Here’s the major occupational hazard with being a blogger who writes about her life: I have to write about my life.
So here goes.
I could post pictures about my recent vacation that look like this:
And would you think my life was grand and my children were perfect and we never had any problems, but you would be wrong.
So, though this is a real picture from our recent vacation, you won’t see me in it or in most of our other pictures.
I may have been at the beach, but God had in me in the depths.
It was about five weeks ago when, with fear and trepidation, I wrote something in my journal that I wouldn’t normally share. Today, I need to.
“Lord, I want to be so confident in who you are that I never question what you’re doing in my life. I want to be able to say, “God do whatever it takes to draw me closer to you,” and not feel fear. You are my daddy, and I know you will do nothing to me or to my family that is not done out of love. I want to be quiet and at peace in your presence. Still me, Lord.”
About four weeks ago, I felt led to take the entire month of July off from the blog. I didn’t really want to. It seemed a bit excessive and I might lose readers. But the sense was strong, and I asked you then to take it off with me. Feast on God, I said. See that He is good.
Then, about three weeks ago, while in Florida (where I have often wondered if there is ever a bad day), we had a bad day. Several, in fact.
Tucked away in my womb had been the fourth child we had prayed for but hadn’t yet made public. But instead of getting to call friends and family to tell them of our happy secret, that happy secret was now whispered quietly just before the blow:
We were pregnant, but we lost the baby.
Early miscarriages are not uncommon nor are they much more than a speck on the radar of world news-worthy tragedies or hardships. I hesitate to share this even, knowing the massive pain that people around the globe are facing as I type. One woman’s miscarriage seems insignificant in the grand scheme.
But it happened, and it leaves behind a quiet kind of awful. Miscarriages are rarely discussed outside of close, hushed circles, and probably for good reason. No one wants to think about them.
Except their mamas.
The grief was real and deep and the worst I have ever felt, coming in heaving waves, in and out like the tides. One moment I was okay, the next sobbing into Josh’s shoulder.
Our baby. We lost our precious baby.
All of this, set to the quiet soundtrack of waves crashing and vacationers laughing on the beach.
And I remembered my journal entry. I had asked God to still me before Him.
I was still.
In the midst of all this, I sat in the church we visit each summer. I suspect I made a scene, sobbing through the worship. Even blatantly not standing, despite the worship pastor’s instructions. (I hate being rebellious, but Josh said it was okay.)
Josh sat with me (because he likes being rebellious), and I cried. Boy, did I cry.
I cried because I was sad, yes, but not only that. I cried because I saw myself in the other worshippers around me, and I wondered if they knew what I knew now.
One week before, I had praised and raised my hands just like them. Life was good (we were on vacation!) and so was God. Worship was easy.
This week (we were still on vacation) but life was awful and singing, at that moment, was impossible. But at least now I finally knew, and the knowing made me weep.
Did they know?
All that wonderful stuff we sing when life feels blessed—about how good God is and how He holds us in the storms and how His love and peace and grace are sufficient even in the awful places—did they know?
Do you know?
(I wish I could shout this.)
IT IS TRUE.
Friends, I have never in my life known the depth of peace and joy that I have felt since those awful days three weeks ago.
God has stilled and quieted me as I asked. He has been kind and merciful in ways I never could have anticipated. He has proven himself to be trustworthy, altogether good and full of love. As hard as this has been, God has held me in a place so close to Him that I never want to go back.
And if that verse I quote so often is true and sons really are “a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him,” then my baby, my precious child, is no less of a blessing to Josh and I than our children who are living with us on this earth. That baby, who will never know the pain inherent in this life, is waiting for us in Heaven. Safe in Jesus’ arms. A reward that we will enjoy for all of eternity. Praise God.
Look, my friends. Please don’t miss it.
Look what God has done:
“You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!” (Psalm 30:11-12, exclamation point mine.)
God has shown me that His character is true to His Word. When and how has He shown you?