Sunday, April 5, 2009

All must work for good to me

Storms may howl, and clouds may gather,
All must work for good to me.

All must work for good to me. I have been praying to believe this the past two weeks. Praying to see God's faithfulness in the midst of grief and loss. Praying to see the good in the storm.

I have struggled with whether to write about our miscarriage two weeks ago or not. How do I begin to write about something that is impacting me so deeply? But how do I not write about something that is impacting me so deeply?

A little over two weeks ago I started cramping and bleeding, and, fearing the worst, made an appointment with our ob/gyn to see what was going on. I was 7 weeks along, and we were just getting ready to start telling everyone the news that we were finally expecting our second. I prepared myself for the worst, and was shocked when an ultrasound showed a slow, but steady heartbeat! However, our doctor informed us that there was a chance that we might still miscarry due to the position of the baby. The the following night we lost the baby.

Grieving a miscarriage is like grieving any other death- there's those initial moments of shock where you aren't really sure what to do, then crying and sadness, followed by "ok now its time to send out emails to let people know and cancel appointments and get through life and make dinner and move on," and finally followed by the overwhelming reality of life- that now I have to go on and live my life without them. Life goes on, but they aren't here- it's loss, it's an emptyness.

I have been on a roller coaster the past two weeks, experiencing every emotion more deeply than ever before- moments of deep, deep sadness; moments of frustration and anger and misunderstanding; moments of joy and happiness and peace. Grief is a perplexing process. It is unpredictable. It is paradoxical- I am normal, yet not. I am fine, yet not. I want to be pregnant again soon, yet I know I will still be grieving in some way. I know and believe all the right things- my little one is with the Lord, the safest place she could be; it wasn't my fault; God is good and trustworthy and faithful; He loves me and grieves with me- yet, I still hurt. I struggle to see the good in this storm, but I believe His promises are true.

A few days ago I was wrestling with anger. I was so, so angry that God would have me wait seven months to get pregnant just to take my baby away. That He would allow me to see a heartbeat, to hope, and then allow her to die. That He wouldn't perform a miracle- couldn't he see that sparing her life could bring Him more glory?! What good can ever come of a death? Surely I know best! I wrestled and wrestled, and cried out to God for answers, and wrote, and cried.
And I thought about something that I tell my students- that the God we believe and trust is not distant or removed from our pain- that He isn't just "there for us," guiding us, but that he actualy enters in to our pain with us. That he deeply identifies with our grief and suffering.

Do I really believe this? In my moment of crisis, do I believe that God cares deeply about my suffering?
And then I was reminded that my God lost a child, too. That he was separated from His Son. He watched his son suffer and be put to death. He allowed it. And He did it because he loved me. He allowed his only son to endure what I should have endured so that I could know Him. He took what men intended for evil and made it good. I can't imagine what it must have been like when Jesus rose from the dead, and then finally went back to be with the Father. What a sweet reunion that must have been.

In the midst of grief, I have a deep sense that God is with me- not just directing me, guiding me, reminding me that it will all be ok- but with me. Stepping into this mess. Taking it on himself. Grieving with me. Carrying me. Singing over me. Loving me and blessing me.

I want to see the good that He is working for me through this storm.

Go, then, earthly fame and treasure,
Come disaster, scorn and pain
In Thy service, pain is pleasure,
With Thy favor, loss is gain
I have called Thee Abba Father,
I have stayed my heart on Thee
Storms may howl, and clouds may gather;
All must work for good to me.