The comments and emails I received were SO helpful. Thank you, all of you. Thank you for encouraging me, advising me, supporting me, and pointing me again toward Christ. I was really touched.
As I read your comments and mulled them over in my mind I had a long conversation with God. A much needed conversation that I have had parts of here and there, but I've never quite spit it all out...
Lord, what does it matter if I am near or far from you, if I pray or not, if I seek your way for my life or go off on my own...my prayers don't seem to carry any weight nor my love for you count for much. At the end of the day, you are God and I am just me and what you have planned for me is what you have planned for me, so honestly, tell me, what does it really matter?
This question has been swirling in my mind since the moment my Ellie died. And when my Aubrey died a week later my suspicions were confirmed. It seems to me that God does what God does despite the fact that I prayed with all my being for my daughters to live. And when they did not, the only conclusion I could come to was that it was all already decided and what I wanted didn't matter.
Everyday since it has been hard for me to pray because I feel...I'm not even sure the right word...defeated/blocked/shut-down perhaps. My feelings are hurt to say the least. I find myself expressing gratitude and honor for God out of fear. If He thinks me ungrateful He might allow more suffering, more loss, and more pain in my life. And I can't ask for anything not only because I think my requests will not be considered but also because I greatly resent when lesser significant prayers are answered but the most important prayers of my life to save my babies went unanswered.
It is a fierce inner struggle. No wonder I am so exhausted all the time!
And this is where it gets even more complicated. I have been a Christian a long time. I have loved, I mean LOVED, Jesus since I was a young girl and willingly devoted my life to serving Him. I have studied his Word for almost two decades and I know what it says.
Despite how I feel I do know the Truth.
The truth is that God is near to the hurting and he answers prayer. He heard my cries and he hears them still. He is compassionate, patient, and kind. He choose me, rescued me, and rejoices over me in singing (Zephaniah 3:17).
And God did not ignore my prayers. He heard every word, every single one.
So how do I cross over? How do I get from how I feel-betrayed, disappointed, and resistant-to what I know-a loving God who wants to shoulder the burden for me if I would allow Him to? A God who did not take my girls but saved my girls and restored their tiny broken bodies to what He always intended for them; LIFE ABUNDANTLY. After all, it is His Will that none would perish. How it must break His heart to see babies suffer so.
It think the real issue is allowing myself to become vulnerable again, to trust and love Him again after this season of distance and resistance. Before my girls died I was a do what you want with me God kind of girl. Now just the thought of giving God the reigns again scares me to death. On one hand I feel like God let me down, but on the other hand I honestly doubt I could do a better job with my life on my own. The thought of trusting God again is easier to consider when I evaluate the alternative. Although it hurts, I see that God made the better choice, the best choice, to restore my girls despite the pain it has caused me. He knew it was what I really wanted, in the deepest part of my mother's heart, I wanted them to be whole and well and I was willing to pay any price for it. He knew my heart and He honored my prayers, my secret prayers that even I didn't want to admit I prayed.
In order to cross over I have to re-learn who my God is. I have to learn to see clearly through the pain and trust the truth again. It is time to dive deep into His Word and rediscover who He has always been...as He has not changed, I am the one who has changed.
This journey is a long road. MUCH longer than I ever imagined it would be. When I choose healing I had no idea the depth of the transformation that would really be taking place in me. I've hit some pretty big hurdles along the way but I refuse to give up. I don't want to miss out on what God has for me. I don't want all this pain to be for nothing.
...let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:4 NIV