There's a box in my room. A recipe box. Blue. Translucent. Etched in cheap silver metal. And it hasn't been opened in over six months.
When I bought the box my heart was filled with dreams. Overflowing with hope for the future and faith in a God of miracles, I lovingly wrote the names of my loved ones on index cards and tucked them away there for safe-keeping. My secret prayers.
The box symbolized a season of new faith in God's Word, God's love, and the power of prayer. Challenged to believe in a God Who could and would meet all of my needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus, I hand-selected private prayers for each of the people I love most in this world.
For a month I faithfully prayed for God to help my boys love to read. I joyfully pleaded with Him to provide us with a car (after I wrecked the one we had). I wholeheartedly believed in His ability to bring healing to my loved ones and provide for their needs. And I petitioned Him to breathe life, and health, and peace into the heart of the tiny baby I carried next to my heart that no one really seemed to be excited about but us.
In early September of 2011 we went in to the OB's office for a regular seven-week maternity check-up. I had been feeling much worse with this pregnancy than with either of the two before it. I was drained, and nauseas as we waited to be seen, and remember telling my OB that the morning sickness just felt worse this time. He joked and said it was probably because I had two other small children to take care of. I thought he was probably right.
We made our way to the ultrasound room and prepared to meet our newest addition for the first time. However, it was apparent to me within the first few moments that something was wrong. After several twists of the wand and pushes of the button, the sonographer, a friend of ours, turned to me with tears in her eyes and broke the news: this baby was no longer with us.
On September 20, 2011, our third child slipped from my womb into eternity with God, and I haven't opened my prayer box since.
Closing the Lid
The day we lost our baby, I closed the lid on my dreams and locked away my secret prayers for him inside of a cheap blue recipe box. My closest friends and my precious husband took good care of me, and God continued to provide for my needs, even answering the desire of my heart to miscarry naturally. There were constant signs of His love and care for us during that season of loss, but a part of my heart closed that day with the box. I put away my dream of having three boys, embraced all of the good God had already given me, and closed the lid.
I appeared to be managing the grief well to those around me. But the depth of my prayer life took a hit, and a pervasive cynicism crept into my heart, replacing my faith in the God who could move mountains. I was shaken, and no longer sure God would come when I called.
Question: Have you ever "closed the lid" on something that was just too painful to process?
Join me Tuesday for the next part of this new series on prayer and faith as we take a look at what happens when radical faith goes in mourning. And don't forget to enter for a chance to win a "my life is beautiful" necklace from Grace Tags! The giveaway is open all week!