The list of blogs that I read is quite eclectic. If you could see my list of bookmarks, you will see blogs about diabetes, Haiti, photography, religion, and a bunch of other blogs that dont easily fit into any category.
I started reading a blog called Bring the Rain wow about two years ago now. It is written by the wife of one of the singers in the Christian group Selah. At the point I started reading, the author, Angie was about to give birth to her fourth daughter. However, family had been told that the baby would not survive and they had been counseled during her pregnancy to terminate.
I know what you are expecting me to write next – that there was a miracle and despite all the doctors predictions, the baby survived. That is what we want from our faith, isnt it? That when something horrible or tragic happens, God swoops in and saves the day and makes everything better. Audrey Caroline lived for a little over two hours before she passed away surrounded by her family.
In the weeks, months, and years that have followed Angie has continued to blog. I know that one of the greatest things about the online diabetes community is our willingness to help each other with advice or a virtual shoulder when we are going through a difficult time. In the same way, Angie has helped countless families as they walk through unbelievable pain.
A few months ago, Angie published a book about her experience I Will Carry You: The Sacred Dance of Grief and Joy.
I bought and read the book as soon as it came out and have been wanting to write a post on it ever since. I can normally write post in several hours, but this one has been hard for me. It is impossible for me to say everything I want to say.
At the end of each chapter, Angie includes verses from the Bible that have spoken to her in her life and at the end of the first chapter she includes a verse from Psalm 73. I was excited to see it as it is actually my life verse and I have it inscribed in a ring that I got in Israel and wear every day.
Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Over the past several months my life has been a consistent story. A consistent story of things happening that I would never have chosen. Being a Christian means that I believe that everything happens for a reason and that everything is in Gods plan. But it is really hard to reconcile that when you feel like nothing is going your way.
Angie uses the story of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus from the Biblical gospel of John in a way that has helped me understand my story too. The three siblings were friends with Jesus during his time on earth. Lazarus was very sick, so his sisters sent for Jesus because they were confident He could and would heal their brother. In fact, they told Jesus that the one He loved was sick.
Instead of leaving right away to go to their house, Jesus stayed where he was for two days before he began his journey. By the time Jesus got to him, Lazarus had died. Martha met Jesus upon his arrival and I can almost picture the scene when she yelled at him and told him that if he had been there her brother would not have died. She was crying, the people mourning Lazarus at the house were crying, and it moved Jesus so much that Jesus began to weep as well (side note: this is the reference for the shortest and often quoted verse of the Bible Jesus wept). I feel like this is a scene I could reenact most of the time. I have a plan for my life and I know just where, when, and how things are supposed to happen. But then they don’t and I am angry and hurt.
Jesus assures Martha that her brother will live again and she responds by reminding him that her brother has been dead for four days and that he will smell.
So, lets get this straight Martha believes that Jesus can raise her brother from the dead, but cant deal with a little smell?! Before I laugh too hard at this part of the story, I have to remember I am often the same way. I know God has this huge and amazing plan for my life, but I really feel like the details stink sometimes! Ultimately, Jesus goes into Lazarus tomb and brings him back to life.
So whats the point of me telling this whole story? Good question! Think about it, what is the greater miracle?
Martha’s timing = Lazarus being healed from an illness. God’s timing = a crowd witnessing a man being raised from the dead after being in a tomb for four days. The level of grief watching their brother die could only be matched by their joy when he walked out of the tomb.
I dont understand why where I am in Gods plan right now. Heck, I dont understand how getting diabetes fits into Gods plan yet and that happened seven years ago! But I still believe. Part of me wishes I knew what Gods plan was, but there is another part of me that wonders if I did, would I still trust enough to follow?
“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” ~ Kahlil Gibran
“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love. ~Washington Irving