This post is the fifth in a series of posts about victory through Jesus, and “what if” the victory doesn’t look like we think it should. They can be found, in order, by clicking on each of these titles: The Victory, But What If, A Mirror, Dimly, and Our Journey to Victory, Part 1 . . . From Joy to Grief.
Grief is a weird thing. It’s equal parts terrifying, and awful, and also extremely necessary. When we go through a life altering loss, we need to grieve. It’s the way God made us, but it’s so very uncomfortable too. And like anything else, I tried to check off the stages of grief as if they were part of my “to do” list. Only, the stages of grief aren’t sequential. You don’t pass through one to reach another. Instead you bounce all around, back and forth, between the stages of grief. I had to reach a point in our loss where I learned to accept and sit in my grief, where I accepted it was okay to be mad . . . sad . . . whatever . . .
I was so angry in the midst of the grief, and God wasn’t immune to that anger, but instead of pulling away, I pushed in more. One thing I learned, through the ups and downs of grieving is God can handle our anger. Tell Him you’re angry. Tell Him you’re hurting. Tell Him you’re devastated. Just don’t turn away from Him. I prayed more, cried more, and sought Him more than I ever had before. And God never fails His children when they cry out to Him. Never. We may feel like He’s failed us, but thank goodness, our feelings do not define reality. It was in those days and nights of wrestling with the deepest grief I had ever felt, God brought very familiar scriptures to life in a whole new way.
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
3 To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” Isaiah 61:1-3 NKJV
These words, these scriptures, became my very life. I had no closure regarding the child that I thought was going to be mine. I had no idea what would happen to her or if she’d be safe or loved or cherished. But I knew, that the only path to healing was through Jesus. And not only did He, very slowly, bring healing, but He began to change my heart in ways I never imagined. I found myself shifting from crying out to Him from a place of deep pain to crying out to Him from a place of deep desire. And rather than asking for a perfect child, I found myself asking Him to bring us the child that needed a family more than anything. I found my heart being opened to needs that I never dreamed I’d be okay with.
Through pain, God transformed me. And after almost a year of daily praying for God to bring us our child, we received another referral. This time it wasn’t so pretty. Our little one wasn’t so neatly packaged. She wasn’t chubby and smiley. She was malnourished and terrified, but she was also beautiful and exactly what our hearts needed.
While, the referral was in and of itself a victory, and sometimes we do have victories that occur in a single moment in time, I’m finding that more often than not our victories aren’t static but found in our ever changing and growing through Christ. We continually have challenges to meet and overcome with our daughter, and bringing her into our home has made my knees hit the floor more and my reliance on Christ grow in ways I never imagined. I know more than ever that I cannot make it through this life without Him, and it’s in Him and Him alone that I have victory.
So no, our victory didn’t look like I thought it would. It’s so much more than I ever dreamed it would be, and the best part is, it’s not done. It’s still happening. With each new challenge, we find a new path to victory, a new chance for God to show Himself strong.
Copyright 2019, Courtney G Davis, All Rights Reserved
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