Hope is born of suffering

I heard one of my favorite songs on the radio yesterday, Held by Natalie Grant. Though I’ve heard it many times, I was struck by this line.

Hope is born of suffering.

I was stunned by the meaning of this line. The multiple meanings.

I understand what it means in the spiritual context, but I also considered what it means to me personally and to our little Hope.

I began to think of all she has suffered.

I try not to let myself think of it for long. If I did, I don’t know if I could handle it.

But it keeps coming to my mind. At times, I can’t help but think of what we’re missing. Even now, I have to fight tears if I let it creep in my mind just a little.

This is something I experience every day. Sometimes 10 times a day.

I fight tears.

Most of the time, I’m fine, but if I think about it at all. Any of it, the feelings begin.

Feelings of sadness, loss, jealousy, anger, guilt, fear.

So I try not to think. To stay numb.

I know I can’t do this forever. I’ve realized that I’ll have to feel it eventually. Really feel it.

All of it.

Yeah, I’ve cried, but I’ve yet to let myself grieve.

Yes, grieve. No, we haven’t lost our child, but we have experienced loss.

She was supposed to be close to me…all the time. This time, I was going to be one of those mothers. I even had the fabric and the pattern to make the perfect sling. She was going to be with me all the time.

Instead, she spends most of her day in a bed…and I live with guilt because I have to carve out time just to hold her.

I’ve lost something.

She was supposed to be breastfed…exclusively. No bottles. No formula. Just me and her.

Instead, she is fed through a tube because she can’t swallow without aspirating. Fed a mixture of milk I have expressed through a machine and high-calorie formula in hopes that she might gain enough weight to no longer be labeled with “failure to thrive.”

I’ve lost something.

I was supposed to be awakened in the middle of the night by the cries of a hungry newborn.

Instead, I’m awakened by the jarring sound of an alarm telling me yet again that her oxygen level has dropped…and her cries are barely audible.

I’ve lost something.

I was supposed be able to have as many children as we wanted.

Instead, I’m faced with the fear induced by statistics and “increased risks” for having another child with similar issues and an even more dangerous pregnancy.

I’ve lost something.

My other children were supposed to have another playmate. They were supposed to be able to kiss, hug and play with their baby sister.

Instead, we fear they will make her sick and send her back to the hospital.

They’ve lost something.

I haven’t lost her, but I’ve lost something. We’ve lost something.

Thankfully, HOPE is born of suffering, and as I’m writing this, my little one wiggles and hiccups in the bassinet beside me. And just a moment ago, she smiled. Something she rarely does. A reminder that HOPE does come…even in suffering.

So I will allow myself to grieve…a little, but I will also rejoice because, as the next line of the song says, “This is only the beginning…”

This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive.

This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We’d be held

~Natalie Grant~

Weeping may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning. ~ Psalm 30:5

We also rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. ~ Romans 5:3-4

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3 comments on “Hope is born of suffering

  1. Donna Jo, this is so beautiful and moving. I pray the God of all hope will 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 Praying God’s peace will come in a special way.

    • fullymothering says:

      Thank you. It must have come from the Lord because I had no intention of writing it. It just came out. Sometimes I worry about how others will take my very honest feelings, but I really feel led to be transparent in this in order to minister to others. I appreciate your encouragement!

  2. Laura Oshields says:

    This sounds so much like my life

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