Yesterday I read a very real and touching blog post by one of my favorite writers - Lisa-Jo Baker. She wrote a post entitled, "For Those Who Feel Like They Are Dying On The Inside" on the (in)courage website. (See blogs that I follow). The very first comment on her blog was from a woman who had just miscarried only 48 hours previous to her reading Lisa-Jo's post. The woman, who was obviously grieving, dared to lay bare her heart on a public forum because she needed to know that someone out there cared.
282 more comments, pleas, prayer requests, and guttural groans followed. It struck me that we live in a very broken and hurting world. When someone answers, "I'm fine," chances are they are not fine...not fine at all. Sin is in this world and it manifests itself in the form of pain and suffering. The rain falls upon the just and the unjust and the fact that we have a relationship with Christ does not exempt us from suffering.
Sometimes I wish I was more like a duck - that things rolled off my back more easily, but I'm not. I often felt a little like an alien in my family who held their emotions, like a poker hand, tight to their chest. Me, on the other hand, I wear my heart on my sleeve. It's hard being so sensitive sometimes because I feel things, like my and other people's burdens, so deeply. It was no surprise to me that when I read the woman's comment about losing her baby, tears began to roll down my cheeks. My heart ached for her that she wouldn't be able to count those ten little fingers and toes and smell her newborn baby's tiny head.
Though I have never miscarried, I felt the sharp knife of her pain.
I do know suffering. I've had many trials in my life and if triggered the right way, the pain can come bubbling to the surface like it was yesterday. I remember in 1999. My children were eleven and six years old. It was the beginning of December and I had told my kids, in an attempt to keep Christmas as "normal" as possible, that we would go through the giant drive through Christmas light display. It was a Christmas tradition, only this year we'd being doing it without their father because he had packed his things and left just two months earlier. I was beginning to herd my children into the minivan when my neighbor came over. I could tell by the look on her face that what she had to tell me was not good news.
"I saw your husband with another woman," she began, "and I could tell it wasn't just a friendship relationship." The sharp knife cut open my heart and it was laid bare before her. She hugged me as I cried. My kids, unaware of the bomb that had just been dropped, were calling my name to go see the lights. Armed with this new knowledge I drove off into the darkness to see the light display with my children. Thankfully the inside of the van was dark as the carols played and my babies oohed and ahhed at the light displays. They couldn't see the tears burning their way down my cheeks. They couldn't see my heart laid bare.
So why am I relaying these stories? What is the purpose of, and how can we find hope in suffering? I have never done this before, but I am going to ask you to check back in next week for the conclusion of this post. My heart is very heavy right now with grief over losing Uncle Bob - my husband's favorite uncle - who was like a father to him and who welcomed me into the family with open arms. Our energies are needed right now to comfort our lovely Aunt Pat who lovingly held her husband's hand until he passed on to his Heavenly home.
I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you. (John 14:18)
In His love,
ps. Thanks for your patience as my blog site is "under construction". I hope you like the new look, but again for reasons mentioned above, I have not had the time nor the energy to update my "Pages". I ask for your grace...be blessed.