Monday, October 8, 2012

Never Forsaken

While lying in my bed last night I was considering God's closeness. As I've been dealing with this miscarriage, I have felt such divine closeness to the Lord and an outpouring of His Spirit, strength, and hope. It's truly a blessing. I felt Him reminding me last night of His promise to us that He will never forsake us, never leave us. This promise is found in multiple passages throughout scripture. 

"Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
~Hebrews 13:5; Deuteronomy 31:6; Joshua 1:5~

Reflecting on this sweet promise, I thought about some of the Biblical examples of God remaining near to His people even amidst struggles and grim circumstances. I thought of how He was near to Daniels' friends in the furnace (Daniel 3) and to Daniel in the lions den (Daniel 6); to Mary and Martha as they grieved the death of Lazarus (John 11); to Noah as he built and lived in the ark (Genesis 6-9); to Stephen as he was being stoned to death (Acts 6-8); to David as he fought the giant Goliath (1 Samuel 17); to Mary the mother of Jesus, even as she watched her son be put to death, He was near her and gave her His disciple, John to care for her (John 19:25-27). 

While these stories are comforting and reassuring, what's even more comforting is when I feel God near me or my loved ones during times of suffering and hardship, during times where we can experience the fulfillment of His promises firsthand. He has promised to not forsake us nor leave us no matter how dire the circumstances seem. Whether it be the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, through sicknesses and terminal illnesses, through verbal and physical persecutions, through bullying and abuse, through the weariness of long days, through disabilities and handicaps, through EVERYTHING. 

As I thought of all these things last night, my mind suddenly began to question: How is this all possible? Why is God so gracious to us that He has made a promise to those who trust in Him that He will NEVER abandon them?

Then as quickly as the questions entered my mind, the answer filled its place. 

"My God, my God why have you forsaken me?"
~Mark 15:34; Matthew 27:46~

He can promise us this not because of anything we've done, but because of everything Christ did. He took our sin, our mistakes and our sufferings, upon Himself so that we could have a hope and a future with Him. To know how deep, how wide, how long, and how high the Fathers love for us is (Ephesians 3:18). We deserve to be abandoned and forsaken, yet Christ bore our transgressions and was forsaken from His Father for 3 days before being risen again into perfect Glory, and all for us

He was forsaken so we wouldn't have to be. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you. 

Whatever you are going through right now, wait on the Lord and pour out your hearts to Him. He cares for you and won't leave you in your pain. Instead He will edify you and bring you closer to Himself. The sufferings of this world won't last forever, He is coming again to raise us up with Him on the last day. So persevere and press into God, trusting in His promise that He is near and with you. He will strengthen you and uphold you with His righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Choosing Life in Miscarriage

We knew there was little chance for life in the womb at this point. It was only a few days earlier that we sat in the doctors’ office hearing the diagnosis from our midwife that we had most likely miscarried or even that the pregnancy may be ectopic since they couldn't find anything in the uterus via ultrasound. Pregnancy hormone level blood tests confirmed something was wrong since although they were rising, they were rising too slowly. A few days later I was worried when I had some unusual abdominal pain and more spotting so we drove to the ER. Another set of doctors confirmed the absence of life in the womb and the high probability of a tubal pregnancy. Fearful that my tube had already begun to rupture, the recommendation was laparoscopy, a surgical procedure in which incisions are made in my abdomen and a small camera then looks around at the organs, in this case the tubes, ovaries, and uterus, in search of a baby located outside the womb. **

During those hours in the ER at the hospital my husband and I looked to the Lord for comfort. Prior to going into surgery, we opened Gods word to the Psalms. Out of all the Psalms I read, it was Psalm 63 that I identified so closely with. Preparation for the surgery included fasting from food and even water for at least 6 hours. By the time the surgery began it was just after midnight and we had been at the hospital for nearly 9 hours at that point. Our time in the hospital spanned from the late hours of night to the earliest hours of morning. These are just a few of the reasons this Psalm spoke both words of comfort and encouragement. 

"O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; 
My flesh longs for You, in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water, 
Therefore I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory. 
Because Your loving-kindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You. 
Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, 
And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips. 

When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. 
Because You have been my help, 
Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me. But those who seek my life, to destroy it, Shall go into the lower parts of the earth. They shall fall by the sword; 
They shall be a portion for jackals. But the king shall rejoice in God; 
Everyone who swears by Him shall glory; But the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped."
~Psalm 63~

Because your loving-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise you” (Psalm 63:3). Here we were, dealing with the loss of life of our little baby, yet Gods loving-kindness is BETTER THAN LIFE. If it’s better than life, it’s surely better than death, and so our lips will praise Him. So we remember Him, what He has done. The death HE endured for the life WE can receive. It’s because of His sacrifice we have this hope to meet this baby of ours in Heaven, and for that we definitely rejoice!

Satan seeks our life. He wants to destroy us. We need to remember to have perspective. This earthly life is temporary, but God is greater than life, He surpasses it and even conquered it! Satan wants to destroy more than our earthly life; he wants to take our eternal life as well. So while the loss of our baby is tragic and feels terrible, we must press on in the hope of His Glory. We must praise Him while we live (Psalm 63:4). He will give us the strength we need to carry on, of this I am certain.

"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."
~Romans 8:18~

So we choose life. We won’t team up with Satan in a journey of despair, sorrow, grief, and hopelessness. We’re on Gods team and join Him in a journey to victory. We look past the sufferings of this life and toward the glorious redemption of our souls and a life with Christ forever.

"Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together."
~Romans 8:12-17~

"Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
 ~Romans 8:37-39~

**Note: After surgery we were pleased to find out that I did not have an ectopic pregnancy as suspected. We were thankful for this news, yet still knew that miscarriage would most likely take place soon. A few days later, sure enough natural miscarriage began.