About a month ago I experienced the most gutting loss of my entire life. I was 10 weeks out from holding the baby boy I'd fought hard for when I heard the word that has echoed in my mind ever since: abortion.
His birth mom was an addict. The whole journey had been such a mess, but we kept fighting through it and believing God to preserve our little boy's life, because we knew what we had heard God promise for his life. So that day when we learned we lost him, I was so confused.
I couldn't understand (and probably never will on this side of heaven) why God would let this happen. He had a plan and purpose for this baby's life. It was such a sweet redemptive story... and then in an instant, it was just gone. Stolen by a drug lord and pimp who wanted to traffic an innocent (though living in total chains to her sin) woman. My blood still boils when I think about the injustice of the way it all ended.
These are the kinds of stories that belong in faraway headlines that we keep at a distance from the shores of our lives. Yet suddenly it was the title of this chapter of my family's story... and suddenly I find myself feeling deeply connected to these buzzwords of our generation. Abortion. Trafficking. Suddenly those faraway issues I could put in a box of "things I'll never fully understand or associate myself with" became the deepest ache in my heart as the baby boy I knew God had entrusted to me became an innocent victim of them both.
In the last several weeks I have wrestled with God over these issues I don't understand, and I have resolved two things in my heart: (1) It was not His plan or His intention for this story to end in death. (2) Even when the enemy steals from us, God in all of His sovereignty still comes in and makes a new "best" out of it.
From the very beginning of the story of God and man, when Satan first drew Adam and Eve into sin and out of perfect communion with God, this has been the case. God takes the messes that imperfect people make and He washes them in grace — the kind of grace that, honestly, I feel offended by a lot of the time. He takes the broken pieces of our lives and hearts and he builds these beautiful mosaic masterpieces we never would have imagined. He takes our frayed edges and He weaves beautiful tapestries of goodness and mercy.
I am in the middle of the most broken season of my life. Two years of infertility, an aborted adoptive pregnancy and so many unanswered questions... yet right now I'm in the middle of packing up my house to move to Salt Lake City and plant a church.
Because you know what? God is not put off by my brokenness. He has a people and a ministry for Noland and me to show up and be faithful to, and He will not let us crash and burn even in our darkest, most tragic circumstances. I don't know when He will finally grow our family. I don't know how long I'll feel this broken and wounded from the loss of our first baby. But I know I can already sense Him at work in doing his Romans 8:28 thing... working all things together for good.
It's just who He is. We wrestle and we hand Him the broken pieces and we just keep walking, believing that He is weaving gold into our stories along the way. We choose obedience when it hurts and we trust that He is a GOOD Father who gives GOOD things for His children.
Oh Lord, don't let me get so buried in my own grief that I don't see your hand at work. I want to stay awake to what you're doing even when it feels like darkness closes in on all sides... because against the dark, no matter how small the flame, light has never lost.