23 April 2013

My Kindness Shall Not Depart From Thee

My brother and his wife are about to go through the worst thing I can imagine.  They are about to lose their baby.  About a month ago, they went in for their routine ultrasound - the one where you usually get to find out the gender of the baby.  The technicians measure a lot of other things, but usually I don't care about them.  This is when my brother and his wife found out their baby was very sick and would not be able to survive outside her womb - and maybe not even until full term.  

I've been trying to wrap my head around this for a month and I can't.  I can't comprehend how this knowing their baby must die weighs on their every moment.  I can't tell how much it must hurt to feel this little living kicking moving darling Tiny Baby and know how fleeting this baby's life will be. I can't imagine the long drawn out pain of  knowing that your baby will not survive and knowing there isn't anything you can do to change it.  I can't stop crying whenever I dwell on it.  It seems like every discussion and lesson at church this past month has been related to this somehow (and it means that I've spent a good portion of church crying).

This past Sunday the Relief Society lesson was on learning through our trials.  I always struggle with these lessons because I feel like I live a charmed life - I worry that I'm either too fragile to get any huge trials or that there is a real doozy waiting for me just up the road around the bend.  Right now I'm leaning towards too fragile to handle anything at all because I'm in pieces over someone else's trial.  Yes, it is happening to people close to me that I love but it is not ME.  They are handling it as well as anyone can in these circumstances with a mix of love and grief and hurt and bewilderment and grace and pain and faith.

But I had two things I want to cling to and share.

One - We talked about shrinking from our trials.  I think this is our natural response - we all withdraw from the things that hurt us.  It is instinct, reflex.  We don't think about it.  Shrinking from the trial is not a sin.  Even Jesus wished, "that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink"  It is when we push through and past that initial response and embrace or overcome that instinct to shrink away that we can grow.  Every trial is a chance to choose to grow or shrink.  The trial is still miserable.  The pain will be there no matter what.  But the choice is ours to whether our cup of joy gets bigger or smaller.  It is perfectly ok to feel desperately sad and that life will never be the same again.  It won't.  But I have to believe that we decide how the experience transforms us.  I know what I hope I would choose.

Two - We listened to a song based on Jesus' response to Joseph in Liberty Jail when he complains about the trials he is going through. (which were more than I ever want to experience).  Here are the lyrics:

For a little while
Have I forsaken thee; 
But with great mercies will I gather thee.
In a little wrath I hid my face from thee
For a moment.
But with everlasting kindness will I gather thee,
And with mercy will I take thee 'neath my wings,
For the mountains shall depart,
And the hills shall be removed,
And the valleys shall be lost beneath the sea,
But know, my child,
My kindness shall not depart from thee!

Though thine afflictions seem
At times too great to bear,
I know thine every thought and every care.
And though the very jaws
Of hell gape after thee I am with thee.
And with everlasting mercy will I succor thee,
And with healing will I take thee 'neath my wings.
Though the mountains shall depart,
And the hills shall be removed,
And the valleys shall be lost beneath the sea,
Know, my child,
My kindness shall not depart from thee!

How long can rolling water
Remain impure?
What pow'r shall stay the hand of God?
The Son of Man hath descended below all things.
Art thou greater than He?

So hold on thy way,
For I shall be with thee.
And mine angels shall encircle thee.
Doubt not what thou knowest,
Fear not man, for he
Cannot hurt thee.
And with everlasting kindness will I succor thee,
And with mercy will I take thee 'neath my wings
For the mountains shall depart,
And the hills shall be removed,
And the valleys shall be lost beneath the sea,
But know, my child,
My kindness shall not depart from thee!
My kindness shall not depart from thee!

(Youtube link here - just listen)

So, if you have a spare moment to send up an extra prayer for my brother and his family today, please do.  I will be praying that the angels will encircle them and that they will feel of His love over these next difficult days and months to come.

Their blog is here:  www.hilleries.com


Maile said...

I am so sad for your brother and sister-in-law. I followed a link you commented on a few weeks ago on Facebook and read their story. What an unimaginably heart-wrenching thing to go through. They have my thoughts and prayers. I wish for them, and for all of the extended family, solace in a period of great sorrow, healing when it seems the hurt is too deep, love and support in each other, and whatever tiny sliver of light that can pierce the darkness of the coming days and months. All my love, and also some tears.

Jackie Norris said...

Love you, Jena. You and your family can count on prayers from us. The only thoughts that give me comfort when I hear things like this is the Atonement. Even though it does not take the pain away, we know that Christ will weep with us and be with us.

P.S. I'm TOTALLY the same way about lessons on trials. Pretty sure I fit into the "fragile" category, too.

Unknown said...

I am Mika's friend. You have beautifully expressed some of my same feelings. I pray our Heavenly Father will bless your whole family with an added portion of the spirit and comforter to bless you through this trial.