Over the past several days I have been thinking a lot about my friend and her loss. I keep having Isaiah 61:1-3 come to my mind over and over. It says
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 gladness 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.
Saturday night a friend and I arrived in Dallas. We went by the hospital and saw our friend and then went to a hotel room for the night. I could not sleep. My mind would not stop running so I grabbed my bible and headed to the bathroom. I just started reading. I have read this scripture many times, frequently in relation to greif and loss so I thought of it and I read it. I started praying for the Lord to redeem this event over time and to do just what the scripture says...to give her a crown of beauty, to grant the oil of gladness in her heart, and to clothe her in praise instead of despair. The next line says they will be called oaks of righteousness. What comfort I found in that, line. Oak trees are large, they are firmly planted and their roots run deep. I prayed this for her.
I began to reflect on my own journey and walk through the loss of our baby. His name was Trevor. He was my first introduction into motherhood. With him I experienced intense love and intense loss. His life was not in vain, the Lord used this time. The Lord changed the direction of my path. He changed the desires of my heart. He showed me how small I was and how desperately I needed my Lord, a God much bigger than the one I knew. He set me on a path of learning to trust Him, learning how to surrender to Him.
Through Trevor the Lord taught me about love and about loss. He taught me about future expectations, expectations not fulfilled. He taught me how fragile life is. But more than anything He taught me about the Lord's goodness. He taught me about a God who is always present, who gives me the strength to go on even when I doubt it is possible. He taught me about a God who remains close even when I doubt His goodness, which is the very nature of who He is. So even when I doubt Him, He remains. He taught me how to stand up under the weight of the world. And in the end, He showed me how He could take this loss and He would bestow on me a crown of beauty, the oil of gladness, and a garment of praise.
I can no longer look back with even a hint of bitterness, but rather with nothing but praise on my lips. As a result of Trevors life I began a journey that lead me to the feet of my Savior in ways I had never experienced before. When Aidan was born the Lord used him to break me once again. I got the message that Aidan was His child, His creation, and he was my gift. A gift from the very hands of the Lord...that is what I had been given. I had a new since of responsiblity and I was terrified to move. I was overwhelmed by the job of mother so again, I was sent to my Saviors feet. He has a funny way of keeping me on my knees and I am so thankful for that. As the Lord continued to heal me He taught me about joy, true joy that cannot come from my husband, or my kids, but only from His hand. Don't get me wrong...my husband and kids are both a source of much joy, but they cannot be my ultimate source of joy, that only comes from Him. God has even been so gracious to redeem the day that I delievered Trevor. In His sweet mercy, He allowed me to deliver Rebecca on that same day 4 years later. That day no longer has a scent of mourning, but rather the oil of gladness...a celebration of life. I did not realize how significant that was for me until this past week. I knew and it was special, but I now treasure that display of God's mercy.
My heart is truly broken for my friend. I greive with her for her loss and the suffering she will endure, but I know hope! He is our hope. He will give her the oil of gladness, a crown of beauty, and a garland of praise just like He has for me.