Sunday, July 12, 2009

Why NOT Me?

While the title may suggest it, this post isn't going to be about how I feel sort of "left out" in the whole world of raising children. While that may be true, and while the fact that Isaac isn't here for us to raise often makes me feel like I don't quite "fit" with our many friends who do have children (not because of anything our friends say or do; they are terrific... this is merely circumstantial), this isn't the context in which I have been thinking about this question.

I think it's common and it's normal when someone has suffered a catastrophic loss, such as the loss of a child, to ask "Why me?" And truth be told, I did. I had a great line of rationalization about why losing a child shouldn't happen to me and Spencer. It went something like this:

"We're young, healthy people. We make eating right and staying in shape a priority. I did everything right during my pregnancy... ate right, exercised, abstained from harmful things. We're a strong Christian couple who desires to raise our children in the ways of the Lord. We have great jobs in which we excel... after all, I am a Nationally Board Certified Teacher. We're kind, loving, live in a safe and family-focused neighborhood that's a great place to raise children. Things like this shouldn't happen to people like us."

To be honest, I am almost embarrassed to admit this train of thought. It's certainly less than humble. But in the face of tragedy, we try to reason it. We try to make "sense" of it all.

Gently, though, the Lord brought to mind a different question, Why NOT you, Stacy?

After all, while all of those things listed in my not-so-humble rant above may be true, there is one thing significantly more true than any of them: I am a sinner, saved by grace.

Our small group is currently reading and discussing Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper. We spent some time this past Friday talking about the cross, and how it serves as a reminder of who we are, who we are not, and who we are in relation to God.

At the foot of the cross, there is no better or worse.

But so often, I think as a way of protecting ourselves from realizing that "those things" could in fact happen to us, we create this protective wall of our accomplishments and positive attributes. Through this experience, I have been realizing that a wall of protection built from my successes and favorable behaviors or traits is no stronger than the straw the three little pigs used to build their house. When the big bad wolf came, it served as no protection.

So I think the better question is... Why NOT me?

When I remember who I really am at the core, there's nothing that precludes me from experiencing the "unthinkable." Even Job, an incredibly righteous man in his time, was tormented time and time and time again. And unfortunately, as the life of Job deomnstrates, even experiencing one unthinkable tragedy doesn't preclude you from experiencing another.

The question of "Why me?" puts myself at the center; the question of "Why NOT me?" turns our eyes toward God... and He is our only sure foundation in the midst of pain, heartache, and tragedy.

Please don't get me wrong...I certainly don't miss Isaac any less. His absence is still incredibly profound and I miss him like crazy. And it has taken me a long time to get to this place... where my head and heart seem to finally be matching up on this. For a while, these truths were something my head knew, but my heart was still in so much anguish that it just hadn't caught up yet. Some of you reading may be in that place. The disconnect between the two is so hard. Continue to take it before the Lord... He will meet you there.

19 comments:

lisavengesta said...

you continue to amaze. may God continue to bless you and spencer ((hugs)) lisa

The Potter's Hand said...

Thank you, though I haven't suffered your tremendous loss...I somewhat feel the same...we've tried for almost 7 years to have a baby to no avail. I feel this way all the time and struggle with why so often...I'm slowly learning to lean on God more, but I still fall and ask why? Thank you for your words they mean so much more than you'll ever know! God Bless you!

Jenny.Lee said...

This is a fantastic post Stacy. Thank you so much for sharing. You are continually in my prayers.

Lauren said...

Thank you so much for this post. It really hit home for me.

Always in Prayer,
Lauren

The Writer Chic said...

Amen. The Lord was telling me this very thing this morning....like I said in my email to you earlier, I was spoken to at church this morning in a profound way. In being in the "why NOT me" place, I only hope I've made Him pleased.

Tammy On the Go said...

This is powerful..our church is doing the same book. Thanks for posting such a great truth

Sheryl said...

sounds like your heart is really listening to the Lord. He must be so incredibly proud.

although our circumstances are not at all the same, i just wrote a post about "what did we do to deserve this?". same type of thing, why do we only ask that when bad things happen?

praying for you.

Sonya said...

He WILL meet you there. you are absolutely right. God knows what he is doing in your life Stacy. You just have to trust him.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

My Quest said...

This post has blessed me in ways you can't begin to imagine, you read my recent post you'll understand why.
All I can say is "Why Not Me".
I feel by some act of mine I should not be excluded from this click of moms to be or moms, nice job, nice house, nice neigbhourhood etc.
forgetting am a sinner saved by grace.

Thanks.

Chelsea said...

I flirted with the 'why me' thing too going through our loss of Grace. But you make the great point, how much right could I do to prevent any 'wrong'? God doesn't work in units; if I do 3 units of right then I get 3 units of good back, it doesn't work that way. Because I really know that I've done millions and millions of units of wrong and He has shown much mercy on me to not repay me mills and mills of bad circumstance. I deserve much much worse!

Angela said...

That was beautiful. Thanks. I needed this.

Nicole said...

This same revelation came to me this week too, where my heart and my mind are finally at peace. Love your writing. Have a peaceful week!

LynnJ said...

Thanks for another great post, Stacy! I love the way you point out the difference in focus between "why me" and "why NOT me." What a great way to look at tough circumstances- I needed to hear that!

Much love,
Lynn

Julie said...

Such a true post. I remember reading another blog a couple years ago, of a mother who lost twins in a similar circumstance as me...and it was post so similar to this. It posed the question "Why NOT me?" and I remember at the time it just shook me to the core and that was when I finally connected the two. But you are right - it's so hard to reconcile those and much easier to wonder "why me?"

Thinking of you and thank you once again for being so open and honest. Even though we've never met, I miss Isaac so much!

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

You expressed this so beautifully...It is amazing to watch your journey...to experience through your beautiful words the places that He carries you. Amazing...

Love you...

Michelle said...

That is something that I've had to ask myself as well--Why NOT me? After all, what do I really deserve apart from eternal damnation? Nothing! Except that the Lord, in His grace and mercy, offers me eternal life. That book by John Piper is wonderful...it seems like you are gleaning much. Love you.

Anonymous said...

I don't know you, but a friend of mine does. I read this post and felt I needed to write you because I've had this conversation with myself. I see your point completely. I have lost a child too (although I never held mine) and all I can say is that God may have a different plan for you--I know that is hard to hear. I know that hurts, but it is true. There are millions of children out there looking up at the sky or asking in their hearts "where is my mother?" maybe that is your path?

Valerie said...

Your faith continues to amaze me. I think about you and Spencer often.

Anonymous said...

I am thrilled for you and Spencer....a Nissan....that is absolutely amazing and so generous. I am happy to hear that your day turnt out as such a success.

Hugs,
Susi