Friday, December 13, 2013

Finding Strength

As I have been confronting my grief and processing the pain I have felt an intentionality in the process - I don't want to waste this opportunity.  I recently had a conversation with a friend where she essentially said that she couldn't believe that I was being honest about my situation and my feelings in such an open way and that it must make it hard for me to know that others are aware of my suffering.  It seemed like a strange observation to me, that it would be better for me if my pain were less obvious. 

Early in my walk with the Lord, He impressed upon my heart a theology of suffering that essentially boils down to the heart of suffering existing for the glory of God.  When I sat in my dorm room reading Desiring God by: John Piper, it resonated with me so deeply - even though I had no idea what it would mean to truly suffer.  I hesitate to even attempt to summarize Piper's theological interpretation of suffering, but I will select a few passages from the 'suffering' chapter of that book that sum up his viewpoint:

" All experiences of suffering in the path of Christian obedience, whether from persecution or sickness or accident, have this in common: they all threaten our faith in the goodness of God and tempt us to leave the path of obedience.  Therefore, every triumph of faith and all perserverence in obedience are testimonies to the goodness of God and preciousness of Christ - whether the enemy is sickness, Satan, sin or sabotage.. Not only that, the suffering of sickness and the suffering of persecution have this in common: they are both intended by Satan for the destruction of our faith, and governed by God for the purifying of our faith."

"The point is that Christ sovereignly accomplishes his loving, purifying purpose, by overruling Satan's destructive attempts, Satan is always aiming to destroy our faith; but Christ magnifies his power in weakness."

" The pearl of greatest price is the glory of Christ.  Thus Paul stresses that in our sufferings the glory of Christ's all-sufficient grace is magnified. If we rely on him in our calamity, and he sustains our 'rejoicing in hope,' then he is shown to be the all-satisfying God of grace and strength that he is.  If we hold fast to him 'when all around our soul gives way,' then we show that he is more to be desired than all we have lost... so suffering clearly is designed by God not only as a way to wean Christians off of self and onto grace, but also as a way to spotlight that grace and make it shine.  That is precisely what faith does; it magnifies Christ's future grace.  The deep things of life in God are discovered in suffering."

There is so much more that could be quoted or summarized, but really, just go buy the book - it is worth it!   I believe that nothing is wasted and as terrible as this year has been, it would be wasteful to not share what God has done and is doing through this process of grief and suffering.  I think another important piece of this puzzle for me has been to be where I am and quit trying to profess that which I do not possess.  It has been so healing for me to be able to be honest with God and bring him my pain and disappointment and experience Him in that moment without trying to rush to promises of peace and comfort that I just don't feel right then.  Somehow in my honest weakness, his strength is most evident.

I know for everyone who walks this terrible journey of infertility, stillbirth or multiple miscarriages - it is extremely personal and different for each person, so in no way do I think everyone needs to or should respond in the way that I am choosing to.  But for me, over the last few weeks, I have felt a need to just let it all die and grieve the loss of my dreams.  I dream of a family with 3-5 children (some adopted) and all of them close knit.  I dream of a loud house full of yelling children, big dinners with children all around the table, babies to rock, hands to hold, beautiful chaos. This dream may never come true.  Even as pathology reports return with no answers and no indication of any problems, I don't know that God will ever choose to give us a healthy baby.  And if He doesn' certainly won't change who He is, but it changes my experience of him.  Can I trust Him and love Him and follow Him and believe Him just as much as if my dreams were fulfilled the way I wanted them?  I don't have an answer to that right now - at least not an honest one.  But, I find my heart experiencing peace I can't explain, hope that is not rooted in getting what I want, and grace that is enough - even when I  see others get exactly what I want without having to walk a road that is full of pain.  This leads me to believe that walking this road will only solidify my experience of Christ and not just my belief in Him.

I have wrestled with the heart of God and what God truly desires for me.  Just as Luke11:11 says "Which of you is a father whose son will ask him for bread and would hand him a stone, and if he asks him for a fish will, instead of a fish, hand him a snake,”?  This feels like asking for a fish and getting a snake.  I have struggled with feeling like it is not enough to go through all of this just to learn a lesson or grow spiritually.  I have been reminded about the ways that God and Satan can take the same situation and what Satan intends for evil, God can use for good.  I have been asking the Redeemer to come and redeem this...I don't see it now, but I do believe that is who HE is and what he does.  

Choosing to believe that God's plans are better than my own is really hard and definitely a choice that is being made every day, some days every moment.  But I know I am not alone and just as God carries my children with Him, He carries my heart and my dreams and my brokenness... it doesn't make it all okay, but it makes my burden much lighter.  I want my suffering to magnify the future grace of Christ, spotlight His sufficiency in weakness, and testify to His power over death and destruction.  I can't do it... I have tried and failed over and over again to humanly make this right.  So, I will continue to 'boast' about my weakness and put my suffering on display, not because I want sympathy or pity (especially not pity), but because when I am weak - HE is strong.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Erin, I'm so sorry you are going through this. I want you to know that God desires life just as much as you do! He created it and He commanded it and if He has given you the desire to have 3-5 children (assuming you seek Him when you have the desire, and I know you do) then He will fufill it! The enemy wants you to think otherwise, he wants you to think that you don't deserve it or it's not going to happen. The Lord wants it to happen. We have the authority in Christ to experiences our bodies to line up and respond to God's word, which commands multiplication. The enemy is preventing that from manifesting in us!! Take charge my friend!! I want to see this desire come true just as much as you do and just as much as the Lord does xoxoxo