This is a hard scripture to talk about today. I'm kind of surprised that I included it on my list of verses to talk about this year for this series. But here goes nothing!When I was pregnant for the second time I saw a post on Facebook with this verse and it resonated very deeply with me. I had walked through a season of heartache and was truthfully still grieving the loss of our first child, but I was pregnant with our second and I was rejoicing. This verse described exactly how I felt.
He may not restore everything during your time on earth, but I can promise you that He will restore. He will restore the heartache, the loneliness, the anger, the depression, the empty arms, the anxiety, the tears, the death.He will restore it all because that is Who He is.
I love the bold promises in this passage of Isaiah. As I was meditating on this verse this morning and thinking about what I may write about, my mind immediately went to flash floods for some reason. Like the name suggests, flash floods happen really quickly and are super dangerous. They blindside you and take over everything in their path before you even have time to react.
But the Lord was with Joseph.Those words bring me so much comfort. If you don't know the story of Joseph I'd encourage you to read it because it is one of my favorites. Essentially, Joseph was his father's favorite son and his older brothers were so jealous and full of hatred that they sold him into slavery. Fortunately, Joseph found himself favored by Potiphar, an officer to the Pharaoh of Egypt and he was made overseer of Potiphar's house. Eventually, due to some really unfortunate circumstances at no fault of his own, Joseph wound up in prison and was there for two whole years before being released. Chapter 39 is about Joseph's time in prison.
And the thing is, you can tell each box is infused with love. On her website, Alaina says:
"This project and ministry is my dream that came from piecing some of the broken places of me back together."
It's quite evident that she spends a lot of time personalizing each item which makes it that much more special.
This entire chapter of scripture brought me so much comfort shortly after my first miscarriage. For some reason Psalm 145:16 came to my mind within the first few days after my loss and it brought peace to my aching heart. A few months before my miscarriage, and about a month before I found out I was pregnant, I was visiting my best friend Julie down in Springville, Alabama. I was sitting next to her in church...
The Father of mercies and the God of ALL comfort. That amazes me and convicts me all at once. How many places do I go every single day looking for comfort, even if just for a moment, that are not the Lord? Sometimes I go to my coffee or a dessert, sometimes I go to my husband, sometimes I go to Netflix, sometimes I go to Marshall's, sometimes I vent to a friend. But if I would just go to God and seek His face, I would be surrounded by His comfort. We make it so complicated; we allow ourself to wallow in sadness sometimes because we seek comfort in all the wrong places.
Lately I've been thinking a lot about the privilege of heartbreak. It sounds impossible, but not when God is involved. I truly believe that the deeper the pain we experience, the deeper we get to experience God. He enters into our pain as He comforts us, heals us, strengthens us, and grieves with us and it allows us to get to know Him in a deep and intimate way.
Isaiah 25:4 covers it all; we are reminded that He is our strength when we are poor, in need of something, or in distress, He is our refuge from the storms of life, He is our shadow that we have the privilege of abiding in when the heat of a trial becomes too much for us to bear, and He protects us like a wall protects a city during a storm. Nothing enters into our lives that He has not allowed to pass.
He is our peace.
I love how true and faithful God's Word is. It sounds kind of odd to say that a person is your peace, but once you experience the peace that only Jesus can give, it just makes sense.
No matter how far away He feels, He's ever so near, working on me and my story. No matter where I go, no matter how hopeless it seems, or how far away from God I feel, I will keep crying unto Him... When your heart is overwhelmed, cry out to God. He is so, so faithful to meet us in our moments of despair. In the middle of our mess, He enters in with peace, sits with us through the night, and helps us move forward in hope to the breaking of the dawn.
When my heart aches with disappointment, is my hope still anchored in the Lord? Do I still believe that in the depths of affliction God is my ultimate joy Giver and peace Bestower? Answers to those questions that once seemed so sure can be shaken to their core in a season of grief and suffering.
As I've said before, while I was pregnant with our second child I was so fearful. I had already had one miscarriage and I could not fathom going through another. I often told the Lord that I'd rather die because I figured I would anyways as a result of another heartbreak. I truly felt like I could not handle it. As I entered into what would be the last week of my pregnancy, I began experiencing some scary symptoms and dread consumed me.
Recently Michael and I were invited to our friend's house for dinner. All week long I was so excited! I couldn't wait to get through the week and hang out with our friends.
Then the day arrived and as each hour passed I grew more and more anxious. My mind was flooded with so many what-ifs. There was another couple invited as well and we are really good friends with both couples. The women are some of my very best friends! So why in the world was I so anxious?
After my first miscarriage I read Angie Smith's book I Will Carry You and it was so comforting to me. Angie lost her daughter, Audrey Caroline, after carrying her to full term. At around 20 weeks pregnant Angie and her husband were told that their daughter had a diagnosis that was "incompatible with life." They chose to carry their little girl instead of terminating the pregnancy like doctors suggested and so many beautiful things have been born out of Audrey's life despite so much heartbreak.
Isaiah is one of my favorite books of the Bible because it contains so many promises that I cling to. I still remember the first time I heard this verse and it stopped me dead in my tracks. I was listening to a Bible study online and when the pastor spoke about this verse I fell in love with it. At the time I wasn't even experiencing extreme heartache or suffering, but these verses spoke to me even then.
Someone recently told me that she admired how deeply my two miscarriages have affected me. That was such a refreshing thing to hear because I often feel unworthy to even feel so much grief over what society calls "blobs of tissue." But she reminded me that my grief was my own and if I feel this way in my heart, then I need to allow myself to feel this way without guilt.
The verse starts off by saying before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. This tells me that conception is never an accident. Long before a child is even conceived, let alone known about on Earth, God knows all about that child. It's hard to even wrap your mind around! But it is so comforting to think about God knowing everything there was to know about my two sweet babies before they were even created.
This verse contains so much wonder! I am continually struck with surprise and gratitude each week as I write about scriptures that have meant a lot to me throughout this hard season of my life going through two miscarriages. I say surprise and gratitude because it is crazy to me that until I endured suffering, all of these scriptures were just words on a page. And I am filled with gratitude that God has called me to this path of suffering where I get to know Him in the most intimate ways.