Pain, Sorrow, and Suffering.....Making Sense Of It.
It has taken me a long time to talk about this....I feel I am strong enough now....and it is time. I have always struggled with pain and suffering, the thought that God is always with you in the midst of it. The words, " he will never leave you or fore sake you ", that we toss in the direction of those whose world lays in rubble around their feet.
I think there are times on the grand stage of life, when a crisis of pain and suffering happen and the director/producer seem to have left the scene. The camera is left running. There is no one to explain what just happened, why it happened...or how the rest of the story will evolve. It's a freeze frame moment. You are stunned. Life's breath seems to have been sucked out of you. The hard drive in your head whirls frantically, trying to compute to make sense out of anything. In your free fall, you search for anything to hang on to.
I understand the concept of God being the great " I am ", the beginning, the end and every thing in between. But, there are times, when...you are on stage alone.
The Psalmist muses, All the days ordained for me were
written in your book before one of them came to be."
What does that mean?
Did it unfold as initially written? Or is the script being edited as the act of living my life unfolds?
Can I proclaim with the certitude of the Psalmist, or do I imagine something else?
Over the past year and a half...I have suffered two pregnancy losses. Both tragically felt...the recovery has been slow for me. I have searched my soul..asked why a million times....and offered up my very soul to accept whatever outcome God has for me and my children. And yet the pain lingers...the loss is felt deep....in every sun ray it hurts, in any vase of flowers, in any pleasure I feel ...it reflects on the pain I feel at the same time. It feels like a line in a song I heard..."Sunny days seem to hurt the most...Feels like I'm wearing a heavy coat. " And an other said "Who said Providence can take a child from his Mother while she's praying" Was this a punishment...some kind of chastisement...was I not healthy enough....was I not good enough? One Lab report said placenta failure to develop. So painful to hear after seeing your baby move...and watching a fluttering heartbeat. Was this the script that was written by a grand director/ producer that I was to loose my babies.
Enter, pain and suffering...my world lay in rubble at my feet. As if hit by the wind of a hurricane, my well constructed faith was scattered debris in all directions. And the director, where was he...suddenly the stage, the theater was empty. The lights had been turned out, not even an " exit " light illuminated a path for escape. I was alone...utterly alone.
" I will never leave you or fore sake you ", " all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be" Where was the director, and who would write such a bizarre sick script and expect us to faithfully act it out. For months I tried to digest the above words. They only added to my pain and suffering, they tormented me. I had so many questions. I wept, I screamed into the depth of the darkness that seemed to be swallowing me. I heard nothing...nothing, not even a whisper.
It seemed the only person I could relate to was Job. If the script I was living out was unbearable, Job's script was absolutely insane. Just when things couldn't possibly get any worse, they got worse. And Job had questions. If there was a script, he wanted answers...why!!!
But what really upset me was, Job did finally get to question God. But in an even more bizarre twist, Job's why questions were thrown back to him with more questions from God. So in the end, did Job fair better than me? Sure he was restored, life returned to normal...even better than normal, but there really was no answer to his pain and suffering. About the only thing Job could say with certitude was God is God. That some how he is the beginning, the end and everything in between. But as to how it all works, how the script comes into play...the actors, the scenes, pain, tragedy and suffering...still so many questions.
For months, I embraced my pain, suffering, sorrow. It was breakfast, lunch and dinner. I lived in the midst of an emotional storm of anger. I came to realize my well constructed faith is fragile, something to be held lightly, and that in pain, sorrow and loss it sometimes breaks. In the end, I pick up pieces, not all the pieces...and I learn to live with new faith.
I believe there are times when we are alone. I believe there is a script to my life, but that it is a script of such imagination that I will never understand it...at least not here, on the stage in which I act out my part.
Pain, suffering and sorrow, are they pre-written into the intimate scripts of our lives? I don't think so. But they are a reality of everyday life. They torment us, and haunt us with never ending questions that we very seldom find answers to. They test faith, reconfigure, and reconstruct faith. And in the end, we likely find like Job did...God is truly God, miraculously he is the beginning, and the end...and everything in between.
I think we find God in the midst of friends, family who hold us, love us, hug us, and cry with us. They some how lift us carry us when we are too weak to even move. It is the hands, the face, the words of the God who is love coming into being. Mysteriously it is Emmanuel...God with us, in the midst of pain suffering and sorrow.
When my road leads into dark storms,
You will light up my eyesight.
When I fall on hard ground,
You will lift me up to rise.
When I face hardship and scorn,
We will together share our portion.
When I suffer in a hopeless sickbed,
We will together battle in each breath.
When I'm lost alone and lingering,
You will be with me, and guide me home.
One day I'll die and depart,
But I truly believe
You will lift me up.
O God, our Savior, listen to our prayer.
Fill our hunger, heal our sickness,
Comfort our souls.
If you wish not to answer,
Then please wait for us,
Because we are about to shut our eyes.
Now my act on stage has a new purpose...I felt overwhelmingly to rise from the ashes of this event with healing in my wings. God did finally answer my unanswered questions...
He said to me as clear as rain......"Mourn with those who mourn...and comfort those who stand in need of comfort." My pain was a lesson...a training ...a preparation to help me to help others who suffer the loss of a pregnancy or an infant. I also Put together Pregnancy and infant loss memory boxes for the hospital to give mothers in the hospital.If anyone would like to donate items for this project please let me know. I call them Butterfly Boxes...a butterfly has a very short lifespan...but a beautiful one that touches all . I was inspired to create a website for grieving mothers...if you know anyone who has suffered such a deep loss...please refer them to the website below...it is a safe place to grieve. This was a labor of love for me.