Just a quick update about our birth mom. Thank you so much for praying for her. She was released from the hospital yesterday. She sounded so much better. I spoke with her and her mother, she was on her way to the transitional home that CPO has. She will stay there for the next week or so to recover and heal before she heads home. Please remember her in prayer as she goes back to her life. Remember she hid this pregnancy from all except her mom and grandma. That is a BIG secret to keep and especially now with how it all ended for her. That is a lot of trauma to not be able to deal with openly. Please pray she can grieve in a healthy way. She was so sweet, she wanted to make sure I told the whole family that she loved them and missed them. I think the kids and I will try to make it out there and visit her this next week sometime. Greg and I need to meet with the funeral home director tomorrow afternoon about baby Joel's graveside service. We are hoping to be able to maybe have it Wednesday.
Yesterday I was talking with my little sister and I mentioned to her that I really feel like sorrow and suffering have just made a home in my heart. (I don't mean to sound like a pessimist at all, but it is really just a reality for me. I actually don't mean it in a bad way, it feels familiar, like sorrow and suffering just have a place there... I know it sounds weird, but it is starting to feel comfortable at times.)
My sister right away asked if I had read the book Hinds Feet on High Places. I told her that I had made it through half of the book. She suggested I start it again. It is an allegory about the main character, Much afraid, she is on a journey to the High Places. Her constant companions on her journey are sorrow and suffering.
While at the seminary I had given an extra copy to my sweet friend Becky. Shortly after Samuel died she called me saying that she had picked up the book to start reading it and he wanted to read something to me. This is what she read to me from the introduction to the book:
We feel we would give anything if only we could, in actual experience, live on the High Places of love and victory here on this earth and during this life... able always to react to evil, tribulations, sorrow, pain, and every worthy thing in such a way that they would be overcome and transformed into something to the praise and glory of God forever.
When she read that to me back last November I just cried. That was and still is my hearts desire, that I would react to the trials we have experienced in a way that would give God praise and would glorify Him. When she read that to me I went right to the book after that conversation and reread what she had read to me... this is what it said next....
As Christians we know, in theory at least, that in the life of a child of God there are no second causes, that even the most unjust and cruel things, as well as all seemingly pointless and undeserved sufferings, have been permitted by God as a glorious opportunity for us to react to them in such a way that our Lord and Savior is able to produce in us, little by little, his own lovely character.
It was such a good reminder for me, that all of these experiences, losing Samuel, and now baby Joel, were all filtered through God's loving hands. God is sovereign and He permitted it all. I know I need to work on my attitude about it at times. I can feel him working in me, and it hurts. I know he is refining me and hopefully producing in me little by little more of his character. But I know I don't see it as a glorious opportunity. I want to, but I am just not there yet. I can feel it happening, and I want it to happen but I think it may take a while before I can say it is a "glorious opportunity"
At times... and there are lots of times I just have to keep reminding myself that God loves me, He loves me, He loves my family and my husband. Quite frankly, there are a lot of times, it doesn't at all feel like love I am receiving. I think the devil is working overtime in that department. So I just have to keep repeating to myself the truths that I know. God does love me. God is good, regardless of my circumstances. He will work good for us. He is the healer and comforter. It is so easy to let my feelings and fear come into play. I am continually asking questions, will he really work good for us, because I really thought that He was doing good for us with blessing us with this birth mom in our home, and her choosing us to be the adoptive parents of her baby... but look how that ended up. Some times it feels like I am living some cruel joke . So literally, I have to just repeat the truths I know over and over to myself when those doubts and thoughts creep in. I am trying to take those thoughts captive, but let me tell you it is a struggle.
More from the introduction of Hinds Feet:
The only way to reach the High Places is by learning to accept, day by day, the actual conditions and tests permitted by God, by a continually repeated laying down of our own will and acceptance of his as it is presented to us in the form of the people with whom we have to live and work, and in the things that happen to us. Every acceptance of his will becomes an altar of sacrifice, and every such surrender and abandonment of ourselves to his will is a means of furthering us on the way to the High Places.
The lessons of accepting and triumphing over evil, of becoming acquainted with grief, and pain, and ultimately, of finding them transformed into something incomparably precious; of learning through constant glad surrender to know the Lord of Love himself in a new way and to experience unbroken union with him. These are the lessons in Hinds Feet on High Places.
Woooh, constant GLAD surrender, I have a longggg way to go on that and the acceptance of His will. Some days that is so much easier than others. And to see my grief and pain transformed into something INCOMPARABLY PRECIOUS. Wow, wouldn't that be beautiful. I am praying for that. I long for the Lord to make all things new and to use this situation however He sees fit. May He use it to bring glory to His name.
Needless to say, I will start the book over and finish it this time:)
THE LORD GOD IS MY STRENGTH, AND HE WILL MAKE MY FEET LIKE HINDS FEET, AND HE WILL MAKE ME TO WALK UPON THE HIGH PLACES. HABAKKUK 3:19