I have a stash; I guess you could call it my burn pile. I have given specific instructions to a specific person on where it is…just in case I die. She knows what to do with it, what to salvage for my family, what to sell to a smutty magazine…or burn.
I was in a place of sifting and stretching in my life. All of those things that I really wanted in my life seemed to slip so quickly out of my reach. I became a woman who was really good at losing things. At that time my life I kept a journal and was faithful to writing down all my junk feelings.
The sound of my pen on paper that night sounded like a thousand whys asking all the wrong questions, but mainly just feeling sorry for myself. I remember a moment of being still and knowing that God was with me. The rhythmic sound of my hand brushing across the page ceased as I wondered if I was sinning for being angry. Just moments before I was in the Emergency Room looking at an ultrasound of an empty womb, no life inside of me. Just a few days before I was elated because I was pregnant, but as we traveled to my parent’s house to celebrate Christmas something didn’t feel right. As I began to hemorrhage I rushed into the bathroom and gasped when I saw my reflection, I caught a glimpse of fear and death in darkened, swollen eyes. I knew I had lost the baby that I longed for.
I chronicled the next three years of my ups and downs; another miscarriage, another diagnosis, surgery, and then treatment that made me feel like hell was one mile from my house because of the hot flashes from medically induced menopause. I craved carbs, cried a lot, my bones hurt, and I felt like I was dying.
I went deeper than I had ever gone in my quest to find God in my loss. Later I realized that God was big enough to handle all of my uncertainty. Feeling much like I only deserved anger in return, all I felt was lavish grace- the kind that covers all the cracked places inside of jagged hearts.
I dove headfirst into a layer of darkness and sadness for a period of time fighting to feel joy again and then it lifted. Slowly the light turned on inside of my heart. I started seeking God instead of just seeking healing so that I could have what I wanted. Hope began to rise as I learned how to relax and let go of things that didn’t matter. I took off that mask we wear as women, that one that says, “I’m fine” when we really aren’t.
I found true depth in Christ during those broken moments and realized that all the things that broke my heart were the very things that God would use the most for his glory.
It turns out that losing things really built the very best things in my character.
Those things that I wished had never happened became a really great place to start in my ministry. All of that baggage became a platform because I learned how to get over it. I stopped dragging dead weight from the past and started taking steady strides towards real healing.
Sometimes things have to get really messy before we begin to mend, but I promise you it is so worth it.
Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:2-5)