I'm so excited to meet our little girl in a few short weeks. I'm praying that she'll be healthy and whole and that she'll thrive over the coming years. Our home is prepared to welcome her into our family; we have packed our hospital bags, painted her bedroom, and set up a bassinet next to our bed. But Sunday, November 30th, is Samuel's due date. It's the first anniversary of the due date of our first miscarried baby. And I can't help but grieve the absence of our son.
I have been wrestling with the juxtaposition of the grief I carry from the loss of that baby and the joy I feel at the imminent arrival of a new baby. In the midst of that wrestling I have come back before The Lord with my heartache.
I talked to him about how I felt insignificant in my pain, if he is all-powerful why didn't he take action to protect me? Why didn't he intervene to save my baby? And while we were at it, what about these long-standing hurts that I've carried in my heart for years and years, where was he during those?
It's amazing to me how gentle he is with one as presumptuous as me. But he shared an image with me, of us walking side by side. My first impression was that he wanted me to know he was with me during all of those times. I won't lie to you, I wasn't satisfied with that answer. "Ok, you were with me. That's great. Why didn't you DO anything?"
Callouses. Callouses on your feet. As we walk side by side, we are barefoot and my feet get banged up. They are the feet of one who brings Good News and they need to be prepared to go to the hard places. "Ok," I thought, "for the hurts I've carried from childhood, that makes sense. But the miscarriages? Those, too?" I just felt his sorrow in that moment, we are on a journey together and there is a destination. He doesn't want my feet to get banged up, to need stitches from the deeper wounds, but the destination... it's worth it. He helps me along when my feet are tired and he bandages up the wounds to keep them from festering.
It's some mixture of images from the book "Hinds Feet on High Places" and the story of "Lord of the Rings". It's not a perfect analogy, but in LOTR Frodo embarks on a journey of grave importance. Gandalf knows the way and leads him (at least through parts of the story); Gandalf never wants Frodo to experience hurt or pain or loss, but the task, the destination is worth it. I feel like Frodo... and my giant feet are bleeding and torn up. But The Lord knows where he's taking me and he knows the destination is of vital importance.
I may not fully understand the journey that I'm on but today I will chose to trust the one who is leading me.