June 25, 2013

I Wouldn't Trade This Journey (Yes, I Would)

Last week in my Bible study we were discussing some heartfelt and difficult things. At one point I said, I would never have chosen this journey but now I wouldn't trade it. And another girl who who has also experienced a similar loss said, I would. I would trade it. And it really made me think and I've been thinking about it ever since. Because really, I would trade it too. Give me my daughter back? Yes, please. Let's make this happen yesterday.

How can two conflicting things be true at the same time?

I would go back to those moments when I held Grace in my arms in a heartbeat and yet you couldn't pay me all the money in the world to go back to that day and the days following. I would not have chosen this journey but I also wouldn't trade it. I would both trade this journey in a moment and also not trade it for anything.

I think what I'm realizing is that I only want some things to be true from each reality. I want the feel of Grace's body snuggled up to mine and the feel of her sweet forehead as I kissed it over and over but I don't want the pain of knowing she was already gone and anticipating that excruciating moment of giving her away. I want the compassion and wisdom I've gained from suffering loss but I don't want to have to lose something precious to gain it.

I read this today:

Faith for my deliverance is not faith in God. Faith means, whether I am visibly delivered or not, I will stick to my belief that God is love. There are some things only learned in a fiery furnace. -Oswald Chambers

I could not have learned that God is immeasurably near and faithful in times of darkness unless I had been in the dark and seen it to be true. I could not have known that God will carry you when you do not have the strength to take one more step unless I had experienced such profound sorrow that I could only rest in his arms as we moved forward step by step, day after day. I would not have believed that I truly cannot control my life unless I had had all control taken away and learned that there is only One who holds my life. And he is trustworthy.

I remember one day in particular not long after we had originally gotten Grace's diagnosis at 16 weeks. I wrote this that day:

"I do trust the Lord. I know he's in this. Today I drove down a common street and my eyes flooded with tears as I was completely overcome with the nearness of the Lord to me so strongly in that moment I could have almost reached out and been held. The almost-audible voice that spoke profound hope and truth to my heart that he is in this.

Would I have appreciated the magnitude of that moment had I not been so desperate for him? I don't know. Perhaps. But I don't think that water is nearly as refreshing unless you've been dying of thirst nor food nearly as rich as when you've gone without for too long.

So I think what I'm getting at is I'm thankful. I'm thankful that God doesn't waste the pain in our lives. I'm thankful that we don't have to rely on "time" to heal us because time doesn't heal. God does. I'm thankful that if we let him he will use the pain to soften us and will guard us from hardened, bitter hearts. I'm thankful that I've learned that he is enough. When everything else isn't, he is.

"Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! For the Lord has comforted his people and will have compassion on his afflicted." Isaiah 49:13

 On our way to an out of town wedding last weekend.


  1. Sara, your words are so true! I wouldn't want to go back to that deep pain & grief again, but I would go back in a heartbeat to feel Owen's soft skin, kiss his face & toes, and linger in the moment as long as possible. I completely agree with your words above. I'm ever so thankful for the way God has used Owen in ways I never imagined, and I'm so glad that I was chosen to be his mama.
    Grace & Owen are the lucky ones, aren't they? It will be worth it all one day...

    1. Yes, they are the lucky ones! I feel the same way about Grace, so privileged to be her mama. :)

  2. God Bless you on your journey. I stumbled on your blog and was struck by a post (Casting Stones) you made last February:

    "So what does this have to do with casting stones and children? Aren't we so quick to determine what's right and wrong for others and look down on them if they're not getting it right every single time? The In-My-Head-Me (IMHM) is amazing. The IMHM never says the wrong thing, she always acts graciously, she never gets angry or impatient. (I think she even irons her socks.) I'm sad at how often the IMHM doesn't match the Outside Me. But I want other people to believe the IMHM is still there even if the Outside Me is completely screwing up. I have a heart to know the Lord and walk with him but I can still choose to say something hurtful and stupid. We're sinners saved by God's lavish grace and before I get my chonies all scrunched up because Micah tried to secretly disobey me, or because I think somebody should be grieving "better," let me consider my ways and then remember God's ways. Kindness. Patience. Forbearance. Forgiveness. Love."

    As a somewhat prophetic commentary on your most recent struggles, I couldn't help but see the increased weight of glory that God is working out in your life since you wrote that post.

    Carry on.

    1. That's so interesting, reading that back. Thank you for posting this. And thank you for such encouraging, beautiful words!