July 8, 2011

Bending in the Storm

As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things. ~ Eclesiastes 11:5 (NIV)

We had an incredible windstorm a while back, tornado watch and all. Even our black lab Beasley woke up for it, and we stood at the back door, anxiously watching our pine trees sway and the patio furniture toss around like toys.

It wasn’t until morning that we saw the storm’s effects in our front yard. Our sturdy mailbox and post were laying on the ground, having been torn out of its hole the night before. Amazingly, the delicate flowers on our dogwood tree right next to it were still intact. I pointed out the contrast to my husband and, ever the engineer, he observed that the flowers bent and gave way with the wind, whereas the mailbox post was rigid and, when pushed too hard, simply snapped.

I think about those two examples when I think about the effect of the dual storms of infertility and pregnancy loss on my life. Many times throughout this journey, I’ve been like our mailbox – rigid, refusing to bend to the wind that blew counter to my will and my dreams. I’ve railed against God, angrily accusing Him of being insensitive, unkind, and unloving. I’ve stiffened my back to His sovereignty and declared what an unfair world we live in. And when I did, and the wind died down, I found myself feeling broken and splintered.

At other times, God has given me the grace to bend and give way to the gale-force winds of loss and grief and disappointment. I’ve allowed myself to fully feel those emotions, throwing myself in the arms of my heavenly Father and sobbing in His embrace. I’ve cried about the unfair world we live in, but sensed Him weeping with me for my hurt. I’ve submitted myself to His providential will in my life, somehow learning to trust His love even when His ways were beyond my understanding. And when I have, and the wind died down, I found myself feeling battered, but still rooted to the One who is my life.

I find it interesting that in writing Ecclesiastes, Solomon chose both the wind and conception as parallels to God’s inscrutability. God’s ways are so beyond our understanding, in the same way that we can’t understand the wind, in the same way we can’t fathom exactly how conception happens – or why it happens for some and not others. But there is a difference between understanding our Father’s hand and trusting His loving heart. When the gale-force winds come (and they will!), can we also follow the example of the dogwood blossoms and bow to His sovereign plan, submitting to God’s unseen hand and trusting that His character and love are the same in the storm as they are in the sunshine? If so, we will find that when the wind dies down we are still hanging on, resting in the embrace of our loving Father.

Kristi and her husband are Yankees transplanted in South Carolina, where they met in seminary over ten years ago. Their ministry, Naomi's Circle, is an outreach to parents who have lost babies during pregnancy or shortly after birth. In her "free" time, she enjoys reading, handbells, and writing.

Author's Blog: This Side of Heaven