By Gabrielle E. Mizner Morgano, Guest Blogger, Asher Family Foundation
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Throughout my twenty-five years on earth, I have periodically succumbed to the painstaking emotions of jealousy, envy, and sheer bitterness. I think all human life involves experiencing these unwelcome, overwhelming, and sometimes seemingly involuntary reactions to our individual circumstances. In my current season of life, I am battling in a war of anger and coveting as I daily interact with mothers and their infant children.
In the days immediately following my miscarriage, I wasn’t able to walk past moms with their children in Target or Kroger without looking in the opposite direction. Pangs of confusion and frustration would course through my veins. My broken heart longed to have what they had, and my grief brought me to tears on multiple occasions in my car while sitting in the parking lot after these grocery shopping encounters. I still find myself having difficult Sundays at church as I look around at our congregation of young, smiling families. Although I know I am not alone in my miscarriage experience, especially in my church home, the weight of laughing children and sleeping babies that is scattered in the foyer on the Sabbath seems impossible to bear at times.
As I desperately cleave to the unrelenting mercy and vast love of God in the midst of this ongoing struggle, I am reminded of the Apostle Paul’s message to the Romans. He admonishes the Roman Christians to “rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15).
I have given myself grace in my mourning as I realize that these accompanying emotions are part of the natural progression of life after losing a child. As time has progressed, however, my heartache and grief has morphed into bouts of ugly fury and resentment when I happen upon parents and their newborn babies. Sin has crept into my mind ever so easily, and I find myself wrestling with the temptations to be jealous of other mothers, to be self-consumed in my longing for children, and to be angry with the Lord for taking my unborn son or daughter.
As I desperately cleave to the unrelenting mercy and vast love of God in the midst of this ongoing struggle, I am reminded of the Apostle Paul’s message to the Romans. He admonishes the Roman Christians to “rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15). Christian brothers and sisters should both bear each other’s burdens and fully enjoy all of life’s most joyous occasions together. I’ve taken many moments as of late to look around at my loved ones. In the lives of my most precious friends, my dearest family members, my coworkers, acquaintances, and colleagues, there is both tremendous suffering and monumental joy. I am finding that the Lord is using my suffering to bring to light the tendencies I have to float towards selfishness. I so often and easily can become wrapped up in my own concerns, hurts, and aspirations that I neglect to even think of both the pains and joys of the people that the Lord has placed in my life. Although my grief is to be expected and will most likely be something I carry for the remainder of my life, I have realized how easily my legitimate feelings have become a gateway for unhealthy patterns of thought and sin. Because of this, my recent prayers have been doused with the words of John the Baptist: “He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30, NIV).
In the book of Ecclesiastes, the author (thought to be King Solomon) writes, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, NIV). There was a time for Jesus to weep after the death of His friend Lazarus, and yet there was a time for rejoicing and amazement when our Savior commanded him to rise from the tomb in which he laid (John 11). There was a time for embrace as Christ shared one last meal with friends before the time came for Him to leave them so that He could die sacrificially on the cross (Luke 22; Luke 23). There was a time for mourning as those who loved Christ wept and grieved His death prior to the elated joy, laughing, and dancing that followed as the Risen Son of Man revealed Himself to His friends after He defeated death (Luke 23; Luke 24).
Surely, this time of my life is that of mourning and weeping, confusion and misunderstanding, embracing and healing, silence and waiting. Yet, I hold fast to the promises that Jesus is making all things new (Revelation 21), that nothing can separate me from the extraordinary love of God (Romans 8), and that my heart is continually being perfected and strengthened to be made like that of Jesus as I journey onward toward sanctification in Christ (Philippians 1). My selfish heart is no match for the saving grace of Jesus Christ, and as I allow His Spirit to change me, I am learning what it means to set myself aside and love others like Jesus – to rejoice with those who are rejoicing, and to lament with those who are in seasons of lamentation. I walk with confident knowledge that as I continually wrestle with the my sins, anger, and my struggle to be completely content, “there is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:1, NKJV). I am on my knees daily, praying that the Lord would gift us with another child, a child that would be full-term and healthily born to us on earth. I am praying for my own season of dancing and laughing, but as I mourn and weep, wait and fight, and remember that my satisfaction alone comes from Jesus, I rest in God’s refuge and I’m sure to exclaim, “Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6, NIV).
“Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” Galatians 4:7, NKJV
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