Where does understanding dwell...
God understands the way to it
and he alone knows where it dwells Job 28: 20, 23
When I read this title I again was struck by how much this book isn't written for someone like me who does have something to show for their loss, who did bring a beautiful baby home from the hospital and who didn't sit staring at their shrinking abdomen shortly after their loss and wonder what had happened. But the reality is that it still is me...the dreams I had for my identical twins...of matching outfits, Christmas photos, playing and laughing together, perfect playmates and the uniqueness of it all was snatched away from me before I ever had a chance to comprehend what was happening.
Back on Dec. 11th when this all began I prayed to God to keep my boys safe. I asked him to bless them and keep them, to lay his hands upon them. I was so sure the outcome was going to be just fine, this just couldn't be happening to me. In the 24+ hours after diagnosis but before we lost Cole it never occured to either of us that he might pass away. And when we learned he had it was the most devastating and earth shattering time of my life.
When I realized that my prayer had not been answered, atleast not the way I intended it, I wasn't angry at God. Now don't get me wrong, I was angry, confused, devastated and completely lost but anger wasn't really in my emotional bag at that point. I did however decide then and there that I would no longer ask God for anything specific, I would only thank Him for what I had, ask his blessings on all that was important to me and leave the rest up to him. I didn't want my faith to be tested.
But it never occured to me until reading this devotion that God understands my suffering. He knows what it is like to lose a child. Jesus understands my suffering. He endured physical and emotional pain, torture and death even though he pleaded with God to take his cup of suffering from him. He willingly accepted his suffering if that was God's plan. Did he deserve to suffer, to die? Of course not. None of us 'deserve' the suffering we endure, none of us are being punished by God and it isn't a sign of sin. It isn't God telling us to 'clean up our act'.
At first that was sort of how I thought of our journey. Not as a punishment but that God allowed this to happen to us because He wished our family to learn something from it, to grow from it. I remember getting angry with Geoff when he would call me and vent about how stressed he was at home with the boys. I kept saying to him "This happened to us for a reason. I think it's supposed to make us stronger and better as a family and now I don't know what to think because it's not making us better but worse."...Yup I really thought and said that. First of all I realize now how selfish I was being towards the rest of my family...I wasn't suffering alone but sure acted like it. And secondly, why on Earth should I have thought that 2 months after the saddest day of our lives we should be miraculously changed and functioning like this sitcom family, I have no idea!!!
I realize now that God didn't allow to happen for that reason but that He's here to take our cup of suffering, to help us in our time of need and most likely help our family grow, strengthen and comfort one another. He wants to walk with us through our pain and He wants to give us hope to see our loss in the scope of eternity. It will all make sense one day. There are a great many things we are not meant to understand this side of Heaven and by asking God to guide us we will make there to see our loved ones, to understand His great plan.
One night a man had a dream. He dreamed He was walking along the beach with the LORD. Across the sky flashed scenes from His life. For each scene He noticed two sets of footprints in the sand. One belonging to Him and the other to the LORD.
When the last scene of His life flashed before Him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of His life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times of His life.This really bothered Him and He questioned the LORD about it. LORD you said that once I decided to follow you, you'd walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life there is only one set of footprints. I don't understand why when I needed you most you would leave me.
The LORD replied, my precious, precious child, I Love you and I would never leave you! During your times of trial and suffering when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.
Carolyn Carty, 1963
God, losing Cole seems so unfair. Taking Cameron's twin from him, not allowing me to be the Twin Mommy I dreamed of being seems almost cruel sometimes since it took me so long to feel joy at the news of our twins. I didn't expect things to turn out this way....never did I think I would only bring one precious child home to my house while you took my other baby to yours. You could have saved my child but you didn't. You are the one who undertands and sees the big picture, even if I don't. Please take my cup of suffering and walk with me through my pain. Wrap Your arms of understanding and comfort around me. Fill my arms with Your hope and salvation. Amen