The sunshine has been glorious. Any tourist passing through our area lately would surely remark how dishonest those Pacific Northwesterners have been regarding the gray, the gloom, the rain. The secret is out, it’s all a ruse, we have wonderful sunshine come spring.
Well…some years, anyway.
Because I’m not weeding anything this year the entire yard has been rejoicing in the warm sunshine as well, gleefully sending out shoots, roots and seedheads that sway and puff into the breezes. I wince a bit seeing the grass encroaching where it ought not, but console myself that this fall it will, Lord willing, get all cleaned up. Which means that yes, for now I can just sit on the porch with baby sleeping on my chest, my feet up and enjoying the wafts of lilac fragrance mingling with said seeds blowing. Beauty and the beast, methinks, glory and garbage co-mingled.
I did notice today my rose bush putting forth its own shoots, the very same that the wee babe I held in the palm of my hand was buried. The thorny thought poked at me, “I wonder what she would have looked like….”
I suppose it is rather easy to arrive at the conclusion that because I now hold my newest daughter in arms, it is payment enough for the sorrow of a baby lost. And yet, it is not. The weeping from the evening of sorrow does not dissipate when morning joy arrives, but rather gives way much as the stars lose their luster in the dawn. Just because they are not seen as night retreats does not mean they are not still there.
What have I learned? Not nearly enough I’m afraid as I still ponder and wonder and continually need to taste and see that the Lord is good. But one small thing…I have come to understand that there is a vast difference between disappointment, which comes naturally through trials and the allowance of God in order to refine me…and discouragement, which seems to dangle before me, taunting me to forsake faithfulness and positioning itself to accuse God of injustice or indifference. I have learned that discouragement is never God’s will, even in trial. Faithfulness is. Trust is. It is the difference between pining for the wee babe I have lost…or letting her go in gratitude for whatever God’s perfect purpose in it all was and is.
I do not take lightly the gift of this baby in arms, and yet I am still missing the one I have yet to see life expressed. Morning still blends into night which again fades into new light; it is how it will be until the Lord returns. So sorrow must mingle with joy and in every trial my choices are still the same: to trust or to doubt, to have peace or to be anxious, to be as a child or as a fool.
Tonight I snuggled with this unhappy and tired baby under my chin, her fingers wrapped around mine as she hiccuped her laments. I whispered to her, “patience, darling, shhhh…someday the darkness will be gone forever.” I reminded myself of this, too, and gave thanks for the rest I have upon Him, this peace surpassing understanding even to my own self.
Yes, the thorns poke, but I am learning to give thanks for the roses and for the sunshine when it does come. And I am learning to trust even in the dark that Light is inevitable.
For more thoughts on learning through trials, visit the other High Five Moms in the next few days. Tell them I sent you; I know their little spaces in Blogland are awaiting to bless and encourage you, too.