My attitude determines whether grief causes a disease in me or a glorious and everlasting reward. — S.I. McMillen
I wandered in circles around this statement for about 48 hrs this last weekend. We don’t want to talk about grief. Or pain. I have a low-grade irritation for Facebook with the constant pressure for upbeat status updates and the ever-present ‘like’ button. Life isn’t always likable. We go through painful, difficult times…yet why do we as believers, feel that we need to deal with those quickly, privately, sometimes even burying them in the backyard? Paul went as far as to say he didn’t want his brothers to be uninformed about the hardships he suffered. He admits to being under great pressure, far beyond his ability to endure, so that he despaired even of life. His heart felt the sentence of death.
I felt the agony of death this weekend. A heartbeat I was waiting to hear was never heard. The complete truth of this is that when a child is conceived, life begins. Plans are made. Anticipation, attachment, and joy are felt. Behavior is modified. Car seats are considered. Plane tickets are calculated. Names are dreamed up. Due dates are circled on the calendar. Another place is set at the table. For 11 weeks, I hoped and expected to announce our pregnancy. The first one we actually ‘planned.’ When the kids were circled around the ultrasound monitor and the doctor said, ‘how many weeks are we looking at here?’ my heart sank and started racing all at the same time. I wanted to bolt out of there and tell him to shove it. Instead I asked the nurse to please take my family back to the waiting room. No heartbeat. No heartbeat. No heartbeat.
For a week I tried to pray around these words. God, prepare me. God, the doctor is wrong. God, I can’t wait much longer. God, make it happen quickly.
So now I am in a place where I need to carry on. I wish the world would stop for a while. I want to run to the mountains, or be alone at the sea. I long to be alone. And yet I am afraid to be alone. I feel anger and sadness. Fine one minute and sobbing the next. The kids need me. Life feels a bit like fall now, with dry, fading colors. Chilly and bleak. Finding it hard to be excited about anything, even things I usually love. Like the fall.
“Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.”
Did you know we can speak to our soul? Lord, you are good to me! I love you! Save me from my anguish. Lift me out of this place where colors have faded to shades of gray. Help me to love my husband, minister to my children, go from strength to strength. The enemy is crouching at the door waiting for an opportunity to come in. For me to deny God. To curse him, or curse myself. I will not. I will not live in depression. But I will go through a time of grief. There is nothing to fill the void of an empty womb.
So will this grief cause a disease in me or a glorious and everlasting reward? I put my hope in the resurrection. Resurrected life means these children I have miscarried, all three of them, will be raised up on the last day. I will hold them in my arms in heaven. I cannot wait to meet them. To see if they are sons or daughters. Our faith is of greater worth than gold, and it is being proved genuine. It will result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. That, my brothers and sisters, is why we should not be uninformed about hardship.