By Kara Zercher
August 16th. Each year this day is in the very least, memorable; it’s my birthday. This August I celebrated my fifth 22nd birthday (don’t do the math), but I won’t remember that. I will remember that day forever as the day the Lord called home our sweet unborn 10 week old baby. This day was the day the Lord took us into a new, unknown season. It seems like those transition times moving into new seasons are the ones that test our faith the most. The day we lost Joshua, I remember feeling peace as I read through Ecclesiastes, knowing that there was a time for everything and this was a time for my husband and me to mourn, to rest in God’s love. What’s funny is the testing of my faith came weeks later, after the shock wore off, after the phone calls stopped, after I just couldn’t put off thinking about it anymore. Then my choice came. Would I go through this chosen season with the Lord? Or would I try to do it on my own? I wish I could say I choose the Lord on a daily basis during this time. Instead a lot of days, I chose to stay in the pain, and not in the healthy way. The way where you’re confused, angry and continually dwelling in the hurt. There are seldom times I had been angry with God; it was a foreign feeling, but one I couldn’t let go of. How could the Lord take away our baby? How in the world could that be in His plan? Why wouldn’t people stop saying, ‘well at least you already have one child’, ‘at least it wasn’t your first baby you lost, that makes things easier’, ‘well you’re fertile, you’ll have another baby soon’. I just wanted to scream, YOU DON’T KNOW ANYTHING. Because if I felt anything at that point, it was that I didn’t know anything either. None of this was explainable; there wasn’t some kind of silver lining. And that’s when it hit me. Did I believe God was sovereign? I had said God was sovereign over and over again to friends and family dealing with loss, but now that God had taken something so precious from me, did I truly believe this truth? Could I still say God is good even when circumstances feel out of control and painful? And that’s when I realized I didn’t have to know everything, I just had to know and believe one thing: God is good all the time. It doesn’t matter what season you are going through.
Seasons. For some reason as you get older seasons seem to become more and more distinct from one another. Maybe it’s because life gets harder. But maybe it’s also because you get to experience some of the greatest joys in life too, like getting married, graduating from college, or the having children. There are so many different seasons that God seems to take you through. I think once I learned to let go of my plans, that’s when I was able to see that God faithfully carries us through every season. There are so many different aspects to a season. Take winter for instance. The beginning of winter starts out a little cold, the leaves have almost all fallen off the trees. The cold air starts to appear, and snow or ice could come later. All of this gives you something new to appreciate about God’s creation; it’s also preparing nature for the next season. All the leaves fell off the trees, so that new buds could sprout in the spring. All the snow and ice makes you appreciate the sun on your face as the warmth arrives in March. God does the same thing in our lives. Each season you are going through is preparing you for the next one. You only have to surrender what you are going through to Him. He will carry you. He will love you. You only have to put your trust in Him. You only have to say His promises and wait on Him to work. Psalm 116:5-9 says:
The Lord is gracious and righteous;
our God is full of compassion.
the Lord protects the unwary;
when I was brought low, he saved me.
Return to your rest, my soul,
for the Lord has been good to you.
For you, Lord, have delivered me from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the Lord
in the land of the living
What love the Lord has for us. He is our true protector and deliverer. He refreshes us when we feel like life has taken everything from us. He is our shoulder to cry on.
People say hindsight is always twenty/twenty, but that’s not always because of regrets. It’s also looking back and appreciating the good memories. Sometimes, looking back at a season is just as special and heart- grabbing as when you were going through it. I can look back at the day after we lost Joshua and treasure a dear friend that dropped everything, hauled her kids over to my house, and cried with me. I will never cease to be grateful for all the cards, verses, and prayers that were bestowed on us during that painful time. I can look back now and say God was gracious even in a heart wrenching circumstance.
We have all suffered loss. Maybe you haven’t lost a baby, but I know there have been lost dreams, other lost loved ones, job loss, lost friendships, or even health. So where do you run when you are going through pain, where are you taking your heart? I would encourage you not to do as I did in the beginning. Don’t run to busyness, TV, or chocolate. God loves you so much more, let those pick-me ups be something temporary, not your guide to get through your painful season. There is freedom in surrendering your pain to the cross. There is freedom in letting go. There is freedom in saying God has a plan much better than mine. There is freedom in saying His promises out loud and believing them even when you haven’t seen the end result. Psalm 119:45 says, ‘I will walk about in FREEDOM, for I have sought out your precepts.’ So today, I pray as you are reading this, that you will run to the cross, that you would feel God’s love and mercies that He has for you. I also pray that we would be there for one another as we go through so many different seasons, that we would have love and grace towards one another. I pray that we would remember to use our seasons to help others that are going through a season we have gone through before. There is no coincidence with our Lord. Everything He puts before us has purpose. God is good all the time. Let’s be free in that truth today.
Meet Kara Zercher
I am honored to introduce you all to Kara. Kara and her husband, Shane, along with their precious one year old son live just outside of Houston. Kara is my cousin and she is 100% precious. She is loyal, fun, thoughtful and carries with her a sweetness that is from the Lord. She helps lead and volunteers with her local church and she tutors elementary and junior high students all while loving her little one and hubby. Today she shares a piece of her that is raw and honest and her heart is to speak into any areas of loss you may be struggling through. Let her testimony of loss touch you today.