Monday, October 31, 2011

John 11...When the tears fall.



It's something like day 37 of this 'new normal' of life in the hospital. We've shared a lot of the highs and lows in this process. Lots of pictures from Chaia's good days. Bumblebee pictures that melt your heart...unless you don't have a soul.

But let me be honest. Some days you just feel as if you will be swallowed up. Today was one of those days. And it is strange, because Chaia had a relatively good day. But, here we sit, feeling sadness. Thick, tangible, consuming sadness.

It isn't because we're hopeless. I have all my hope set on Jesus and what He is doing.

It isn't because Chaia is losing. She is actually doing surprisingly well.

It isn't because our faith is slipping. It isn't because we are caught in sin.

It is simply because things are not right. And it makes for some very sad moments. We spend our day in a room where a little one suffers and battles for her life, on a floor where many others are doing the same thing. Some make it. Some don't.

Sadness is ok. Because things are not right. And this is sad.

I've thought of John 11 quite a bit in this journey. The story of Lazarus dying and Jesus defying everyone's expectations, the disciples, Mary and Martha, the Jewish onlookers...And even though Jesus does something astonishing at the end of the chapter, he first enters into the sadness. He weeps. Lazarus is dead and it is sad.

Chaia is sick and it is sad. Jack is sick and it is sad. Justin and Malachi and Breanna and Chase and Garrett and Odin...sad.

I think I've shied away from the sadness in sharing this journey on the blog. Not sure if it is out of guilt or trying to remain hopeful or upbeat...or something else...but here is the reality. This is sad and that is okay.

When we enter into the sadness...when we engage the heartwrenching pain...it is where Jesus often meets us and rolls away the stones.

Time and time again. God shows up in the saddest of situations in the Bible. And He puts His glory on display.

He is doing that in the PICU at the Cleveland Clinic.

And He will do it with your life as well. Just enter into the sadness and ask Jesus to roll away the stones.

17 comments:

lawrence said...

Would you allow us to enter into this sadness, our world is fallen, filled with injustice, suffering and pain, to express this is not an indication of our lack of Faith or Hope, it is rather the sign that we know things are not right.We serve a God who knows all this, and has given us the capacity to express it.
We love you as Brothers and Sisters in Christ. South Africaxxxx

aussienic76 said...

My daughter was born 12 weeks early. She had bleeding on the brain for 5 weeks and now has a third of her brain missing. I was told she wouldn't survive. I was told she wouldn't make it beyond primary school. I was told she would never succeed in High School. Now she is 25! She is working part time and studying with Open University!!! God IS a Miracle worker. BUT.........All of her life had moments of sadness which threatened to engulf us BUT....I believe that is because we know how God created the world.....His perfect will was for a perfect world without sickness and pain and suffering and WE know that. WE have God living in us and we too have that desire for things to be as God originally made. Your sadness is to me a real sign of God living in you and your understanding of our sad and fallen world........your heart is reflecting Gods own heart. Praise Him, that even in your sadness we can see HIS character.

Amanda said...

This IS sad, and yet, you're right, that IS ok. I have been so overwhelmingly sad this whole time that you have allowed us to share in your heart wrenching story. Yet your faith, my love and trust in Jesus, and the hope that His will will be done and comfort us all gets me through every day. There is really no way to know your story and your love for your child and not be sad. However, our love of our God will get us through. Please do not despair, seek comfort in all of the arms that are lifting you up every day, all day :) Hoping and praying that you all three have a great day. Prayers from KY

Mama Karen said...

Praying for you! Sadness is okay. And it's okay to say you are sad! Jesus was sad. He knows your pain and it's okay. He is ever present with you and is right now wrapping his arms of love around you and Shaina! The bible says GOD IS our Refuge and Strength [mighty and impenetrable to temptation], a very present and well-proved help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1 Amp.). I am reminded of this song...
“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;I sing because I'm happy, I sing because I'm free, His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me!
He's watching, He cares. "Come you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest!" It's okay to cry and be sad, but I hear the Lord say "REST". He's got this one too!

