I had a delightful surprise visit from my husband & children this evening. They are hanging in there...but my girl was a little teary. Well, mommy was a little teary too. And I am so thankful that we are nearing the end of the journey.
Today we are 36 weeks...another wonderful milestone. I feel so blessed as each day goes by that she gets to grow a little bigger. She gets a little "chunkier" every day. Well, so does her mommy. :o) Her lungs get a little better at breathing. Her body gets a little better at staying warm. And each day is a blessing.
I am surrounded here in the hospital by much joy. So many births. New precious lives coming into the world. I get to hear their little cries (well, some not so little) and hear parents, grandparents, friends and relatives coo over their every move. And I happily anticipate the day when we too will have the joy of meeting this little lady.
But the other day I was reminded of the true honor and privilege it is to have this little one growing inside me. A healthy little one. As far as we know, everything in her body is working correctly. And as far as we know, we will get to see her grow up...experience her laugh, see her run around, and enjoy her individual personality.
The room next to mine was not full of laughter & celebration the other day. Instead of happiness and joy coming from that room, there were only tears. Tears & sorrow, weeping & groans. Although I do not know the woman who was in that room nor the situation, I do know that her baby was born without breath in it's lungs. She never got to hear her cry. She won't experience her coos, smiles or see her take her first steps.
I sat in my bed and tears flowed down my cheeks as I listened to her sob. All I could do was pray for her. For her family. For the hard days ahead. For anniversaries of the loss of that little one. I don't know if she has other children, if she is married, or if she knows the only One who can ease her suffering.
I was overcome with thankfulness for so many things. For the two children already entrusted to our care, for my wonderful husband, my amazing family, for the child still alive & growing inside my womb and most importantly, for the hope of my Savior who does not keep these things from me or from my family...but who can take the circumstances of suffering and use them for His glory with the assurance that He will ultimately satisfy.
Is that just a bunch of "christian-ese"? Is it really possible to go through terrible suffering and not blame God? Can I really be "thankful" for the difficulties that come? Or am I just faking it? What would I have told that weeping mother if I'd had the chance?
Coming up with the right words would be hard. To look in the eyes of that mother, who had just lost a child...I just wouldn't use phrases like "This too shall pass" or "It's all for a reason" or "It'll be okay".
I would have only one explanation.
It hurts. It's not easy. You can't explain it. In fact, you're probably angry. And that is normal. You probably think you can't go on.
You're right. You can't make it through this on your own.
But God is greater. He is better. His ways are higher. Our comprehension can't contain Him. His sovereignty is unmatched. His glory is far more beautiful. And the grace He pours out on us is undeserved.
He knows our suffering. He has experienced grief. He does not delight in the hurts of His children. His love goes far beyond the pain. He will never leave you. He will provide the grace you need for every day. He has spared us from eternal damnation...the only thing we really deserve.
In the days to come, I will try and highlight some of the reading I've done recently that have solidified these facts in my heart and increased my passion to share the news of Christ with those who have no hope.
But for now, I am praying for the woman who was in the room next to mine. I am praying for a family overwhelmed by sadness. I am praying for the thousands who have no food and no homes in Haiti. I am praying for people who heard the diagnosis of cancer today. And for others who are trying to cope with the loss of a loved one.
That they would be comforted. And would come to know the only One that will truly see them through the pain.
In awe of His mercy...