Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter and our miscarriage.

I have literally written and deleted and written this post at least 6 times. Each time, stopping and giving myself some time and space to read this again before posting and each time I come back to it, I am increasingly dissatisfied. So I'm just going to rip the bandaid off. I'm just going to say it. I'm saying it. I had a miscarriage. It happened in February.

I rewrote this post (and will probably continue to fight the urge to toss the whole thing out again) so much because every day is different. One day I sat down and wrote this blog with lots of facts, medical facts, timeline facts, all sorts of facts with nothing personal or emotional. One time I sat down and wrote this blog with all emotion, everything dark and sad and scary and mad, I wrote it all without any sense of hope or resolve. One time I sat down and wrote this blog with all the optimism and hope you could imagine, filled with gratitude and silver linings.  None of those felt right on the second read, but all of them were right in that moment, on that day. The fact of the matter is that I have felt impersonal and very distant and only able to repeat the medical facts that I know. I have felt sad and hurt and betrayed by my body. I have felt (and thankfully continue to increase in) feelings of gratitude that we were given the precious gift of guardianship even if only for 6 weeks and hopeful that my deepest desire, to bring the Lord glory with my life, will be fulfilled in Him and through Him.

It was so hard to write this for two reasons. One being that at first I thought I had to know exactly how I would explain it, how I felt about it, and where it leaves us before I could write it out and "break the news" on my blog. The other reason being, I was fearful of what someone would comment or what someone might say if they ran into me in the grocery store after reading this. I'm not exactly the best at being vulnerable. But God is good, God has been good and He will continue to be good.

This is the last post for my Easter series because this Easter the gift of salvation was vital to my heart's gladness. Before the miscarriage happened, I had an unshakeable fear that miscarriage was in the future for us. At first just thinking about it felt like driving on a long road that faced a dead end. But then I looked at our life (including and focusing on the possibility of a miscarriage) through the gospel. When I looked at our miscarriage with a heart fixed on the gospel, it wasn't a dead end anymore. Jesus freed me. Jesus will continue to free me, there are no more dead ends. "and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."I can hope; I can hope in the Lord, because my identity is not dependent on how many babies I can have. My identity is, however, completely wrapped up in, intertwined with, and dependent on Christ's death and resurrection as a substitutionary atonement for my sin.

I had to write this and share this, because God will be glorified through this...but how can I believe that if I keep it a secret to protect myself? This is a part of my story, my story of God the Savior and His continuing faithfulness. This is not a dead end, this is part of my sanctification. I also shared my story because miscarriage is common, and yet extremely isolating. If any of you out there can benefit from reading and sharing in this journey, then my story will not be wasted and it does not hold the power to isolate you or me any longer.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter is here

Easter is almost over and my weary fingers are delighted to type away about such a full day. I'm exhausted, but the good kind of exhausted from rich worship, teaching, fellowship and celebration.

Yesterday I kept thinking about what that middle day between crucifixion and resurrection must have been like for the beloved disciples. I am sure they were in the midst of utter sadness and grief, I wonder if some of them were confused. This was a man that they thought would be a great king, and now it seemed that he was just gone. When I think about the joy and surprise that must have overtaken them when they got news that he had risen and was not in the tomb or when they finally recognized him there with them, it's one of the few things that will make me cry in a public place...I'll just put it that way.

So I will just leave you with this last thought. The most joyful thing about Easter (in my heart at least) is that the only promise that ever mattered was kept. A promise kept. His promise kept.  He is risen, He is risen indeed!

If you have questions about all this Easter business I've been chattering away about, you should definitely check out the Easter message from our church, Harvest Bible Chapel Davenport. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday, a day for remembering

Today is a busy day, the start of a marathon if you will. Being a pastor's wife, you would think that I would choose a different holiday as my favorite, but the very reason that Easter is such a big ministry weekend is the same reason I love it--it's pivotal.

Since I am squeezing all I can out of every minute today, I will be brief (but hopefully not lacking). I just watched the 30 minute Good Friday film that Mars Hill Church released for free download (this film is graphic and discretion should be used, it may not be appropriate for young ones) and Pastor Mark said something that perfectly explained how I feel about these three days. He said "Good Friday is about what we did to Jesus, and Easter is about what Jesus did for us."

This morning Austin and I read Lyric the story behind Good Friday, he obviously had no clue why we were reading him a book with no pictures...but it was important for us to remember, with reverence this morning, the death of Jesus. I would encourage you to take the time to do the same. Sunday we will celebrate like no other, but today we are remembering, with utter gratitude, the price that was paid.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Easter is my favorite; Easter is hope

Easter is my favorite. It beats Christmas, Halloween, and definitely Valentines day. The last two...I mean duh, come on those are not really in the running to be anyone's favorite, but Christmas? Yea it beats Christmas, barely, but in my book it still beats it.

Easter is the celebration of the sacrifice and triumph that forever changed my life and I hope it changed yours too. Easter is what hope really means isn't it? No, not literally. Explaining that will take a moment, I need to step back and tell you a story. So several years ago during my college days, one of my many many "phases" was the stereotypical-enlightened-college-student-save-the-world phase. I had found a humanitarian cause that I was passionate about and decided to throw myself into it. I applied for an internship (which thankfully I did not get) and was prepared to up root and move to a third world country. My dad was patient in listening to my rants (I'm sure he knew that this too would fade just as other temporary passions had before), but then gently pointed out one very major flaw. If my plan for "saving the world" did not include and completely center itself on the gospel, then I really wasn't saving them. He pointed out that while drinking wells, and new shoes, and safe homes were all wonderful things and very worthwhile causes, if those causes had no intention of saving their soul then it was essentially improving their temporary quality of life until they spent eternity in torment. I never thought of it that way, I had never looked at life with the gospel in the center. I mean sure God and being good and reading my bible and going to church...all that was at the center, but this was the first time that it really dawned on me that without the gospel activating all of meant nothing. None of the people who "needed my help" would really ever have true hope until they had Jesus.

Ok, so now we are back. Now you understand why Easter is hope (my abridged version). I love that every year we take a day and we praise the one who made us new. I love that for that day, we stop and we remember what it took to overcome sin and death, it took Jesus. Perfect, perfect, clean, holy Jesus. I love that we celebrate the event that gives us our only true "second chance" just as the flowers are budding and blooming. I love that we celebrate that Jesus came out of the tomb during the time of year when we emerge out of our winter hibernation. I even love that Easter egg hunts happen, even though they don't really hold any connection to Christ's death and resurrection, because when people are out enjoying nature they are witnessing the power of God. "For what can be known about God is plain to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse" Romans 1:19-20. And I love that even when the egg-hunts get rained out (which could very well happen this year) that we can marvel at his love "he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth" Hosea 6:3. And I really really love that Easter is one day on a calendar, but the gospel "is the power of God for salvation to every who believes"(Romans 1:16-17) every day. Every single day, hallelujah!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Getaway--The First Easter Blog

Fresh off a getaway to Chicago with my wonderful husband this morning feels amazing. The best thing about getting away is that reality does not feel quite so realistic. Something about being away and out of your normal environment brings clarity. It's like being in an airplane and looking at your life. You can see everything where it really is and how it all fits together.

At least for me, just as wonderful as getting away, coming home is equally rejuvenating. Today is not really any different from any other day for a SAH (stay at home), but something about it seems special and beautiful. Breakfast with Lyric and going to the Y--it seems so adventurous. It seems so new.

That is why Easter feels so different for me. It's why Easter is my favorite. Because it is a celebration of newness. New life, new creation, new promises, new hope.