Saturday, April 30, 2011

The ending of this story is good

April 30, 2011
It’s amazing how much more we are capable of when we tap into the power of God. As heirs with Him, we have this ability, but I think we so often forget. When J.V. and I were going through a pregnancy loss group at Saddleback church (almost 4 years ago now), there were women in our group sharing about how they had lost their babies late in the pregnancy, and even at birth. All of our losses, at that time, had been early losses, and to try to imagine the pain that these ladies must be feeling was just inconceivable to me. “I just couldn’t handle that kind of suffering!” I thought to myself. My heart went out to them.
Many of you are probably thinking the same thing about me now. “How can she stand it?” “Oh my gosh, can you believe this is happening to them?” “How tragic.” The truth is, the Bible warns us, “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” 1 Peter 4:12-13
I have been very humbled in the last week as people walking their own “valleys” send their encouragement to us. Wow, I think. They are encouraging me when they, themselves, are going through such pain? I couldn’t do it! The truth is, we all have suffering in our lives, but He gives each of us exactly what we need to do what He has called us to do, and to walk through whatever trials we must. He promises us that we are not alone. That He is with us, carrying us. The Lord knows how it feels to suffer (so much more than we ever could), and the best part of our story is that it’s not over yet. Whether the Lord chooses to do a miracle in our little girl’s life by healing her or not, He will be glorified by this. He will use her precious life in a special way, and He has designed her for His beautiful and unique purpose. We can rejoice that this time of suffering on earth is nothing but a vapor of time that will disappear and will “… achieve for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”  2 Cr 4:17 This is not our home, but a place we pass through only for a moment’s time. I can assure you that the ending of this story is good. 

Friday, April 29, 2011

Our "borrowed baby"

April 29, 2011
The Lord allowed me some relief today. Our awesome, loving God gave me new eyes for our circumstances and my peace (at this moment) is so sweet. I told J.V. that I had been thinking about this pregnancy and how in the world I could have any joy at all in the next 5 months knowing that I will lose this precious baby. I wondered if it were possible in any way to go on with my life as “normal” and actually function, maybe do some of the things I had wanted to do with the kids this summer. As I pondered this, the Lord spoke to my heart. I remembered how along this journey J.V. and I had thought about doing a foster to adopt program to build our family and adopt a child. At this moment, I thought, no way I could do that, they might give me a baby for a year and then take it back (that might be just as painful or even more than what I’m enduring!) But suddenly I realized that fostering a child is kind of what the Lord has called us to do…with this baby within me. He has asked J.V. and I to care for a sick child for the next 5 months at which time He will bring back home to her heavenly father. This baby never belonged to me, none of my children do. The Lord has entrusted each of them to us for a time and then they will go where they can be truly whole, to be with Him. I can rest assured because I know that this precious gift He has given us for a time, is not just going to any home, she is going to an amazing home (not as in traditional fostering situations where the child may be put back into a home with drugs or a parent that does not care for her, etc). No, our “borrowed baby” is going to a place where she will have complete joy and a perfect, healthy body. No tears, no pain, no sickness. I think I can find joy in knowing that for as long as He gives us this child. The Lord chose our family to be the ones to care for her...what a special job. He has asked us to keep this child comfortable and help her feel love. It is a gift, and right now (I’m not promising for tomorrow), but at this moment, I can enjoy the kicks I feel as I write with out the enormous cloud of sorrow sweeping over me. This is what God has called us to in this season, and I’m honored to take care of this baby. I think this is kind of what it means when they talk about “the sacred dance of grief and joy.” Only He can do that.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Why do bad things happen to good people?

April 28, 2011
During a time of recurring pregnancy losses, I found a Bible Study by Beth Moore that discusses people who love the Lord, and their experience with suffering. It is a difficult concept for us to understand. Why would a loving, all-powerful God allow such heartache in those who have given their lives to Him? This section spoke about Luke, chapter 1 and described how Zechariah and Elizabeth were blameless before God, yet Elizabeth was barren. The study explains that there are life experiences that come so naturally for many people, and yet for some, the very same life experiences are like chasing the wind. When they don’t happen according to our expectations we feel as though we are being punished unfairly.
She gives the illustration of a single woman who is not fit for motherhood (addicted to substance abuse, etc.)—nor does she even want to be a mother—and how easily she might become pregnant; contrasted with a God-fearing couple and their battle against infertility. Then she writes, “While there are many that have things happen naturally, God only chooses a special few to show off His supernatural power.” Yes, the Lord could have allowed J.V. and I to build our family in the traditional way. He could have spared us a child that doctors suggest we terminate because her tiny body is so “incompatible with life.” However, because he loves us, he is allowing us to experience the supernatural. He has given us a story and a testimony that could only have been written by His hand, and we are grateful. Each one of our children is a miracle beyond comprehension and we praise Him because He chose us for this story. He has not forsaken us. He understands our pain, and I have to believe His promise that “He who began a good work in (us) will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil. 1:6
The Lord is weaving a beautiful tapestry with each of our lives. The side we can see appears to be a tangled mess of yarn going this way and that, making no picture at all. However, when you turn it over you can see an amazing work of art, each thread just where it should be, made by the most amazing designer. I wish I could see the other side of this tapestry right now…I get glimpses of it. I see it when I look at Christian and Cambria, Caden, and Cooper. I think of how gracious our God is to entrust us with these four healthy children for a time on this earth. For now, though, I just have to trust that He is working every piece of our life—every strand of yarn—together to reveal an amazing masterpiece when it is finished.