Days later the replies came with all the love and promises to pray that I had hoped for. They were sad for me. They wanted to hug me. They didn’t know what to say. They knew that words meant nothing ultimately. They were still the wonderful friends that I needed to be “standing” with me through this…to keep asking me how I was REALLY doing even if they didn’t know what to say. Even though my heart was still aching, I somehow was more and more convinced that I would someday get through it and be able to say that I was stronger for it.
Now the question was…how long was it going to take? *sigh* (I’m SO impatient!)
I’d love to tell you that a few short months later I was happily praying my heart out. I’d love to tell you that I quickly returned to my daily times of reading Scripture and journaling all about my day and the wonderful things that the Lord had taught me. But, truth be told, I am writing this not far from the one year anniversary of the last miscarriage and, have you noticed that this is all written in the past tense? It has been a long and laborious journey and I am only just beginning to feel the joy I knew was possible.
So what got me to this point? Looking back I can say that the email I sent that cold night WAS a turning point after all. Those women have continued to follow up and make sure that I am putting my trust in the ONLY one that can really see me through….Jesus Christ. I can also say that having a group of friends that my church calls a Small Group or LifeGroup was a lifeline for our marriage and my weekly sanity. They cried with us. They prayed for us. They listened and even would talk when I had no more words to speak. They didn’t judge me when all I wanted to do was throw my hands up and walk away from all I knew to be true. God even brought another couple, only for a season, to join us who were having(and continue to this day to have) fertility issues of their own.
Most importantly, it was a small ray of hope that the Lord gave me in His word that I have continued to read at least weekly. I’m not sure when it came to my mind or even if I had memorized it sometime in my earlier years, but it came to my mind just as clear as day and has stuck ever since.
“And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance ; and perseverance, proven character ; and proven character, hope ; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” (Romans 5:3-6)
Hope. Hope is the word that really stuck. It struck a cord in my heart that I couldn’t explain. It suddenly occurred to me that I didn’t have to have the faith of a giant. I didn’t have to spout all kinds of “Christian-ese” that meant nothing just to keep from depressing the people around me. It was a ray of light, a breath of fresh air…call it whatever you want, but to me, “Hope” meant freedom. It meant that all I had to do was “hope” for the faith I knew was possible. All I had to do was “hope” to understand why God had allowed this pain. Hope. That was all God was asking of me.
*ahhhhh* THAT was freedom. THAT was what I needed.
In a world of people telling me it was all going to be ok when I knew deep down that I WASN’T ok. In a daily existence of cliche statements that well intentioned people spouted to my ever hardening heart, it was the release I needed. I didn’t have to be ok today….or even tomorrow. I could be sad for months and it was ok, as long as I kept that “hope” on the horizon.
“…and hope does not disappoint…” I can tell you that is the truth. It isn’t easy and it isn’t fun to live through a time that depends solely on “hope” but it IS truth….and I am, today, living beyond hope. I am slowly making the journey back to faith and love and passion.
There are days. I have days that are back to simply “hope” but I know that it will pass and I will move on.
Thank you, Lord Jesus for “hope”…for without it, I would be lost.