Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Our Night Light

Life isn't about seeking comfort, although most of us do seek it. 

I do. I think it's natural.
I'm tired of challenges and pain. I want some refreshment, some new purpose to rejoice over. A break, please! Some good news? Truth is, none of us "deserves" an easy life. Our culture tries to tell us that we do. But I'm learning otherwise. I believe God is loving and wants to bless us. And He does! But He also has told us that this world will present trouble. And I'm learning that through the pain, God reveals more of His heart. He is the Comforter. If I never experience difficulty, there won't be a need for comfort. 

So I find myself here again, seeking comfort (no more hard stuff)... and finding the Comforter (love, peace, and strength in the midst). 

Briefly, let it sink into your heart (as I did) - another pregnancy. July 2nd I was hopeful after the positive test. It felt like it was time for good news, a new chapter, another child. I thought I had confirmation that the Lord was bringing new life to my womb and He gave me peace about entering the scary path of carrying another baby. My last miscarriage was one year ago. At the recent news, I celebrated with family and a few friends, purchased a little outfit and hung it in plain sight where we'd all see it often as a reminder of this blessing. We told our son and his reaction was sweet with excitement.

One week later I was told this pregnancy was not viable, and I felt the wound of loss open again as the deep burning pain ripped at my low abdomen... and my heart. With teary eyes, Matt & I could only throw our hands up and say, "really?"

My life has been a journey of letting go. For some reason, I'm asked to surrender the very thing that has been my greatest desire since childhood. (Hmm. I think I'm learning the reason...) Motherhood, child-bearing, a vibrant growing family, pouring my life into children & home.

During this call to surrender, the enemy serves a combo meal of Why Questions & Depressive Thoughts. Once eaten, these turn into battle-doubts that fight my faith and joy in Christ. My perspective is compromised and once again the focus is on ME instead of the ultimate reason I was even created and saved: relationship with God.

The point isn't to list all of my (our) trials, but to point me (us) to Jesus' great love. And that was ultimately proven on the cross. He gave everything to show His love and try to reach me. 

I acknowledge those sentences may seem trite. Please believe that I'm LIVING them. When you're stripped of everything and literally desperate for your next breath... You are forced to grasp for something. I've been grasping. Know the feeling? Well, Jesus Christ is the only sure foundation that will never move. His is the only hand that won't let go. I have to go back to the basics of my faith and find that foundation once again. 

Certainly, I'm not certain about very many things anymore. But of this I am: God's love is deeper, wider, higher & longer than I can understand. I'm gaining more and more glimpses of that. Honestly, I don't want any more trials or losses or lessons in letting go for a while. I'm really tired. But I'm trying to express how beautiful it can be when I let God carry my broken heart and reveal His. That's my prayer. 

It's not about me. It's not about a pain-free life. Nope. It's going to happen. I don't even want to get into why God allows certain things. Right now, all I'm hanging onto is His love and faithfulness. As I deal with another loss that refreshes my grief over Anna Joy's death, I must - I MUST - remember all He's brought me through. He hasn't just "brought me through" as some annoyed parent who wishes to be rid of a crying child. No, it's been a tender, loving, compassionate carrying. I'm so tempted to list my losses and shove it in God's face as I try to describe the level of pain I've felt. And it's ok if I do that. But here's the thing. He already knows. He knows because He cares. He not only watches it all, He's walking with me through it all... and He's FEELING it all with me. He sent Jesus to live here so I would know He understands my hurt. I can't even wrap my mind around how amazing that is.

I have to mention that God has not just allowed things to be taken, but has given. A lot. And loss can help highlight what I still do have around me. It is very uplifting to count my blessings. After recent news of yet another miscarriage, we went to the coast for a week and I was determined to celebrate these blessings. My 3-yr-old son, Isaac, is a huge blessing to me. I'm realizing more and more what a gift he is.

This evening, just a little while ago, Isaac came out of his bedroom to find me. He needed to be rocked & sung to. After our routine, I gently encouraged him to go back to his room and sleep. 

"I don't want to go back to my room. I don't like the darkness."

I almost told him there was nothing to be afraid of and he was safe - just talk him out of his fears. Something clicked in my heart and halted my words. My response was instead, "Do you need a night light?" Of course he did. He didn't need me to sugar-coat his fears and send him back to bed to fake comfort in the dark. He needed a light to focus on.

I do, too. I don't like the darkness. I feel surrounded in it so thick most days. Especially recently... again. It has been pulling at me, down, down, around in confusion and over in insecurity and back to doubt. I don't like the darkness. In fact, I hate it. Lies whispered into my spirit that penetrate my already broken heart. I'm being fought over. Thank God He loves me enough to fight for me. I can't do it anymore. 

So I found a little travel reading light and set it on a high shelf in Isaac's room so it would shine on the wall. You know what it ended up spotlighting? A cross. The white cross hanging on his wall. Perfect. 

"How's that buddy? Is that better? Can you see the cross?"


And he's safe.

Thank you, ever-present Father, for your goodness and mercy and grace. My every getting-up, taking steps, breathing in & out... is Your grace. 

Through the pain I've felt the past couple weeks, I'm getting this gift: Don't stop looking at the cross. It's the only thing that will pull us out of the swallowing darkness of self-focus and entitlement. It's not a manipulating scheme. It's a truth that reaches an alive, gentle hand to mine and grasps securely, eternally and says... "I love you. Do you need a night light? Remember the cross."

That's victory. Not pain-free, trial-free living. But finding God's hand through His broken heart over us. That is love. That, my friends, is hope.