A couple of years ago, my mother-in-law gave me an advent devotional by Ann Voskamp called 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. In this season where I’m struggling with loving God through infant loss and miscarriage, the timing was perfect.
Gifts and the Giver
I cracked it open, a couple of days late into advent as per usual and was so glad that I did. Aside from the expected advent discourse of a coming King, my heart was struck with a painfully obvious truth: we often love 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 trust is directly linked to my love for God. How can I fully invest myself in One I’m placing in second, third, fourth place?
I need help, serious help, in rearranging my loves. I’m to love God more than I love myself, more than I love my husband, and more than I love my babies. More than the children that I instinctively place on the pedestal of my life. They are gifts from the Giver. That is something I quickly forget.
This rearranging is uncomfortable and feels reckless. How can I properly love these babies if they aren’t my number one priority? That’s how my humanness reasons. God’s ways are often, if not always, confounding and backward according to my humanity. Dying to live? How does that make sense? But somehow, this broken heart of mine recognizes the beauty in this crazy life-plan God has 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 blooms.
I’m wrapping up this post after losing our second baby to miscarriage this time. My heart will still sing His praises amidst the confusion and hurt. 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 set out to love the Giver more than these gifts he gives and takes, and as Job, a man far more afflicted than I, said: “Blessed be the name of the Lord.”