A tremendous thank you for your encouragement, prayers and warmth towards our family during our time of grief. Your responses to my previous post have been humbling and comforting.
Sometime in the fall of 2016, I remember talking with friends, sharing about how we were doing on a personal level. My response went something like this:
"This is a pretty smooth season for our family and for me personally right now. I hear other missionaries talk about the challenges they face just trying to live day-to-day life, and while we certainly have aspects that are challenging, our lives here feel relatively smooth. To be honest, I'm always kind of living in fear of what may be coming, of what challenges lie ahead. It's like I'm just waiting for the floor to fall out from under me, in a sense."
Well, it happened. The other shoe dropped, the floor all but disintegrated underneath me. I echo Job's sentiments in Job 3:25:
"What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me."
In reality, that's a fear I've wrestled with for several years now. In fact, I wrote this post almost a year ago about how I was struggling to have a right view of the Lord. I listed some examples of things we fear, and I specifically mention miscarriage. I had goosebumps re-reading it.
What Is My Foundation Built On?
One aspect of my faith that I've had to really evaluate in light of this valley is where my hope is found. In the parable above that Jesus gave, he spoke of what our foundation is, causing us to ask if it's "the sand" or "the rock".
At moments throughout the last six weeks, I've been tempted to find my hope and joy in something else. Maybe I get busy and distract myself one day cleaning and organizing the house. Another time I just watch a movie and zone out. Or perhaps I turn to the future, to anticipate another pregnancy, another baby, and make it my mission now to get my body healthy again and tackle it like a project. Not bad things in and of themselves. But lesser things, to be sure.
While, yes, I pray the Lord would allow me to become pregnant again, to carry another baby to full-term and have a healthy baby and delivery, I cannot put my hope in that.
Why? Because that is in no way, shape or form guaranteed to me. None. Yes, the Lord brings good out of bad. He restores what was lost. I am promised that in the ultimate sense, in heaven, but not necessarily right now.
I could go on to have more children with no problem, or I could have more miscarriages (as many of you have personally shared is your experience), or simply never conceive again. My God is able to do what seems humanly impossible, but if not, he is still good.
The only sure, stable foundation, the only rock that is truly firm and trustworthy to put my hope in is Jesus Christ himself. He never changes. He never leaves me. He is sure and reliable. He has the power to do what he says he will do. He overcame death. He rescued me from my sin. What more could I possibly ask for?
As Paul said in 1 Thessalonians, we grieve but not as those without hope. Hope in Jesus is not lofty, not wishful thinking, not me working hard to make something happen. It is a guarentee.
The lyrics to the hymn "My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less" resonate so deeply in my soul. I penned them to a canvas and hung it in our living room, as an ever-present reminder of the beautiful hope that's found in the cross. And to build my hope on anything else is indeed "less".