It’s September 17. This date will be forever burned into my heart and my brain. We didn’t get a birthdate for our Joanna Rae. We have dates that will always be tied to her though. The day we found out that we were pregnant for the fourth time, January 9. The day we lost her, February 28. Her due date, September 17. As I approach each date, I have such weird feelings. I keep thinking that they will get easier. So far, it still hurts. I’m thinking it will hurt forever. But it isn’t an all consuming pain. Thankfully, by His grace, I know our Lord and Savior and he has taken on the brunt of pain for me. Psalm 23 says we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Our pastor tells a story comparing this to an 18 wheeler. Would you rather be hit by the truck or the shadow? Obviously the shadow is the answer. I can’t imagine what I would feel without Jesus taking the full force of pain onto himself.
As today has gotten closer and closer, I have thought about how I would have been planning a first birthday. How she would have fit into our family. If she would be walking. That our upcoming vacation would be very different with a one year old than with a 7 month old.
As I am thinking these things and trying not to dwell on sadness, I also think about the goodness of our God. He has poured out such grace and mercy onto me especially over the last year and a half. Yesterday, our pastor spoke on suffering. It was such a hard thing, but just what I needed to hear as I faced today. The rest of this post will be focusing on what I took away from the sermon and then some Scripture that I continue to meditate on.
· Jesus’ power to give life means that we can trust Him in our suffering and hope in Him in the midst of loss.
· The Bible doesn’t wrestle with the problem of evil as much as it marvels at amazing grace
· God in His love and mercy has reversed the curse by suffering in our place
· God now uses our suffering redemptively for His glory and our good.—I know it’s hard to believe but I do believe that God is working our loss into something for my good. My relationship with Him is so sweet and different than it was before. I know God in a way I would never have known Him without losing our daughter
· When it says that Jesus was “deeply moved” in John 11, it wasn’t just a warm and fuzzy feeling. It was more like a fighter entering the ring. He was about to do battle with his greatest enemy (death)
· In John 11, when “Jesus wept” it shows his compassion. Jesus wept with Mary as a friend. ---This is such a sweet picture for me because I have had friends who have just held me and cried with me over the past year.
· Scripture to ponder: Romans 8:18-25, Romans 5:12-14, 1 Peter 1:3-7, 1 Peter 5:6-7, 2 Corinthians 4:7-12. Psalm 34:18, Hebrews 4:14-16, Isaiah 40:31, Hebrews 6:19-20, Genesis 28:15, Joshua 1:9, Job 19:25, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (yes, I am making you do some work and actually looking them up. It’s good for you)
Thank you to those who continue to walk with us. We really do always appreciate and covet your prayers and words to us.