For the next few posts, I'll be sharing a bit of my story with you, and the reason for this blog. You can read the first post in the series, when the power of prayer seems lost and then head back to this post. And welcome!
My miscarriage left me shaken, and no longer sure God would come when I called...
I imagine Mary must have felt a bit like that when Jesus finally came to her after Lazarus's death. They'd sent word to Jesus four days prior that their brother was sick and needed the Savior's attention. But he hadn't come. By the time Jesus arrived Lazarus's body had already started to rot, and in Mary's eyes, all hope for his life was gone. This Mary who had once so eagerly embraced Jesus, just maybe found herself feeling abandoned by the Man she once believed could do anything. We read about it in John 11.
"So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house." ~John 11:20
Mary, the one Jesus once praised for sitting at His feet. Mary, the one who neglected serving to share in the Master's teaching. Mary, the one who opened her heart to Jesus so deeply, now sat unmoved by His presence.
I believe it was because she no longer trusted Him with her heart. Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible states that Mary "was so overwhelmed with sorrow that she did not care to stir, choosing rather to indulge her sorrow, and to sit poring upon her affliction, and saying, I do well to mourn."
I Do Well to Mourn
Mary had lost heart. And while scripture doesn't give us an inside look at exactly what she felt, it's easy to deduce that she felt abandoned, alone, and angry with her Jesus. I felt each of those emotions in the wake of my miscarriage. I still believed that God was good, but I closed off the place of radical belief in His desire to be good to me. I quit dreaming. Quit hoping. And just sat still, basking in what goodness He had already given, refusing to dream that He might give it again.
My radical faith had gone in mourning.
I've written about the losses my family endured during a particular season many times. In a span of just six years I lost two favorite uncles, my grandfather, a favorite aunt, and a friend. The miscarriage seemed to be the icing on the cake.
Maybe the lid to my prayer box had been slowly closing all that time, and the miscarriage locked it. After living a fairly uneventful life, losing six people in six years nearly did me in. Add to that the disciplines of daily life, homeschooling two rambunctious boys also born in that season of loss, and dealing with the stress of a husband who works shift-work, and you get an ugly but clear picture of all that lurked beneath the surface of my heart just waiting for whatever it took to put me over the edge.
It was a difficult, but necessary place for me to dwell, and losing so much in such a short span of time forced me to ask the tough questions about life. I looked deeply at the cross, and wondered again, "If God never answered another prayer for me, if He never met another need, would His gift of Jesus and my salvation be enough?"
I answered hard questions, like why anyone would want to serve a God who allows their pain, and decided that even if I felt like giving up on my faith I couldn't, because I had come to know and believe that Jesus was the Christ and had the words of life. If I wanted life at all, it would have to come through His hands. . .the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Question: Have you ever doubted God? Ever found yourself so hurt by life that you quit dreaming? Quit hoping for answers to your prayers?
Come back tomorrow as we talk about opening the lid and choosing to believe one more time.