Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Thank you Father for this affliction
About a month ago the kids and I were on our way to my friend's house, who is also a midwife, so we could hear the baby's heartbeat. Ella was so excited because this time she would actually be able to come along and hear the sounds of the miracle growing inside mommy's tummy. When we arrived at my friend's house the kids played for a bit while we chatted and then it was time to hear the heartbeat. I remember it so well. As she put the jelly on my stomach I was a bit nervous about what we were going to hear or not hear. After what seemed like forever I asked, "Does it normally take this long to hear the baby's heartbeat"? She responded, "Not normally at 15 weeks, but let me try again." The kids were waiting anxiously as my friend tried again to hear the heartbeat. And then it hit me. I felt it in my gut and knew she wasn't going to find a heartbeat. A tear trickled down my face as I looked over at the kids half playing, half watching and waiting to hear the news that we'd found the sounds of life. After another few minutes of trying my sweet friend still couldn't find the heartbeat.
Because she only had a heart monitor and couldn't actually see the baby's heart beating with her own eyes she suggested I go get an ultrasound at the hospital and I did. I called Tripp, he left work and we headed to the hospital. I was seen pretty quickly and the doctor confirmed our fears. There were no signs of life in my womb. As I got up from the table I was flooded with so many emotions - disbelief, shock, anger. When we got into the car I just started sobbing. I couldn't believe this was really happening to me. God was taking someone else from me again. That was my first thought and as I sat there feeling alone and like no one could ever understand me, Tripp says, "How can I bear this burden with you and how can we preach the gospel to ourselves at this moment?" To me that was like balm to my hurting soul. Tripp shared different verses with me and ministered to my heart in the perfect way.
The last two years of my life since my mom passed away have been extremely hard at best. The hardships that come from losing someone you're close to and love so much are sometimes unbearable. There is a constant fear of losing someone else in my life. If I don't hear from Tripp by 5pm on the days that he flies, my mind immediately goes to thoughts of losing him, or maybe he's been in an accident and I'm just seconds away from receiving a phone call. I know that sounds crazy but it's true and God is working on my heart not to live in fear but to live in trust of the one who has created me and called me and my family to this place to serve Him. I'm fearful that God will take Drew, Ella or Roman from me. A few months ago Ella was hit by a motorcycle as we were crossing the street. I was hysterical having witnessed it all and knew this was the moment that God was going to take another person that I loved so dearly, but he spared her. I could go on about all the things that have caused me to be fearful and doubt the love of God, but I won't. I want to share about how God has used these times in my life to change me, mold me, and form me into a child who says, "Thank you Father for this affliction!"
Soon after my mom passed away God brought me to the passage in John 12:24-26. The words had a whole new meaning to me because up until that point I had refused to die. There were things that I was holding onto so tightly, things that I thought God would never take away from me, but he did. And He is teaching me to be thankful for the afflictions and the hardships. One thing that I'm trying to instill in my children is a sense of stewardship with whatever it is that God has given them. Whether it be with clothes, books, toys, their time, and now I'm trying to teach them to be good stewards of the hard times. This is something we are learning together, mother and child, to turn to God with thankful hearts when things go wrong, or when the world seems like it is going to crumble down on top of you. One day as I was gathering the clothes off the line I looked up to the sky and just cried out to God to not let all this hurt that I've gone through be in vain. I don't want to let one opportunity of pain and heartache go by without it being used to bring glory to my God and to bear fruit in my life. That is my heartfelt cry to the Lord and I know He hears me.
So as I come to the end of a hard year and look ahead to a new one my prayer is that God will empower me to see Him as love and all that He does as expressions of that love. He really does want the best for me and He loves me more than I could ever know.
O Love Beyond Compare,
Thou art good when thou givest, when thou takest away, when the sun shines upon me, when night gathers over me.
Thou hast loved me before the foundation of the world, and in love didst redeem my soul; thou dost love me still, in
spite of my hard heart, ingratitude, distrust.
Thy goodness has been with me during another year, leading me through a twisting wilderness, in retreat helping me
to advance, when beaten back making sure headway.
Thy goodness will be with me in the year ahead; I hoist sail and draw up anchor, with thee as the blessed Pilot of my
future as of my past.
Taken from The Valley of Vision