Flatlands

July- the month I was going to spread the news that we were expecting our first kin.  On Father’s day I posted about the loss of our child in a paragraph long shout out to my dad, Frank’s dad, and my dear husband, Francis Joseph Eisbacher.  My good friend Angela was the only one who responded in empathy and sympathy.  I’m sure that the status got lost in threads of other Father day praises, but the sting of comment absence still rose.  Friends from the church wrote me letters as I had submitted a prayer request.  I definitely had the support of friends from church and the condolences from the few I had told that we lost the baby.  Did I really need the world to grieve with me? 

I guess I felt that there were all these folks celebrating this Hallmark propaganda while my husband and I secretly prayed the day would just end.  It was salt rubbing into my scarred and empty uterus.  I just wanted friends from college or high school to acknowledge that these “holidays” aren’t as wonderful as we make them out to be for everyone.  I wanted them to see the hollowness of materialism because I was now hollow. 

It was selfish.  I didn’t and don’t need the frowns and glossy eyes that said/say, “We’re sorry, but I’ve got my life too.”  I needed and need to run to God, my comforter.  It’s been hard though.  He is a God who blesses his people abundantly with his presence, if only we seek him.  I never expected to have to rely on his fullness in barrenness.  It’s been a process of trusting him even when my deepest desires aren’t met.  His timing doesn’t seem rational or logical to me.  I know his purposes and plans are for the best; I’ve had this reiterated to me time and time again from other church members (funny how they have the thing you long for though whenever they say this).  So though I walk through this valley I have to know he is with me.  He is my only hope.  Christ is my light and warmth when my heart feels dark, cold, and numb. 

I never liked the heat because I sweat.  I fear how I’ll stink or appear.  Perhaps the middle of summer is a reminder that I can let go of approval addiction.  I can be vulnerable and honest about this hike with my loving Father.  I can let others in and encourage.  I don’t have to traverse this parched land alone.  I can do it with community and when they aren’t around, I can seek and find God who has been with me through it all.  He hasn’t left or forsaken me.  I can let this baby kite fly (or at least try) into his sculpting palms.  In letting go of the string so he can reel me in I’ll be renewed with a joyful spirit within.  He’ll make me soar, to rest in his embrace, and lead me to even land, where I won’t stumble or flail.  He’ll use this to mature this fragile faith so that I’ll be steadfast in sharing his grace, his mercy. 

So though my belly remains flat (with a little extra flab because I sadly live a sedentary life and haven’t quite found the motivation to move again) while my hair poofs to a giant a-fro (yeah curly hair in humidity—not friends) and my ankles swell due to water retention in the heat, he’ll stretch my faith and grow that in spite of what I often think is an obstacle.  He’ll use Frank’s absence (he’ll be away a lot this summer for Army duties) and the loss of this treasure to draw me deeper to him.  I won’t look around and see the constant, agonizing pain of disappearance.  He’ll increase my boldness in sharing the love of our multidimensional God, our triune Savior. In doing so, he’ll ask me to look up, above my “problems”, recognizing his presence amidst sorrow to trust and believe that he’ll use this testimony to lead others to recognize truth as well and climb the mountaintop that is faith.

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