The Other Side of Me - Walking Through the Dark

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Having children is tough...literally.  Every Bible-reading, God-fearing, and child-bearing mom knows that the curse that fell on Eve in the Garden, still falls on every woman in a gown, groaning with labor pains.  But every woman who has had a miscarriage also knows there is a groaning and an aching that comes not from labor pains, but from losing a child.   This is my story...the other side of me. I have felt the pain of the labor of four children who I cherish, but I have also felt the pain of losing five more that I have not yet met. I try to hide it most of the time because it is easier that way, but I am broken.  From the appointment I waltzed into excited to find out if it was a boy or a girl, and scurried out of weeping. From the maternity clothes worn without reason and the bulging pelvis, empty. From those dreaded machines that would reveal perfect children with no heartbeat.  From hearing those words too many times, "I am so sorry".....

My first miscarriage was at 13 weeks. It was very difficult, but I reassured myself with the thoughts that my child was in a better place, and all would be well. But then I had another at 20 weeks pregnant. My expectations were shattered, and I was wrecked. From then on, I was the girl who sat in the waiting room, literally ill from fear, tears rolling down my face. Every single pregnancy I was afraid. I was afraid of what could happen.

I trusted God so deeply, but I knew my trust in Him didn't guarantee me a child. I trusted God the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth time.  And it still happened. The more losses I had, the more weary I got.  It was a slow fade.  My prayers were unanswered by God, and my questions remain unanswered by the doctors.

Why God?  It is the cry of a broken heart.  I know that there are so many of us who have experienced heartache and pain.  Do you ask God why?  What do you do, when like me, your questions return void?

Follow me as we discover a beautiful truth.  Psalm 119:105 says,"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."

Ancient Oil Lamp Several Thousand Years Old

This is an ancient oil lamp from several thousand years ago.  It is small, barely covering one palm. As I hold it, I imagine walking in the darkness with only a small flicker coming out of the tip, barely penetrating the darkness. I have to hold it close to the ground, and sometimes close to me, to even see where I am going.  This is likely what the Psalmist had in mind when he penned the words "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."  It is not a lot of light.  It is just enough light to take that next step.  Though the darkness around me can feel great, and the questions remain unanswered, God's Word is enough for me to continue on the path.  His Word illuminates our path, sheds light on His character, His promises, and His plans.

Although it has been hard, I have come to realize that my heartache isn't really "the other side" of me.  This is me. God is using my experiences to shape and mold me into who He wants me to be.  Do you have that "other side"?  Things you have faced or are facing that you just try not to think about?  Friends, no matter what heartache you have experienced, God has a plan. He has a path lit for you. As you walk with God, you never truly walk in the dark. He is the light. His Word is the light. Walk with Him and you will never truly walk in the dark.  You will walk through it because He is guiding and sustaining you.

Blessings, Ruth

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Ruth Schwenk

Ruth Schwenk is the creator of The Better Mom, and along with her husband, the creator of For the Family. She is a pastor’s wife, mom of four energetic kids, a lover of coffee, and dreamer of big dreams. She loves leading, speaking, and blogging. Ruth is the co-author of Hoodwinked: Ten Myths Moms Believe and Why We All Need to Knock It Off and two forthcoming books with Zondervan. A graduate of The Moody Bible Institute, Ruth and her husband have been in full-time local church ministry for over fifteen years.