The first time we lost a baby, I almost lost myself.
It was a couple years into my marriage, after I had faced off with infertility and finally saw two pink lines on a pregnancy test, only to spend hours on the bathroom floor as blood and tears marked the end of hope.
My entire vision clouded with the tragedy of that broken dream.
I wondered why God would play such a cruel trick on me and in a rage of anger I scribbled out the prayers for a baby that had been written in my journals and shut down all communication with God on the subject of my infertility. God was clearly not trustworthy, because everything in me was curled inward with grief.
But slowly, over time, the grief shuddered and truth began seeping up through the cracks in my brokenness.
I didn’t like the place where life had led me, but that wasn’t really the issue. My life included infertility and miscarriage, no matter what I wished, so the real question was whether I was going to surrender to God from this place…or not.
I’m going to tell you the honest-to-goodness truth: I didn’t surrender to the Lord because I loved Him. I surrendered because I knew it was basically my only choice unless I wanted to be crushed under the weight of depression and sorrow.
I surrendered because I knew every other option would leave me destroyed.
In the gospel of Luke, the prodigal son doesn’t return home because of a renewed love for his father. He comes back home simply to survive because he ran out of money and is starving. And his father is perfectly fine with that! Just come home. God just want you home. –Rich Villodas
Y’all, this was me. I didn’t return to the Father because of love– I returned because I was starving on my own. But that was okay. It really truly was.
God just wanted me home.
The hard work of healing–the wounds that are bound, the food that satisfies the raging starvation, the comfort that wraps up and dissipates fear–none of that happens while you’re gone.
It’s all the natural effects of being with the Father.
He heals, He feeds, He comforts.
But first we have to come home.
Like Job and David and Hannah and hosts of others that we see through Scripture– turning toward the Father, no matter how we’re feeling, is the very first step that leads the way to all the rest of the beauty and joy and love that God offers.
To all you who are facing loss and feeling desperate to not lose your faith in the process, the steps are simple and scraping, agonizingly hard but also so easy-–
1. Come home!
Which, in reality means turning your face toward the Father and opening your mouth to speak.
Speak through all the anger and all the sorrow and all the pain. Speak through the accusations and the fears and the agony that seems to be tearing up your insides. Speak until all your words are out.
2. Open your hands in surrender.
Recognize that this is your life and it might be everything you hate–but it still is.
Look at your Father and know that a pile of wishes for a different reality won’t change anything. The only way to survive loss in life is to accept whatever He’s offering you right now.
You might not love your options. You might not want them. You might wish with all your might that there would be something else available.
But surrendering will be the difference between being crushed by agony or surviving.
Saying, “Okay, God, this isn’t what I want. This isn’t okay with me. But here I am. I’m Yours.”
That is choosing faith.
It isn’t based on feelings of love or comfort or affection. It’s based on choices–and from the choice to come home and surrender, we will find the healing we desperately need.
So you, dear one? With all the loss you’re facing and battling through?
I believe with all my heart that you’ll find the same thing I did when you come home and surrender: a Father who has open arms, and healing that stretches wide enough to encompass the nations, and a heart that loves enough to fill in all the broken pieces of our own.
Just like the prodigal son found, and I have found, and countless others who have gone on before us have found: God is present and real and He heals and rebuilds and transforms and comforts.
Even when we’re shattered by loss.
Maybe even especially then.