Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Desperate Dependence

Every morning I wake up to a devotional email. I signed up to receive these to convict me and force me into spending a little time with God everyday. I'm sure by now you've figured out that I've been pretty distant lately. Losing your child can cause you to break down in the greatest of ways and paralyze you. I knew I needed to be forced and I'm willing to admit that as truth. I knew that if they appeared in my email, I couldn't delete them without reading first. I'm not fooling anyone by saying I'm strong, trust God's "plan" (and for the record, if you tell me it was God's plan, I may never speak to you again because I don't believe that and find it hurtful you'd say my son died because the God of love willed that to happen), and am carrying on with empowerment and fortitude. Not happening quite that way.

These emails are hit-or-miss. I received one last week I couldn't delete fast enough. I got about 3 sentences in when the woman talks of her baby son Andrew waking her up in the middle of the night. Pretty sharp dagger to the heart. I wanted to throw my computer on the ground when I read that. Not the kind of hope I was looking for in signing up for a daily devotional.

But today's email was empowering. It was about a man who lost both limbs but went on to live a passionate life, have a family, and work as an advocate for the deaf and handicapped.

"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7

There have been plenty of days I question(ed) that love. In our master bathroom, I used a post-it note to stick another verse to the mirror. This had been placed during my pregnancy before all of our hopes were shattered.

"I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength" Philippians 4:13

Maybe that was a foreshadowing of what was yet to come... because I'd say pregnancy was a wonderful thing that required little strength to carry me through.

I would say that I'm doing all these things out of necessity to carry on, but I've lost a lot of vigor when my child was given and taken away.

Still desperate. Still dependent. Still broken. Still shattered. Still frustrated. Still angry. Still distant. Still waking up in a haze every morning wondering when a new hope will come.

But I do still believe there is hope out there. It just hasn't landed on our doorstep yet.


Molly said... [Reply to comment]

I have questioned that love, too, as recently as yesterday. I keep getting hit when I am down.

I was receiving an e-mail grief/ devotional like that for a while. Like you said, some were very helpful, others not so much.

I saved this one--it struck me as I find myself being bitter. Trying, trying not to be though!! I haven't found a way to "let it go" as it says yet.

Anger Can Lead to Bitterness
Day 73

Your perspective on people and life can become poisoned by bitterness. Bitterness never makes things right, never satisfies your heart, and will always block your journey through grief. See bitterness as your enemy and flee from it.

Dr. Tim Clinton says, "Resentment is anger with a history. And bitterness? A lot of people become bitter over life's issues. It's often said that when you're dealing with hardship and hurt in your life, and great pain, you can either become bitter or you can become better. Challenge yourself always to let God do a work through you so you can become stronger and more effective."

The history that bitterness dwells on is like a stack of IOUs of what you think people should have done and how situations should have worked out. The only way to be free is to tear up the IOUs and let the bitterness go.

Bitterness prevents you from being able to receive God's free gift of grace.

"See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled" (Hebrews 12:15 NASB).

Lord Jesus, remove the poison of bitterness from my life, and let me see Your good work in this situation. Amen.

Brooke said... [Reply to comment]

I continue to be amazed at how similar our journeys have been--even losing our babies one day apart. I bought a book called "Healing After Loss" that offers daily devotionals. They are not specifically religious (which is what I needed right now) and it was written by a woman who lost her daughter, so there's no danger of unwelcome baby stories. I've found it surprisingly helpful--a place to put my grief before I even get out of bed in the morning. I can acknowledge how sad I am and think about Eliza and think about God before starting my day. It's been a good thing, even though I kind of hate it at the same time.