Monday, December 26, 2011

God's Still Working on Me!

It's the night after Christmas.  And I can't sleep. 

There is pain in my heart.  And joy in my soul. 

I have no clue how to process these emotions. 

There is a tremendous void in my life that I want to be filled by a little girl named Caroline Grace.  I want to hold her more than anything right now.

The reality is that Caroline's spirit is no longer here on earth.  Her spirit is now in Heaven for eternity while her earthly remains are still here on earth.  But our minds naturally focus on the temporal and not the eternal.  We complicated matters because we are a hedonistic culture.  We want to do what feels good and run from what doesn't feel good.  Choosing the difficult path is not usually our first choice or preference.  We find pleasure by wallowing in our self-pity.  But then, we finally wake up and realize this is not healthy!  So, when we are faced with adversity, we are significantly challenged to shift gears, especially with tragedy. 
One way we try shifting gears is by crying out for help.  

The problem is that Satan knows this.  "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the  heavenly realms" (Ephesians 6:12).  Satan knows our weakest points.  Marriage and parenting are not easy to begin with...Satan knows this too.  And he is trying to drive Emily and me crazy, and apart, by dealing with our loss in such a way that pokes at each of our frailties.  We are not dealing with our loss in the same way.  And it is far too easy for spiritual warfare to take a foothold in our marriage.  Emily and I are not the first couple that Satan tried to ruin.  It all began with Adam and Eve when Satan tempted them to eat fruit from the Garden! 

To further complicate things for Emily and me....losing Caroline Grace has also had a significant impact on other emotional baggage we have been carrying around for years.  I am confident that Satan has had a hand in this, too.  For instance, my relationship with my own dad is a very sore subject.  I definitely love him.  I talk to him, but it is not nearly as often as it should be.  I probably haven't seen him in 2 or 3 years, maybe longer.  Not only is this painful, but it is also even more difficult right now because I know that I cannot call him and ask him for advice.  I feel as if my back is against the wall, the world is weighing down on my shoulders, and Dad is supposed to be helping me hold up that weight.  He is supposed to have all of the answers.  He is supposed to help me fix my problems....but he is not here.  I talked to him today for the first time in a couple of months.  I was thankful for our conversation.  But at the same time, it hurt to talk to him because it reminded me of all the things I need/want to ask him, but I know that I can't.

So, I have had to rely upon my Heavenly Father as a substitute for Fatherly advice.  Not a bad sub if you ask me!  God has provided for me in ways that I cannot even put into words.  The Holy Spirit has prayed for me even when I had no clue what to pray to God for!  "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express."  (Romans 8:26 - NIV)

God's help and his unconditional love never cease to amaze me.  How in the world can I grow closer to God and love God more when I know that God is the reason that I lost my baby girl????  This does not make sense.  I must be crazy, right??  Actually, I am not crazy.  I only know love, because God showed me how to love.  In the book of 1 John, in chapter 4, verse 19, the Bible tells us, "We love because he first loved us" (NIV).  The only reason we know love is because God created love!  He loves us so much and knows exactly what Emily and I are experiencing!  He lost his baby boy, too!  "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16 -NIV).  "For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit" (1 Peter 3:18).  You see....God allowed His only child to die because you and I have sinned against him.  Our hedonistic culture is the reason why God lost His Son!  And yet He still loves us the same!!  

God meant for us to work through our struggles, even when we lose our own children, with Him at the center.  He set the example for us to follow!  He wants us to love each other just as He loves us.  Emily and I will continue to persevere in our journey with anencephaly.  It has not been a very pretty journey...but I can assure you that we will not become another statistic to fall into the category of "Couples Divorced Due to Infant Death."  Instead, we will rise up because we have love each other and have hope in the Lord!!  God promises us in the book of Isaiah, "those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint" (40:31).

You can have this same hope.  If you are feeling hopeless, I know a God that can give you everything that you need!   Please e-mail me if you'd like to talk about this!  I cannot promise you that it will be easy.  But I can guarantee you that God will never leave you or forsake you!  It is because of His love that I am able to face tomorrow....I've been "facing tomorrow" with Him for 20 years now....but I am still far from perfect.  I still have many flaws.  But I am faithful to Him and I know His love is unconditional....and He is STILL working on me!!!

We grieve with hope!!!!  Thank you, Jesus!

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