Gazing Upward



This morning I put on the Praise Baby dvd for Carter so I could clean up dishes and make my coffee.  The words of a familiar praise song floated into the kitchen: “He gives and takes away. He gives and takes away. My heart will choose to say, Lord blessed be Your Name.” 

Those few lyrics gripped my heart.  Whenever I have sung that song before, it never seemed difficult to bless God’s name.  It seemed hard to fathom that a decision would ever need to be involved.  But this morning, I realized I had to make a choice.  You see, I am angry and disappointed, and though God’s ways are above our ways, though I know His plan is best and His lovingkindness and faithfulness are everlasting, I am finding it hard to praise Him.  My head knows truth, but my heart feels jaded.  
Yesterday, our doctor confirmed that we have miscarried twins.  After weeks of constant monitoring by a specialist, giving myself three shots a day, and taking precautionary measures to achieve a successful pregnancy, we’ve experienced loss again.  I have wanted twins since I was a kid, so this loss was even more devastating than I could imagine. After all, what are the chances that I will conceive twins again?  It’s also been quite an emotional roller coaster. Last week, we were told that we might lose both babies. One sac was even empty, signaling a potential case of the vanishing twin syndrome.  By Friday, after family and friends lifted us up in prayer, the smaller sac miraculously revealed growth inside. Against all odds and expectations, the Lord seemed to be answering our prayers!  Our doctor was very encouraged and felt that at least the larger baby was doing well.
Yesterday’s results were quite a shock to say the least.  I had believed God was demonstrating the power of prayer, and all glory would have been given to Him since our babies were defying medical odds. I was suddenly faced with a question of monumental importance: Is God really good?
Carolyn Custis James wrote an amazing book entitled “When Life and Beliefs Collide.”  She wrote of the importance of women having a solid theology, a true understanding of God and His nature.  Because when life throws us sadness, disappointments, and in worst cases, tragedies, it becomes so easy to throw our hands up and doubt everything we’ve ever claimed about God and who He is.  Yet when we read God’s Word, which we know to be steadfast and true, we are reminded of His promises.  
As I’ve read Scripture that speaks of His lovingkindness, faithfulness, compassion, mercy, and power, my anger has slowly begun to dissolve. The ice around my heart has begun to melt.  Reading Psalm 111, a psalm which I read every night since last Friday in praise of God and His deeds, I am reminded of the truths I so readily believed when circumstances matched up with my desires.  The real test comes when outcomes do not end up as we expect or desire, when situations don’t make sense in our human understanding.  In those moments, we really do have a choice. A choice to believe God’s Word and to allow Him to lead me forward. Or a choice to turn my back and remain angry. I know God is big enough to handle my anger, but staying in a place of frustration will only make my path of grief and healing nearly impassible.

I continually stare at our numerous ultrasound pictures, trying to grasp the reality that these sweet babies (whom we nicknamed Peanut and Lil’ Bit) are no longer with us.  They have joined their siblings in heaven.  Five children in heaven. Wow. What a joyous reunion we’ll one day have. But how bittersweet everything seems now.
As I await that glorious day, I choose to follow my Lord and Savior.  It’s not necessarily an easy choice.  It’s not what I “feel” like doing.  But the more I allow God to be my refuge and my comforter, the more I find peace and rest amidst this unbearable sadness.  Perhaps my faith untested is not real faith at all.   
If you feel led at all to pray for us, please pray that I will, moment by moment, choose to bless God’s name. This struggle within me is real and painful. As I read God’ Word, I am praying that it will work on my inner being to transform and renew my mind.  Thank you for allowing me to share my heart. 
“The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.” Nahum 1:7

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