You are my Rock, my Fortress and my Deliverer;
You, my God, are my Rock, in whom I take refuge.
You are my Shield and the horn of my Salvation,
My stronghold. I call to You, O Lord,
Who is worthy of praise,
And I am saved from my enemies!"
The night before Christmas, Conor and I drove to my parents house for dinner. As we rode in the car (how strange is it that so many epiphanous moments hit me then?), I began to weep. I hadn't cried much in months. Months. And suddenly, without reason or even explanation, I began to sob. Conor looked at me and asked if I was all right, why I was crying? I remember what I felt then. Looking at him, I said, "I guess I'm emotional because, unbelievably, I feel so delivered." That moment will be forever etched in my memory. How is it possible that, after only a few months since my precious daughter passed, I feel delivered? How does that work? Only God knows. Only He is sufficient enough. Who is worthy of praise? Only He.
Last night, shortly after I fell asleep, I woke in a fit of terror, screaming at the top of my lungs. I've never done this in my entire life. When Conor finally got me to calm down so that I could articulate what was wrong, I told him that, in my dream, I had seen someone - a man - standing beside the bed. And I was practically clawing at Conor trying to get away. We prayed together, prayed over the house, but I woke this morning reminded of one thing: "...our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the authorities of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 6:12). I am delivered. I am walking in the light of hope and promise and joy and victory. Let me make no mistake in saying that this is a threat. It's a threat to Satan, who wishes to deceive us, to convince us that whatever bondage we're in is permanent -- there is no deliverance to be hoped for. And where there is a threat, attacks are sure to follow. To paraphrase a British theologian, the stronger the faith, the surer the assails will be. Many of you have said that you felt compelled to ask the Father to allow you to carry some of the burden Conor and I were meant to carry during this trial. I have felt that load lifted; I have felt the weight and the agony of it taken away so many times, so unexpectedly. Now it is my heart that is aching, because I know that my desire and my innate sense that this is a story I'm supposed to share is only evidence of the fact that many of you are in bondage. My heart is heavy because of it. I am here to proclaim to you that you can be free. As Daniel was fond of saying, "There is a God in Heaven", and as David said, "[from Him] comes deliverance." Do not think your situation too bleak, your mistakes too many, your own heart too lost..
That night, Christmas Eve, Conor looked at me, after I had said I felt delivered, and spoke words that had more power than I could've anticipated: "Isn't it amazing that you can feel that way even when we don't have another baby?" Amazing, indeed. Let me be clear that having more children is the great desire of my heart. I cry out to the Lord every day, asking for His provision, reminding Him of His own Word which says that "a hope deferred makes the heart sick" (Proverbs 13:12). To endure every day not knowing, wanting, longing, is often so burdensome that I truly feel its effects physically. I can imagine many, many, share this bondage with me - a bondage that we could easily call "what if?" What if what I most long for is never fulfilled? What if I spend the rest of my life in this place? What if God forgets me? What if He doesn't desire to give me the desires of my heart? Perhaps the bondage is really about control, or discontent, or anger. Whatever it is, I must surrender every day and ask that God help me. Not to quit questioning. Half the Psalms are questions! I imagine Jesus loves to hear us ask what's going on in His mind! I need help believing that, even while the questions remain unanswered, God loves me. He can deliver me from bondage without giving me the desires of my heart. He can fill my spirit without filling my arms with another baby. What a mighty God we serve! May He pour out the fullness of who He is continually, on you and I, that we may experience a deeper, richer, more abundant life - no matter what our hands may hold.
Emily Dickinson wrote, "We dwell in possibility." Truer words may never have been spoken! On this side of heaven, we are continually breathing in the sweet fragrance of hope. There's no telling what God may have in store! We can rest assured it is more and better and sweeter than what our eyes can see or our ears can hear.