Brokenness comes at different points and different ways in our lives, at least it certainly has in mine. There is the broken heart of grief, when there is loss. This leads to a deeper brokenness when you realize you have no control over the situation. There’s a brokenness of heart when you are simply hurt and disappointed, perhaps you’ve been betrayed, and a feeling of utter aloneness has set in. The deepest brokenness comes when the Holy Spirit softens our hearts and shines the light on our sins and we realize His need for mercy, forgiveness, and transformation. All these forms of brokenness can result in healing and growth by the power of Jesus Christ.
Having four miscarriages touched a deep emotional vulnerability within me. After bearing three healthy children I took for granted this would continue without a hitch! The first loss seemed like a blip. I would get over it like other family members had and move on to have another child.
However, over several years, the pain returned three more times. My worst experience was the third one. I hit rock bottom emotionally and physically. I, who had thought she was protecting my living children from the evils of the world, couldn’t protect life growing in my womb. Out of desperation my husband and I sought the Lord and asked if we’d done something to displease Him, but He was silent. I wanted to fix things. I couldn’t.
At the time we attended a church where some members seemed eager to prove who accepted trials and suffering the best. I’m guilty for trying to do this in the power of my flesh. My first Sunday back after my fourth loss, of the baby boy we called Emmanuel, I was greeted by another woman who’d had a miscarriage. She smiled and a declared that she heard my baby was in heaven with hers. Knowing she already had several more healthy, living children, her greeting somehow cut me to the core. But I was brave in my own hypocrisy and smiled my best fake smile and answered that, yes, it was true.
Next, I happened to walk by a man whose wife had recently also suffered a miscarriage. I overheard him telling a group of men how God had judged him for his sin through his loss.
In my wounded spirit I plopped down in a chair, silently waiting for the service to begin. Fresh from the supposedly comforting greeting I had received from that woman, I wondered, Is this what people thought of my husband and me? That we were being judged for something wicked? That my body had betrayed me because of this?
Listening to the prayers of one of the men in the congregation, despair filled me and I ironically told God that if this was what it meant to be a Christian, I couldn’t do it anymore. Just then, a woman sitting behind me, I’ll call her “Grace,” leaned forward and tapped me on the shoulder. “Would you like to hold my baby?” she asked.
My throat was full with emotion, as I nodded and reached for her infant girl, just a couple of months old. I breathed in the scent of pure baby, the soft, clean skin, and freshness of life, and my heart melted.
He knew. He knew just what I needed. I will forever be grateful for Grace to have listened to the voice of the Holy Spirit, to fill my arms with a child, if only for a little while, to allow Him to begin a healing work in my bitter, broken heart.
In some small way, He must have begun to work in my own Pharisaical heart that day. Appearances and circumstances aren’t always what they seem. God is near the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds.
We all suffer different degrees of brokenness and God cares about them all, whether the teenager with arms scarred from cutting and dressed in black, or the tired-looking woman who is recovering from drug addiction.
There’s even grace available to the woman who perhaps has buried grief and makes insensitive comments, and a place of comfort at the foot of the cross for the repentant father who may have wrongly believed his sin caused the loss of a child. God will spread his grace and mercy over the mother who regrets terminating her baby’s life. Anyone who comes to Christ for His forgiveness, He gives it lovingly. It’s available to you and to me, today, along with His comfort and strength.
For Jesus said, “Come to me all of you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.”
He knew my broken heart and need that day. He knows yours today. We are not alone!
TWEET AND SHARE: He knew. He knew just what I needed. @kathleenrouser’s blog, recovering from #miscarriage, #broken
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