When Motherhood isn’t Playing House: Living Beyond Imagination
â€œWhere, OÂ death, is your victory? Where, OÂ death, is yourÂ sting?â€
Dear Page Turner
Motherhood did not turn out as I imagined.
It has been full of pain, laughter, surprises, mistakes, and successes. But what no one prepares you for when they place that new wiggly crying baby in your arms–loss.
Why would they? How could they? Amid the balloons, gifts, cards, and celebration, life breathes fresh, expectant, and new. Hopes are not tainted by the darkness of health problems or overwhelming trauma. How do we live beyond the life imagined?
As hard as losing a child is, there is life beyond the grave. It is possible to draw the first breath, then another and another. Jesus prepared his disciples for such a new life. But they had to walk through his death first. And even though Jesus tried to prepare them, the disciples scattered in the crushing betrayal of dreams. The death of Jesus spiraled them into confusion, abruptly stopped all they planned, all they imagined. Why didn’t he fight, why did he not defend himself or call his heavenly army? Was he really the Son of God? Jesus rerouted the disciples’ lives from an earthly kingdom to a cross on Calvary. From royal court to servitude. Victory over the Romans to disgraceful defeat. There would not be a single one who sat beside Jesus’ throne.
Yet, Jesus raises all things from the dead and makes a new life out of the confusion of the grave. Here how he is making things clear to me:
- He who was seated on the throne said, â€œI am making everythingÂ new!â€ Then he said, â€œWrite this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.â€ Revelation 21:5
- So he replied toÂ theÂ messengers, â€œGo back and report to John what you haveÂ seen and heard:Â The blindÂ receive sight,Â theÂ lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed,Â theÂ deaf hear,Â theÂ dead are raised, andÂ the good news is proclaimed toÂ theÂ poor. Luke 7:22
- We always thank God,Â the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you,Â because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the loveÂ you have for all Godâ€™s peopleâ€”Â the faith and love that spring from the hopeÂ stored up for you in heavenÂ and about which you have already heard in the true messageÂ of the gospelÂ Â that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruitÂ and growing throughout the whole worldâ€”just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood Godâ€™s grace.
I am learning to live vibrant beyond the grave because I know that what I experience in this life is not all there is. Jesus’ will is that none perish. The gospel is my heartbeat. I find joy and delight in the unexpected breath I now breathe more deeply because Christ is not limited by the grave my son is in.
I would not trade the joys of motherhood for an untroubled reality. I came to Christ through a child’s heartbeat, and I now breathe life into others because Jonathan, Daniel, and Natalie are a part–not the whole of my story.
Thank you for sharing your heart, grieving that it is, to bless and encourage others in their journey through life that also may not be how they planned or imagined it. My heart hurts for you, but I appreciate your honesty and vulnerability to bless those around you!
Thank you for turning the page on suicide with me Julie. Life is so precious, come what may. God bless your journey.
Karisa, I love the image of turning the page. When I read The Lord of the Rings trialgy the first time, I wanted to stop when it looked like Frodo had been killed. So glad I didn’t. God writes even better stories!
Amen Deb! So many stories would be incomplete if we stopped when circumstances wee at their hardest.