Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Yesterday

Yesterday was an interesting day. I decided not to think about it until today. I just didn't want to. One year ago yesterday was the day I found out that my pregnancy with our second child had ended in miscarriage. It has really been a year. I cannot wrap my head around how much time has gone by since then. As I drove downtown yesterday morning, I passed by The Children's Park, which is a beautiful courtyard created to celebrate the lives of children who are in heaven or still on earth. It's a wonderful place that many in this town go to remember the child they have lost, and it is a place that I have retreated to several times over the past year as I have poured out my heart to the Lord, in grieving and in hoping. I haven't been in quite a while, but passing by in my car yesterday brought back a flood of memories in just a few seconds. Memories that I like and memories that I don't like. I started to let myself linger a little longer in remembering that day a year ago, but I decided to push it aside for a time. Today, I'm embracing it a little more, but I'm questioning how it is that I'm supposed to think about it. I mean, what do you even do with an anniversary-date like that?

It's not even the day my child went to Heaven. Only God knows when that was. So the date itself has little to do with the child. But it does have everything to do with my life being changed. In an instant. My dreams for my family were gone, and what I desired was being denied. Not only were my hopes shattered, but my entire belief system was shaken to the core. I was forced to decide if I believe God to be worthy of asking me to give up the things dearest to me. If He was who He said He was (and who I had always affirmed He was), then He was completely in the right for asking me to set aside my deepest desires. What he began to teach me included but had much more to do with surrender of all kinds of things other than that one child I never knew. Embracing that loss and allowing Him to show me His glory through it meant that I had to be ok with giving up anything for His sake. That was the hardest part. Letting go of what He hadn't actually asked me to let go of yet; He only wanted my willingness to let go.

The seven months following my miscarriage were intensely difficult because of this very struggle going on. The struggle to be willing to lay everything down for His sake. Even the most precious people in my life. So one year ago yesterday was the beginning of a new journey. A journey through something much more than grief. It was learning a whole new way to live. A surrendered life. A life that plans and dreams only as Christ leads and a life that hopes and expects only as He assures. The journey remains. I fully expect it to until the day I die.

Yes, the battle between living for Him or for myself will continue for a lifetime. But I'm so thankful that there is power for it now and that there exists the guarantee of some glorious relief after that. I didn't think about those things very much prior to one year ago. Heaven wasn't on my mind a lot. I didn't really believe God would mess with my dreams and plans, so I thought little about the kinds of suffering that would be hardest for me to go through. The wives of the couples in our community group have been all studying 1 Peter on our own, and we meet twice a month to discuss it. It has been a special time in the Word for me personally. The entire book has to do with suffering really, and the point of what I have studied so far is that we can't endure suffering without maintaining a perspective of hope. And not hope like we think of hope. The hope Peter talks about is different. Hope that is sure belief, full assurance, a guarantee of what is to come. Hope is really us counting on what is our future, namely the completion of our salvation in heaven and the inheritance reserved for us. So, learning to cultivate a perspective on time and eternity that brings into focus the glory of what Christ holds for us in Heaven is absolutely essential to life on this earth and survival of pain. And I hadn't thought much about those things prior to January 22nd, 2007.

So this journey has been sweet. The perspective change - refreshing. But the surrender - excruciating. The actual process is quite painful, and thankfully God knows that and is always willing to pour out loads of grace to help us through it. But the surrender He calls us to is good. It's for His glory, but I'm convinced it's used for our good as well. Its very invitation forces us out of lukewarmness, one way or the other. And because we habitually creep back towards the middle, new opportunties for surrender keep raising their ugly heads. Sometimes, surrender is the only way I even know how to worship God. Some times, it's the only thing my heart knows to do.

So I guess if there's another way I'm supposed to look at the meaning of yesterday's date, I don't want to know it. It is a date on a calendar that represents something huge in my life story, but I choose to look at it as the measure that it is. A measure of time God used in my life to bring me into just a little clearer understanding of the difficulty of the call given to His followers and the absolute worthiness of the One who calls.

Note: In changing my template, I lost my links. Sorry about that. I'll get them back up there soon.

6 comments:

the melton's said...

That was an encouraging post, Hannah. It's so neat to see how the Lord has healed your heart. It was also a good reminder for me to hold loosely the blessings that God has given me.

I love your new template, by the way!

Lori, Landon and Logan said...

Hang in there! I am glad you shared this story! It helps me understand this more even though I don't really understand what you are going through!
Love ya!

Christa said...

Thank you for sharing. Believe me, I understand the meaning of a date like this and the significance it can have on your spiritual journey...I cannot share my story without sharing of our loss, but now I am able to celebrate it and I know that it had some purpose. I don't know if there is a greater form of worship than surrender? Isn't that what God desires for us? To fully surrender to Him so that He can fully be glorified through us. You have such a beautiful heart to know and see God, I am so encouraged when you share it!

Christa said...

Oh, and by the way...I love the new look.

Courtney said...

Thanks for sharing that piece of your heart with me (and the world) and you did a really fabulous job of writing it...I can't pretend to understand and especially if you read my blog post from two days ago you'll see that I am far from where you are on that spectrum because I have not had a loss like yours. I pray (still) that there are other ways for me to get to know God in that way, because my selfish desires are that I wouldn't have to let go...but thanks for making me think. I am sorry that you have lost, but I see now that God had so much in store for you to gain, and he has sweet Parker ready to be a blessing and somewhat a "sign" or a covenant (if you will) with you about where you were and where you are! He loves you and I know you love Him...that is sweet!

Jeanine said...

That was a wonderful post. I have a friend who miscarried this week and she has been saying many of the same things. I love how, in the midst of grief and longing, God teaches us more than we would have been willing to learn otherwise. You have been given wisdom, and that is a real treasure!