How Can I Be Thankful When I’m Hurting?

I wrote this a few years ago. In reading it now, I find that what applied to miscarriage also applies to epilepsy. Except…I’m still going through the motions of thanking God from the rubble. Far easier to write of it than to do it.

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It took years—and the loss of three babies—for me to realize this simple truth: I deserve nothing. Not the children I desire, the salvation I need, the house I want, the husband I love. I don’t deserve it, have no right to expect it.

I love King David’s words in 1 Chronicles 29:14: “But who am I, and what is my people…? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.” All that I am and own and claim is God’s, granted to me because He loves me.

This truth changed my life. I now hold what is dear to me with open hands, knowing it is all a gift. Gone are the fists clenched tightly around what is mine, the fists I dared to raise to God in my grief. I hold my gifts lightly, savoring each moment, for I know they can swiftly disappear.

Strange as it may sound, I can thank God for miscarriage. Thanksgiving doesn’t mean I’m glad my babies died. Thanksgiving means I am grateful to God for the lessons miscarriage taught me and for His faithful care of me. God never failed me. My own shattered expectations caused my pain. As I went through the motions of thanking God from the rubble of my dreams, I found that, over time, I became thankful. I found that God was bigger than my pain.

Once, I believed motherhood was mine to claim, but God showed me it was His to bestow. I do not know what the future holds, but as I sift through the pieces of the past, I find the faithfulness of God over and over again. Even when my tears fall into my open, emptied hands, I have a Father Who cares for me and for all mothers who weep for their children.