Loss and Resurrection

I lay and am quiet. I watch the clouds roll, the wind in the tall grass. Watching through the window I can almost hear the air, loudly pushing its way through the forest.

Turning leaves over

upending branches.

We hear so much when we are quiet. 

This country living is happily conducive to pondering, I notice nature’s analogies yet again through quiet dark winter waiting on Life returning as we approach the miracle of Easter.

During this season of Lent, I ponder the themes behind it {I know some officially observe Lent and some — like me — do not, it’s ok, just let your heart travel with me for a moment}.

The giving up, the sacrifice, the suffering, the loss. All things the disciples experienced waiting for Jesus to come back to them. Waiting while He was in the desert, waiting while He was dead. Waiting to be together again.

{Do we adequately feel their loss and grief, remember their suffering as they waited?}


All these things I’m also experiencing as I grieve the loss of my daughter Mabel. Lost at 18 weeks in my womb, born a stillborn on January 8th of this year. A sweet perfect little baby that knew no pain or tears and was given to me to be taken from me. To save me.

The giving up, the suffering, the loss. Woe that our flesh requires such deep grief to find such deep salvation.

The way God has changed me so profoundly during this time, a time of loss and of pondering Lent, I am humbled by the gift of seeing Life with leaves turned over and branches upended. Through prayer and suffering, He molds.


Yes, in Lent one willingly makes sacrifices…

And though I did not willingly give up my daughter…

Was she ever really mine to begin with? Did I not promise to die to myself, give Him my all, every single person place or thing I am or I have?

Did Jesus not rebuke the men in Luke 9 who asked to bury a family member and say goodbye to loved ones before following Him? These seem like reasonable requests, yet Jesus required they lose EVERYTHING to gain Him. Do we consider the cost and truly surrender all?


These hard truths roll around in my mind, I am scared to share them even here. Do I offend or hurt when I say that God chooses the most repentant hearts, the hearts of His saints, to suffer most, knowing it’s a gift to have such loss? A gift so that we have even more empty places for Jesus to fill, more of Him in us.

Are we unwilling to be possessed by anything but Him?


The loss makes us so empty that it points out, it shows us how truly empty we are. Then we, ravenous and filthy, crawl to touch His glorious feet for redemption.

Thinking the loss will kill us, we forget what we gain. We are emptied not just to be filled but to be filled to overflowing!

To ask that God do anything

BUT take my children,

BUT take my family,

BUT take my home,

is me the clay presuming to tell the Molder how to shape me.

Loss has made me see my true depravity, I cannot imagine life not knowing what’s been revealed to me now. Oh how I wish my own sin was not such a deep root that deep digging out was required to see Truth. The deep digging hurts and scrapes and takes things with it, leaving loss and suffering behind. But with each digging the soil of my soul is turned over, aerated where Spirit fills with sweet healing breath.

Soul now made anew, finally fresh and ready to spring forth life. Ready for resurrection.

Each of us experiences suffering and lost in profoundly personal and different ways. The teaching, the jewels of Life, are found in those deep dark crevices. If only we dig for them.

This is loss, this resurrection. The suffering and the glory, so bound up with each other that we don’t know where one begins and the other ends.This is the mystery, the celebration. The death and resurrection.

Amen.

***

By Arianne from To Think Is To Create

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  1. 1

    Arianne, all I can say is WOW. How many times have I told my Maker just how to mold me? I am convicted.
    Girl, you don’t just talk the talk, you walk the walk and you walk it purposefully, beautifully.
    I needed to read this and read it again. THANK YOU!
    So glad you are writing here! And TO THINK that I thought the (in)courage team couldn’t get any better…

  2. 2

    Arianne, all I can say is WOW. How many times have I told my Maker just how to mold me? I am convicted.
    Girl, you don’t just talk the talk, you walk the walk and you walk it purposefully, beautifully.
    I needed to read this and read it again. THANK YOU!
    So glad you are writing here! And TO THINK that I thought the (in)courage team couldn’t get any better…

  3. 3

    I was neither hurt nor offended by reading your post today. Just blessed. Hugs to you, I am so sorry about your sweet Mabel, and so thankful the blessing of her life has already been revealed to you, enjoy it!

  4. 4

    I was neither hurt nor offended by reading your post today. Just blessed. Hugs to you, I am so sorry about your sweet Mabel, and so thankful the blessing of her life has already been revealed to you, enjoy it!

  5. 5

    @Kristen, I am so humbled by your words, thank you for the love. I’m honored to work all these things out here in front of y’all, what you see is what you get. :)
    @Tracey, thank you – I am incredibly blessed!

