Monday, December 20, 2010

The longest night

'Tis the season and all that. But what does that look like this year?
The worst of this miscarriage is behind us and now as the Christmas celebrations hit in full force how is this going to go? We wanted to be celebrating with a belly full of something more than turkey and mince pies.

Recurrent miscarriage for us has meant that each month we make the decision to try again to get pregnant. I wish we could just let this happen but now with certain medication prescribed to be taken at certain points in my cycle that's not possible - unless we said screw it and just forgot the meds all together. We'd have to be pretty certain that God was leading us there, but we're open to it!

We celebrate the birth of our Savior, our Jesus. We joyfully proclaim the life he promises us and at the same time we grieve the babies we will not hold. This is rough time for those who have lost a baby, the air everywhere is filled with songs being sung about babies being born.

Last night, on the longest night of the year, or church held a service recognising that this time of year is not always just a time of joy. It was such a beautiful space. The candles on the advent wreath lit in remembrance; for people we have lost, for the pain of loss, for the heavy burden of grief and lastly for the hope we have in Christ.

Readings and hymns which remind us that Christ enters into our suffering, that he carried and carries our burdens and that he is with us. Jeremy and I have such different personal experiences of faith and different ways we communicate with God that sometimes it can be hard for us to find common ground to grieve and worship in the midst of all this. This service granted us an opportunity to do just that.

I hadn't really considered it until last night, but with our miscarriages we have had no place to recognise our losses. No service or ceremony to say goodbye, no way to mark these painful events. That was what the service offered. A place to say our lives are changed. To say we had something so special and we lost it. To say we miss you, and we are heavy with the knowledge we will never get to hold you, and lastly a time to say goodbye. We won't forget you.

After the service, the tears, the goodbyes we came home and shared laughter over a glass of wine with some good friends and their little guy. It made the truth of joy in the midst of suffering come to life. The blessing of friendship and community made stronger in the midst of the pain of life.

Here is Jeremy last night with baby Thomas, we love this kid! Look how festive he is in his red overalls!

Isaiah 53:1-8 (The Message)

Isaiah 53
1 Who believes what we've heard and seen? Who would have thought God's saving power would look like this?

2-6The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling,
a scrubby plant in a parched field.
There was nothing attractive about him,
nothing to cause us to take a second look.
He was looked down on and passed over,
a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.
One look at him and people turned away.
We looked down on him, thought he was scum.
But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—
our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.
We thought he brought it on himself,
that God was punishing him for his own failures.
But it was our sins that did that to him,
that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!
He took the punishment, and that made us whole.
Through his bruises we get healed.
We're all like sheep who've wandered off and gotten lost.
We've all done our own thing, gone our own way.
And God has piled all our sins, everything we've done wrong,
on him, on him.

7-9He was beaten, he was tortured,
but he didn't say a word.
Like a lamb taken to be slaughtered
and like a sheep being sheared,
he took it all in silence.
Justice miscarried, and he was led off—
and did anyone really know what was happening?
He died without a thought for his own welfare,
beaten bloody for the sins of my people.
They buried him with the wicked,
threw him in a grave with a rich man,
Even though he'd never hurt a soul
or said one word that wasn't true.


  1. I love you friend, I wish I could have been there last night. I love that Bethany had created this space, it's so important.

  2. Chrissie - thanks for sharing your thoughts of last night. I'm so glad the two of you were there. Peace, Nancy Eckardt



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