Last week, my wife and I experienced the pain and loss of our fourth miscarriage.
To be honest, I’m still coming to grips with it. I was just starting to get excited about the idea of child #3 and then…and then my wife tells me she is spotting…and since we’ve been down this road before, I know exactly what that means. Then the doctor confirms that the HCG levels have dropped dramatically and that dream of a third child is gone. For now. I still cling to hope that God will bless us with another child. I also know that we are incredibly blessed with two amazing, beautiful, funny, strong willed children. And if our family continues to be just the four of us, I will continue to thank God for the wonderful blessings he has given us. But man, it still hurts. It hurts so much.
This past year we have lost so much. Friendships, possible futures, a community that we were a part of. Sometimes that pain of all those losses literally knocks me down and I just collapse on the floor or the couch or my bed or wherever. I will have trouble breathing and feel like there is a huge rock in my stomach. My heart will start to race and my mind will start racing even faster. Often this happens at night- which probably explains why sometimes I lie in bed for hours before falling asleep.
So what do we do when we experience such terrible suffering? Do we give up? Give in to bitterness? Some do.
But Paul tells us in Philippians 4:7 that “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” and in Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” That word “guard” is the idea of a fortress or citadel. God wants to be our castle of hope and guard us against the arrows of the enemy dripping with the poison of worry and anxiety. And then God wants to fill us with his Holy Spirit so that we can overflow with hope. Not a natural hope that we conjure up; instead, a supernatural hope that can only come from God.
And so I run to my heavenly Father. I let him be my fortress and strong tower. Daily, I ask for the Holy Spirit to fill me up with his HOPE and PEACE.
But its not easy. In fact, its so tough that my wife has HOPE (tikvah) tattooed her wrist and I have PEACE (shalom) tattooed on my wrist! Its so that every time we look down, we are reminded to find our HOPE and PEACE in God alone. To look beyond our circumstances and our losses and know that our Father loves us and grieves with us. And we make it through another day. And God continues to give us HOPE and PEACE and to heal our hearts. And someday, he WILL wipe away every tear and there will be no more pain or loss or suffering. You can bank on that.