Psalm 103 - Libby Assey - Mother's Day Collection Day 13
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
Hey precious woman,
I see you there. Wondering if the cloud will be a little less hazy, a little less weighty tomorrow. If strength will return to your heart. And it will. Slowly, sweet soul, it most assuredly will.
Nine years feels like a whole separate life ago. Perhaps that’s because a whole lot of life has come in the nine years since we walked through the loss, heartache and confusion of miscarriage. My husband and I weren’t even pursuing parenthood at the time. We had been married under two years and had plans of moving to Central Asia the following year, but the LORD had better plans for us. Two better plans, whose lives shifted our direction and began a journey of healing in my own heart; healing in places my eyes were blinded to before the arrival and much-too-quick departure of our sweet ones. Oh, the heartache of that season and the loneliness and shame that came lurking right along with it! The biggest lie of that season? You’re alone. You’re faulty; and you’re the only one. That season was filled with big bellies and close family and friends all around sharing announcements of expected life. The guilt of not having the capacity to fully share in my friend’s and family’s joy and the precious work of the Creator set in and taunted me. A cloud of grief mingled with inward shame settled down on me. Shame for believing I was ‘faulty’ and for coveting something I, only weeks prior, didn’t know that I desired.
The Creator, my Father, the same One who grew big bellies and put joy in expecting hearts, met me there. In that place, in the haze of guilt, grief, and shame, he met with me. Still wrapped in confusion, still numb to the world, he met with me. He stooped down, entered into my pain and met with me. And we just sat there a while. Tears fell, and he remained. Groans resembling nothing like words broke out and his compassion still held me. Sorrow, full of anger, exposed itself and he whispered something like this, “I see you; and I saw your yet unformed babies too. I am not surprised that their days were short. Though short, your babies’ lives brought me glory too. I see you.”
In those quiet moments light was shed on another lie, the lie behind the other lies; God is not good and God cannot be trusted. Dear friends, from me on the other side of miscarriage to you journeying through the haze, I want you to know this: God IS good. All he does is good. God IS trustworthy and CAN be trusted with even the most vulnerable shattered pieces of your inmost being. He is utterly steadfast, gentle, and good. Though his ways be not our ways, though that sparkling place laden with jewels and gold where no tears or death are allowed be not where we yet reside, though the brokenness yet remains, in the kindness of his character and in the sovereignty of his power he will work out all that has caused salt water to pour from our eyes to result in a redemptive and glorious good. He most assuredly will.
That season, in the haze, the Spirit gently brought to mind an incredibly reassuring truth. The truth that says while pain and suffering may be intensely present in this life, I can fix my hope on the reality that I have already been given all things in Christ. If my hope is set on Christ, who came for those who are his own, to remove my shame, redeem what had been lost, and reconcile my relationship to the Father (not to mention the grace of an eternal inheritance kept in that sparkling place where it cannot be destroyed), then I know that I already have been given all that could satisfy even the farthest reaching longings of my heart. My soul can be fully and completely satisfied in him despite seasons of dark suffering and the heartache of loss.
My head knew this was true. I held the knowledge, but for some reason, my soul would not be satisfied. Weeds of hopelessness kept poking through the soil. Seeds of doubt laced into every truth. Precious woman, are you there? Your head knows God’s truth yet you’re caught in despair? Let me continue. In believing that God was withholding good from me (when I blamed him), I robbed myself of the comfort of the Comforter because I was scared to take my hurt to him. In refusing to entrust my wounds to him, I kept myself from being touched by the Healer, and in denying the LORD access to my fears and grievances, I hindered myself from being set free from the lie that ‘God is not good and God cannot be trusted.’ But hear this precious woman, when I was honest and poured out my heart to the LORD, when I soaked in the truth of his word, applied my heart to understanding and rested in his Sovereignty instead of my finite way of understanding, then the haze began to clear and hope did return.
Hear him speak it. “I see you.” Even in the heat of suffering and even in the wrenches of heartache and groans too heavy for words, precious woman, made in the image of God, let’s follow in David’s heed as he urged his soul to ‘praise the LORD’ and to ‘forget not’ all that the LORD had done for him. For he has not withheld his only Son but freely stooped down and has given us all things so that one day we may enter glory, see him as he is, and enjoy the beauty of his presence forever. So spur on your own soul, as often as is necessary, to praise and remember your God who forgives, who heals, who crowns you and satisfies your desires with good things. He is the God who renews your strength. He will do it. He most assuredly will.
In it with you,
Hi Friend, Ashlee here. Below is a song that I encourage you to listen to. I thought it would be a beautiful way to enter into worship as you begin your day and dwell on the Psalm above. Praying that you would feel the closeness and peace of the Lord as you walk forward today.