The battle was far from over.
I stopped crying, the winds and waves of my soul growing calm under the command of love.
He loves me….why so powerful, this thought, this truth I have known and spoken a thousand times before?
I struggled through the end of my pregnancy trying to be a hero, a winner instead of a girl shaking in the arms of her tender God. That would have been real winning. I had forgotten that I was accepted, that I belonged and that my oozing scars evoke the tender mercy of my God…not His wrath. I had forgotten that I was a child within the watchful embrace of her compassionate daddy and in doing so, I orphaned myself from love. I assumed my time was up- the alarm had sounded. I assumed the grace period, the tender hour had passed and an expectation of robotic flawlessness had taken its place.
He loves taking care of me. He loves being my dad.
So, whether four weeks brings about a new baby boy to hold, or just another day to be held myself, I will know peace because I am determined to trust in the One whose name is Peace. My God has overcome. This world cannot overpower the One who overpowered it. And this, this reality, this is my stronghold, my certain rope in an uncertain world.
The last time I saw Anna was when I gave her to Chris and I watched as he gave her to our nurse Alice. Alice walked over to me and said gently, “So your arms will not be empty” and she placed a small, pink, stuffed hippo in my hands. It was from my dear friend Sue, and we had determined it would be Anna’s favorite. I watched Alice walk away, and I held onto Chris as I watched my sweet baby girl disappear.
Nine years ago today I received the horrid news that my completely developed, full-term baby girl had died for no apparent reason. For three days I hugged her still body in my womb, both dreading and anticipating the moment we would behold her…the moment the count down to letting go would begin. This morning I awoke, reeling and restless. A night of haunting dreams left my heart and mind throbbing with fear and grief. A couple of miserable minutes passed and then I received the following text from my sweet sister-in-law Melissa…
“He will cover you with His feathers and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” Psalm 91:4- “I am praying this verse for you all day today Kate. Tuck into His wing and get through this day.”
And so I closed my eyes, pulled God’s wing over me and found refuge. I took a deep breathe, inhaling the grace I needed to make it through the day and I got up. As I write this evening, my eyes ache from all the tears that have been shed…but my heart is so full from all the ways God has met me with His comfort and love.
There is a thorn in my side that will not be removed until I enter the kingdom of heaven. It is a thorn of grief and longing. It is permanently affixed to my heart, and yet with it comes what I now know to be the greatest, most cherished gift of my life- the sufficient grace of Jesus. I take great comfort in knowing that my present pain and all the pain I will suffer in the years to come settles peacefully under the covering of His glorious grace. His death and resurrection will always be enough to save me. Nothing else is needed but to lie down, weeping and helpless under the cross, and to let the power that originates and exists there, lift me from the grave of despair and resurrect me to new life and hope, yet once again.
I don’t want to be afraid. I don’t want this present joy to be stolen by an invisible fear, by a tormenting and taunting that comes from memories and worse yet, from a dark pursuer. What can I do?
A story. We all have one, don’t we? In fact, we are all in the process of being written- all in the process of birth, formation, downfall, crisis, pain, rebirth and renewal. We are all characters in this novel called life, immersed within the forces of good and evil…of true life and certain death. Yes, we all have a story to tell with our lives. [Read more...]
A story. We all have one, don’t we? In fact, we are all in the process of being written- all in the process of birth, formation, downfall, crisis, pain, rebirth and renewal. We are all characters in this novel called life, immersed within the forces of good and evil…of true life and certain death. Yes, we all have a story to tell with our lives.
About five years ago it was impressed upon me that in order to live well with the story I’ve been entrusted with, I must live my life out loud. I must be ready and prepared to give a reason for the hope that I now have (1 Peter 3:15). With that conviction harnessed tightly around my heart, this blog, The Grace To Grieve, was born. My hope is that as I lay my life down in raw words, that others with similar stories, similar pain would find comfort, encouragement and ultimately, a direction to head. Don’t we all in some capacity or another find ourselves grappling with life? Don’t we all find ourselves coming to the end of our ropes wondering “what next?” or “why me?” My soul shattered the day I lost my daughter. But perhaps for you it was the day you received your diagnosis, a betrayal, a heart wrenching loss, infertility, divorce, or terrible loneliness.
When grief entered my life and overtook me, I became lost within a big huge world and God seemed like a puppeteer pulling and jerking strings whichever way He pleased. It was in my grief that this very distant God became the Jesus that laid on the floor with me as I soaked the hardwood with my tears and robbed my knuckles of skin from pounding hard. In my grief I met Jesus and I will never be the same. I can’t help it. I can’t. I must share this God. I must proclaim this person- the author of my story- the hero of my dark night.
This spring I will be releasing a book, my story, The Jesus of My Grief. I am so honored to have an endorsement and the encouragement from a dear soul, author and speaker, Ruth Graham. I long for others walking through their own painful stories to hear from one wounded soul about what it looks like to fall hard, scream at the sky, wail at God…and get back up again triumphant. I will continue to post here with updates on when my book will be available.
For today, I am excited, to literally live out loud with this special opportunity that came my way last month. I was asked to share my story on Water Through The Word Radio and it will be Broadcast on Sirius/XM family talk channel 131 this Sunday at 11:00 a.m. I was so blessed to spend the morning with Erin Campbell of Erin Campbell Ministries and her Director of Broadcasting, Angela Cox- two women with beautiful stories of their own. Thank you Erin for embracing me and allowing me this opportunity to share the Jesus of My Grief.
I would love to invite you to listen to my story…to listen to the reason for the hope I now have.