Thursday, December 26, 2013

Beauty will Rise

I have spent a lot of time lately reading works from people who have endured great suffering and listening to music that was born out of experiences of deep pain.  It might seem counter intuitive to find comfort in those places... and yet, it has been very comforting to let others speak the words my heart feels and just to know others have walked this road of suffering and it has born beauty in their lives. 

It feels very isolating sometimes - this grief.  It feels like no one around me has any idea what is really going on in my heart and like I am existing in some world where I am in so many pieces and most people will only see a couple of them.  I have been reading "Choosing to See" by Mary Beth Chapman which is a wonderful book, I actually haven't read the beginning - I skipped straight to the part where their daughter died and have only read about their grief and processing the days afterwards.  I downloaded the album Stephen Curtis Chapman wrote "Beauty will Rise", in the months following their daughter's death.  Some of the song lyrics just speak so beautifully what I have felt so deeply and it ministers to me to feel that I am walking a road others have traveled and survived.

I think the song that has spoken to my heart the most is this one, "Our God is in Control"

This is not how it should be
This is not how it could be
This is how it is
And our God is in control

This is not how it will be
When we finally will see
We'll see with our own eyes
He was always in control

And we'll sing holy, holy, holy is our God
And we will finally really understand what it means
So we'll sing holy, holy, holy is our God
While we're waiting for that day

This is not where we planned to be
When we started this journey
But this is where we are
And our God is in control

Though this first taste is bitter
There will be sweetness forever
When we finally taste and see
That our God is in control

And we'll sing holy, holy, holy is our God
And we will finally really understand what it means
So we'll sing holy, holy, holy is our God
While we're waiting for that day

We're waiting for that day
We'll keep on waiting for that day
And we will rise
Our God is in control

Honestly,  Christmas has been hard for me.  In part because of what is missing  and in part because I can't help remembering last Christmas when I was pregnant and the terrible days afterwards when the first miscarriage happened.  I have felt so deeply this sense of how 'not right' things are and the bitterness of all that is missing.  I have found myself in tears many times this week, and God has been there to remind me of his love and goodness, but it still hurts so much sometimes.  Some other lyrics from the "Beauty will Rise" album that have put words to these feelings are below:

"Jesus will meet you there"

When you think you've hit the bottom
and the bottom gives way
and you fall into a darkness
no words can explain
and you don't know how you make it out alive
Jesus will meet you there.
When you realize the dreams you've had
for your child won't come true
when the phone rings in the middle
of the night with tragic news...
Whatever valley you must walk through,
Jesus will meet you there.

Who are You God
For You are turning out to be
So much different than I imagined

And where are you God
Cuz I am finding life to be
So much harder than I had planned

Know that I am afraid
To ask these questions
But You know they are there

And if you know my heart
The way that I believe you do
You know that I believe in You

Still I have these questions
Like How could you God
How could You be so good and strong
And make a world that can be so painful

And where were you God
I know you had to be right there
I know you never turn your head

You know that Im confused
By all this mystery
You know I get afraid
But if you know my heart
As completely as I trust you do
Oh you know that I trust in you

Is it true
that fore every tear I cry
You cry a thousand more
Cuz you weep for those that weep

And are you, just holding yourself back
From crushing all the pain and evil in this world
For reasons we just cant understand for now
But isnt there a day of redemption coming
Redemption is coming

Quickly Lord, come quickly
Lord, come quickly

So who am I God
That you would raise me from the dust
To breathe your life and your love in me
You know that I believe

Aside from Jeff and Jesus, I don't speak these things out loud to many people.  It helps me though, to open a window to the grief instead of keeping it closed up inside.  I think that is why people who have been through difficult things write books, music, or find other ways to express their pain.  I find that people who have been though impossible things, like the Chapmans, C.S. Lewis, Richard Wurmbrand, and others - even when they aren't talking directly about their grief or pain there is a depth to their writing about the human experience - a more complete understanding of faith, trust, and belief.  I think it is because they are people who have suffered and been transformed by their experience of suffering.  I am grateful for the works produced by these individuals that have inspired hope and courage for me.  I guess I hope that by not shying away from the pain or suffering, God will use my experience to minister to others walking through their own valleys.

1 comment:

  1. Sweet Erin - Words and thoughts so raw, yet so true....

    "How could You be so good and strong
    And make a world that can be so painful..."

    for those who feel hopeless and afraid.....

    "I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.
    I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within 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.
    I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.”
    The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him;
    it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
    (Lamentations 3:19-26)
    Love you....XOXO