“The difference between shallow happiness and a deep, sustaining joy is sorrow. Happiness lives where sorrow is not. When sorrow arrives, happiness dies. It can’t stand pain. Joy, on the other hand, rises from sorrow and therefore can withstand all grief. Joy, by the grace of God, is the transfiguration of suffering into endurance, and of endurance into character, and of character into hope–and the hope that has become our joy does not (as happiness must for those who depend up on it) disappoint us.” ― Walter Wangerin Jr., Reliving the Passion: Meditations on the Suffering, Death, and the Resurrection of Jesus as Recorded in Mark
I wanted to write today, but my head hurts so badly I cannot form complete sentences. I need to take some pills and crawl into bed. Dan will leave work early to help with the girls. I do it rarely, but we both know when it hits like this I have to clock out.
On the way to my cool, dark room I got on my knees at my prayer bench. I couldn’t even muster a guttural plea. Not even a “Dear God, Please.” Nothing. Numbness. I held my favorite heavy gray stone in my shaking hands. It is engraved with my life word. HOPE. I thought of a song I’ve claimed as “mine” for eight long years. How do the lyrics go? I came back to my computer to find my folder on hope. It’s a digital scrapbook of anything I’ve ever read, watched or listened to on the subject. Next to the download of Natalie Grant and Christa Well’s song, “Our Hope Endures,” the above quote is saved in a text file. I listened to the song. I read the words, and I wrote this. It is only the second poem I’ve written since my early twenties. I’m going to lie down and soak my pillow now.
I call him Sorrow,
Because there are no new words.
I’m crying out,
“How long, Oh Lord?”
Does He hear?
I miscarried her early on.
I don’t visit the grave.
I won’t miss someone I don’t know, but
She didn’t deserve to die.
Should I believe this?
Born of suffering.
Endurance was the doula’s name.
Her mother was Hope.
I held her wet with vernix.
Would I clip the cord?
The place we live together now.
Adoption is true religion.
Character is the swaddling cloth.
Suffering is transfigured.
Could this ever disappoint?