Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Being Realistic and Hopeful At the Same Time

I'm reading this book "What Did You Expect?? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage" by Paul Tripp. I'm only in Chapter 1 and I can't help but want to make note or highlight the best part of what I read. Sadly, I cannot because it is a library book. So I resorted to jot down the quotes on this blog instead.

"There is no better window on what we face in the here-and-now world in which we live than the descriptive words that the Bible uses:"grieved," trials," and "tested" (1 Peter 1:6-7). Now, these words should cause you to pause. Of all the descriptive words that Peter has at his disposal to describe what God is doing in us through the environment in which we live, it is very significant that he uses there three words. Each is instructive and interpretive.

First, you will not escape the grief of life in the fallen world. That grief can be the momentary pain of a little disappointment or the long-term mourning of a significant moment of loss. The point is that, along the way, grief touches us all in little or significant ways.

Second, we all face trials. We will deal with things we would never have planned for ourselves or inserted into our schedules. We will grieve because we will face difficulty that we neither anticipated nor planned. The final word brings the portrait of life in this fallen world together. The word tested does not mean tested like in an exam. No, it means "tempered" or "refined.""

"This does not mean that you will stop being grieved. In fact, Jesus wept when he walked the roads of our world. But this grief is not a dark tunnel that fate has sent your way. It is a wise tool in the hands of a loving God who knows how deep your need is and wants to give you gifts of grace that will last forever."

"So, when you are sinned against or when the fallen world breaks your door down, don't lash out or run away. Stand in your weakness and confusion and say,"I am not alone. God is with me, and he is faithful, powerful, and willing." You can be realistic and hopeful at the very same time. Realistic expectations are not about hope without honesty, and they are not honesty without hope. Realism in found at the intersection of unabashed honesty and uncompromising hope. "

How true is that, how true. You can be realistic and hopeful at the very same time. And these realistic expectations are not hope without honesty, and they are not honesty without hope. This is the perfect picture of me standing in my brokenness yet knowing I have His hope at the same time while I was going through my miscarriage. You can be broken and covered with blood and tears yet hoping like you have never hoped before. I am very thankful that even when I'm not reading books about grieving, God is still ministering to me in this area through other things I am reading. But isn't that how He is? When I got the news that the baby had no more heartbeat and I was to expect a miscarriage, I searched frantically everywhere for what to expect and what to prepare for a home miscarriage. My OB-GYN doctor sort of laughed and told me to expect pain if I were to wait for my body to abort it itself. I looked through lots and lots of website and forum but nobody said what to prepare or what to do. I called the local birth center but they didn't really answer my questions neither. Finally, when the miscarriage process started, this thought hit me, I had read it somewhere, what to do when you have a miscarriage at home, it's in a book. It finally dawned on me, it's a book my sister-in-law had given me about parenting, I had read it while I was still pregnant. The author mentioned about her miscarriage and how she was laying in her bathtub to soothe the pain. As I was reading it, my eyes welled up and I thought, how awful it is to loose a child. I didn't think I would walk the same path few weeks later. I didn't know nobody could give me an answer of what I wanted to know, but God has already given me that answer, even before I was walking down on that broken path. And I was reminded of what to do when the contraction pain seared my abdomen, "go in the bathtub. " And I went. And it did wonder and was a saving grace.

Yes, this world is broken and full of sin and sometime I am so sick of it. But, you know what, my God is faithful, powerful and willing.