The question never sated.
What did I do wrong?
The question usually met with a journey toward the truth.
I found myself in chilly halls, alone and in mourning repeatedly in 2015. The first time, after waiting long hours together with my husband, I was left in solitary for an MRI scan. The scan itself, I found myself brave enough to handle. The fact that I was getting it while pregnant, not so much. During the intense resonating, I was in constant connection with Abba, praying for the protection of this very wanted infant. Looking back, I now know that I did not fully trust that He would do good for me, without me performing to earn His goodness.
Shortly, after the long MRI scan, the results showed us my damaged brain. My heart was heavy with premonition, but I had this naïve hope that my solution would come along with more testing, more details about what was happening. It didn’t. I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. It was declared incurable. We were offered the experimental, as some sort of solution…
With all this, I feel I coped reasonably well until we were in the 15th week of our pregnancy. Every week past the 12th -which marked the first trimester- brought with it a sense of relief. This pregnancy was making me very sick. Acne, heart palpitations, rapidly growing uterus and barely keeping anything down, I reminded myself often how grateful I was to have another opportunity to raise up a child for the Lord. I had just started walking normally again, just in time for my appointment as maid of honor at a dear friend’s wedding, and felt joyful despite the difficulties. But that evening, after we all went to bed at my in-law’s house, the bleeding started. You know that moment when your mind comes to a skidding stop with smoke filling the air. Suddenly you can’t breathe. You can’t think straight. That was it for me. I had battled through those 3 months of confusion and nausea, after receiving a blowing diagnosis, and now I am facing possible miscarriage? No. Friggin’. Way. I never thought that this would happen to me.
I was scared. Inside, I was angry. I just didn’t know it yet. We left for the hospital, and after much waiting, they couldn’t help us. Not without doing an examination we weren’t comfortable with. We packed our bags and left for Potchefstroom, an hour’s drive away. My husband was a pillar of strength in his calmness, when my “why’s” threatened to pull me under. I proclaimed faith, but inside I still didn’t trust that I had done enough to gain God’s good graces…
I was alone in the hospital for the evening, awaiting the doctor the next morning. They gave me hormones to stop the bleeding. But I already felt myself accepting the loss.
The gynae came around, and after moments of silently staring at the screen while sliding the cool probe over my naval area, he said those dreaded words “I am sorry…” That “sorry” is one of the worst things to hear when clinging to an expectation. It is not a “sorry” of repentance, but leads to a declaration of death, and nothing short of the hope in Christ can make that “sorry” any less bitter than it is in that moment. So, I once again did what the medical system suggested, and had my womb scraped out. They market it with better names, but scraping is what it is. Also only giving me enough information to convince me to trust them.
I awoke, alone in the chilled halls, bleeping and sterile scents around me. My husband and friends came when they could, but in the waiting there was a singleness. A loneliness. A void. I felt the loss hard and heavy.
What did I do wrong? Why me? Did I not deserve blessings?
Later that week, after they tested for possible causes, we had a diagnosis. Somehow that made it easier to share. It was not a viable pregnancy, they said. Too many chromosomes. That made the impact slightly less, being told that the baby wasn’t forming normally. That my body didn’t simply just reject the baby I was embracing in my heart and my womb.
Before I could come up for air, they hit me with the next shocker: I could get cancer from this pregnancy. I can’t even remember if I was alone when the doctor said this. I couldn’t breathe.
Like cannon shots being fired, I felt the events colliding in my chest.
Multiple sclerosis. BOOM.
And now, possibly:
I went through the motions of payments and making appointments for blood tests I would be doing every following week to track my hormones. I felt myself wanting to withdraw from everyone -until I was whole. Until I was able to contribute goodness to life again.
In my mind, I was the train wreck. You know, the one we perceive from afar and start wondering about, and worryingly -if not excitedly- discuss. We try to get closer; some to help, but many to gawk and gossip about. So I would hide my brokenness. That’s the modern Christian, right? One must perform and have faith, and bury all the bad stuff deep inside until God deals with it, so that nobody else is affected by how much imperfection you reek of.
Wrong. I was so very wrong.
And Abba has been revealing so, so much of this recently. He deeply desires for us to be in relationship with Him. That was the original design. He desires for us to give Him our brokenness, for Him to make something beautiful out of the shattered pieces. This is purposeful, so we must gather our heart’s courage and dig through the sand, and then give that “broken” to Him. He is speaking to me in such an awesome way about this.
About two weeks ago, I made a macramé piece. I love the process of tying it all together until it forms a textured picture, filled with inspiration and symbolism. With our next visit to the beach, I was blessed with a broken cone shell. It still had it’s middle, and in that moment I thought about how fun it would be to weave a macramé “net” with broken shells.
I searched some more, but only found a few usable shells before leaving. That evening, as I was answering a message, I heard in my spirit- there is beauty in brokenness. That is true, but only when we give it to Him to transform. And I thought, WOW. While that surely resonated with my heart in that moment, I find it is a battle to see ourselves in that light regardless the fact that we are children of the Most High Yah, Maker of all.
With the next visit to the beach, we found some more shells, beautiful and broken. I started rejoicing in Abba as I found more of those sea-battered shells. I fully believe that Abba is blessing me with these, just as a daddy would lovingly bless his daughter. And with every visit, the gift of broken shells has gotten more extravagant. And with each one, I see purpose. I see a journey. I see treasure. I see beauty. And that fills my little-girl heart with wonderment that He would consider me even in such tiny things. It is an oil of joy which brings healing in the wounds dealt out in life.
That lead me to wonder;
-why are we burying our brokenness?
-Do we believe that we are useless unless we are whole?
I don’t think becoming a believer equals life getting easier. You can just look at the first century church for reference on that one! I think the doctrine I personally was raised with is faulty, lulling the believers into complacency. Within this doctrine, there is no room for broken. “If there’s broken, you must have done something wrong” seems to be the silent rule. And it is one of the greatest lies within the church community, leading so many away with bleeding hearts and cold convictions.
Doctrines do not bring healing, but Abba does. He is our Abba Father, and like with an earthly father I believe He is kneeling with open arms awaiting to welcome us, and hold us through every storm.
My story is becoming all the more detailed, all the more an intimate expression of Father’s love for me. He blessed me with tiny, precious, broken things and He shows me how beautiful these can be. Often, the things the world considers worthless are priceless in eternity.
I am now a mommy to 3 littles, Yahweh having restored doubly what was stolen. And though the journey has been so hard at times, I know that I would not change a thing. Nothing.
So I want to invite you; come to Abba with your brokenness. Come hear what He is going to say. Look what He will do. Witness what He wants to share with you. He is always waiting for His children to dive into deeper relationship with Him.
May you be blessed with a deeper relationship with Abba and the lightness that it brings with it.
In our everyday moments, beauty is to be found in broken pieces. Look around you and you’ll see it and wonderment will embrace your heart. All doesn’t have to be perfect. That same beauty is resting within you and can only be found when we give all of these pieces that seem imperfect back to Abba.
Photo credit: https://unsplash.com