There is so much that is raw right now. It stops up my words, all this pain that threatens to bubble over the top and consume my days. I find comfort in the darkest books of the Bible...Lamentations, Daniel, Joel, Habakkuk, Isaiah, some of the Psalms. In a season that is all about praise, I am more on my knees in wordless agony of emptiness and concomitant desperation of waiting for resolution. Waiting for heaven. I had two miscarriages before this one, and I haven't ever suffered so. There is something so tangible about this baby...my sister-in-law down the street, one of my dearest friends. Calling me to tell me her baby is moving. Her baby that she found out about two days before I found out about mine. It just seems so cruel that I have to suffer this now, that I will suffer this for the rest of my life as I watch that child - dear unborn niece or nephew who I already love so - grow up. This loss has brought me deeper into a place where I am called simply to trust, where I do not understand why things happen this way. Where suffering baffles me more than it has ever baffled me before.

I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. (from John 15)
It is baffling to me that I find myself deeper in this trial after a year has passed. A child with a brain injury, who falls about every 5 minutes during the day, for whom I make dozens of decisions each day about whether or not to go to a doctor or emergency room. Cancer treatment looming, a lump in my neck that affects my voice and my swallowing; Katy and Rosy dealing daily with so many small losses, and big ones, too, mourning this next separation before it is even upon us and clinging ever closer to me as the countdown to cancer again begins to tick. Trying to "get past" this pregnancy loss, since I guess that is what I have to do. Trying to pray about it, and feeling hypocritical. Trying to read about loss and becoming ever more confused. I know that is what faith is: believing when answers aren't obvious. Holding on when logic screams to let go. And I have sworn to that, given my life for that. I'm not backing down from that now. But it is a hard way to go. A hard row to hoe. A hard day to survive.

A doctors appointment for either Amelia or I (and sometimes both) every day from now until December 18. Excluding weekends, if life goes well, I guess. Pray for endurance. Pray for faith. Pray for peace and love, and that God's grace would "grease the wheels" of every relationship as we all struggle to comprehend the depth to which we are asked to trust this Christmas.

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea.
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in Heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace,
One in Himself I cannot die.
My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Savior and my God!

~Before the Throne of God Above, Charitie Bancroft, 1863

To everyone who's lost someone they love
Long before it was their time
You feel like the days you had were not enough
when you said goodbye

And to all of the people with burdens and pains
Keeping you back from your life
You believe that there's nothing and there is no one
Who can make it right

There is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
Love for the broken heart
There is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He'll meet you wherever you are
Cry out to Jesus, Cry out to Jesus
~ there is no one who speaks to sorrow like Third Day: Cry Out to Jesus