Posts Tagged ‘sorrow’

Missing Mommy

July 25th, 2010

Little John misses his mom. I sit him on my lap until he feels he can function again. He ventures away to play. I move on to new tasks. I hear a couple of deeply drawn breaths and ask my compatriot whether she’d heard a cry coming on. She hadn’t, but when John starts crying again, she looks at me and suggests that I’m telepathic. I’m not. I’m just attune to his sorrow.

Jarell misses his mommy too–but my lap isn’t enough to calm this little fellow. He wraps his arms around my chest and buries his head in my shoulder. He wants to be as close as he can be. I understand the feeling. I hold him close and let him take comfort in my nearness. It takes him almost half an hour, but eventually, he is ready to move forward, returning every so often to remind himself that I’m still here.

Cooper is generally stoic, playing happily with the other children. Today, he plays almost as usual, except that he periodically turns to me to say “I miss my mommy.” His little lower lip quivers as I respond: “I know. It’s hard missing someone.” I know.

McKenna asks me if her mommy will be back soon. I tell her it will be a while. A couple minutes later, she’ll be back to ask me again. She misses her mother, she wants her back. She cannot comprehend the scale I see, the hands of the clock ticking away the minutes. “I know it’s hard,” I tell her, “but trust me. She’ll be back.”

I am McKenna, Cooper, Jarell, and John–sometimes almost unaffected, sometimes incapacitated by the pain. I don’t understand what’s going on outside the walls of my nursery. “Where is my mommy? What is she doing? When will she be back?”

God, omniscient, knows what’s going on even when I don’t. He watches the clock, knowing the time when my suffering will end. “I know it’s hard,” He says, “but trust Me. It won’t be long.” Still, every few minutes I ask when the pain will be gone.

Does He feel my pain as I feel theirs?

Certainly He knows of me what I know of them–that this present suffering is only momentary.

And thus He calls me to rest, to trust, and to enjoy the place I’m at right now.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
~II Corinthians 4:16-18 (NIV)

Thankful Thursday: Blue

April 1st, 2010

Today I’m thankful…

…for the blue bike that I’m loving to ride

…for the blue sky that greeted me as I rode my way on to campus

…for the blue water bottle that keeps me hydrated as I fight against the wind

…for the blue backpack that enables me to tote all my books and papers about on my bicycle

Thankful Thursday banner

Today, I’m blue. And when I’m blue, I’m thankful…

…for my aunt, who can relate

…for my uncle, who reminded me that I am not without hope

“We grieve, but not as those who have no hope. Grief is real and good and must not be glossed over. On the other (better) hand, there is joy in trusting in the Lord with all your heart and leaning not (at all) on your own understanding. I wonder to myself (truly, – not directed at you or anyone but myself) does God have contingency plans in case His plans don’t work out? My mind and especially my heart cannot conceive of it. — Peace”
-Uncle Nathan

…for my mom, who brought some clarity to my confusion and finally convinced me to look into some resources on grieving.

…for my dad, who tells me that God hasn’t given up on me, who asks me to consider whether my lack of interest in the jobs that have been coming across my desk might be God’s leading–that He’s holding me back from getting a job for a reason? (Dad said that while some people might experience God’s leading in a sudden interest or a kick in the pants, maybe this uncharacteristic lack of interest might be His leading for the generally go-gettum, make-things-happen me.)

…for God, who is ever-present, who is with me when I cry myself to sleep, who knows the heart I don’t know myself, who hears my every contradictory petition and works all things to accomplish His (good) will. I’m thankful that He hasn’t given up on me, that He hasn’t lost His plan for my life. I’m thankful that even when I don’t understand my own heart, my own emotions, my own will–God knows, and has a plan to work all things together for His glory and my greatest good.

Assurance and Trust

February 6th, 2010

It’s amazing how you can read something or sing something a hundred times, but it can continue to have new meaning each and every time.

A little over a month ago, I was overwhelmed by the task that seemed to be looming before me, fearful for what the future might bring. And when I sat down to sing some old hymns, the fifth verse of “Trust and Obey” struck me.

Then in fellowship sweet,
we will sit at His feet,
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way
What He says we will do
Where He sends we will go
Never fear, only trust and obey.

He relieved my fears and gave me grace to trust Him for that particular path.

Now He has blocked the way along that particular path.

And new verses comfort my soul.

Not a burden we bear
Not a sorrow we share
But our toil He doth richly repay
Not a grief nor a loss
Not a frown nor a cross
But is blest if we trust and obey.

But we never can prove
the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay
For the favor He shows
and the joy He bestows
Are for them who will trust and obey.

I don’t want to lay my heart, my desire on the altar. It truly is a sorrow, a grief, a loss. But if, in giving this up, I can somehow prove the delights of His love, then surely my loss is not in vain. I will choose, despite the pain, to trust and obey.

Today, I moved from “Trust and Obey” to the nearby songs, categorized under the heading “Assurance and Trust”.

And God ministered to my broken soul through the words of “Be Still, My Soul.”

Be still, my soul!
The Lord is on thy side
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain
Leave to thy God to order and provide
In every change, He faithful will remain
Be still my soul
Thy best, thy heavenly friend
Thro thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

God IS for me (Romans 8:31). He is faithful (I Thessalonians 5:24). He will work all things (even my pain) together for good (Romans 8:28). I can be still. I can trust Him–in every change.

Be still, my soul
thy God doth undertake
to guide the future as He has the past
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake
All now mysterious shall be bright at last
Be still my soul
The waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below

God does not change (Hebrews 13:8). He was sovereign yesterday, and He is still sovereign today. Even though I don’t understand why, He does. And the circumstances are still under His power.

So be still, be still my soul. Rest in the arms of your Creator, your Pursuer, your Lover. Amidst the sorrow of this world, take delight in His unfailing grace. Find rest in Him alone.

From the valley

February 2nd, 2010

Would I give up the peaks
if in doing so,
I could save myself the valleys?
Would I surrender the heights
to never experience the depths?
Never feel sublime pleasure
so that I might never mourn its loss?

Would I walk forever in twilight
so as to never experience
the burning light of midday
or the anguished dark of night?

Would I give up joy
for a chance to not feel grief?

To live life without the superlative,
no extremes of highs or lows
The thought tempts my mind
when I sit near the bottom

But I have experienced the even
the world without feeling
I have tasted of the stupor
that allows neither hot nor cold

My choice instead shall be
to follow my Savior
where e’re He leads

whether beside the still waters
or to the valley of the shadow of death

The Lord gives and the Lord takes away
I shall bless His name

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