Monday, February 04, 2013

This Gift

A few months ago, I sat in my friend's living room, feet tucked up underneath me on her couch.  We were catching up, talking about my miscarriage.  I don't remember the particulars of what she asked me or what I was saying in response, but I do remember this:  all of the sudden, mid-sentence, I caught myself with the phrase "this gift" on the tip of my tongue.  

I stopped, wondering where the words had come from, questioning whether or not I wanted to actually speak them out loud.  How could the loss of my baby girl be a gift?  How could there be blessing in something that had left me wondering if I'd ever experience another moment without at least a twinge of sadness?

I didn't know, couldn't find an answer.  But I turned to my friend and let the words roll off my tongue as tears brimmed...this gift.  It felt sweet to say.  It felt right.

Ephesians 2:8-9 says, "For it is by grace we have been saved through faith, and this not of ourselves, it is a gift from God, not by works so that no one can boast." I've been taught that this verse means saving faith is a gift God gives us, that even the one thing that saves us is not something we can muster up on our own.

But I'm starting to realize that all faith is like this, a gift.  The faith that saves, the faith that allows me to embrace God's plan for me, these are both gifts.  

The fact that words would bubble up within me, words recognizing God's goodness even in a death I cannot understand, this is not of myself.  I know this because there are many, many moments when I do not see or feel that my loss is a gift at all, when self-pity curls me inward, when despair simmers inside me all day long.  

I need help to get out of these places, help to see the gifts hidden in the pain, help to trust that they're there even when I cannot see at all.  I need the gift of faith.

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