A Beautiful Mess

A Beautiful Mess {there is a plan, it just may not be mine} | RaisingArrows.netThere are moments when I look around and wonder, “Is this my life? How did I get here?” I never wanted my child to die. I never wanted to be sitting here staring at her picture grieving the fact that I will never hold her again this side of Heaven. I never wanted to have to visit the grave of one of my children. I did not plan this. This was not supposed to be in my life, was it?

In our humanity, we plan out our lives in our heads. It looks just right with all the pieces in place. There is nothing missing or scattered. It is serene and beautiful. But, it is a house of cards.

More than likely, you will face a time in your life when what you see before you resembles something more like the aftermath of an explosion rather than the beautiful watercolor painting you had envisioned. One day, you may wake up and say, “Is this my life? How did I get here?”

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.’”

Do you think the Israelites looked around at their situation and thought, “What a great life! It is all so beautiful!” No, probably not. But, yet the Lord is adament that His plans are for their welfare. They are plans of hope. There is a future there. It just doesn’t look exactly as they thought it would look.

But the Bible tells us, “The ways of the LORD are right.” (Hosea 14:9b) The loss of my child is somehow “right.” That is hard to say. There are times when I beg the Lord to give her back to me, just for a moment. I promise Him that I will hand her right back to Him. But, if I really think about it, would I truly want my little girl to leave the beauty of Heaven and the comforts of being in our Lord’s presence just so I can hold her during this vapor of a life I live? No, I would not. It would be all selfishness on my part and not at all in her best interest. In fact, it wouldn’t be in my best interest. The Lord had my welfare in mind when He took Emmy. To ask Him to go against that perfect plan, would be going against His authority, and ultimately, the blessings He has in store for me as a result of living within His perfect will.

Take a look at the verses that come after the above passage in Jeremiah…

Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you.” (Jer 29:12-14a)

Do we call upon Him when life is a perfectly painted picket fence? Do we seek Him when the waters are still? Not with the depth of surrender we do when our world is less than perfect.

Losing Emmy was not in my plans, but the Lord held every moment of her little life and her mama’s life in His hands. So yes, this is my life. And I’m here because I’m in the Lord’s will.

But, there is even more to this equation…
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4)

Isn’t that exciting? Every horribly-overwhelming grief-filled moment I endure in this life is serving a purpose, all within His perfect will for me, and it will lack in nothing! I am not going through this trial for no good reason. It is not some random thing that just happened. My faith has been tested…it is producing endurance…and will eventually have a perfect and complete result!

What a beautiful mess!

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29 thoughts on “A Beautiful Mess

  1. Thanks for this post. Our trials right now are so different, yet my own trials could easily apply to the same thoughts and words. I enjoyed “chatting” with you last night. Continuing to lift you up in prayer.Laney

  2. What a testimony you are.Thank you for those words of encouragemet to persevere and keep on serving God through the ‘beautiful messes’ in our lives.

  3. AMEN! I loved your last paragraph. How can we ever see our painful trial as anything less than purpose-filled when God is revealing such beautiful perspective? Through the sorrowful days, his love embraces us. Through the fearful days, his strength lifts us up. Through the hopeless days, he reminds us of the sure hope of eternity with him.I’m witnessing a beautiful work that God is doing in your life. I’m so sorry for the pain you’ve endured and the sorrow you still have, yet I rejoice in the beauty that is being produced through your heartache – only God can do that.Love you.Lynnette

  4. You are such an encouragement to me right now! We are going though some hard situations and this is all so true!! Thank you for sharing from your heart, even through your pain. God bless!!

  5. I can’t imagine the struggle it was for you to write these words. I was reminded of 2 Corinthians 1:3-4: Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.May He continue to comfort you, even as we continue to pray for you.

  6. Once again, you said it so well. I’m so glad that you’re able to continue to focus on God and His will for your life. You’re such a blessing to me my friend!

  7. I have followed along as you post about losing your precious baby daughter Emmy. I cannot begin to imagine what you are going through as this is every mothers nightmare, Losing a child. God never makes a mistake and these beautiful messes make us more like our heavenly father but oh how much they hurt. As the potter works with the clay molding and shaping us according to his will I know it is painful.While I have not experienced your kind of loss:I have experienced other kinds of losses within the past year and knowing that all things work together for good has helped me get through these difficulties. Praying for you,Helen

  8. Amy — Still praying for you!! Didn’t I read at CMOMB you had some good news recently?? I hope so!!God bless,Sallie

  9. As usual, well-written, Amy. I wish I had had your wisdom when I delivered my little Sarah Hope at 16 weeks. It took me a long time to feel that the cloud had lifted after that, but I DO know that God has the perfect plan!

