My story has been different than Ann's ... I did not experience what she did at the tender age of four. But I have experienced other things that have torn holes in my heart, that have almost crushed me. I remember one day, the day I felt the most grief of all my years, when more tears came than I ever knew could be, when my dear husband called others (though he was grieving, as well) to pray for this wife of his, who was drowning. How do you stop the tears when you feel you have lost the love of a child, forever? That's what we were told on the phone.
But it did not turn out that way, and God restored the broken relationship a hundred times over. We could have turned our backs on the God we had prayed to, who allowed this unimaginable grief to come into our lives. But instead, we continued to pray, to desperately pray to this God, to cling to Him, to cry out to Him ... for who else could we go to?
As Ann describes so clearly, from the very first family in that first garden, that is what the enemy of our souls twists us to think. That God does not have our best at heart, that we must take our eyes off of Him, and make our own way. What he secretly deceives many, everywhere, to do.
But our deep, empty place of need and despair, opened us up to receive so much more. We learned how our deep needs could be met by only One. And He, the only One who could, gave our daughter back to us. The sorrow we went through was His way of bringing more to us, of filling us up. Of learning in a much deeper way, that everything good comes from Him. And learning that He can use all the empty things to fill us up, to show us only good.
"And we know that God causes everything
to work together for the good
of those who love God
and are called according to
His purpose for them."
Just one chapter read, and I am filled. But I will continue! I will read of Ann's story and of more answers to her question, "How do we choose to allow the holes to become seeing-through-to-God places? To more-God places? How do I give up resentment for gratitude, gnawing anger for spilling joy?"
(The experiences that I have alluded to in this post will, no doubt, come out even more in my writings in the future ... but for now, this is what God has opened up for me to share. Seeking to listen, and share what He wants, when He wants ... for His purposes, which are all good.)