Day 27: Offering Up My Own Comfort

Day 27: Offering Up My Own Comfort

I don’t mind hugs but there comes a point, if they last too long, that I start getting uncomfortable. I’m not a clingy, touchy type. Especially when I’m perfectly fine.

When I miscarried our son, this past May, there was grief. Grief is meant to be consoled. And hugs are a great way to let someone know that you care and are hurting with them.

Because church is an awesome place to feel the Lord’s presence and comfort, I very rarely was sad or grieving while at church. I usually felt (feel) refreshed, whole, and happy at church. But that is where you encounter people that you know and there were a few times over the first few months that I was approached by someone who wanted to show me how much they cared by giving me a hug. I was fine with that. But every once in a while the hug would turn into one of those clingy ones. The kind that make me uncomfortable. Especially because I wasn’t feeling any sadness in the moment.

With the first awkward, clingy hug, I could feel myself start to withdraw when the Lord began to speak to me. “This hug isn’t about you. It’s about their own healing.” As a woman would begin to sob into my shoulder (as I remained dry-faced), I would have to remind myself that this hug wasn’t about me. It wasn’t about what I was comfortable with, it was about someone else’s healing through my own loss. Others have loss and grief that maybe didn’t get dealt with in a healthy or thorough way – for whatever reason. And my own loss, and the grace that was encompassing me, was not only for me but for the healing of others as well.

***This is Day 27 of “31 Days of Offering Up” – part of the #write31days challenge. To read all the posts in order, please visit the overview page.***

Day 9: Offering Up my Self-Centeredness

I’m a coffee fanatic. Besides my home-brewed coffee, I love a good coffee shop. Better still is a local, hip shop with a fun vibe. But even those dreaded chain coffee shops usually have a pretty great atmosphere. If nothing else, you can people watch. And sometimes the most unique people pass through a coffee shop.

For as many years as I can remember, if I’m going to meet a friend for a non-meal get together, we meet at a coffee shop. Even many of my non-coffee drinking friends will meet me for a cup of tea or some other fun beverage. My name goes together with coffee shop like… shoes and socks. 😉

So the day one of my besties from the ‘olden days’ was going to meet me in our old hometown, I immediately assumed we could meet at the local Starbucks. That’s what I do. But when she suggested we meet instead at a local fast food place because there wasn’t one in her area and she was craving whatever it was she loved from there – I was thrown. Actually I was offended.

I politely told her “Sure!” and then all the way there complained to the Lord with some sort of elitism in my voice. “I can’t believe I’m meeting someone at a fast food place. My people are at the coffee shop. That’s my place. This is going to be so uncomfortable.” The Lord, getting right in my face, began to reprimand me. And to remind me that I wasn’t the only one involved in this get together. My sweet friend was not a coffee drinker. It wasn’t her ‘normal’ to hang out at a coffee shop. She was comfortable at the fast food place – not the coffee shop. And this was actually about her, not me.

In that moment, repentance flooded my heart. I was being selfish and arrogant. Life isn’t all about me and my wants or comfort. I needed to offer up my preferences and yield to the preferences of another. And so I did… offer up my self-centeredness once again.

***This is Day 9 of “31 Days of Offering Up” – part of the #write31days challenge. To read all the posts in order, please visit the overview page.***

Bandaids Don’t Fix Bullet Holes

Bandaids Don’t Fix Bullet Holes

“Bandaids don’t fix bullet holes….” Lately it seems like every time I get into my van, it doesn’t matter which of the hundreds of satellite radio channels my kids have turned the radio to, Taylor Swifts “Bad Blood” song is playing.. Thus the reason I woke up at 5am with this line blaring through my brain. So, as I wake up enough to pee, I can’t shake the line or what God is speaking through it soooo, I write at 5am….

The truth is bandaids don’t fix bullet holes and two weeks ago, I was shot through with bullet holes. Getting the news that my 20-week gestation baby has no heartbeat, and in fact, his little body doesn’t even measure 20 weeks, so he probably hasn’t had one in a while was like a machine gun tearing through my skin. And, as I’ve discovered over the last 2 weeks, many, many women have experienced this same torturous pain.

What breaks my heart is that, though bandaids don’t fix bullet holes, bullet holes can be fixed but there are all too many women that haven’t been ‘fixed’, haven’t been through the process of healing. It could be that they were told, “It’s just a scratch. This isn’t THAT big of a deal. Just cry a little, stick a bandaid on it and move on. Time is the best healer.” (That thing about Time is a frickin’ lie) Or maybe they told themselves this, because that’s what was expected. Or maybe they recognized it was a bullet hole but couldn’t bring themselves to go to the only One that can bring healing because they thought that HE was the One holding the gun. How could you ever go to your shooter for healing? (And, dear one, I do not have all the answers on why these things happen but I do know that the devil is the author of death… not our kind Heavenly Father) Whatever the reason, I’m finding there’s a whole lot of women walking around with bullet holes, even ones that possibly have been covered up for years and don’t bleed much anymore… until they get around someone that has the same holes and then those scabs are ripped right off.

I’m surely not claiming that in two weeks my wounds are completely healed. But as there has been grace to run to the only One that can delicately and thoroughly treat the wounds and apply the beautiful healing salve of His love, I’m well on my way to a full recovery. I will always have the scars of losing a baby that I so desperately wanted to love into this world and have the privilege of raising and watching pursue his dreams and goals. But they will be be perfectly healed scars, no infected mess, no scabs that bleed when picked throughout the next 5o years of my life.

The overwhelmingly great news is that, no matter how long ago you’ve been shot through by the bullets of losing a baby, you can go to the One that makes all things new and let Him work on you. Let Him do the work of a skilled surgeon, pulling the infection out, delicately working on the wounds until they are a completely healed – not just covered up – part of who you are. I’m not going to lie and say the process doesn’t hurt. Facing your grief head-on can be grueling and seem like even worse torture than the shots you took. But as you embrace the reality of your wounds, walking the road of grief with kind Jesus holding you, you will find His love is enough… enough to get you through the process of true healing.

So, dear one, if you are one of the MANY that knows the pain of these bullet holes I write about – if you are one still bleeding – no matter if it was decades ago or if your wounds are brand new, go to Him. Show Him your wounds – He sees them anyways and longs to bring His healing touch. Let Him start His restorative work. What He starts, He is faithful to complete. You don’t have to go through life oozing infection and blood every time the scab is picked. There will be complete healing on the other side of this ‘surgery’. Not because bandaids were slapped on your bullet holes but because you embraced the process of complete healing by the tender and kind Healer. He loves you intensely and wants you completely whole.