Day 9

Affliction and Healing

from the Mourning and Dancing reading plan

Mark 2:17, Mark 1:40-42, 2 Corinthians 12:5-10, Psalm 34:19, Psalm 147:3, Matthew 14:14, 1 Peter 2:24, 2 Corinthians 4:7-18

BY Guest Writer

Lifting the hammer up with both hands, I knocked the shelf loose from its fixed position. My screams had become muffled by the sobs caught in my throat, but through shallow breaths and clenched teeth, I made my complaints known and laid into Him.

I want my babies! Where are they? Why do You give them to me if You’re only going to take them away?

After our first miscarriage, I wept as I painted our bedroom walls, covering up the sunny yellow and replacing it with a controlled, subdued neutral. The linen closet received a welcome facelift and my wardrobe was purged, streamlined to a more manageable system for daily use. After years of unexplained infertility, I was told to be happy I’d gotten pregnant in the first place. Chin up, Buttercup. Let’s soldier on.

But this second miscarriage, four months later, was different. I felt utterly unhinged, untethered to anything. Forgotten. And so I drifted violently across the kitchen floor, from cabinet to cabinet and shelf to shelf, re-organizing and reordering, wielding a hammer and railing on my Maker.

Years passed, and I grew numb. Empty. And very sick, it turns out. I found myself in a neurologist’s office with a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. What’s more, my doctor discovered an anomaly in my blood work. An autoimmune disease and now an antibody—the doctor believed that together, they’d caused me to miscarry.

He may have been right. Three months into being on my MS meds, and without trying, I became pregnant with identical twin girls. I laughed out loud as my obstetrician pointed out two fluttering heartbeats on the ultrasound. I laughed, and I promise you, I heard Him laugh too.

Pain, loss, and affliction—I know them well. We all do because they’re a promised byproduct of life here in a fallen world (John 16:33). They come tangled up with joy and abundance and blessing. I’ve tried to extricate the good from the seemingly bad, but to no avail. They’re a packaged deal.

So while my dream of having children has been realized, and then some, I still have multiple sclerosis. Now, being well enough to keep up with our girls the way I’d always imagined is a struggle, a deep shame I do battle with daily.

This is my Ebenezer: my affliction, healing, and blessing bound together in a monument to Him and for His glory (Genesis 35:14; 1 Samuel 7:3–12). It’s here that I’ve wrestled with my God and have come to know Him face to face. I cannot praise Him and thank Him for our girls without praising and thanking Him for my diagnosis of MS. Learning to do so will no doubt take a lifetime.

He’s chosen to weave great joy into deep sorrow. This forces me to wonder if my affliction and physical limitations are somehow God’s kindness to me (2 Corinthians 12:5–10)—constant reminders that my body, this temporal world, and everything in it are fading away. Meanwhile, the eternal wages on, refreshed and renewed, out in the open air and light of His presence. “Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16).

Kara Gause is a content editor for She Reads Truth, happily residing with her family in Nashville, Tennessee.

Post Comments (147)

147 thoughts on "Affliction and Healing"

  1. Megan A says:

    My boyfriend of 2 years and I broke up a couple of months ago, and this study has been helpful in simply walking me through my grief. I had prayed for months but ultimately lacked a clarity and peace in my spirit about moving forward with him. I found out later that we broke up a couple weeks before he had planned to propose. I’ve struggled with grieving because while it was my decision to walk away, I genuinely wanted things to work out. Yet God didn’t allow me to have the peace I needed to have for some unknown reason, and so I’m trying to trust in His guidance and direction even though I don’t understand.

    In addition to that, my lifelong best friend is getting married in a month and I’m her MOH, so I’ve been trying to figure out how to navigate celebrating with her in the midst of saying no to a life that I wanted to have that she’s getting.

    The Lord has been doing a lot of housekeeping in my heart and showing me just how sinful and selfish I am. He has also washed me in grace, reminding me that I don’t have to try to do all of this on my own, but that He will be my strength to get me through this and give me the right attitudes to be able to grieve my lost chance at marriage while celebrating the marriage of my best friend.

    He has also encouraged and reminded me through this study of the importance of putting nothing else above Him. People come and go from our lives and loved ones pass away, but He will always be with us. We will never be deserted by Him or have to grieve the loss of Him because He promises to never leave us nor forsake us, and He never changes. And in this season of change and loss, this has been the most comforting truth for me of all.

  2. Jennifer Wing says:

    Kara — you verbalized it so well. Caring for a child through a chronic illness does carry this weird (somewhat illogical) deep shame that pulls and pushes with a consistency that’s wearing. Thanks for verbalizing that!! I’m constantly doing battle there but people give me blank stares or reassurances of my parenting when I attempt to explain.

  3. Kristen says:

    Prayers for all! God, You are the Maker of Heaven and earth. You are Sovereign and love each one of Your children. You know their hearts and the best plan for their lives. May they know Your love and Presence in a deeper way. Please help each one, Dear God and let Your Kingdom come and will be done. Guide and protect them. Please let them remember that You are the Lifter of their Heads. Give each one joy and a sweet, peaceful sleep tonight. Let them cast their cares on You and find rest in Jesus Name Amen

  4. Kristen says:

    Dear Brokenhearted,
    I understand the pain of an affair. Praying for you. God used so many people, Christian TV, recordings, and situations during that time! Cling to Jesus! I even talked to God in the bathroom at work. Praying for you and your family.

  5. Kaila Edwards says:

    I can’t directly reply through the app but Churchmouse I look forward to reading your comments everyday and I admire you wisdom and knowledge. You have given me much insight and perspective over the last few months that I have been on SRT for which I am extremely grateful. I am praying for you.

  6. His child says:

    @brokenhearted Praying for you sister. I can not imagine what you are going through. He is making beauty from your ashes.

  7. Hannah Cartisano says:

    Unfortunately it is a season of being broken and in pain and wanting anything for God to fix it and to take it away, for things to go back to normal and to find peace and comfort, but I know God is going to heal me on his own time and that’s just a concept I need to learn and be comfortable with.

  8. Brokenhearted says:

    He heals the brokenhearted. This is so true in my life. I am going through the hardest, most painful season of my life right now. My husband is having an emotional affair and I believe that things are escalating quickly. But in these last few months, God has done so much to my heart. He has surrounded me with a strong support team and lead me to a wonderful counselor. I have had enough of the lies and the cheating and I am confronting him very soon and giving him his options, us or her. Four months ago, I couldnt have done it as I would have been an absolute mess. But today, I am confident and feel strong, I know that God is guiding me and holding me through all the pain. He’s growing me in the midst of all of this and I’m so grateful for that. I know that I still have a long, long way to go, but I can honestly say that God heals the brokenhearted.

    1. Natasha R says:

      I’m praying for you and your kids!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *