Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sweet Mercies

Praise God from whom all blessings flow, the mom who had scheduled an abortion for this past Wednesday has decided to keep the baby and not abort HER!  She had an ultrasound (praise God for this wonderful instrument in saving lives of His precious children), and God used this tool to show the mom that her baby is a GIRL, a healthy baby girl who is at about 21 weeks gestation.  Thank you so much for praying!  Please take a moment to praise Him for all He did to speak LIFE to this struggling mom.  Continue to pray for this mom as she walks this path, that she may come to know Him, trust Him, taste of His goodness and His sweet mercy.  And may she melt in His miracle as His CHOSEN Baby Mercy comes into this world.  May she seek His will for Baby Mercy and feel His peace, comfort and unconditional love.

Thank you for your grace as the blog has been so quiet this week.  We've been really busy, and my computer has had some issues, and I fell and either severely jammed or broke my finger, making it a little difficult to type. 

In fact, I wanted to document "the fall" here because I believe it has some significance in the healing path of walking through my grief.  Last Thursday, September 2, I was dragging our huge (industrial) mop bucket from our storage room into our mud room when I unexpectedly slipped (still don't really know how) and fell (HARD) down two very hard wooden stairs and landed on concrete, after hitting (HARD) both of the wooden stairs.  I knew I was hurt the moment I hit.  I've never EVER fallen like that.  Yes, I've fallen, but not like this.  I felt like I had slipped on ice.  The kind of fall when there's no time to react, no time to catch oneself, no time to cushion the blow.  My lower back hit against the edge of one of the hard wooden stairs, my tailbone crashed into the other stair, then my feet slid across the slippery concrete like it was a sheet of ice.  Somehow in this, my middle finger on my left  hand either broke or was severely jammed.  Little Kiefer was next to me, and his sweet, protective, empathetic spirit immediately comforted me.  He patted my back so gently and hugged and kissed my "boo-boo's".  I broke down into tears:  big huge crocodile tears, which then turned into moans, then cries and sobs as the pain escalated.

In this process of crying out in physical pain, my emotional pain was coming out, too.  I just needed a big, hefty, full-out cry...the kind of cry that one wants no one else to see.  I didn't even want to tell anyone what had happened.  (I did call my husband because I needed to alert him incase he felt I should see a doctor for my injuries.)  I even cried on the phone to my husband.  I am the type of person who doesn't cry easily.  I will try my hardest to be tough when it comes to physical or emotional pain.  I'm just that way.  (I've talked before about my heart and how I have prayed for years for God to circumcise my heart, according to Scripture; to make my heart more like His.)

I was also crying because I knew that my injuries were quite severe.  Not severe enough for me to be hospitalized, but severe enough to interrupt daily life.  I could no longer use my finger, which throbbed and swelled with pain.  I could hardly walk due to the pain in my back from the gash of the stair where I hit.  I was deeply bruised in several places, and I was reminded of those bruises with every move I made.  And I was frustrated because my husband's 40th birthday was the very next day, and I was going to surprise him with a stay at a bed and breakfast and try to do everything within my power to make his day perfect.  Now I would have a handicap of sorts, a thorn in my side, that would keep me from making his day as perfect as I could make it.

From my fall, the bruises were evident on the outside.  People could look at my finger or my back and see that I had been injured.  My finger was swollen and purple/red/blue.  My back had a cut and was physically bulging with edema (swelling), along with some scratches and more blue/red/black/purple bruising.  The pain could be seen by the human eye.  My kids and husband felt sorry for me and winced as they saw my injuries.  I physically hurt when I moved.  I couldn't walk, sit or lie down without being reminded of my pain.  I couldn't do anything with my left hand.  It was obvious that I was hurting.  No one could deny it.

And this physical outward bruising is so similar to the bruises in my heart, except one is evident on the exterior and one isn't.  My heart is deeply bruised, and *I* cannot deny that. Even if I try to be tough and not cry, the bruises are still there, on the inside, deep within my heart where others cannot physically see the pain, but the pain still resides in my heart.  And I am reminded of the internal heart pain with every move I make, just as I was reminded of my outward physical pain from the fall with every move I made.  With every move I make, I am reminded of Chrissie, which palpates the bruising in my heart.  Every room in my house holds a memory of Chrissie which brushes up against the bruise.  Every store I enter, I see something that reminds me of Chrissie, from girly clothes, sweet hair bows, darling little girl's shoes to chocolate that Chrissie would have loved which makes my heart want to cry.  I cannot move without being reminded of the pain in my heart, just as I could not move after my fall without being reminded of the pain in my body. 

After my fall, I wanted my body to heal QUICKLY.  I didn't want to be inconvenienced; I didn't want to hurt.  I wanted to regain use of my finger, immediately.  I wanted to be able to move without hurting in my back and tailbone, and I didn't want to be slowed down.  Which also brings me back to my heart.

The only One capable of healing the bruising in my heart is God.  I have no doubt that my heart will heal, but this healing won't be in such a way that I will eventually just forget about the pain or forget my sweet Princess Chrissie.  The bruising won't just disappear overnight.  I will actually never stop missing Christyn "Jewelry" (Joy) Patterson, until I'm in Heaven with her.  The healing of my heart will be a slow process, not anything instantaneous.  Some days may have less pain than other days, some days I may feel more healed than other days.  Some days I may just break out into tears, telling others that I'm still hurting, while other days I may feel like everything's OK.  Since others cannot physically see the bruising of my heart, it may not be as evident as the outward bruising caused by my fall.  It hurts the same, regardless of how evident it may or may not be.

But our Lord is faithful, He is sovereign, He is trustworthy, He is good, He is merciful, He is powerful, He is mighty, and He loves me and my broken heart.  He knows the condition of my heart.  I have asked Him to search it, to change it, to heal it, and to make it more like His.  And just like Kiefer was right by my side when I physically fell, immediately there to pat me, hold me, kiss me and love on me without judgment, my God is right here by my side, always, instantly, to pat me, hold me, kiss me and love on me.  He tenderly holds my heart in the palm of His mighty  hand.  He is the Healer of my heart.  My Jehovah Rapha.  As He gracefully holds the pieces of my heart in His hand, He is at work daily, reassembling things and remodeling my heart to be more like His.  His grace is sufficient for me.  He is my Rock, my Fortress, my Shield, my Strength.  I don't want my broken heart to feel like an inconvenience (the way my finger was from my fall).  I want to embrace this brokenness and bruising, trusting wholeheartedly in God's sovereignty, even though I don't understand and would have chosen a different ending than the one God has written.  I want to praise God in this storm, even though I'd rather be playing in the sunshine.  This is not a fall.  This is faith.  And God, please continue to pour out your sweet mercies upon my broken heart and continue allowing me to walk in faith, holding Your hand as You so faithfully help me along this healing path.  Thank you God for Your healing and for Your sweet mercies.  We praise Your precious name, Abba Father.

"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable."
~CS Lewis, The Four Loves

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