A couple of years ago, my mother-in-law gave me an advent devotional by Ann Voskamp titled The Greatest Gift. I went through it dutifully that first year and then it got packed away and I haven’t made the time for it since.
Yesterday I journeyed into the dark underbelly of our unfinished basement and unceremoniously plucked it from inside of a dusty tote filled with books.
Finding a particular item in our basement at the moment is truly that momentous.
Seeing as it’s December 2nd today and I was already behind, I cracked it open this morning, not at all recalling the heart-stirring rhetoric inked into those pages. Aside from the expected advent discourse of a coming King, my heart was and is still pierced with the truth that mankind, myself included, often loves the gifts and the flesh more than we love the Giver.
How could I be so blind? How could I miss such a simple truth in my grief journey? My trusting and lack of trusting is directly linked to my love for God and how could I fully invest myself in One I’m placing in second, third, fourth place?
Merciful Father, forgive me! Help me to rearrange my loves and to love You more than I love myself, more than I love my husband, and more than I love my babies. Yes, more than the children that I instinctively place on the pedestal of my life. They are but gifts from you, the Giver.
This rearranging is uncomfortable and feels reckless. How am I to properly love these babies if they aren’t my number one priority? That’s how my humanness reasons. But God. His ways are often, if not always, confounding and backwards according to my humanity. Dying to live? What? How? But somehow, this ugly heart of mine recognizes the beauty in this crazy life-plan God has for me, for us. I die to myself, He rises up to take residence in me. Life. Fuller, more bountiful and fulfilling that I could ever imagine emanates. Just, whoa. Stop and breathe that in.
So yes, it is now January 14th and I’m wrapping up this post after losing another baby, but to miscarriage this time. Yet my heart will still sing His praises amidst the confusion and hurt and I will recklessly press on pursuing this curiously wild God-King Who calls me to die to His will, yet again. Beauty from ashes, that is the promise, and that is my call. I will love the Giver more than these gifts he gives and takes, and as Job said, blessed be the name of the Lord amidst it all.