  6. 6

    @Kristen, I am so humbled by your words, thank you for the love. I’m honored to work all these things out here in front of y’all, what you see is what you get. :)
    @Tracey, thank you – I am incredibly blessed!

  7. 7

    Why do I forget this? “Through prayer and suffering, He molds.”
    To then accept, embrace, give thanks for the dark of suffering — He can only mean it for good…
    These things hurt… and they are Truth.
    Your words, story, life — God’s using it powerfully, Arianne… to change mine.
    Thank you.
    (And the *warmest* of welcomes to (in)courage ((A))! )
    Every blessing on you and yours this Easter…. oh, yes, the RESURRECTION!
    All’s grace,
    Ann

  8. 8

    Why do I forget this? “Through prayer and suffering, He molds.”
    To then accept, embrace, give thanks for the dark of suffering — He can only mean it for good…
    These things hurt… and they are Truth.
    Your words, story, life — God’s using it powerfully, Arianne… to change mine.
    Thank you.
    (And the *warmest* of welcomes to (in)courage ((A))! )
    Every blessing on you and yours this Easter…. oh, yes, the RESURRECTION!
    All’s grace,
    Ann

  9. 9

    I am so sorry for your loss. Your post is so wonderfully and beautifully written. I can relate to your post so much. My husband and I lost our daughter on January 6, 2010, two days before your Mabel. Hailey was 36 days old. The loss of a child, of a baby, is devastating but is one that God uses to reveal much for those who believe and allow it to be revealed to them. This Easter holiday I have a new perspective on our Savior’s death and resurrection as well. We are not alone in our grief or our suffering. God truly does light up our darkness. I have clung to the promises that he would heal me and comfort me and turn my mourning into dancing, and He has been faithful and done just that. I hope Hailey and Mabel get to meet each other in Heaven. Thank you for your words today and I pray that God continues to work in your life and in your daughters – I believe he will. Blessings to you.

  10. 10

    I am so sorry for your loss. Your post is so wonderfully and beautifully written. I can relate to your post so much. My husband and I lost our daughter on January 6, 2010, two days before your Mabel. Hailey was 36 days old. The loss of a child, of a baby, is devastating but is one that God uses to reveal much for those who believe and allow it to be revealed to them. This Easter holiday I have a new perspective on our Savior’s death and resurrection as well. We are not alone in our grief or our suffering. God truly does light up our darkness. I have clung to the promises that he would heal me and comfort me and turn my mourning into dancing, and He has been faithful and done just that. I hope Hailey and Mabel get to meet each other in Heaven. Thank you for your words today and I pray that God continues to work in your life and in your daughters – I believe he will. Blessings to you.

  11. 11

    I really do not like this kind of language..
    Simply because, I know it’s true.
    I don’t know it because I’ve suffered deep loss myself, but I know in my knower that in the midst of such loss, one can choose the Job path, where “even if He slay me, yet will I trust him”
    or else become angry with God.
    I fear that I would chose the latter: but hope that I will not..if/when that time comes.
    Well said, daughter of our King.
    Rich in Maine

  12. 12

    I really do not like this kind of language..
    Simply because, I know it’s true.
    I don’t know it because I’ve suffered deep loss myself, but I know in my knower that in the midst of such loss, one can choose the Job path, where “even if He slay me, yet will I trust him”
    or else become angry with God.
    I fear that I would chose the latter: but hope that I will not..if/when that time comes.
    Well said, daughter of our King.
    Rich in Maine

  13. 13

    do you know, sometimes the suffering is in the giving up; sometimes it is in the holding on, as with love. you are so right; we do not know where one ends and the other begins. and we are not enough for any of it.
    three posts by you for my morning reading. to think, you make me think.
    praying you a restful Easter. I think of you every day.

  14. 14

    Everything BUT…
    After suffering loss, it is hard to let go of the fear of also losing those who remain. There is much freedom in letting go. How much more does God care for us than even His precious little sparrow?
    I am so sorry for the loss of your precious Mabel! Thank you for sharing your heart.

  15. 15

    Everything BUT…
    After suffering loss, it is hard to let go of the fear of also losing those who remain. There is much freedom in letting go. How much more does God care for us than even His precious little sparrow?
    I am so sorry for the loss of your precious Mabel! Thank you for sharing your heart.

  16. 16

    Arianne, thank you so much for the post. How easily I forget and wander from the Lord I love when the pain of the losses in my life become all I see.
    “The suffering and the glory, so bound up with each other that we don’t know where one begins and the other ends.This is the mystery, the celebration. The death and resurrection.”
    I needed this reminder today. There is such amazing, indescribable beauty in the resurrection and I lose sight of that sometimes.
    I am so sorry for your loss. My Grandmother’s nickname is Mabel. It’s a name near and dear to my heart.

