Monday March 15, 2010

Opening a can of worms can be so… wormy. 🙂

I guess my previous post was meaning to clarify myself, but maybe it was just digging further into the can. That’s quite possible (and that’s okay – I’d love to learn how to eat fried worms, lol). In my experience, it is desperately hard to tell tone, inflection, and even meaning sometimes when something is written. You can’t see facial expression or always discern sarcasm. And although sometimes I use italics, sometimes I use them too often or not enough. And aren’t you left sometimes thinking, “is she talking about me?!” (or not). So yeah – wormy. 🙂

Blogs are funny. There are lots of different kinds of blogs, and my blog tends to fall somewhere into the realm of an online journal. Pictures and personal updates, things I read, things I cook, thing I make – yep, I guess it’s pretty much all about me, me, me. That’s how most personal blogs end up being, when you grind them down to brass tacks. All I am doing is sharing my experience. That’s all I know. So it’s all I feel comfortable sharing about here – my experience.

If you look at my recently created little “tag cloud” (as I think my hubby called it), you’ll notice that “grief” is pretty  much the largest word. That’s because it has the most tags. And that‘s because this last year has been a year of grief for me. People tend to blog about their experiences – and as I said, I fall into that category. I blog about what I am doing, thinking, reading, cooking… and so yes, for right now, a large part of my blogging falls into the grief category. Because that is where God has me. I am learning to be thankful for that, and God’s enabling grace causes me to resist becoming bitter. And I give all the glory and praise for that to God! I sincerely hope that my tag cloud will change one day soon. That the word grief will become smaller amongst the other words. And that it will not be the majority of my experience, and therefore the majority of what I share. But for now, that’s a large portion of what you get here on my blog. Pray with me that it won’t be like that forever. 🙂

I love to pray for people. I love to encourage people.
Those are what some people call my “spiritual gifts.”
I inherited that from my mother. 🙂
And no, I don’t always have the right words (if you’ve ever gotten an “encouraging” note from me, I frequently say that flat-out), and I don’t always know what you are feeling, suffering, or going through.
And yes, I too love to be prayed for. I love to be told that I am being prayed for. I love getting flowers, cards, emails, hugs, coffee, muffins, dinner, blog comments — those are a few ways people have reached out to encourage me when the times are tough. And I just simply love it when people reach out to encourage me – because I know that takes faith, courage, and love. I know that, and I am thankful. So THANK YOU. 🙂

The hard thing is: everyone suffers.
And everyone suffers differently.
God gives us different problems and different experiences. And even if we go through the “same” pain or suffering, we each handle it differently. For instance, if two women lost their husbands in the same head-on automobile collision, the two wives would likely grieve very differently, handle it very differently, and experience two different things – even though on the outside it would look like the same thing.
So when I say “you can’t understand” what I am suffering, it’s true. (To an extent.) Just like I can’t understand your own suffering. That isn’t a bad thing, and I never mean it to come across as vindictive or accusatory. Simply a fact. We will never wear each others’ shoes.

In the online forums in which I participate, I have met with hundreds of women who have lost babies. Some have lost many more than I have, some have only lost one, etc. And although sometimes we know the right thing to say, oftentimes we don’t. And that’s okay. We are reaching out with the comfort with which we have been comforted. And that’s all anyone (including our Lord) can ask of us. I’ve never asked more than that from any of you, my friends & family.

I have a couple of friends whose husbands have been out of work for over a year.
We know a family who has to sell their house ultimately because the husband is out of work.
I have a dear friend whose mother has recently fought through her second bout of breast cancer.
There are three different families we know who have children in rebellion, who have been excommunicated from the covenant community.
One couple we are friends with always has premature babies: they’ve had three babies (two have been in the NICU) in the last 35 months.
One of my friends suffers from Crohn’s disease.
A family at our church is trying to adopt twin boys while raising support for the mission field.

These are just a few forms of suffering that are effecting people that I know and love. These are people that I minister to, encourage, and pray for although I have never been in their shoes.
I do it imperfectly.
I don’t know if it is honestly encouraging for them or not.
But the Lord has called me to encourage them and pray for them in my imperfect ways, and I make an effort to do so, praying that God would give me the words and the timing and the resources to be a true comfort.

So sure, you may not “completely understand,” as that would be impossible (and I am not asking you to). But you try. And you take me before the throne of our Heavenly Father. And that is beautiful. And I can’t tell you how thankful I am for that. And how thankful I am that you tell me. Because otherwise, I just wouldn’t know. 🙂

And yes, some people are called to share their trials (and blessings) with others (like I am), while some do not feel that calling. My personal experience is that I feel called to it. I said that I could never ignore the lives of my children, but I didn’t mean to imply that someone who keeps a miscarriage (or another form of suffering) to themselves is necessarily ignoring or forgetting their child. My family, and our experience, and what the Lord has called us to – that’s all I was referring to. I can’t pretend to know the intricacies of anyone else’s losses, sufferings, or pains. Even if someone else’s suffering is because of miscarriage. Some people call me an expert on that, but I’m not. Certainly we all have different experiences, different callings, and different coping mechanisms. I am the first one to accept that.

So why do I share my experiences? Why do I share my grief? Why do I share the lives of my children with you?
To bring glory to God.
To show His faithfulness both at midnight and at noonday.
So that someday when I am no longer walking through the valley, you can rejoice even more with me when I am dancing on the mountaintops.
And in case someone else in a similar situation to mine comes by my blog, maybe I can even offer practical advice (from my experience) that other women wouldn’t be equipped with. Who knows.

May God use me –even me– and my feeble little blog to show forth His praises, His providence, and His comfort.
It’s all I can share – it’s my experience

4 Replies to “Monday March 15, 2010”

  1. Melissa –


    may be one of the largest words in your text cloud.  But,


    is the same size!  You are walking in your grief with your faith right there!

    Love to you!

  2. Melissa,

    I’m not quite sure where to begin…I couldn’t go another day without letting you how much I have appreciated your blog over the past few months. My husband and I lost our precious baby in October and I can’t recall a day or an hour that does not go by without the intense sense of loss that I am feeling. I am finding confidence our Father (the Giver of Peace) but struggle to put into words what I am feeling or thinking. You so beautifully write about how God is molding and shaping your life – through your experience…and I so appreciate that. Your wisdom and the application of scripture in your daily life is refreshing and encouraging – and I just wanted to take the time to thank you. You’re right in saying that people grieve and process pain in different ways. I hope to not “waste the pain” but be able to share, as you have, what God continues to teach me with others.

    In Christ,
    Chantry (high school friend of Steven’s)

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