When You're Doing Your Best Just to Enter the Sanctuary

Sunday, May 08, 2016

I wrote an article several years ago called When You're Doing Your Best Just to Enter the Sanctuary, and since Mother's Day is tomorrow, I thought I would share it again for any friends who may be wrestling with this. Its about mothers are mothers, but aren't mothering. Its about mothers who have held a baby either in their womb or in their arms, but won't hold their babies tomorrow. Mothers who long to bring forth new life but for whatever unknown reasons are not able. And its about feeling hurt not really so much by the church, but by wondering where is God in your story.

If you are lying in bed awake, dreading another Mother's Day without your babies that should have been or could have been or hopefully one day will be--there is good news. And the cliff notes version of the article below is this: Jesus will meet you where you are. He's invited you to come to him, you who are weary of crying, weak from wondering and longing. He will meet you where you are, and it doesn't have to be in the sanctuary of your church. But-- and please hear me on this-- don't negate or push away the gift of community that God has given to us in our church bodies. And don't let worry of tears or sadness keep you in bed tomorrow morning. We don't have to be brave or strong in the midst of a painful day. In fact, we're invited to be weak. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians about his "thorn in the flesh," something that humbled him:
8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me. 10That is why, for the sake of Christ, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Two things stand out to me and comfort me here: weakness and power. MY weakness and CHRIST'S power. For my fellow language lovers, the Greek term here for "weakness" is astheneia, and it refers to an ailment that deprives someone of enjoying or accomplishing what they would like to do. Would you like to get out of bed in the morning? Would you like to go to church? I remember the days I didn't really want to get out of bed, but deep down I longed to rejoin the world again. My astheneia of grief was keeping me from my church community and friends... and God.

But here's the best part: Christ's power is perfected (meaning it will continue to unfold much like an old pirate's telescope, stage by stage, until it is able to function at full strength, or its max capacity effectiveness) in my astheneia (ability to accomplish what I would like to do). And looking back to the Greek, the word for Christ's POWER in this verse refers to the ability to perform (dynamis). More specifically, for the believer it is the power to achieve by applying the Lord's inherent abilities. So its not by our strength at all that we are able to do anything, but only through the power and strength of the Lord working in us and through us.

I've made peace with Mother's Day and remember fondly our little girl, Whitney, who first made me a Mommy. I remember the first Mother's Day without her, but I rest and rejoice in the truth that she is at home with her Father and that I will see her again some day. I don't believe the saying that "Time heals all wounds," but I do believe in the One who heals our wounds. "By His wounds we are healed." Isaiah 53:5 The sin that brought death and separates us from God was conquered on the cross when Christ died and rose again for all of us. So therein lies my hope. I pray you will find His strength in your weakness tomorrow when you are doing your best just to enter the sanctuary....

Here's my post from my first Mother's Day without Whitney. I raw and its real. 

And another Mother's Day post For the Moms Who Think They aren't.

And just for fun... my first post after Gia was born- 3 days before Mother's Day.

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