The Garden of Gethsemane

by 9:18 AM 2 comments
This blog post was supposed to be very different.  I was supposed to have cutesy pictures with pumpkins... or numbers.... or shoes all lined up in a row.  I was going to be able to explain my relative blog silence with just two simple words. If I have learned anything in the three years I have been getting to know Jesus, I have definitely learned that His plans are not our plans.  They almost never are.... 
Isaiah 55:8-9

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

We were pregnant again.  After losing Peanut earlier this year, it seemed like God was going to give us our rainbow baby in the spring!  Dearest Husband (DH) and I were so excited, but nervous too. I immediately put this pregnancy in God's hands.  I prayed God, this is your baby.  I trust you no matter what Your will for this pregnancy is. I trust you God - completely. I felt so much better when I made it to 7 weeks - past the point where I lost Peanut.  We nicknamed this little one Blueberry.  We went to the first doctor's appointment and saw the most beautiful heartbeat I'd ever seen because it was beating strong and fast!  Blueberry was measuring at 7 weeks instead of 9 weeks, which our doctor said that was normal and quite common, it's easy to get numbers wrong and throw dates off.
DH and I were so excited; we were just beaming ear to ear.  We weren't ready to tell the world, but we did start telling our Church family. After all, they can't pray for the pregnancy if they don't know there is one.  Slowly we began sharing with people, no formal announcements, just comments as we chatted with our friends along the way.  With the Judgment House production at church going on, it provided us a chance to start sharing the news.

Then one day I had some abnormal symptoms, but they were so minimal and we weren't too worried.  Even my friend (who also happens to be my OB nurse) was not concerned.  As quickly as the abnormal symptoms appeared, they disappeared.  I was happy, it was just a fluke.  The weekend was wonderful, Judgment House was so rewarding!  I was looking forward to a week of minimal housework and plenty of R&R so we would be ready for the final weekend of Judgment House.  On Wednesday, the abnormal symptoms returned.  They would get worse and then better, but they didn't totally go away.  I texted my friend that evening and she mentioned it to my doctor.  The doctor wanted me to come in for another sonogram on Friday, just to see what was going on.  None of us were particularly worried because two weeks before we saw that beautiful heartbeat.

Friday came and I was apprehensive but only about this "outside, marginal" chance that something could be wrong.  As the first images from the sonogram appeared, I didn't see what I wanted to see.  I didn't see that strong, beautiful heartbeat.  My doctor, God bless that man, I think tried to look from every possible angle before finally saying "I’m not seeing a heartbeat".  I wasn't either, I knew before he had to say a word.  In fact, Blueberry didn't seem very much bigger than the first time I saw him (yes, I say him; we seem to have a knack for boys anyway).  My doctor measured Blueberry and instead of measuring 9 weeks like I would have expected, Blueberry measured 8 weeks.  I admit, I wasn't really looking at his size anymore, I think I was trying to will Blueberry's heart to beat again.  That somehow, just maybe if I stared hard enough, I'd see that flutter again.

All of this brought to mind what is probably my second favorite verse in the Bible. Let me set this scene a bit if you don't know the story. Jesus has just finished the last supper with his disciples.  He has told them his death is coming, that Peter is going to deny him, and that one of them is going to betray him.  It was night and Jesus has led his disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray.  Jesus asked his disciples to stay behind while he went deeper into the garden to talk to his Father.

It is in this moment, just Jesus and his Father talking, that one of the most profound statements of the Bible is made.   Matthew 26:39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”

Why is that significant?  Because Jesus, God in the flesh, wholly man and God, the only person to ever live a 100% perfect life had doubts.  He was apprehensive, he knew what was coming and it was going to hurt.  And in this moment, not of weakness but of incredible strength, Jesus cries out to his Father with (what I'm sure was) the most pained heart and soul imaginable.  He basically asks God if this plan doesn't have to end with torture and crucifixion, if there is any other way, let's do that.

What's profound about that is that Jesus, our perfect Savior, didn't want to endure what he was about to endure.  However, Jesus knew Isaiah 55:9 - For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are [God's] ways higher than your ways and [God's] thoughts than your thoughts.  That's why Jesus relented to God's perfect will, that's why he prayed "nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will."   Jesus is saying, I don't want to do this God, this is going to suck really bad, but I trust Your will, Your plan, leaving behind what I want completely, I will submit to You.

And that is why Matthew 26:39 is my second favorite verse.  Being afraid and having no desire to endure pain and torment is not a sin.... we become sinful when we reject God's plan and will for our lives and try to replace God's plan with our own.  Jesus could have stopped the events to come at any moment.  One word, one thought from Jesus, and one or one gazillion angels would have descended and whisked him away to the throne he left behind.  But Jesus submitted to God's will... completely.  He didn't fight it, he endured it.  Jesus did Kingdom work in the middle of the pain, through the tears, against every fiber of His human self.

Through my broken heart I prayed again, I echoed the words of my Savior to our Father in Heaven: ... nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.  My heart isn't less broken or my body any less in pain because I prayed that.  What I have is peace, the peace Jesus promised me before he left this earth:  

John 14:27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. 
Not as the world gives do I give to you. 
Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

He will heal my body and mend our hearts.  More importantly, Jesus has given me a story that I have to share with all of you.  God will bring Glory from our pain just as He did with Jesus on the cross.  The unimaginable pain, agony, torment and death Jesus endured has made it possible for us to be redeemed before the Father so we may spend eternity with Him in perfect Heaven.  Where "He will wipe away every tear from [our] eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

Peanut, take care of Blueberry for us.  Tell him we love him.  Jesus knows how much we love you both. When I get there, I hope you kiddos are at the front of the welcoming committee so I can give you the biggest hug those new arms will give.   

Jodi @ God Still Speaks

Head Writer

Boy mom of three. Married to the same man since 2002. Former working mom turned stay-at-home mom. I love my faith, family, and coffee.

2 comments:

  1. Oh my beautiful friend, please know you are not alone. I wish with all of my being I could be there with you right now giving you a hug, sharing tears with you, and uplifting you like you have done for me so many times in the past (and continue to do) I personally have no idea what it is like to lose a child. I have never experienced that finality. What I do know its the sense of loss of what could have been. I know I don't tell you this often but I want you to know you inspire me! Your drive, courage, and selflessness (which is ever so evident in this post) is a beacon to so many who are hurting. In all that we have been through I have never been able to share my pain while it was so raw. I commend you for not only sharing your pain but sharing how it is okay to hurt and through Christ find healing. Even though I am hundreds of miles away I am with you. You and the family are in my prayers, & I LOVE all of you!!!! (((((((HUGS))))))))


    p.s.
    you should recommend a box of tissue.
    ;`(

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  2. God picked you for your little peanut and blueberry- how very special you are and they are. he wants the best for all of us and that He chose you out of everyone to escort them to heaven says A LOT about you! Like I told you this morning, I truly believe when you get to heaven Jesus will greet you with those babies in His arms and hand them to you. He will take good care of them until you get there. Love you friend and I know how terribly hard this time is. Thinking of you.

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Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests to made known to God. — Philippians 4:6