The Ministry of Pain
Yesterday I had the privilege to go to the hospital and sit with a young female soldier who had a miscarriage. I, myself, have never been in that place before, but I think anyone who has ever been pregnant understands the fears.
Matt got the call at 6am and after dropping the boys off for school I called Matt. Surely the woman needed another woman there, she was waiting for a DNC. Her NCO had taken her to the hospital. She had no family around, and the boyfriend was at Ft. Brag, NC. When I got there, there was one other female soldier sitting with her who was also pregnant. They called themselves the "Prego-twins". There are probably ten females in a group of about 400-500. As I visited with them, I heard both of their stories, including how lonely it seems with so many men around and family far away. For just a moment, the fear and sadness of losing a child was replaced by girly laughter and a different kind of comradery.
I couldn't stay long, I intend to go back today to check on her. Matt and I remarked, what an incredible place to be. . . sitting with people that you would usually never get the chance to sit with, much less invited in. When most people might see judgement coming perhaps from a person carrying a cross, how great it is to love on someone in pain. How remarkable it feels to leave a person with more hope than when you first met them. This is my joy, my gift, its both of ours- we love to love. We love to share that hope eventually comes from the power and forgiveness of Jesus, but most of the time, its not quite the moment to even share that. Most of the time it is sitting with them in their pain, acknowledging that every man's pain is real and that in the end, God is there in the darkness of their suffering.
Pregnancy, whether you get to carry the child to term or not is a gift. To experience your body do what it was created to do is amazing. Everything you ever tried to control in your life seems pointless when you can't even control your own body. Even seeing your body take care of itself when it senses something wrong is an amazing creation of God. And yet, that disconnect between the mind and the body makes the experience that much more confusing when it goes wrong. If I have learned anything in the past year, it is that only God can really clear away the dark clutter, clouds of confusion, and dispair and in turn fill the void with truth, bright rays of hope, and endearing intimacy with the Creator of all life, death, and purpose.
We all have had moments where we wonder where God is in something, why he won't take something away, or why he left some things unanswered. I don't have the answer either, but I know that the mysteries of God leave me clinging to him still, trusting that if he decides to not give me the answer then I can rest in the comfort of him knowing for me and responding to what is best. I know that he cries, I know that he mourns over us perhaps as much as he rejoices. He moves things, can heal things, even restores, and yet he still chooses to at times not intervene, and simply allow life to happen and hope that his whispers will be enough to sustain us, refine us through the fire, and deliver us into a new freedom with him that will change others as well. And my fear begins to rest in the wake of his mercy and sovereignty.
I Praise God for my gifts, for teaching me what they were. For showing me the difference between a skill and a gifting. For preparing me for the people he would put in my path, knowing that he would smile over me as I did exactly what he knew I would do, because he brought me to that place. I praise him for the mountains that I wake up to each day. They are different each morning and each evening, and it reminds me of just how big he is, and just who is in control.
"Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have see trouble. May your deeds be shown to your servants, your splendor to their children. May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us-
yes, establish the work of our hands."