Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Turning Point

Today, six weeks after having a c-section, I went for my first run in a long time. An out and back, turning around at a road one short mile away and walking home. It was only a mile or so, at what seemed like a turtle's pace, but it felt almost therapeutic. Probably was.

I have had a lot to think and wonder about these days. Lots of questions still flood my mind on almost a daily basis about Josiah's death - both physical questions about his condition and spiritual questions for God. The "whys" are still there, but things are a bit different lately.

In the first few weeks after my son died, the pain felt raw. A mention of Josiah's name sent me to tears, as did the sight of anyone else's beautiful newborn. As the days flew by, I continued to tell myself and others that I was not angry with God for what happened...just sad and disappointed.

Here's the real truth: I was angry. I wanted answers. I needed to know "why" - not so much an explanation of Josiah's physical sickness, but more so an explanation from God. I had finally accepted the fact that we will never know why Josiah was so sick, but I had not accepted what I perceived as God turning His back on us. I had been wrestling with God, unable to worship, pray, crack open my Bible, or enjoy church as I had previously. Until last Wednesday morning.

That morning I was up (and alert) somewhat early, with enough time to get ready for work and maybe read a bit before an invasion of my "little people". Being that we had church small group that night and I had not read the chapter, I got to it. We are currently reading "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan. (It's an incredible book with the potential to drastically change your walk with the Lord. Not small change. Big change. You have been warned.) The chapter was on being a "lukewarm Christian" and provided 18 descriptions of what that meant...absolutely convicting descriptions of which most of us fit the bill perfectly. I finished the chapter and walked away feeling like I wanted to be more and do more with my faith, but unsure of how to jump this hurdle of disappointment and hurt. Then, on my way to work, the chorus of a song I was listening to hit me hard:

There on the storm I am learning to let go
Of the will that I so long to control.
There may I be in your arms eternally
I thank you, Lord, you are the calmer of the storm.

During that 30-minute drive to work, crying most of the way and trying to avoid hitting Amish buggies and other drivers alike, I realized I had not let go of the anger and the desire for answers. I had not accepted that God is the one who is in complete control and knows all things, not me. He doesn't need to explain anything to us measly humans. If we knew all that God knows, then He wouldn't be God.

I was left with a choice to make: Do I continue in this life with a cloud around my head, living a "so-so" lukewarm Christian life, not living out my faith as I should be, and continually asking God "why"? Or do I relinquish control and accept His sovereignty?

As much as I want answers, deep down I know that I'll never have them this side of Heaven. I need to be okay with that. We all do.

So, yes, things are getting better day by day. That doesn't mean that Josiah isn't on my mind constantly or that I've "gotten over" his death. The grief, sadness, and crying are still there...just not as severe or painfully raw. I know there will be more highs and lows in the coming weeks, months, and years...and that it's okay to have those low days. But I also know that God is molding, teaching, and carrying us through.

Here is the song that I mentioned above. Just click the "Play" arrow. (Thank you, Kara, for the beautiful CD!)

"Calmer of the Storm", by Downhere:


Cariluz and Ike said...

Your strength, understanding, and ability to share your heart with everyone despite your circumstances constantly amazes me. I am so glad that you are growing throughout this storm and that you are doing a bit better everyday. Keep on running and praying - you are still in our thought and prayers, Beth!

Kara Stoltzfus said...

you are SO welcome my dear friend. i am delighted to hear the music & worship songs i put together for you have brought you encouragement, hope & healing. as they did to my heart, soul & mind after we lost logan.

i will continue to pray. knowing the ups & downs, high & lows will continue to come.

i pray you can rest in his peace.

Mrs.Rabe said...

You are doing so well Beth...

Praying for you...

I like this poem by the author of Hind's Feet in High Places - Hannah Hurnard

In acceptance lieth peace,
O my heart be still;
Let thy restless worries cease
And accept His will.
Though this test be not thy choice,
It is His—therefore rejoice.

In His plan there cannot be
Aught to make thee sad:
If this is His choice for thee,
Take it and be glad.
Make from it some lovely thing
To the glory of thy King.

Cease from sighs and murmuring,
Sing His loving grace,
This thing means thy furthering
To a wealthy place.
From thy fears He’ll give release,
In acceptance lieth peace.

So challenging for me!

roz said...

Wow Beth, powerful stuff. Appreciate your honesty. You and your family has been on my mind alot. Know you are prayed for.
Rosa Stoltzfus

Aimee said...

You are SO courageous and strong Beth! I know you will be a powerful inspiration to so many other people. Keep running and be strong!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing what you and your family are going though right now. Your words are an inspiration to others going through tough circumstances also. You have been in my thoughts and prayers over the past few weeks. You are so strong, keep it up! Love you and miss you!
Mandy C.

Ruth Velez said...

Thank God for His enduring love in all your lives. It is hard to want answers and not get them. But the calming of the storm in your life is wonderful. I miss you, think of you often, and pray for your heart to feel peace.

Beccalynn said...

That is so touching! I am obviously not dealing with the loss of a child, but recently I HAVE been dealing with being lukewarm in my Christian walk and I've been trying to do something about it. You've inspired me. I think God had me read your post today as encouragement.

We live near Amish buggies too! Well, a couple towns down. It always makes me SO NERVOUS to drive around them!!!

Beccalynn said...

Oh, and on Mrs. Rabe's comment, Hinds Feet on High places is such a sweet, touching book about walking with the Lord through difficult and sunnier times.!

Anonymous said...

i came across your blog by mistake trying to get to another. i started reading about you & your family & what you have been going through with your loss of josiah. as soon as i began reading, tears began streaming down my face which is very unusual for me. i can be a very hard person. i have alot of anger inside and have unable to let go of it for so long. you are an amazing woman! i don't know how you do it but you have amazing strength and you are an inspiration and you & your family are in my thoughts. you have given hope. if you are to have courage after this i know i have to work past some of my things and let them go. i want to thank you for sharing your struggles, anger, sadness, love & faith in God. by you sharing it has helped even strangers. thank you so much!

CountryMidwife said...

You know what really helped me through an anger I could not seem to get past? There's a quote from an Eagles song that just spoke VOLUMES to me. It goes "they say that anger is just love, disapointed". Suddenly everything made so much sense. Prayers for the continued journey....