Monday, July 30, 2012

Goodbye, sweet baby.

Only a few short hours passed after my last words here before change knocked at our door. 
I answered, pain walked in. 
Pain laced black and red. 
Pain wrought in tears.
Tears of thousands, millions of women. 

Saturday writhed with the ugliness of this world. 
This broken world. 
When all feels broken. 

But the broken was preceded with grace. 
Grace in little blips on a black and white screen. 
Grace in a slow, steady beat. 
And when grace precedes the pain, we see the love of the Creator. 
The Creator does not leave us empty in pain, 
He fills us full up with grace so we can see just a glimpse of His love. 

A glimpse. Just a blip. 
A blip that is more full of love than I can fathom. 

Still, I want to question. 
I want to writhe against truth. 
I want to listen to the whisper of darkness. 
Darkness forged in lies. 
Lies that say He isn't good, 
He isn't grace, 
He isn't love, 
that this isn't right or just or true.
And he, the prince of darkness, "he sneers at all the things that seem to have gone hideously mad in this sin-drunk world, and I gasp to say God is good. The liar defiantly scrawls his graffiti across God's glory, and I heave to enjoy God ... and Satan strangles, and I whiten knuckles to grasp real Truth and fix that beast to the floor." 

When I focus the lens of my heart on the lies, I miss the whole of His truth. 
It is only when I change and use God's Word as a lens that I can see truth.
Without it, "the world warps."
"Only the Word is the answer to rightly reading the world, because the Word has nail-scarred hands that cup our face close, wipe away the tears running down, has eyes to look deep into our brimming ache, and whisper, 'I know. I know.'
The passion on the page is a Person, and the lens I wear of the Word is not abstract idea but the eyes of the God-Man who came and knows the pain."

So, I look for His truth.
Truth that He is the Creator. 
"You were in My care even before you were born." (Isaiah 44:2)
Resting forever in His care. 
Truth that we were never promised a life free of pain.
This life is enveloped in suffering.
We yearn to mirror Christ but what when that mirror means pain?
Those hands that cup our face are the same hands that faced
"the abandonment of God Himself (does it get any worse than this?). "
Yet, "Jesus offers thanksgiving for even that which will break Him
and crush Him
and wound Him
and yield a bounty of joy."

I grapple for understanding even when my life has not been wrought with hardship. 
I am, ultimately, blessed. 
I've only glanced at pain for a moment, 
it has never wrapped me whole. 
Left me destitute. 

And even in my briefest moments, I want to question. 
How do I grasp grace? 
How do I breathe in love? 
Wrapped in truth. 
That, "we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28) 
Even in these briefest of moments, I hear it soft,
"it is suffering that has the realest possibility to bear down and deliver grace."

And when my eyes are clouded or my mind cannot comprehend 
I am reminded that He speaks in the wind, and His gloriousness reaches beyond me. 
"As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother's womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the maker of all things." (Eccl 11:5)
And He makes all beautiful.
He transfigures all into beauty.
"And if all the work of transfiguring the ugly into the beautiful pleases God,
it is a work of beauty."

When I stop to breathe in His truth, 
I welcome His grace. 
He catches my breath and binds my wounds.
He heals my heart and fills the empty. 
In the weakness of my questions, His power is made perfect. 
His grace is sufficient. 
His hope is everlasting. 

God speaks to me through the words of another and I am blasted through, a cold wind seizing my lungs. It's hard to breathe.
"He takes the empty hands and draws me close to the thrum of Love.
You may suffer loss but in Me is anything ever lost, really? 
Isn't everything that belongs to Christ also yours? Loved ones lost still belong to Him - then aren't they still yours? Do I not own the cattle on a thousand hills; everything? Aren't then all provisions, in Christ also yours? 
If you haven't lost Christ, child, nothing is ever lost. 
Remember, 'through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God' (Acts 14:22), and in 'sharing in [My Son's] sufferings, becoming like him in his death' you come 'to know Christ and the power of his resurrection' (Philippians 3:10)." 

"God is always good and I am always loved."

I takes lessons from her, this writer, who writes the words of the Father.
She grapples for gratitude and I yearn to count my own one thousand blessings.
I re-read underlined words and blink back the sting when I see what I scribbled across those pages that grip my heart:
26: 6.26.12: 2 tests. 4 pink lines. 1 leap of my heart. A 5th. Blessing upon blessing. 

Can I write again? Can I add to the number?
44: 7.30.12: A life joined with Him. A life with no pain, no sorrow, no tears. 
Hope for a glorious reunion at the barrier of eternity. 

Eucharisteo: to give thanks.
"Because eucharisteo is how Jesus, at the Last Supper, showed us to transfigure all things - take the pain that is given, give thanks for it, and transform it into a joy that fulfills all emptiness. I have glimpsed it: This, the hard eucharisteo. The hard discipline to lean into the ugly and whisper thanks to transfigure it into beauty. The hard discipline to give thanks for all things at all times because He is all good. The hard discipline to number the griefs as grace..."

Quoted sections taken directly from One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. 


Stai Family Farm said...

I am so sorry for your loss and your pain. I have also loved and lost. Hoped and had that hope dash upon the rocks.....pain you will indeed remember, and grace you will eventually embrace...forget, you never will.

I am sorry for your loss. Praying for you as you grieve and rest in Him.

Hugs, Karla

Andrea said...

This: "A life joined with Him. A life with no pain, no sorrow, no tears. Hope for a glorious reunion at the barrier of eternity." is beautiful. I always try to be thankful for this.

Jill Lewis said...

Thanks again for being an amazingly weak and strong role model for me. I will always look up to you, your marriage, and your family. God doesn't put us through more than we can handle and he knows how strong you and your family are. God loves to give to those who are eager and excited to receive and are just that! He has so many blessings lined up for you. Praying for you all.

Terri Schelkoph said...

Oh Di. You're faith is beautiful. Mourning with you the ending of your season with your precious little one, and celebrating a new life that has been joined with his creator and a future reunion that will be triumphant... and where death has no sting! Love you dearly.

Arielle Meyer said...

I'm very sorry for your loss. I will be praying for you. Thank you very much for sharing. Your post was beautiful and it very much blessed me to see your faith. "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail, they are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness." Lam. 3:22-23

Arielle Meyer said...

I am very sorry for your loss. I will be praying for you. Thank you for sharing your post. It was such a beautiful picture of faith and a blessing to me. "Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Lam 3:21-23