Wednesday, October 05, 2011

You Don't Know What People Carry

Pin It Now! I've been thinking about death lately. (I know what you are thinking, Lovely. Go on. Sounds fun.) And it's not because of Steve Jobs death. He was just icing on my death cake.

I have been working on a message called "Faith in the Unexpected Life." About how sometimes life just sucks. And bad things happen all the time - to good people, to nice people, to funny people, to lame people, to rude people, to sweet people. And sometimes life can get so tough and sad and hard and sick that the only comfort can be found in knowing that heaven is real. That this life on earth is not all there is. God absolutely works through and shows up and reveals Himself in the crud of life. I've experienced that firsthand. And yet, I know some people have such pain and difficulty in this life that they long for the next one. Eternity with God. With no tears, no cancer, no defects, no abuse, no starvation. They long for heaven.

Lately I'm seeing a lot of people around me suffering in various ways. A leader at my church just lost her husband after he took a fall down the escalator at an airport. A sister I met when I spoke at her MOPS group was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer 20 weeks into her pregnancy. They took the baby at 32 weeks and baby is doing great. Mom's cancer is now advanced stage four and doctors say it us uncurable. She has three young children. Another new friend emailed me when she found my blog and read about our baby Faith. She was pregnant with little Owen who was also diagnosed with Trisomy 13. He died in utero at 29 weeks. She delivered him today. Please pray for these friends.

Little Owen was just one of several things lately that has made me think of our baby Faith. To top things off, tonight I came across this paperwork as me and the kids were having a shred party of old documents. Memories for planning a funeral and burial for our firstborn. Shred please.






Even though God is good, life can suck. Our world is broken, fallen, and ill.

Shiloh and I shared a little of our baby Faith story at one of our church's young adults meetings. Afterwards a young friend who has babysat for us and has been best buds with Elijah since he was two came over to us. He did not know us through our Faith journey and said "Something I keep thinking is that you just don't know the things people carry around with them." He knew us, but until then he didn't really think about or really know our Faith story. A part of us that we carry around with us every day. I now carry around that thought with me a lot "You just don't know what people carry around with them."

So what's the point of this post except catharsis for me and possibly depression for you?

A reminder to you (and me) that "You just don't know what people carry around with them." So have some grace. (This is kind of a theme I learning from God lately if you read my post about the scantily clad white-trash woman at church.) You don't know what people are going through right now or what they have been through in the past. You don't know if they just lost a spouse, picked out a casket for their unborn child, escaped an abusive relationship and found shelter in a church. Grace. Grace. Grace.

An encouragement to you (and me) that this place is not our home. And if you are really struggling or suffering right now for whatever reason, it doesn't mean that God isn't good. It doesn't necessarily mean that He is disciplining you or trying to get your attention or trying to teach you something. Maybe He is. Maybe He's not. Maybe we just live in a broken, selfish, polluted, fallen world where suffering and sin abound. God weeps with you and wants to bring you peace and hope as you trust Him with your life. With your crud. With your shortcomings. With your sufferings. With your heart. With your life. Trust Him.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18

Hang in there my struggling friends. You are loved. God sees you.
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19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Absolutely Amazing! And oh how true....I love reading your posts.

Barbie said...

Love this. What a mighty God we serve!

Kim | It's All Reitz said...

What an awesome post. I needed this tonight. Thank you. And, thinking of you, too.

Erika said...

What a great post- i can really, really relate- I have been thinking about Faith (your daughter) and about how she would be 9 years old in december. I am 3 years out from the passing of my twin daughters (both stillborn)- and wondering if it gets easier, or ever really gets better. i know i am doing better than i was 3 years ago, but i still have hard days...

thanks for this post, i needed it tonight!

jennie w. said...

Thank you for sharing this. Autumn just makes people reflective and thoughtful.

I just posted about my stillborn baby yesterday. There must be something in the air.

Rochelle said...

What a beautiful post. I somehow came across your blog and I love it. :)

L. Shanna said...

Beautiful, and so true. Thank you!

Nancy said...

Oh Wendy... I love this post. I love the statement,"You don't know what people carry around." So true. Thank you for your reminder that God is still good all the time even when life is not.

Faith said...

I love this. I have been through some of the "secret crud" people often don't know about. I think one of the most important life changes it had for me was to make me more aware. You really never know what the smiling face beside you is going through. Thanks for the reminder!

Karen said...

Such a great reminder! We don't know what people carry around with them. Beautifully written!

{cuppakim} said...

heavy. but good heavy. crazy good heavy.

i feel exactly like that sometimes - remembering the things i carry (like the sudden death of my best friend 4 years ago) - which taught me so much more than i ever would dream. it truly taught me to empathize, to understand, to give grace to people - grief is crazy hard, and crazy uncertain. in some ways i feel privileged to have been through that trauma because in some microcosm of a way it helps me understand how to love and comfort others in the name of Jesus a lot better:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
(2 Corinthians 1:3-4 ESV)


thanks for posting this wendy. i have been praying for some of those people you have mentioned, and will continue to do so!

Lisa said...

so very true...we don't know people's stories, what they carry, what they are going through sometimes...beautifully said.

kev said...

really good, Wendy. You never know..

Kimberly said...

Thanks so much for sharing this. I'm having a tough week myself and this is exactly what I needed today. I will pray for your friends tonight.

jennyonthespot said...

Oh Wendy... brought me to tears. Such a wonderful reminder of how we are to others... And of course, many hugs to you.

Lindsey Bell said...

Thanks so much for sharing. We've miscarried three times this year, so your post was very encouraging to me.

TDM Wendy said...

I am so sorry Lindsey. That is really stinks.

Robin said...

Thank you SO MUCH for this post, Wendy.

Another reminder to me that we all have a story, and every story is important....whether we put it out there for all the world to read or not.

Linda Z said...

What CuppaKim said... yes.

This is such a good post. I think it's ok to ponder death and life and what God wants us to do with our time here on earth. To long for heaven... to be in His presence.

"You just don't know what people carry around with them." I like this quote and it's so true. How we need grace from God and from one another... desperately. Thank you for reminding me to give it more abundantly. :)