I almost didn’t write about the miscarriage. The loss was early on, and I got to come home to our three beautiful children. I reminded myself that so many couples long for even one healthy baby. I cried, but emotionally, I found my peace quickly. We lost the pregnancy Thanksgiving week. That was the most difficult aspect. The holidays highlight the death of Mom and Dad more than any other time of the year. We were headed into our third Christmas without them and each celebration- each festive event-is a mixture of gratitude for my own little family and an increasingly familiar ache at their absence.
I am reminded over and over again that love without loss is impossible. The risks to create life, expand, and grow are oftentimes met with great joy. But other times, there is disappointment. There is sickness or pain that ends our connection to a dream or person much too soon. Great courage and fortitude of will are needed to accept the good with the bad, and this enlarges our hearts.
The truth is, I’m becoming (slightly) more comfortable with the unavoidable pain that accompanies love.
The price of love is steep.
Love will cost us everything. Literally everything. Loving will always result in a degree of loss, for all lives end- including ours.
We cannot love without placing our hearts in a most vulnerable position.
If we choose to love deeply, it will break us.
But if we keep loving, it will rebuild us.
The pain of loss, death of a loved one, or the heartbreak from an unfulfilled dream is crushing. There is no skirting the issue.
We must allow ourselves to be devastated for a time, then step back and realize how much greater is our ability to love again. The joy of risking our hearts to love deeply is completely worth the pain of loss.
The Bible itself connects us to a vision of love that doesn’t insulate itself from rejection, pain, or death.
It’s so interesting to think of the life of Jesus. Jesus was, and is, God’s literal, tangible extension of love to a world that would reject and crucify Him. God’s only son. And yet, the Father still chose this costly love. He was reckless and abandoned in His pursuit of relationship to a world gone mad. He gave of the most precious part of Himself- His own child. He held nothing back. He was all in. And He is still all in.
I was recently talking theology with both my 5- and 4- year old (ha!). We were discussing rules and why God gives us guidelines. I told them God knows how life works best and that’s why we have ‘love fences.’ I explained how we have commands to protect us and our freedom, not to restrict us.
Jesus came because God the Father knew we could never keep the rules perfectly. Jesus is the bridge from all our shortcomings and sin to fellowship with God. Though it cost Him everything, Father God made a way for each of us to know true love. It wasn’t easy or convenient, but He sent Jesus anyway. We can trust God’s heart for us because He proved His love for us. And if we are secure in His love for us, we will have the faith to risk loving every time. He is familiar with betrayal, loss, disappointment, and pain. He doesn’t shrink back from us, but continues to faithfully offer the gift of hope and redemption through faith in Jesus. His love beat sin, brokenness, and death.
This sacred solidarity with Christ emboldens us to love with wild abandon,
He paved the way.
Photo by: Tori Vandament