬11 NKJV

And again…

Then Samuel said to the people, “Do not fear. You have done all this wickedness; yet do not turn aside from following the Lord , but serve the Lord with all your heart. And do not turn aside; for then  you  would  go after empty things which cannot profit or deliver, for they are nothing. For the Lord will not forsake His people, for His great name’s sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you His people.

I Samuel 12:20‭-‬22 NKJV

No matter what sin (wickedness) we commit, God still loves us. No matter how far away He feels, He will not forsake us. When Satan throws every manner of evil and despair against us, Christ is still Truth and trustworthy.

Thanks be to God! 

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The 7ths.  They get me every time.  Well, both times (so far) – every seems too much.  But really only 2 so far, huh?  Three with February’s. I have two friends who also had little boys on February 7th.  They … Continue reading