  17. 17

    Wow.
    I’m so sorry for your loss.
    Thank you for sharing your heart. God bless you.

  18. 18

    i’m so very sorry for your loss. for your heartache.
    clinging to hope with you.

  19. 19

    I too told God I surrender all…then have my buts. Right now I’m back in my homestate, staying with family as we all wait for my grandma to slip away. Thousands of questions flood my mind, but the biggest is, “Why, God?” Loss of any kind is difficult because as Christians we feel entitled to a good life, to God’s blessing and protection. Thank you for reminding me that there are lessons in the pain. I know that if you could have chosen, you would have rather had God teach you things through Mabel’s life rather than her death. But your example of clinging to Him in this and finding the good He has for you is so inspiring. Glad to see you’re part of (in)courage. It just means there’s another place I can hear from you. :)

  20. 20

    Sweet Arianne…I’ve been waiting for this writing; I knew it was coming and I knew it would pierce me. I just didn’t know how.
    God is paradox, is He not? You speak of the mystery of the resurrection and that is SO true; only in the suffering and death of Jesus to we celebrate the truest form of LIFE! What a cost, though, and all of us resist it.
    It’s a beautiful thing to observe life in transformation; I’ve watched you crawl through some dark places in recent months, always moving forward. You encourage me through your walk of faith, friend.
    Thank you for giving us a window to your heart.
    To God be the glory :) .

  21. 21

    I don’t even know where to begin, really. What you’ve written of His story is fresh & familiar for me because it’s what we’ve been walking thru at church the past several Sundays. But what you write of your story, as a friend, I see it like you’re someone else. Like, so much has happened in such short amount of time- but feels like years!- and you are not within my physical reach or company anymore. So I see you so changed from afar and it’s awkward for me, but with this post is starting to make so much more sense.
    I don’t even know if this comment makes sense in the way I want it to! We see the change in you, and I hate that you had to lose Mabel, but I get this, I do.
    And congrats on your new gig here! I know this must feel like home for you.
    Steph

  22. 22

    Like Robin, I have been waiting and waiting on this post, anxious and eager to read your words here. But, then, I have found myself putting it off until I had space and quiet in my home and my heart to come and savor your sharing.
    And, oh Ari, these words, “A gift so that we have even more empty places for Jesus to fill, more of Him in us.” Ouch and yes. The most costly and painful of gifts to receive.
    You speak deep truth here because we have watched that truth lived out in you.
    Thank you for sharing part of the journey with us. Thank you for showing us the kind of courage required to receive that kind of gift.
    You are much loved,
    Lisa-Jo

  23. 23

    What a profound and beautiful mystery. Your writing and the truth wrapped within it are great gifts, Arianne.
    May the richness the Spirit is bringing to your soil continue to yield a harvest that is precious and sweet – and may you taste that harvest in this lifetime.

  24. 24

    I know, I forget too, Ann. I think the thing we forget is the prayer part is necessary for the recipe to result in molding.
    Thank you for the welcome, dear one!
    xoxo

  25. 25

    @Kristen oh my, where do I begin? I hurt to hear what you and I have in common. I dream of our beautiful daughters waiting for us. Thank you for sharing your heart (and your bravery) here with us. Love.
    @Rich, I hope you don’t mind but I’m going to have to tuck “I know in my knower” away in my mind for future use. Love it. And thank you, so glad this resonated!

  26. 26

    @Kelly yes we will never be enough, so glad we don’t have to be!
    @Marsha not fearing more loss is the number one most hardest thing to let go of. A daily battle, in my case. I press in to remember where fear really comes from. Not from God, that’s for sure!
    @Aimee and @Alece thank you both xoxo

  27. 27

    @Elaina aw, our sweet Mabels :) I love hearing “I needed to hear this today”. I smile and thank God, every time.
    @Melissa oh friend. I’m so sorry that your family is going through this right now, I will most definitely pray for you. My own “why” questions were answered with a “do it for Me” from God, so I couldn’t argue (though I really wanted to).
    @Robin AMEN!

  28. 28

    @Lisa-Jo as usual, I’m so humbled by your words. The deep Truth is the hardest to get to, painful road, often dark. But deep soil and deep sea and deep space contain the most beautiful and amazing of treasures. xoxo
    @Kelly – for the gift in this lifetime, thank you! what a perfect wish for me, thank you thank you friend.

