Thursday, November 6, 2008

in the interest of being real...

about a month back...actually, in the midst of my bed-rest...my pastor preached a sermon cautioning against what he called "veneer Christianity"...you know, the kind that never digs below the surface to share hurts or struggles....the kind that is always "fine". he challenged us to do life in community, sharing struggles and hurts, encouraging one another to walk more closely with Christ. the sermon was so encouraging, as honestly, i've never been one to "hide" hurt or struggles...i suppose you could say i wear my emotions on my sleeve (and i admit, this isn't always a fabulous thing either...there is definitely balance). but i've struggled so much in the past year or two with the reality that even some of my closer friends seemed to be living lives that were always "great!"...never sharing hurts or struggles...seeming to have it all together. i found myself feeling so discouraged, as if i was the only one battling with my sinful flesh, having rough days, not feeling happy and fine all the time....i found myself wondering if i simply needed to put on the "veneer"...not try to delve into deeper levels...and then came the miscarriage...and friends, God brought me to a new level of vulnerability...a new place of emotions and "realness"....with Him foremost...and also with the people around me.

for a month i've shared blog entries with smiles and our week-to-week happenings. to be honest, i was shocked at how quickly the "emotionalness" of the miscarriage seemed to pass by...how "good" i was truly feeling. had you asked a week ago, i'd have said, "really...we're doing well...getting back into the swing of things, trusting God for what He has next for our family, etc, etc.". and yet, here i am today...with my heart so burdened to be real with you....my heart hurting...grieving afresh. i find tears spilling over at what seem to be the most random moments.

i must be honest...the past week caught me completely by surprise (even though so many had warned me the sadness would most likely endure). i find myself completely composed one minute and then a mess of tears and emotion the next. i find myself completely exhausted...even by the routine "stuff" of life. i find myself rejoicing with the oh-so-many (i mean seriously...LOTS) people in my life who have told me in the past week or so that they are prenant and due right around the time our baby would have been due. i find myself torn between rejoicing in the reality that this baby never knew the pains of this world, that right now he or she is safely in the arms of Jesus and the reality that it hurts so deeply to know there will be no holding him in our arms this side of heaven. i find myself realizing just how much planning and dreaming can happen in just a moment...how much you can love a baby from the first knowledge God is forming him together in your womb. i find myself thinking of how i would have been just reaching the end of the first trimester...breathing a sigh of relief that we were past the "danger" zone. i find myself frustrated and confused by my own body.

and yet...still, i find that God's amazing grace is carrying me. isn't He perfect and good and loving to bring healing tears. i find that even as my heart grieves friendships that seem to have drifted apart, He has been so abundantly gracious to bring incredible, compassionate, genuine, loving friends into my life...women who have been able to share in my tears, encourage my heart, and share their own "messiness" and struggles--friends in both the "real" world and here in blog-land. i find my heart wrestling with truth and coming to a point of simply resting in His goodness...in the promise that He is faithful and works all things to good...that He is using this hurt and pain to conform me more to the likeness of His Son. in the midst of the sadness He has blessed me with the love of an incredible husband and the beauty of my sweet girls.

and so here i am. grieving...resting in Him...grieving...hoping in Him...grieving...trusting in Him. it isn't always pretty...but i am trusting that He will make beauty from these ashes...as isaiah 61:3 says, ""To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified."

8 comments:

Noah and Ryders Mommy said...

Oh, Amanda...I truly loved this post, mostly because I can and can not relate to it. No matter how perfect a life can seem from the surface, there are struggles and flaws that flow within each and every life, family, relationship, underneath. I simply can not imagine the struggles you must face right now due to your loss, but know that our Lord is a healing Lord, a perfect and almighty one who is always there for us when we need strength and lifting up. I lift you up right now friend that he may send you comfort and healing. I hope you always feel as though you have someone to confide in whenever the going gets tough because we can all somehow relate to the imperfections of this life.
Love you dearly friend and you are in my thoughts and prayers tonight!

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Sweet Amanda....how I wish I could come and sit with you and give you a hug and cry with you. I love the fact that you are being real...I think there is much freedom in that. Just know that we are here for you, praying for you as you grieve. Much love to you...

Wendi @ Every Day Miracles said...

Still praying Amanda. I know... my words kind of fail me right now, but I know so well what you are feeling.

Because I still know that our baby would've been born around January 25th...because most days I still think of that baby...because I would be 30 weeks today...Because God held me so close over the past few months and was more real than ever before. I know.

Little Candle said...

Amanda,
You been in my thoughts all week. Perhaps this is why. I am feeling convicted by what you shared concerning "veneers." I am excellent at having a veneer over my life. I rarely post about struggles and hurts in my life. And I admire you so much for sharing your heart and asking for prayer. I envy your realness.
I don't know first hand what you are going through, so I will simply say that I am praying for you and sending you a hug through this post.

Aminta said...

Thank you Amanda. You are loved even more for your honesty. Here is a piece of honesty for you. I struggle greatly in this area. Not because I am not a "share-r, but because my hubby does not. We have struggle for years over this tiny fact, yet our entire marriage has hung in the balance because of it. I do understand why he is that way. He was raised to be this way. To share only at the surface. But that doesn't work in marriage. I ADORE him thought he drives me mad! ;)
Anyhow, YES, we are good, not perfect, and not fine. We are working on it. :) Me, making my ears and heart a safe place for his thoughts to land and him, to trust enough to open all areas of his heart to me.
Loves to you precious lady!
Minta

Jessica Jean said...

I received your comment today and I was really happy about it, its hard for a new blogger to get some luv ya know...Anyways I ran strait over and read your real and even poetic, yes poetic post...There is beauty in honesty. The bible says to confess your faults one to another, I have the biggest fear that I can't get pregnant and find myself rushing for new life that im not even ready for, me and my husband have never took any action tward not getting pregnant and still im not pregnant... almost two years so...I'm to nervous and poor to go to the Docter and I keep thinking that something is wrong, no it isn't, yes it is, no it isn't oh goodness... I could never imagine what your going through I have no clue but I do know that it seems that when were at the lowest points God is still there mending our hurt, through love and emotion, and of coures our loved ones...God bless you Amanda you hang in there your one tuff cookie if you ask me!!!

Love Your Friend,
Jessica Jean!

Chelle said...

It's when I am at my weakest, lowest points that God shows up with overwhelming ammounts of grace. I too long to go deeper, in my friendships, in my life, in my realationship with God. This post was so beautiful, and I echo the cry of your heart Amanda...funny how the pain often drives us to go deeper. Which is why I often wonder that God must allow it in our lives, knowing ulimately that it will bring much growth. Still praying for you in the loss of your beloved little babe, remembering the hurt and what-ifs that come with experiecing a such deep pain, as the grief often lays just underneath the surface of our joys.

Sending much love to you sweet friend...

Leslie said...

Amanda,
I totally feel this post and was so glad to find it today. Its amazing how we can find the good and bad so clearly when we know who is in control.

Yes Lord I love you and know Im blessed for what I have, and then in the next breath.. but ummm why.

I have no idea what your heart is feeling and can't say that I do, but I do know what its like to know that the lord is soveriegn and still be "over or even under whelmed", Im not sure if that totally makes sense, but struggling to find balance between the two is not always easy.

Praying the Lord is filling today with lots of smiles, and carrying you through, and giving you a peace, and calmness, as you think at that child.

Thanks Amanda, for never living a veneer Christianity, its a blessing to see...

Much much love to you.