Beautiful Anguish

Cradling a small baby boy; dancing around the living room as possible final farewells were sung and whispered.  Tears mixed with kisses on his tiny face.  Celine Dion’s song “Miracle” played in the background over and over again as a mother’s heart reconciled itself to the possibility of losing a son.  The procedure looming was a minor one; but required using anesthetic.  Thus far, no diagnosis had been found; it was still in the discovery stage.  I don’t know why, but for some reason the thought of my baby boy being anesthetized really shook me.  I had to come to the realization – whether it seemed an exaggerated response or not – that I may lose my baby and never hold him again.  Yet, the possibilities of whatever was causing his problem were frightening enough to make me feel like there was no other option.  And so I sang to my baby and wept.  To this day, remembering the sorrow I already felt brings tears to my eyes and begins to strangle my throat.  My anguish was real.  This moment in time, one mother’s worst fears were not realized.

Another mother suffers the loss of her baby without getting the chance to hold him.  Sometimes, time and time again she must experience the tentative, yes, fearful joy of discovering pregnancy, only to have the fragility of the blossom seemingly wisp away with the wind.  Her joy never fully realized.  I observed the pain etching it’s furtive way into her heart.  Rachel mourning for her children (Jer 31:15).

Yet a third mother I’ve watched carried her baby full term, then upon the ecstasy of birth, her baby was shuttled away to the NICU to care for his needs which his body was not able to sustain on it’s own.  A shock to her system as she is faced with dreaded possibilities after carrying him within for 9 months and only held him to her breast for seconds before the fear of the worst moves in.  Tears come in waves upon the beaches of both hope and fear.

As I watered my garden today, I thought of these three instances and the words “Beautiful Anguish” came to my mind.  Beyond the fact that I can slip into melancholy fairly easily, I knew there was a reason for those words.  I felt God whisper to my heart a remembrance of the times my heart has hurt beyond normal hurting and I have tried to bury myself in my husband’s chest.  The times my children have been miserably sick and have yearned for me to hold them hours on end to give them some comfort and hope of relief.  The times I have prayed unceasing because of the hurt.  And I saw beauty.  There is deep love in pain.  Uncategorized beauty in anguish.  How does God view us as we sometimes feel we are drowning in sorrow, grief, or pain…yet instead of allowing it to become a bitter fruit that begins to dry and harden, we allow a crushing squeeze and God is able to create a new wine that can deepen our relationship with Him and also bless others.  Whom do we trust more?  The friend who is good for laughs and lighthearted fun?  Or the friend who is willing to be leaned on in times of trouble?  In these precious moments of anguish He allows us to deepen our trust with Him.

He whispers to us, tears mingling with kisses: “Trust in me with all your heart.  Don’t lean on your own understanding.  Choose to look for me in every circumstance, and I will direct you on the path you are on.” (Ps 3:4-6)

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2 Responses to “Beautiful Anguish”

  1. Beautiful writing well expressed.

  2. saltracer Says:

    I’m reminded of Amy Grant’s new song “Better than a Hallelujah”.

    The first lines of the song are:
    “God loves a lullaby
    In a mothers tears in the dead of night
    Better than a Hallelujah sometimes.”

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