when blessings come with burdens: how God redeems our broken days
When I heard about her passing, I had just returned home from the hospital with Mr. Steady. Sitting there thinking of the conversations we had with the doctor and how aches and pains can be a blessing.
How our pain births our blessings.
This is when my phone beeps: “Jumoke has passed away.” the text reads.
My whole world stops. No.
It’s only after I call my mama that those words make any sense.
“It’s true.” She says. That’s all I hear. Her voice begins to fade and I hang up.
There’s a throbbing pain gnawing at my chest. There’s an aching in my soul. Because, no, not her…not now. not this way…
How do you pray your whole life for a blessing that you will leave too soon?
How does it take you your whole life to heal from the loss of a father that left you staggering through life?
You finally find your feet, find yourself in Christ; you finally become a wife just a few months ago. And we were all there in joy and finally believing that “indeed all things have worked together for good…”
Then you get an even greater blessing that many pray years and hard seasons for. You carry a child inside of you. And our hearts rejoice this grace. Oh this amazing sweet sweet grace…
And this is how you step into eternity? Birthing a new life into time. You go into eternity…
Did you know? Did you know this is how God was writing your story?
Because you have left us reaching for you and death though has lost its sting still cuts like a knife.
We are devastated.
But this burden of grief doesn’t come without a blessing. God and His redeeming ways.
You birth a child. We lost you to the beauty of birthing a new life…
Now we’re left torn between bittersweet.
We’re pulled between the rejoicing for a new life and the deep hurting of losing you.
Our eyes are dim in mourning. But oh! Jumoke, how you have caused us to seek Christ even more desperately. Especially these days of advent: these Christmas days as we prepare Him room.
Because indeed He is near to the broken hearted. And in the same way, He doesn’t cause pain without allowing something new to be born. (Isaiah 66: 9-14)
So yea, it doesn’t matter what we all think: blessings come with burdens.
And I hear Ann Voskamp’s words: for all the things that we pray, we will have to live broken and given.
Our lives will have to be spent. We will have to be willing to live inconvenienced and surrender to how He chooses to bless us. And His blessings are in the breaking. Yes, His blessings are without sorrow but they are not without responsibility and many times not without pain.
It’s there across the pages of His Word. Mary knew it: she was birthing a life that will give His for us all. Hannah knew it: she hungered for this child but she gave him back to the One who gave her
Our strengths and trust in Him is sometimes measured by what we’re willing to give.
These women knew what we’re all learning. You will have to live given.
You will pray to be married and live with the grace-filled responsibility to pray fervently for that marriage. You will pray for a child and if you live long enough, you will find that a mother’s labour never really ends. Because anything worth having through grace is worth all of your heart. All of you.
Yes, you will be given much, and much will be expected of you.
Nothing He gives us is really about us. You will have to see blessings in all that is gone, all that is left behind and even in the pain of your broken places.
I have woken up numb yet with joy days after. Bittersweet days.
How our aches and pains can birth our blessings. Our God and His redeeming ways.
Our hearts are not without praise these days, there’s a growing miracle within.