  29. 29

    @Lisa-Jo as usual, I’m so humbled by your words. The deep Truth is the hardest to get to, painful road, often dark. But deep soil and deep sea and deep space contain the most beautiful and amazing of treasures. xoxo
    @Kelly – for the gift in this lifetime, thank you! what a perfect wish for me, thank you thank you friend.

  30. 30

    Powerful and Profound! Your heart is in the right place. I can only imagine where my heart would be. God has used you most certainly. You have a story to share and an example is being set on what it means to surrender our life to His. You could have chosen to take a dark path filled with despair and lost hope, yet you have chosen to give your all to God and allow Him to heal you in this process. You are letting Him flow through you to encourage others. God will perform great things in your life for your surrender, hope and faith. God Bless!

  31. 31

    Powerful and Profound! Your heart is in the right place. I can only imagine where my heart would be. God has used you most certainly. You have a story to share and an example is being set on what it means to surrender our life to His. You could have chosen to take a dark path filled with despair and lost hope, yet you have chosen to give your all to God and allow Him to heal you in this process. You are letting Him flow through you to encourage others. God will perform great things in your life for your surrender, hope and faith. God Bless!

  32. 32

    I have found the quiet is my friend as well. I seek it a lot of the time these days. That is when I can concentrate on what He has to tell me. I have a calendar that has a new verse everyday. Until a few days ago, I just tore the page off and then read the next verse not really paying as much attention as I should. But…for the last few days, I’ve meditated on each verse. Today’s verse is from Psalm 32:10. It says in essence that the ‘wicked’ will have many sorrows, but those that wait on the Lord will have love surrounding them. From that verse, I realize the wicked are those that do not have faith in God and although the sorrows and joys of life penetrate everyone’s life, those that follow the Lord will have love surrounding them through all of it. It doesn’t say that we followers will not have sorrows but it does say we will have love surrounding us. I like you find the Spirit speaking to me in the stillness and in the quiet. His voice penetrates whatever state I am in with a calmness and solidness that feeds me day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute. It’s in these quiet times when I hear his calm, loving voice that I wonder why I fretted over any of my life events. Slowly but surely, I heal from the sorrows making my state of being ready to receive the joys yet to come. Thank you for your insight…God Bless and Keep you.

  33. 33

    I have found the quiet is my friend as well. I seek it a lot of the time these days. That is when I can concentrate on what He has to tell me. I have a calendar that has a new verse everyday. Until a few days ago, I just tore the page off and then read the next verse not really paying as much attention as I should. But…for the last few days, I’ve meditated on each verse. Today’s verse is from Psalm 32:10. It says in essence that the ‘wicked’ will have many sorrows, but those that wait on the Lord will have love surrounding them. From that verse, I realize the wicked are those that do not have faith in God and although the sorrows and joys of life penetrate everyone’s life, those that follow the Lord will have love surrounding them through all of it. It doesn’t say that we followers will not have sorrows but it does say we will have love surrounding us. I like you find the Spirit speaking to me in the stillness and in the quiet. His voice penetrates whatever state I am in with a calmness and solidness that feeds me day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute. It’s in these quiet times when I hear his calm, loving voice that I wonder why I fretted over any of my life events. Slowly but surely, I heal from the sorrows making my state of being ready to receive the joys yet to come. Thank you for your insight…God Bless and Keep you.

  34. 34

    Arianne, your loss is illuminating my need for redemption. I fear it as much as I am desperate for it’s release, the sweet pain of revelation and loss, and I know it is coming. Some days I struggle, believing I’m not worthy of His gift, I resist the giving that He gives so freely. I push it away, duck into the dark, praying for ANOTHER answer. One that doesn’t require my loss, death of self. But I know this day that it’s the only freedom worth living for. Our Lord, the molder, knows nothing but his love for us. I only wish I could know the same, truly, deeply, soulfully. Thank you for showing me that there is light, that on the other side of the seeping darkness is redemption. Thank you.

  35. 35

    Arianne, your loss is illuminating my need for redemption. I fear it as much as I am desperate for it’s release, the sweet pain of revelation and loss, and I know it is coming. Some days I struggle, believing I’m not worthy of His gift, I resist the giving that He gives so freely. I push it away, duck into the dark, praying for ANOTHER answer. One that doesn’t require my loss, death of self. But I know this day that it’s the only freedom worth living for. Our Lord, the molder, knows nothing but his love for us. I only wish I could know the same, truly, deeply, soulfully. Thank you for showing me that there is light, that on the other side of the seeping darkness is redemption. Thank you.

