Monday, October 14, 2013

Life After Miscarriage: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain

She gave me this painting back in April when I was drenched from standing in the middle of a torrential down pour that felt like it might never end.

My heart dripping and my flooded, she had prayed peace and healing over the colors and words she so lovingly spread out over the white of canvas and pages of His Word from James 1, a visual prayer layered with truth and hope.

And that painting stood as an encouragement that my suffering wouldn't be in vain


that every storm runs out of rain.

I kept it close day in and day out for months, reading the words from James so many times I could almost say them in my sleep. Sometime during the summer, though, I noticed that I didn't need that prayer quite like I needed it before, so I began paying more attention to some other passages of scripture that were meeting me where I'd been living -- abiding {John 15) and living a life of faith {Hebrews 11}.

A few weeks ago, one of my really good friends lost her baby, and as I sat on my bed crying for her, crying over the brokenness of our world, I looked long and hard at that painting that still sits on my nightstand.

That visual prayer  -- it was right.

Every storm does run out of rain.

It's something I can see seven months away from when we unexpectedly said goodbye to our baby and I said hello to a whole new level of anxiety for a period of time. It's something I can understand now. But when that storm was raging, it was hard to imagine any break in rain would ever occur.

And the first chapter of James was, of course, right, too; every ounce of suffering does produce perseverance and character.

Last week, as I standing in the park watching my boys laugh and play with warm October sunshine warming my face, I realized the storm storm clouds have been broken apart and cleared for awhile now.

I can feel the warmth of the sun again, my heart no longer a sopping wet mess of tears and anxiety,

and I can feel my lungs inhale the deepest of breaths without feeling like I'm exhaling the weight of the world through my mouth.

That very night, I shared while at a session with a beautiful soul whose been walking with me through the grief that has accompanied the loss of our babies that I don't feel like I'm the person I was even a year ago.

She nodded and smiled and agreed, saying that my spirit was calmer, my demeanor softer, my heart less guarded. And while I'd never choose to walk that path of hurt again, I could now appreciate what suffering has produced in my character, my spirit, my heart. All of that doesn't make the loss any less stinging, but it does grow hope in a weary heart that is so very tired of hurting.

I left that session feeling stronger, more of the woman I was created to be than I had in months, even years.

And I left that session realizing that what I thought couldn't be true is, indeed, true-- every storm runs out of rain, passes at some point. I think, perhaps that visual prayer that was an umbrella of hope over my head for so long needs to be passed along, too, a small but mighty shield from the storms of life, a traveling reminder that our hearts can hope for healing because He does heal and He is Healer.

And it will be accompanied by a journal with my story of the healing {and hopefully passed along again with another story of healing}, a traveling visual prayer of hope with stories of how the storms have passed and what He did in the midst.

For Michelle, the painter of my visual prayer, fellow hope seeker and heart-companion who keeps pointing me back to Jesus. 

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