I was so excited!!!
It was a miracle!!! Almost 37 years old, one ovary and endometriosis! I could not wait to welcome that baby into the world. My arms were already full. I praised God. I thanked Him. I asked for the grace to trust Him with the process and the outcome.
Two days later I started spotting. I lost the baby 8 days later. Heartbroken, my arms ached with emptiness. I couldn’t stop the flow of blood or tears. Curled up on the bathroom floor, I wept. I’m not even going to try to put what I was feeling into any more words. I can’t.
I immediately began to counsel myself…the Lord is working for my good…to make me more like Jesus and reflect His glory. Even though I knew this and had experienced this to be true in my life in huge ways, I still felt what I felt. Eventually, I gave myself over to my grief.
I struggled with bitterness and envy…listening to the minor grumblings of healthy pregnant loved ones and watching their bellies grow bigger and more beautiful, seeing the weekly pregnancy updates and newborn pictures that flood my newsfeeds on social media, hearing that screaming baby in church and sensing her mother’s embarrassment and panic as she struggled to quiet her. Why couldn’t it be me? I’ve waited so long…..and the recurrent disappointment that seeps in every month when the positive line fails to show up on another pregnancy test is almost too much to bear. My desire for a baby so quickly becomes a ruling one.
I have experienced overwhelming grief one other time in my life – the dissolution of my first marriage (which felt like dismemberment; an emotional equivalent to what I imagine the unborn experiences in physical pain during abortion). With both heartaches, I gave in to the temptation to question God’s goodness, wisdom and power. I railed against God. I didn’t hold back. I assaulted Him with my questions laced with accusations and doubt.
I wish I could say I practiced biblical lamenting. I hope to learn it. I don’t know that I really understand the difference yet between lamenting and complaining and accusing. I see questioning God in the laments of the Psalms, and a shift in the psalmists’ thinking, a yielding, a rehearsing of what is true, a praise and an exaltation. But do they go so far as to accuse God? Hmmm…biblical lamenting…a future post perhaps.
As I wrestle with my theology…my understanding of God and myself, I’m reminded of words from a dear friend and mentor in biblical counseling,
“God needs to be more glorious, mighty and holy in your mind, affections and desires. You are too significant, and God is too small if you are angry at Him. Humility of heart is needed. It is presumptuous and arrogant to accuse Him of wrongdoing.”
I agree wholeheartedly…now, how does this happen? How do I change my thinking….my affections and desires….my worship?
Looking again at the homework my friend assigned me after that counseling session:
1. Memorize the definition of meekness from the Vine’s Dictionary.
2. Review the book of James (specifically 4:1-10) and the Sermon on the Mount (specifically the Beatitudes). I have so much to say about the Beatitudes- I’ll save it for another post!
3. Develop a hobby that reaches out to others, like writing a blog (this assignment was given to me in August of 2010…it’s taken me awhile to warm up to the idea 😛 ).