the ponderings of a mother

These are the ponderings of a mother in love with her children, both in my arms and in the grave. Some of these ponderings are quite emotional, some are funny, others contemplative and spiritual. All are sincere. May these writings bless you in many ways and bring you closer to the one, true God and Redeemer of all things.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Home sick

Being home sick today has helped my soul stop and feel all that my active body hasn’t allowed as of late:
·        I am still sorrowful
·        I still miss Jonan
·        I still wish things were different
·        I want my baby boy back
I have never been good with the unknown. With places of tension. They generally mean I have less control than I would like. And in this place of finding more sadness, there I also feel confused…my life is going on, and I do have hopeful thoughts toward the future, yet I am sorrowful over my Jonan. I am sad I could not look into his eyes and see his tiny soul gazing back at his momma. I am sad, and I have no hope of this tension leaving me: of feeling new life arise and yet missing life that would’ve been.

Most people who have lost someone dear to them say “you will always miss him.” Oh, my soul. What does this mean? How can I live with that answer? At worst this feels tortuous, at best I feel sane. But what I want to hear is that all things will return to normal. But they won’t. It will be the “new” normal, I am told. Yet this is not what I want. Yes, life will go on, and yes, new life will come. But Jonan is gone.


Every new week reminds me of how much further I would be carrying him. Or, if he had been born alive, how old he would be.

With other griefs I have experienced it has been different than this grief, this loss. The pain I have faced in my life, and some very deep, has been because of the sin others have chosen against me, or the wayward sin of my own soul. And though these have been difficult places to tread, I always came around to the promises of God in Scripture. Truths about God’s faithfulness, forgiveness, restoration, hope, redemption. Many of these places in my heart have been healed, though some still await deeper redemption. These truths have offered me promises of new life and certain hope.

But grief over loss is different.

No matter how many verses I read, or how much I pray, or how much I worship God for who He is, or how hard I try to follow God’s ways…Jonan is still gone and he is not coming back to me.  I never did these things in order to heal Jonan or bring him back. I really didn’t. I have walked this road as best I could out of obedience to God and love for Him. But I am feeling something in my continued sorrow, perhaps how loss has a way of purifying us.

I am a big fan of 2+2=4 theology. It is not correct theology, but it sure would make things easier to understand on earth. This equation would be that when I serve God (2) and hold onto His promises (+2), that I will have the life I am thinking He wants for me (=4).  Easy, right?  Now, I already said this is incorrect theology, and I have way oversimplified it, plus it sounds like nothing more than Christian Karma (karma is a graceless system of getting only what one deserves). But are remnants of these black and white ideas, after all the adversity of life I have faced, still lurking in me? Or better yet…”God, haven’t I grasped enough that this isn’t the way You work that now you can bless me because I know it is better to know You than to have all my plan work out as I want them to?”  Ha! I deceive even myself with such thoughts. These are the subtle ways it creeps in for me…how about you? 

Really, how does it creep into our minds? How do we keep loving God as the center of our life and keep Him from being, even if only a little bit, the great Mathematician in the sky? How do we hold the tension that He is good and wants to give good gifts to His children and yet will allow His very own son to die a brutal death? That He is good and yet will allow us to bury our own children, lose our jobs, homes, marriages, friends? Some of these tragedies are brought on by our sin, or the sin of others (and therefore a bit more explainable to our frail minds), and yet some are just plain tragedies. But how do we hold these in tension?  Lord, teach us how to walk with you.

I know the theological and eschatological realities that we are in the “already but not yet”. Redemption has come through Christ and is set in motion by God already. We see this in glimpses through the church serving the underprivileged, through the drunk made sober, through restored relationships, through new trees planted as we take care of God’s earth. We can see glimpses of redemption. But we also feel the “not yet”. We feel the brokenness of our world in the devastation of cancer, adultery, hate crimes, poverty and hunger, pollution, and the unkind things that come out of our own mouths. We know the sin. We feel the tension.

What I am struggling with today is how to live with it.  How to feel the loss of Jonan’s presence yet hope for all that life has to offer, because I do both. How to know God is good and will give me good things, but to know I live in broken world and have no certainties of my plans working out as I see fit (a job for my husband, future pregnancies, a growing family, healed relationships).  How do we continue to do all we need to do as good stewards yet put our trust fully in the Lord? How do we be full of hope and not fatalistic in light of such brokenness all around? Yet how could we be only fatalistic and not full of hope in light of God who is actively redeeming life all around us, and within us?


Likely I am sick today because I have been around a lot of sick people and the weather is all crazy here in Chicago which tends to mess with my sinuses. But my effort to create my 2+2 life in the last weeks has also helped speed the process. Stress runs amok on the immune system, we are told. I have gone from weeping over our loss, to feeling like I should be only hopeful…and it is not working. I am not living with the tension that is so real in my soul. The tension I wrote of just days ago when I said I wore a black dress yet a lively scarf to Jonan’s funeral…to match the both/and experience in my soul…the sorrow/joy.  How quickly I forget.

Loss has a way of purifying us.  It strips us down to a place that, hopefully, reveals what is really left.   And apparently this process is not a one-time thing…I think I am in it for a while. I am here tonight seeing that God is still God, but the world is still broken. I will hope for a future family, I will pray for a job for Jeff…yet “In repentance and rest is [my] salvation, in quietness and trust is [my] strength” Isaiah 30:15.

Mysteries of life and faith.


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