T H E W H Y
His ways are lovelier than our ways; than my way. His plan is mightier and deeper and brighter and perfect. But these things felt far from me. When my way was being swayed and shifted and confused, the truth of who God is felt murky and forced. I felt feelings that challenged the truth, and thoughts that would drift to slippery slopes.
I would go in and out of faith. I would see the light one moment, and entertain the lies the next. The why was unanswered, misunderstood, fruitless and a trap for the blame, condemnation, and often times, anger.
WHY WAS THIS HAPPENING? Why me? Why our baby? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?
The tragedy of my water breaking half way through my pregnancy began the journey of hope and desperation. It brought us to our knees, shaking and wailing, and to the hilltops praising and worshiping. But the daily battle of 'why' seemed to always find its way back in to my heart.
These questions were always met with the same truth: He's a good Father, it's who He is, and I am loved by Him. (Thanks Chris Tomlin). I leaned into that truth with great force to overcome the 'why,' the doubt, the unanswered questions. And the more I leaned into the Father, the more He revealed His goodness.
I remember sitting on the cold vinyl seat in the corner of the hospital room and it was one of the many moments where I sat alone, mourning. I was there on bed rest for over a month, awaiting the baby that according to statistics, was doomed. There was despair and trouble surrounding me, and I was desperately seeking Jesus for something, ANYTHING. I remember every word I read from the Bible felt specifically delivered from His Kingdom to my aching heart. On that day, in that seat, by myself, I furiously grasped the thin pages with a divine hope to be met. And then I believe He spoke this from Isaiah 61:1-3, directly to my spirit:
"He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor."
He whispered those words gently, yet bold and clear, to remind me that THIS IS WHY JESUS CAME: to free us, to comfort, to bind up brokenness, to bring life and hope. And then I felt Him speak to me in that very moment: "THIS IS HOW I WANT YOU TO LIVE, TOO." That the grief, despair, brokenness, fear, discomfort and desperation I was having right then was something to be drawn from later, that these current feelings I was experiencing was a sewing for the future restoration of another.
It felt like a gift that I could keep reopening when the 'why' would creep in. And although the trouble was still there, the reality of it all pressed on, my flesh would still cry out, the truth still stood amidst it all: He is good, He came to rescue me, you, and us all. The trouble we feel or experience, the loss we endure, are real and tragic, but the victory is won. He wants us to stand in the gap, stand up tall, hold the arms of another, give it all away, take the time, feel the pain, and be the love that Jesus is for another. For this truly will be the planting of the Lord, the display of His splendor.