I started reading this book today that I borrowed from a friend. She said I just had to read it. I avoided starting it for a couple of weeks. Partially because I wanted to finish a series I had already started and partially because I knew it would be an emotional read. But I finished my other book a couple of days ago, and I know I need to read this to keep my own struggles in perspective. The book is called I Will Carry You: The Sacred Dance of Grief and Joy by Angie Smith. To give you a quick synopsis without spoiling it (also also because I haven’t finished the book yet), its about this family’s struggle after finding out that their unborn daughter had conditions that were considered “incompatible with life.” They made the difficult decision to continue the pregnancy while trusting God. The baby only lived for a few hours, but their story has made a big impact in so many lives. I know its already breaking my heart and making me think.
I wanted to share a few excerpts that spoke to me.
When people talked to me about what I was going through, they often used the word “trial.” I think it was the right word. In the thousands of years since Abraham and Isaac, the rules have not changed. We listen, we praise, we walk in the direction of God’s voice, and we obey.
It’s that simple.
Sometimes that means we get to unbind and celebrate. (Talking about the Abraham and Isaac’s story.)
Sometimes it means we don’t.
That night I looked up the original Hebrew word for trial…I hope that as you read these words, you will know the way He quieted me in that moment.
TRIAL (Old Testament) noun: from the Hebrew word “sara” which comes from the root “srh,” which means, “to bind, tie up, restrict.” Thus, the noun comes to denote a narrow place in life where one is bound or restricted…
…As we walked this “narrow place,” I was reminded of the power of being still and submitting to the God I trusted more than I ever thought I could. During these days I walked moment by moment with the God of the universe.
The God who chose Abraham.
The God who chose me.
I couldn’t think of anyone I would feel safer with because, of course, the difficult, terrible, beautiful truth is that He Himself is not unfamiliar with the binding.
I bore my wounds tenderly, with worship ever on my lips because He did the same for me.
“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5)
Later in the book when Angie is quoting her earlier blog entry about a trip they took to Disney, she says:
Before you toss your Disney brochure or think of me as a fantasy-hating cynic, let me explain.
The happiest place on Earth is not on this Earth.
This lie was never meant to fill us or to satisfy our need for goodness.
It wasn’t designed to give us an answer but rather to let the question penetrate our lives daily.
I believe that in one way or another God will answer our prayer to heal Audrey. It may not be here, the way we wish it would be, but I have complete faith that she will be whole. And it won’t be temporary. If you only hear me say this one thing, all of these words will be worth it. For all of you who want to know the great secret to how we are breathing through this, it is pretty simple.
He is enough.
I am not a preacher. I will not pretend to be. I am a woman who realizes more and more every day that I want Jesus more than I want the teacups to keep spinning. In this life, we are going to be disappointed. We will hurt. But there is a great joy in the shadows if you know where to look…
If you are hurting right now, I pray that you will allow the Great Physician to heal your brokenness as He is healing ours…
I am sure you have had your fair share of hurt as well, and I wonder where do you run? It may not be Disney World, but it might be to a bad habit, or to something that fills you up temporarily. It is hard to discover that the cheap imitation of satisfaction we have grown accustomed to is woefully unrepresentative of what awaits us. It is not easy to think of it that way, even for me.
I have always thanked God for the healthy pregnancy and healthy baby He gave me. But I will so even more as I read and remember their story. I have many times thought of how I’d be able to handle it if I had a miscarriage, a child with some type of serious disabilities or if I had to made a difficult decision like they did. Sometimes I wonder if I would be able to handle it.
I remember 1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
So, I either think that yes, God would help me through it. Or that maybe I haven’t been put in that situation because God knows I couldn’t handle it.
I’ve had my own personal struggle in the last few months (maybe I’ll share that in a future post), but this story helps me to keep it in perspective. In reality, my difficulties are nothing compared to what this family and others have had to deal with. I praise God for that. And I praise God that He helps so many families through these trials. I know His glory is being revealed through them all.
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18).
Angie still keeps a blog (although I haven’t read it yet). Here’s the link, in case you’re interested. http://audreycaroline.blogspot.com/
Also, reading their story reminds me of a couple that we went to Florida Christian College with. Their story broke my heart, but also impressed me with their faith and endurance. To read their story: http://www.drastudio.com/babymax/