choosing grace

I read a lot of blogs that deal with others journey and experiences of losing a little one and how they are processing the sorrow and grief that brings. It's amazing the rawness and transparency that they will put online and it keeps me challenged to keep writing what is going on in my own heart. I've found that in situations such as losing a child the true content of your heart will have many opportunities to rise to the surface. (on the other hand I've found that some things just go deeper and there is a part of you that is hidden and only God can go there)

 I know there have been times where what has risen to the surface of my heart hasn't been pretty or edifying. And though people often say, well it's understandable after what you've been through. But I have to keep in mind that I'm not a victim of a crime or living a life that was supposed to be differently. I am a woman God chose to bear a son, my son, Asher, not any other boy but him. It wasn't just a pregnancy that unlike other women didn't go right. It was a journey that God ordained our family to walk through, an opportunity to carry that particular creation that was formed and knit together the way God intended.
 Yes, I believe sickness is a result of sin in our world but I'm so glad God is God over all disease and health and viruses and technology and the medical world. I think so many times He uses the marred effects of health destroyed in a person's body to bring people to him and to bring Him glory. My pastor once said that often God is most acknowledged in a hospital room… maybe that has a lot to do with the fact that our mortality is very vivid as well.  I hate sin and death but I'm a child of the One who has defeated death and sin and I know that whereas it's a threat to my current happiness and the world as I know it now, it's only an enemy with limits and only can exist in this life and one day it will exist no more… so death, your days are numbered even more so than our own.  

Well, I got on a tangent there, but as I was saying I was reading a blog and I was hearing how this woman was in a situation that those who have lost babies find themselves in often. And I was almost holding my breath as I came to the part where it could have gone either way in the conversation. A moment of truth…what would lie in the heart?  Would she choose grace and pour it on all those around or turn inward and give in to the bodily feelings of despair and isolation? Here is what she wrote: 

Today Chris and I were out and about in town when we decided to stop for a late lunch at his old workplace (he worked at Chick-fil-a for a few years before we got married). We were ordering when one of his former supervisors came up to say hi. She looked at Chris and asked, "You guys are supposed to have some kids running around by now, right?"

Without missing a beat, Chris replied, "We do, but they're all in Heaven now."

Her face went white and she stammered, "I am so sorry. I…I didn't mean to bring it up."

By now the tears in my eyes were blurring my vision, but I looked at her apologetic face and said, "You don't have to apologize. We love talking about our kids. Thank you for asking about them."

Chris was pulling out his wallet as I spoke and showed her a picture of Owen.
She held the picture as lovingly as she would have held our son.

"Oh, he's so tiny. Look at your thumb on his little face!"

I told her how much he weighed and how small he was when he was born.
I had to tell her again how thankful I was that she asked, because most people don't.

She remarked that her dad was probably in Heaven holding him right now because he passed away last year. We all looked at each other with tears in our eyes and she said, "We'll see them again soon. Hopefully."

Chris replied, "Yes, we will. Hopefully sooner rather than later."

I am quite sure that she still has no idea what an amazing gift she gave us today when she asked about our children…and then didn't turn away from us and our grief.

What a great situation of God's glory and sufficiency being displayed. I am greatly encouraged when I read stories such as this because it reminds me that I have a choice in every situation. And God is enough for me and for my grief and I'm not a random victim or a life that didn't turn out like someone else's. I'm walking exactly where God wants me and I know Asher's short life was one that glorified his creator and how can I not be proud of that and want to shower grace on those around who may or may not know about him or Him!  

** Again, I write this as one who prones to wander and leave the grace that God offers as if it never existed. Many times I have come home and for days complained to my husband about something someone thoughtlessly said or rehearsed a hurtful situation over and over in my head justifying my pain and anger. 
But I choose those things over the joy God has bought for me with ironically the death of His own son. Truly I have an opportunity to share in the pain of the cross and share in His sufferings by allowing each situation to happen as ordained by my Loving Father.  May I fight not only for my own joy in those things, but allow others to experience the joy and grace that I so desperately need. 
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