This is the greatest day of my life! Thank you Jesus, for this amazing blessing!
O Lord, I don’t think I can do this. The pain is unbearable and my heart is so heavy.
I wonder if either prayer sounds familiar to you? They are both prayers I have prayed at different times of my life, and if you’re like me you have also experienced really high highs and really low lows. The highest and lowest moments of our lives are typically, when we look back, the moments we remember God’s work in our lives the most.
The moment all of your hard work and prayers landed you your dream job. Your wedding day. The day you became a mother. The day your child turned their life around with Jesus.
On the flip side, we see the hand of the Lord at work in the dark times too. The moment you found out your company was downsizing. When your spouse told you they didn’t want to stay married to you. Difficulties dealing with a strained family relationship. The day your child dies.
As Christians we often cling to Jesus most during these ebbs and flows; however, many of us do not have lives that consist of constant highs and lows; most of our life is lived in what I call “the middle”. The middle consists of the ordinary day: going to work, running errands, caring for children or elderly parents. I’m convinced the days in the middle matter just as much, if not more. Those are the days we put the perseverance, character and hope we gained from the highs and lows (Romans 3:3-5) to use.
A little over three years ago my husband and I unexpectedly lost our firstborn child shortly after she was born; to date, the lowest low of my life. The past three years have brought more loss in the form of miscarriages, other sadness and challenges, but it has also brought hope and beauty. Through this journey I’ve also experienced some of the most incredible highs: seeing her short life bring others closer to Christ, a strengthened marriage and the beautiful and healing birth of our son.
My daughter’s death does not define me, but it has refined me.
The Bible often refers to the testing of one’s faith as being refined just as silver and/or gold. The metal has to go through fire to remove impurities, just like we go through trials to produce a stronger faith in Christ - ultimately leading us to pure and holy eternal life with Him. I love the New Living Translation of 1 Peter 1:7
My daughter’s death was a refining moment in my life. That situation created an opportunity for me to lean into my grief; to draw closer to God and His promises. What I chose to do in that moment - cling to the Lord or turn from Him - helped refine me in a way that would prepare me for life after her death: more of the middle. My son’s birth was another refining moment in my life. It, too, created an opportunity for me to lean into my rejoicing; to praise God for His promises. As with loss, what I chose to do after my son’s birth – cling to the Lord or take for granted what He had gifted us- helped refine me in a way that would prepare me for raising a child on earth: more of the middle.
Sweet sister, the highs and the lows are certainly important – but don’t let them DE-fine you; allow them to RE-fine your heart that you may be better prepared to cling to Jesus in the middle. It’s the days in “the middle” that we tend to take our faith and salvation in Christ for granted. Remember that the Lord’s mercies are new EVERY morning (Lamentations 3:23), He is faithful in all he does (Psalm 33:4) and His promise preserves your life (Psalm 119:50). God looks for steady growth, not instant perfection, so cling to the Lord when He gives and when He takes away; just don’t forget to cling to him every day in between.
**October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. If you have experienced loss and would like us to pray for you, please connect with us via social media. We would love to lift you up no matter where you are in this journey.