All our love, The Prices, Lancaster OH

Anonymous said...

Ben and Shaina, just sending you a hug..... their will always be sadness in our lives and their will also be love, goodness, kindness, healing and most of all GOD. I pray he wraps his arms around you today and gives you a hug also.

Courtney said...

thank you Ben. we love you guys

Anonymous said...

We all have to deal with sadness...but it is also okay to step away from the sadness for a bit and go do something fun together and enjoyable together. It will do you both good. We spent a long time in the hospital several years ago...the sadness can be overwhelming...we stepped away occasionally just to go rejoice, be happy, recharge. Still praying for you all and asking that the long road ahead have lots of flowers, butterflies, and angels along the way.

Anonymous said...

Ben,
Thank you for continuing to journal your hospital experience with such honesty. The world of PICU strips away the extraneous and brings what is most essential in life to the forefront. It IS a place of pain & sadness, but also a perfect setting for God to reveal the depths of His grace and lovingkindness. Still kneeling...

With His love, Kathy (& Bob - he's in Wisconsin again!)

Anonymous said...

Ben and Shaina....be sad. You're allowed to be sad. Let us be those who life YOU up as you have lifted US up while we were sad in this journey. Let us, through Christ Jesus, will be your strength right now. There are prayer warriors surrounding you around the world - let your souls empty while we guard you with prayers. God is working miracles! Take time to let yourself begin to heal! We don't know you - but we love you - and we are praying for you and Chaia and Jack and for anyone else who needs our prayers. Blessings for a great day and through the tears - may you see the rainbows!

Anonymous said...

http://www.godvine.com/Carrie-Underwood-Sings-How-Great-Thou-Art--56.html

Let us all remember how great God is!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for keeping it real. People need to understand that it is okay to feel sad; perhaps be a bit overwhelmed with it at times. Even when we love and trust Jesus. Those are the times we as friends and family can stand in the gap for you. And we are. We will continue to be prayer warriors for you and Shaina and Chaia and Jack. You and Shaina continue to be an inspiration around the world as you model faith in action.
Love, the McGurks

Anonymous said...

It is so ok to be sad! Your family has been fighting a fight only you and God fully understand! Just know all of us (and there seems to be "millions" according to the blog)keep your family in prayer each and every day!

Wood and Roberta said...

In your sadness may you feel the blessings of His everlasting arms...His everlasting love...His everlasting Grace. Because He is big we can be sad...all our love,
Wood and Roberta

painterned said...

It is sad but you are right to say it is ok. It was sad the way Christ suffered the way he did but it was for all of us and that makes us happy. God is good no matter what the trials are and yes it is a roller coaster so dont let the lows get you too low and dont let the highs get you too high. She is such a beautiful little girl so live for the moment. There were never any guarentees in this life so we enjoy all the moments we DO have and as little Chaia is doing, JUST SMILE!!! God Bless you all!

Anonymous said...

Ben & Shaina, it is ok to be sad, we are still real people with feelings. Yes, Jesus is our Lord, and He is our strength, but, "Jesus Wept" also out of sadness. It is just we don't allow the sadness to control our lives--we live in it for a while then we know that He gives us fresh breath, renewed strength, and we are then on top of that roller coaster--screamin Praise God all the way down, then we do it all over again. So rest a bit, the two of you and let the rest of us lift you both up!!! love, Uncle Glen and Denise

Anonymous said...

The sadness will pass, as everything eventually does. I thought I'd never forget the horrors of autistic twin babies, but God pulled me through it, and now they are young adults and the strongest prayer warriors of anyone I know. I pray that your little one is wrapped in God's loving arms and healing and growing every day.

Anonymous said...

Haven't seen an update in a while. Hope everything is going well. Still praying here in Ma. :o) Love you all!