Friday, January 4, 2013

New Strength

It's time.

Time for me to start writing again. Not that I really feel like it. But I'm going to start writing in hopes that it will make me feel normal again. And then one day I'll want to write just like I used to. And perhaps I won't even notice the transition.

No...I think I'll notice.

I gotta tell ya, the past two months have felt like wandering around in the darkness. Sometimes I can sense the Presence of God with me there; sometimes I can't. Sometimes I crawl around on the floor cautiously trying to feel my way along so I can make it out of this dark room. And sometimes I pick up my speed only to walk head-first into the same ol' wall that I feel like I've walked into a thousand times before. So then I just sit down on the floor and cry while trying to assess how bruised my nose got this time.

To say that I am surprised by how I've responded to this season would only be scratching the surface. Surprised. Frustrated. Disappointed. I thought I'd feel "stronger" than this when pain came knocking on my door. I thought I'd face each day with courage and answer each doubt with promises from God's Word. I thought I'd choose faith over skepticism. I thought I would feel His presence more.

In some ways it feels ridiculous to me, even embarrassing, that I'm still having a hard time getting back into the swing of things. I mean, TONS of women go through miscarriages. I was only 7 1/2 weeks along, right? It's not like we knew the gender or had picked out a name or already set up the crib. There are people in this world suffering from such greater tragedy than my own. I also feel pretty sure that Andy & I will be able to have another baby in the future. So, what is the deal? Why have I been floundering around so much?

I've read two books that friends have given me over the past couple weeks. Both have been very helpful. In Angie Smith's book, I Will Carry You, she made the comment, "You can't rush grief." She shared that grief is like wandering around the woods and you keep stumbling upon uncharted territories that have to be walked through, and then sometimes you happen upon the same scene that you know you've already seen. And you think to yourself, "I'm getting no where." But grief is not linear. It doesn't happen neatly from Point A to Point B to Point C and then you're done. Your only choice is whether or not to keep walking. Are you going to just sit down and resolve that there is no way out of these woods so you might as well pitch your tent and plan to stay? Or will you keep walking? Will you keep doing the work of grief until you come upon a clearing and the road is suddenly in plain sight?

The other book, Tracks of a Fellow Struggler by John Claypool, gave a brilliant perspective on the very familiar verses from Isaiah 40:31:

Those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.

Claypool said that he felt like soaring, running, and walking were three unique ways that we receive strength from the Lord throughout our lives. When we walk with the Lord, we will at times have moments of "soaring" where we experience mountain-top, fist-pumping, exuberant joy in our relationship with Him. These moments propel us forward with newfound strength and intimacy in our walk with Him. 

We will also experience seasons of "running" where God gives us the strength to do the work before us. He has called us to certain tasks and we can truly experience His presence and supernatural strength when we are faithful to the job at hand. 

The 3rd kind of strength is to "walk and not faint." This is the kind of strength I've had. I may not have had the strength to keep writing, but I've had the strength to keep doing laundry and wiping peanut butter off of little hands and faces. Christmas may have felt more empty and numb instead of joyful and meaningful, but I had the strength to wrap presents and put up/take down Christmas decor. I may not have the strength to invest a lot of time/thought into "ministry", but I had the strength to hand deliver a Christmas card and a few chocolates to my neighbors. 

I am not running on all cylinders. But by the grace of God I feel like I'm making progress and I am hopeful that healing is taking place. So I will keep walking.

This exert from Claypool's book says it well,
I confess to you honestly that I have no wings with which to fly or even any legs on which to run - but listen, by the grace of God, I am still on my feet! I have not fainted yet. I have not exploded in the anger of presumption, nor have I keeled over into the paralysis of despair. All I am doing is walking and not fainting, hanging in there, enduring with patience what I cannot change but have to bear.

Those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.   


Tine said...

So true, Stacie. I have realized that no pain is the same for everybody. Someone can go through something and be devastated, and somebody else go through the same thing and not suffer as much. The way I suffered after going through the accident with Tiago was so much worse than somebody would think.. I mean, I didnt loose him! He was healed...some are not! But I went through so much anguish and anxiety, unbearable emotions. I had to put him in the altar, had to give him up. And the pain of those moments still cause me to grief and to fear sometimes. I'm still healing! But I've com a long way!! And one thing I'm sure of... I wouldn't want to do this without HIM!! Can't even imagine it! It was good to read your words and remember that it's ok to sometimes feel like I'm still healing from emotions I felt. Like you said...most of the time I feel like it's all behind me...but every once in a while something will test me...and I will feel the wall right in front of me. But God lifts us up... gives us strength climb over it. You will be running soon! You will see! <3

Missey said...

Once again a beautiful post! Thank you for your honesty and transparency.

Anonymous said...

Friend, it seems like all of us are going through something painful as of late, and your words are so encouraging to me in my pain. Know you are loved and deeply appreciated!

Anonymous said...

Dear Stacie, So very glad to see you post again! I've been very concerned about you and have been praying for you! I'm so very grateful that the Lord takes us right where we are and through His precious love makes something beautiful of our lives that only He can do. I am constantly amazed at a love that I cannot fully comprehend and won't know in completeness until I see Him face to face. Until that day, He walks with each of us and never leaves our side, understanding our frailties. God bless and keep you this day as you continue to walk with Him, Lisa