I chose a seat at the front of the room, instead of the podium that was set in place for me. I had known about this day, months in advance, but being the center of attention makes me uncomfortable no matter the circumstances. I chose to sit instead of stand in the presence of my peers, because it made me feel like one of the ladies, rather than the focus of the day. Immediately upon arriving, I requested the glider rocker that was placed in the back of the room. My request was denied because although I was their guest speaker, apparently I’m not THAT important. The rocker was reserved for nursing mothers, and nursing mother I am not. I decided that in lieu of nursing a baby that wasn’t mine, or standing at a podium that made me feel more important than I actually am (not important enough for the comfy chair, nor important enough for the podium) I settled on the uncomfortable folding chair. That dinky chair seemed more appropriate, and less uncomfortable that the other two options. That chair ended up being my “just right” bowl of porridge (although I actually prefer cereal.)
I grabbed a tissue from the brand new box I had placed at my feet, and started to apologize in advance for the tears that would surely follow. As soon as the apology made its way to the tip of my tongue, I caught myself. I didn’t need to apologize for crying. I wasn’t sorry. Maybe potentially embarrassed for crying in front of so many people, but not sorry. I need to save my apologies for times when I’ve done something wrong, not for being embarrassed.
Although I had months to prepare for that day, and had thought about what I would say so many times before, I didn’t prepare much, aside from grabbing some Kleenex and an Ipad so I could record the message for a friend. In the midst of my nervous rush to speak that morning, I forgot to even grab my bible out of the car. I knew which verses I wanted to share because they are stored deep within the contents of my heart, but the references slip my mind. Gods powerful word was far more relevant than anything else I was about to share, so I’m glad I was able to use the Bible app on my phone. I didn’t take notes to review as I spoke, I didn’t even jot down bullet points, I just prayed and asked the Holy Spirit to lead me. I figured it only seemed fair to be just as surprised as everyone else, with what came out of my mouth. I like to keep things interesting, even when the topic is heavy.
With a lump in my throat, and uneasiness in my gut, I started to speak, and share some of the most difficult parts of my story. As I spoke, I looked at the women all around me never even paying attention to the time. I stumbled with my words, and I probably spoke much longer than I should have, but God has told me many times before this, that my story is important because it points everything back to Him. So, I just kept talking, until I ran out of things to say.
I will praise you to all my brothers; I will stand up before the congregation and testify of the wonderful things you have done. Psalm 22:22
Once I was finished, I scooched my seat over to sit among the other ladies, but as the praise and worship music began, I realized I had forgotten the most important part of my story. When the music was finished, I stood up, at the podium this time, and shared the most pivotal part of my entire story. I decided the podium was appropriate for that, since the message of the gospel is the most important story of all.
When I stood in front of that room full of women, I told them about the most valuable thing I learned in the midst of the heartbreak from my miscarriage.
God understands the pain of losing a child.
Out of all of the things that were said, done, or learned along the way after Ruby died, it was finally understanding the magnitude of the sacrifice of Jesus, that comforted my heart. I saw Him so differently, once I had lost a child of my own. I couldn’t be more thankful for that. God understands this pain, and I finally, fully grasped what He did on the cross of Calvary!
Come and listen, all who honor God, and I will tell you what he has done for me. Psalm 66:16
God not only grieves my pain, but His own. He’s lost His baby too.
Gods baby, Jesus the Messiah, was beaten and crucified…for me, and for you. He knows what it’s like to lose a baby.
That is such a comforting, and powerful thought, to this grieving mother.
Sometimes it’s hard for me to share the hard things I’ve been through and it took a lot of guts for me to sit and cry in front of a room full of people. Sometimes it’s hard to recall the details of my heartache, because it’s painful and it takes me right back to the places I was when my world came crashing down, but more often than not, I hesitate because I’m afraid of what people will think of me. I worry that crying through the hard parts will leave me seen as week and vulnerable, rather than a sister who has been through something difficult understands another woman’s pain. I worry that people are tired of hearing about what I’ve been through, and will see the details of my story as wallowing and dwelling on the difficult things. I worry that people won’t understand the tender spots of my heart, and will think I’m crazy or broken because of the thoughts I’ve had or because I talk about ugly things in this over filtered life we live in. That is such a difficult place to be. I want to please God, and I want to comfort other people who will (or already have) experienced some of the same difficult things I have, but I don’t want to be viewed negatively for my experiences. I don’t want people to mock me, or judge me in the moments I am most vulnerable.
Isn’t that such a hard place to be in?
It’s hard to want to please God, but live with the fear of man.
It’s a constant struggle for me, to choose obedience, over approval.
At the end of the day, and the end of this life, I have to decide who it is that I want to please.
Is it my own reputation and pride? Is it the people around me, now and in the future? Or is it the Lord? He’s the only one who will have the decision to welcome me into glory.
When I was done speaking I noticed that I didn’t sit in that humble little chair, crying alone. There were tears and hugs all around. As odd as it sounds, it comforting to know that I didn’t weep alone, even if the women who cried along with me were strangers, not yet friends. Some came and shared their own stories right there in that room, and some have reached out to me since. It was then that I knew, God has a purpose for my pain, and my story. I just have to be willing to tell it.
If there was only one woman who found comfort in knowing they aren’t alone, it was worth it.
So, what’s your story?
We ALL have a story to tell, and you truly never know how God wants to use even the difficult parts of your story, until you trust Him enough to tell it.
In His Love,