I’ve had this trip planned to Colorado for months. I came out here to attend a conference that just so happened to be near one of my dearest friends. Vivian and I were so excited for this trip and she could not wait to rub my pregnant belly. She was someone praying for our family to see if we should take the leap on trying to have another baby. But out of nowhere and almost halfway through my pregnancy, we lost not one, but two babies.
God knew where I needed to be for a few days after all this heartache. To get away and process alone and through tears with my friend at 8000 feet elevation in the glorious mountains of Colorado. Her home has been a haven of rest for me. I have spent a lot of time reading God’s word and in prayer just talking with Him. My relationship with Christ has never been stronger and it has had me look back to why I waited for suffering to meet God so intimately.
I attended a christian school all my life and had so much head knowledge of the Bible and what I thought Christianity was. (We seriously had to memorize the Sermon on the Mount) I could answer most Bible fact questions after 12 years there. I had amazing teachers invest in me but it wasn’t until an event in the school auditorium my senior year that I heard His voice and started a serious relationship with Him. I let go of my striving in my own strength and accepted His abundant grace. He accepted this messy, prideful 17-year old girl just as I was. No judgement only grace.
I was planning to play Division One Field Hockey but knew that I wanted more of this Jesus. I declined my offers and went to Houghton. The middle of nowhere in upstate New York. I met my forever friends and was poured into by them and my professors. But once again somehow, I focused on the head knowledge of being a Christian and doing things for Him instead of pursuing that relationship with the Savior I met in the auditorium.
Move forward to present day, I continued to have ups and downs in my relationship and connection to God. But for the past 2 years, I have consistently pursued intimacy Jesus with the accountability and love of family, friends, work, neighbors and my church Willowdale Chapel. I praise God for that because I don’t know where I would be right now. I waited 8 years to finally hear the words from my husband that He was ready to try for another baby. God answered our prayers. With twins. Only months later to take them away.
I don’t know why I won’t get to hold either of those babies this side of heaven and it hurts. I don’t know when I will have a day without crying. But I do know that He loves me unconditionally and prepared me to walk through this with Him. He is refining me and showing me that He is still a good, loving God and is all that I need. I am blessed beyond measure through the people in my life. But they will never be able to make me whole. They can love me and point me to the One that ultimately fill every need I have. There is only one Savior, Counselor and King. It is through His strength that all of us can face the challenges, heartaches and trials. He alone is and must be enough. And He is. Through His Word, Jesus speaks. By abiding in Him and in prayer, I can hear his voice. He alone can satisfy and fill my heartaches with love and peace. This Friend I pursued a relationship 20 years ago was willing to die a shameful, horrible death for you and me to have eternal life.
So, here in these mountains, resting in this wonderful haven my friend has created with her family, I met my Counselor and Friend during the most painful experience I have ever faced as an adult. In His word and through prayer, I am just where I need to be. I may be crying in this unpredictable, messy life because loss, hardship and suffering is hard. But He treasures me and loves me unconditionally. My relationship is steadfast because He is always faithful. Like those glorious mountains I hiked next to, His is love for me is unmoving. Regardless of what comes my way.
“But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love and faithfulness.” Psalm 86:15