  36. 36

    What touching post that humbled my heart. I thank you for showing me something to ponder and that through our darkness there is always the light. I pray that God will continue to wrap His loving arms around you as walk your path.

  37. 37

    What touching post that humbled my heart. I thank you for showing me something to ponder and that through our darkness there is always the light. I pray that God will continue to wrap His loving arms around you as walk your path.

  38. 38

    Thank you for sharing a piece of your heart with us. I know firsthand the heartbreak of losing a child. I am so sorry. If you feel so led, I invite you to visit the Mommies with Hope blog – it’s a biblically-based ministry for women who have experienced loss (pregnancy through infant loss). Lifting you up to the Lord in prayer and praising God for His love for our little ones.
    Bless You,
    Teske Drake

  39. 39

    Thank you for sharing a piece of your heart with us. I know firsthand the heartbreak of losing a child. I am so sorry. If you feel so led, I invite you to visit the Mommies with Hope blog – it’s a biblically-based ministry for women who have experienced loss (pregnancy through infant loss). Lifting you up to the Lord in prayer and praising God for His love for our little ones.
    Bless You,
    Teske Drake

  40. 40

    You know, the Lord used our pregnancy loss for His glory and as tool to refine and direct my life.
    We named our baby Isaiah for he was a reminder that God is our Salvation!

  41. 41

    When you write….I feel. Always. I have watched this metamorphosis in you. I have witnessed your willingness to be molded. It is humbling for someone like me, who only wishes to possess your beauty and faith, to stand by and watch.
    As typically happens, I am in awe of you.

  42. 42

    Arianne- I’m excited to see you will be writing here as well! You are a wonderful addition…
    What an incredible post. There is so much here to ponder, i can’t comment on all I am thinking…
    “Yes, in Lent one willingly makes sacrifices…
    And though I did not willingly give up my daughter…
    Was she ever really mine to begin with? Did I not promise to die to myself, give Him my all, every single person place or thing I am or I have? ”
    These words…I relate to them. I did not willingly give up my son either…I do wonder sometimes if Jesus asked for him…what I would have said…
    One way you have willingly sacrificed is that you have let go of Mabel, of your right to her. There is another choice…the one that is forever mad at God, envious of others and bitter. You’ve chosen the better way, God’s way. And this pleases Him.
    He has used your pain to till the soil of your heart, and you let Him.
    Not that there aren’t still bad days or seasons…but your willingness to be faithful and molded are part of your sacrifice. It’s beautiful.

  43. 43

    Your words do offend but only because they have resonated in my own heart so many times. It is tempting to want to walk away from God’s shaping and healing hands because of the discomfort. Even easier to forget about the redemption on the other side. Beautiful redemption. It is so obvious in your words and life as you share. Thank you.

  44. 44

    Wow! This is really powerful stuff. Thank you so much for sharing. I must tell you that your words really touched me, especially when you said:
    “To ask that God do anything
    BUT take my children,
    BUT take my family,
    BUT take my home,
    is me the clay presuming to tell the Molder how to shape me.”
    WOW. Thank you for showing me what it is I do everyday. I tell Him to use me in whatever way He sees fit, and yet I still have the nerve to put limits on it. THANK YOU, really. I needed this.

  45. 45

    Wow! This is really powerful stuff. Thank you so much for sharing. I must tell you that your words really touched me, especially when you said:
    “To ask that God do anything
    BUT take my children,
    BUT take my family,
    BUT take my home,
    is me the clay presuming to tell the Molder how to shape me.”
    WOW. Thank you for showing me what it is I do everyday. I tell Him to use me in whatever way He sees fit, and yet I still have the nerve to put limits on it. THANK YOU, really. I needed this.

  46. 46

    I have no words, and I wouldn’t comment but I really, really want you to know this:
    me too.

  47. 47

    This is so profoundly moving and beautiful. thank you for sharing your journey.

  48. 48

    This is so profoundly moving and beautiful. thank you for sharing your journey.

  49. 49

    I was blessed by your post even though I read it after easter. Thanks for sharing your gift of the written word. God bless! :)

  50. 50

    Beautiful post. Humbling me by showing me what’s in my own heart. Through our darkest trials and temptations God shows what is in our own heart and as he shines the light in our deep dark places we are healed. What a great reminder.

  51. 51

    “Through suffering, he molds” Perfection.
    I know this is true, but I’m not really a fan. We lost our son seven years ago to cancer. Your grief for Mabel hits a heart still raw in places. I realize that I am still being molded in the darkness of suffering. I cannot imagine, like you, of living without the knowledge gained about myself and God’s presence.
    Much prayer coming to you.

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