I don't often get "preachy" on my blog, mainly because that's not my main intention for keeping one, but today I need to share. Whether I hit "publish" on this post or not, my soul is stirring and I need to write it down.
I did something today that I didn't think I could do. I didn't think I was ready for it, but it was sort of thrust upon me and I didn't want to chicken out. Though at first I did TRY to chicken out, I still found myself loading everyone up in the car and going anyway. I was led. My heart and flesh were saying "no, not yet. I can't take it right now" but like I said, something else, Someone else, was moving my feet and directing my actions.
You see, my phone rang just as I was about to lay down to take a quick nap (it'd been a looong night with McClain since his molars are coming in). It took me so long to get to it that I actually missed the call. But I called her right back. On the other end my dear friend was frantic. Someone had unexpectedly gone into labor and she was rushing to the hospital to meet them. That part was normal enough, but it was what she continued to explain that had me shaking in my boots.
This poor mother was about to give birth to a baby that wouldn't live longer than 5 to 10 minutes if that. And my friend wanted to be there to do what she could to help ease the pain and burden of this grieving family. And she called me. She'd called me A.) because she knew I'd walked those same footsteps almost 5 years ago. But B.) she knew I had a nice enough camera and so-called "know how" to try to capture what few moments and memories could be caught. So even though my heart was saying "no", I found myself saying "I'm on the way" and loading everyone up in the car.
Interestingly enough, earlier in the morning as I'd dropped off Caroline at school the radio DJ had quoted a verse, a well known verse, but he did so in a completely different way than what I'd understood it to be until now. (God was setting the scene for the rest of my day. I just didn't know it yet. ) The verse was Romans 8:28.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who've been called according to His purposes."
And what the DJ pointed out, earlier in the a.m. mind you, was that not all things are going to be "good" for us, Christians included. Some things will go bad, horribly bad. But rather this verse reminds us that God is faithful enough to not let even the bad things go to waste and remain hurtful, pointless experiences. Rather He allows them to be used for His glory. And this was one of those times.
I'm not going to lie. It's one of the hardest things I've done yet--taking pictures of/for a grieving family with their tiny little infant who was already in heaven. And I wish I could say that I'd spoken to them boldly in my faith, or that I'd shared with them my story of how I'd been there too. But I can't. Because I didn't. I hid behind my camera, as I so often do in my too-self-aware/socially awkward state, and just snapped pictures. And since I'm completely confessing here, at one point I thought "at least you'll have pictures of your little one. I don't even had that." And then I was immediately mad at myself for thinking it. But that was just it. That was my gift, if you can call it that, to them. To a mother so heavily sedated that she won't remember, to grandparents who are grandparents with no one to spoil. At least they have pictures.
And God faithfully continues to use my wounds, my "bad" experiences, for His glory. I have to trust that He'll use those pictures for His glory as well. Who knows if I'll ever see or hear from these parents again. I know they have my number. And just as I am here typing all of this out, Bible splayed out so I could accurately quote the verse, my SK climbs up in my lap. "Read to me Mama. Read to me what you're reading." And so I did. I got the privilege to read to my child a verse I'd clung to when I was pregnant with her and her twin sister. He's still using my experiences to bring His children, MY children to Himself. What a sweet sweet joy in the midst of so much pain.
It shouldn't have surprised me then that she flipped through my Bible at random and landed on the next verse either. Psalm 89:1 "I will sing of the Lord's great love forever; my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations."
The next generations...I pray for that family, that they'll find healing and peace; that they'll find Jesus, His love for them and His faithfulness in the midst of such great sorrow and pain. And I thank God for His faithfulness to me, to MY generations that crawl up in my lap and ask to be read to from His Word, and for allowing me to be a part of His story.
And now I'm going to click publish before I lose the guts to do so, and just let this hide away as a draft forever.