  10. I’ve been reading your blog for a while now … I had a second trimester miscarriage a month ago and while I can’t understand your pain, I am dealing with my own. I really liked how you said that it wouldn’t be in your best interest to hold her now, that was a very timely statement, something I need to remind myself of daily! Thanks :)

  11. Thanks so much for your blog posts. It was something I needed to be reminded about today. Our family suffered through a devastating fire that burned our neigbours house to the ground and seriously damaged our own house this past weekend. I needed the reminder during this time of trial that God always looks after us and everything he does is for a purpose. I hope to put this into practice as I minister to my neighbours who have lost everything. Also as I think about my own life and how God has blessed us. Thanks again!

  12. My wife found your site. We lost our 16 year old son about 3 weeks ago. Reading your work and words comforts me, and not much else can. I know your focus is on grieving moms, but be aware, the grieving dads are reading too…

    • Thank you, Michael, for taking the time to say this. I am so very sorry you lost your precious son. Such a hard road for those of us left behind.

  13. Amy, I read these greiving mother posts long ago. Long ago when my life was seemingly perfect and my heart ached for you but I could NOT relate. But I was so glad for your honesty and for sharing your heart for those who needed it. Now? I need it. I have not actually had a child go to heaven, but boy has she come close. My daughter was born very sick and as we’ve walked these months, I’ve been greiving the loss of a healthy baby, of our “normal”life and it’s just been excruciating to watch my sweet girl suffer. But you are right, there is something very beautiful in this mess. thank you for all of your posts, and I am so very sorry about Emily.

    • Miranda,
      {hugs} to you! Life here on earth has so many difficult aspects to it, but there is Hope. Cling to that! Much love, Amy

      • Thank you, Amy, one week after I posted to you, my sweet Grace did go to Heaven. I have come back to your blog often and have reread your grieving mother series and printed your devotional. Thank you for all that you do, I hope you know how very much you are helping others.

  14. I, too am a grieving mom, having lost my youngest biological child suddenly on Christmas Day 1995.
    THe Lord took the mess and made it beautiful by adding 5 more children to our family through adoption. Thanks for sharing your testimony! Blogs and such weren’t available to me all those years ago, and I know you are a help to many, including me when I found your site today!

  15. Amy, I stumbled across your blog and need to thank you for sharing your wisdom and journey through grief. I haven’t known what to do since losing my last two little ones through miscarriages over the past months. I haven’t prayed since the last one because I haven’t been able to face the hurt and I haven’t been able to face my God who would “do this to me”. I’m ready to pray and I can’t tell you what a gift you’ve given me with your words. Thank you. I’ll be reading this post again in the coming days/weeks/months.

    • Kris – your words do my heart good. I needed to hear what you just said today. Rather than a “you’re welcome,” this is a thank you. {hugs} to you as you heal!

  16. Amy,

    I came across your site several weeks ago as I was trying to figure out how to deal with hand-me-downs. I saw a link to Emmy’s story but knew it was going to be a tear jerker and decided to hold off on reading it. I read it the next morning after my quiet time. I cried with you and grieved deeply for you – and even posted about my very early miscarriage and how I couldn’t quite know your pain. We then left on vacation. While on vacation we found out that our precious baby whom I was carrying, had gone on to his home in Heaven weeks prior. I was 20 weeks and he was measuring between 16-17. We came home and I delivered him on May 17th. These days have been the most excruciating I have ever had in my life. I know the Lord is carrying me but some days it just feels like everything is so wrong. My really good friend recommended I come back here – since I had linked her to Emmy’s story. She said you had a whole section of your website for the grieving mother. I printed your Psalms devotional and have been using it for 8 days now. Obviously the Lord lead me to your site earlier, because He knew I would need the encouragement in the days to come. I’m praying that the Lord will continue to use you to encourage other mothers grieving the loss of their children, however young. It is a road that is impossible to travel without the Lord, but a hair easier with someone who has already journeyed here. thank you.

  17. I signed up to your blog becuase I saw your blog about cloth diapering. I was planning on cloth diapering my son. I had him a week ago and he died the same day I had him. He had problems in the womb but they thought he would be ok once he was out. But he was to sick to make it. Our world just crashed bei ng told and thinking he was going to be ok and ended up being very very sick. Ever since I had him last week the emails you have shared with me have been so helpful. They couldnt be anymore perfect at this time. Thank you for sharing!

    • ((Jessica)) – That was where we were…thinking she was ok, but she was not. In many ways I am grateful I thought all was okay because I did not change anything about how I mothered her. I am praying for you as you walk this.

  18. 1 Corinthians 10:13
    Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

    13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

    You can be assured that God is working in the Background and His Plans are Perfect And Love. He is Almighty, Everlasting, And Overflowing like a cup that forever runneth over.

    God is the Alpha and the Omega, The Beginning and the End.

    With Love, Anthony Souls, Through God, Jesus, and The Holy Ghost.