When I first read this passage the one thing that initially caught my eye was, "A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world." And my thought goes to hmmm wouldn't that be something...to forget the pain because of PURE JOY. When I was in labor for Ella all I could think about was that I would never forget what labor felt like. And I haven't. All I could think about was how uncomfortable I was at that time and that in a short while (which ended up being 24 hours later) that my pain would become even more unbearable. Those moments after her birth are a blur but her delivery lives in my mind forever. As does my sweet Alayna's. I remembering pushing and sobbing at the same time. Never once did I think that my first child's birth would include heart wrenching sobs. But then I read John 16 again and realized that once again He is reminding me that my sorrow will turn to JOY. So tonight and every night I am asking God to bless Brian and I with a healthy (full term) child. And I ask that you too (please) pray this same prayer with me because until I have my own child in my arms my joy will not be complete. God knows the desires of my heart and He wants me to be happy again. This I know. And now here is John 16: 20-24...
Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
And the second passage that hit home was 2 Samuel 12:15-23...
After Nathan had gone home, the LORD struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill. David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth on the ground. The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them.
On the seventh day the child died. David’s attendants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, “While the child was still living, he wouldn’t listen to us when we spoke to him. How can we now tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate.” David noticed that his attendants were whispering among themselves, and he realized the child was dead. “Is the child dead?” he asked. “Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.” Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped.
Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate. His attendants asked him, “Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!” He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”
Through this passage I was reminded that even King David lost a child. And he said it right when he said "I will go to him, but he will not return to me." Praise be to God that I will return to Alayna and Ella. Praise be to God indeed. Because (like I have said a million times before)...it is the one thing that keeps me going...the joyous reunion (that I will have someday) with my beautiful baby girls!
And another excerpt from Mary Beth Chapman's book Choosing to SEE...
I wonder what it was like for Mary after her son's death. I know she saw Him resurrected and was certain of the fact that she would see Him again, but she was still His mom. Mary found favor with God; therefore, she was chosen to be Jesus' mom. But because God favored Mary, she was also chosen to suffer. Not just at the crucifixion, but her whole life. She was chosen to carry a baby in her womb, be persecuted, and give birth in a dirty stable...She was human, she had a baby, and she raised that baby with the heaviness that she was to see Him suffer and thus she too would suffer. I think when Mary was hiding things in her heart, it was a lot more than the reality of who she carried in her womb. I am certain that she was hiding away the memories of first smiles and steps, as well as the first tears and tumbles. Knowing what was to come, did Mary have the opportunity to live differently as a mom to her little boy? I believe she did. I am sure that she watched Him differently, taught Him differently, and prayed differently. I can only imagine the discussions that she and Joseph would have when their son wasn't listening, how they probably begged God to let the cup pass from them, but in the end yielding up the prayer we all hesitate to pray when it comes to our children. Your will be done... (Mary Beth Chapman)
After reading this I thought what would it be like to know from the very beginning that your child WOULD suffer tremendously and WOULD die painfully. What would it be like to live with that knowledge every single day? But Mary was chosen...just like I was chosen. We were both chosen to carry a very special burden. And most importantly, we were chosen by God. And I know He never leaves His Beloved. So I will continue to walk this weary path because I know I am one of His Beloved which means He will NEVER leave me.
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us. Eph 3:20