I've heard a few people talking about how they feel a spirit of hope rising in their hearts for the coming year. They sense God's hope rising above the sadness and struggles and in spite of them. I must confess, 2010 hasn't been so great for me. I'm struggling to sense that hope, though I know it is there.
Dave and I were talking last night, and I had a really great cry--the kind where my body was heaving and I was gasping for air. It is so cleansing to just release all of the pent-up emotion that I had tried to keep at bay. I've sensed that the one who wars for my soul has been on my case to steal my joy and rob me of my hope in the One who makes all things new.
I lost my baby. I'm sad. Not all the time, just occasionally, but it hits at unexpected times, and I am sometimes unprepared to deal with it in that moment, and what it turns into is me getting snappy, illogical, and blaming. I feel jealousy when I hear another person is pregnant. I certainly do not wish ill will on anyone, but I do feel that jealousy creep in from time to time.
I have known now for several years that people don't understand why Dave and I want to have several children. People often said when it was just Sam and Maryn, "Well, now you have one of each, so you're complete!" What is that? Who decided that was the "perfect" family? We have a longing in our hearts for children. We can't explain that to everyone, but we know it is part of our purpose. We want to adopt, and as I've mentioned before, some people think that's crazy since we already have three kids. We so strongly feel that children are a blessing from the Lord--a gift. We believe part of our purpose as husband and wife is to reflect the truth of Christ and the Church in our marriage--the husband (Christ) gives new life to the wife (the Church). That may not gel with some of you, but that is what we believe about our union and what it represents.
So, when I lost the baby, I had certain expectations for what my grief would look like. It certainly wasn't looking like what others had experienced. Now, I'm realizing it really is different for everyone. I am realizing that Solomon was right when he said, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life" (Proverbs 13:12). We so hoped for another baby right now. It has been deferred, and I am disappointed. My heart sometimes feels sick. It's hard to watch others walking forward in their pregnancy, knowing that I should be experiencing it with them.
But losing the baby isn't my only disappointment. Trying to fatten up Lucy has been a chore. There are times when she is completely uninterested in her food, and I worry about it. I don't need more suggestions for how to fix it, I just need to be able to release her to the Lord's care. He showed me a year ago that she was for the "display of His splendor" and "the smallest a mighty nation". She is going to be okay. I hang onto that, but it seems hard to remember it in the midst of the disappointment.
I have also been disappointed about small town life. I was under the impression that in small towns, everyone knows everyone and everyone takes care of each other. I have found this to not be true. It may be true if you've lived in that town your whole life, but if you are a newcomer, you are on the outside. I've even heard people say, "You can live there for 10 years and still be the 'new' person in town."
My best friend here is moving away today. She will be 2.5 hours away, and we will still talk on the phone. But, I am sad about it. I am going to miss her. I have made a few other friends, and I am happy that I am building relationships with them. I am thankful to have them. But I see the way so many gossip about one another and the way even believers are not supportive of one another. It breaks my heart to see fragmenting like this in the Body.
So, I have these disappointments and others, but I'm sitting in the secret place letting my Father love me. This is all I can do right now. I can't make my situations more comfortable. I can't make people change. I can't right all the wrongs. I can only rest in His love.
And dance away the darkness.
I do a lot of that. You may think that's crazy, but it really works. When I feel the darkness creeping in and trying to steal my joy, I put on some David Crowder and dance all over the house. I bring my body into submission and trample the lies I'm hearing and let my body be a sacrifice of praise.
I long for the Hope. I ache for it. I crave it. I will cling to it though the darkness hides it. His light will break forth like the dawn. So, I say,
"The sun will no more be your light by day,
nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you,
for the LORD will be your everlasting light,
and your God will be your glory." Isaiah 60:19