Still Fighting It

by - August 23, 2009

It’s been two months since my discovery of miscarriage at the 12th week of pregnancy. Despite the initial sadness and the recurring fits of envy, I feel like I have been moving on with my life fairly well. Or I thought I had. This month, I was about 80% sure I was pregnant again. I was having headaches and nausea and even felt a little rounder. It’s amazing the power the mind has over the body, because my favorite aunt had her usual impeccable timing. Likely, the headaches were the storm systems moving through and the nausea was my nerves over whether or not I was pregnant. I was a little disappointed; my reaction was “Well, no baby is better than a miscarriage.”

In church this morning, I was singing the last song of the service, “Into the Arms of Jesus”, and I rarely do this, but I closed my eyes. The voices of hundreds of people singing out “Hosanna in the highest, your love will not fail us, no!” washed over me. All these hearts around me had their own aches, were fighting their own battles, and the answer to each one’s crisis was Jesus, and Jesus alone. Tears welled up as I realized I was still fighting this. I was still trying to solve my own problems, answer my own questions - be my own savior.

On the way home, I was thinking about the comparison of God to a potter and us to clay. It’s become somewhat of a cliché metaphor to me, so I felt a bit silly going down that road. Often, as the clay, I like to ponder what type of vessel I am being formed into; however, I began to consider that maybe I was not even a centered lump of clay yet. Before a potter will throw a vessel, first the clay has wedged. It is pounded and rocked and thrown to bring out all the bubbles and create uniform texture throughout, otherwise the vessel might explode and shatter during the firing. Next, the clay is put on the wheel and the potter leans into it, coning it up and down until there is not even a hint of wobble. When the clay is older and harder, it takes more strength to center it, more water to soften it to a place where it can be formed. If the clay is not absolutely centered, as the potter forms the vessel, it will begin to twist and wobble. Ultimately, the vessel will have weak spots and be unbalanced and may even fly off the wheel.

I’m not totally sure where I was going with the metaphor because I was soon thinking about gardening and playing in the dirt, but I think the main point is that God is still working on me. His patience, though perceived by my heart as inopportune delay, is done so as not to crush me. He takes his time to make me stronger not weaker, to build me up not to beat me down. Oh how I wish I were a softer lump of clay! Instead, I feel like that hardened lump that is pushing back against his hands determined to create myself.

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9 comments

  1. Paige, I don't know you...I think I might have seen your son at V21 kids...but I have to finally to admit that I've been blog stalking you. I really admire your honesty and the way you always bring life events - tragedy and happiness - back to Jesus. Thanks so much for sharing publicly.

    -sarah

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  2. i can relate. not in every way, but i can relate because i continue to fear what may or may not happen. God & i continue to have weird talks about it. but at least we're talking.

    i continue to keep you & your family in my prayers, paige.

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  3. I only know a few things, but one is that God will not rush anything, much like you can't force the clay to be ready.

    The second has been SUCH a theme for me lately and I want to write about it soon - how NOT in control we are. How the clay doesn't do a darn thing to be formed into a pot, it just IS. It's just clay, sitting around in its clayness. I was so shocked to hear Tyler talk on this this morning, since it has been coming up so much!

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  4. So sorry to hear of your miscarriage, Paige. I know that God will carry you and Joe through this and that you will emerge stronger because of it. I'll be keeping you in my prayers.

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  5. Amy, it seems that it's one thing to realize we are not in control, but to take it a step farther and relent to that and let it work for us is another. To fully embrace that I am not in control and be able to use that mental and emotional energy towards something else could have amazing repercussions.

    Sarah, thanks for saying hey!

    Sharon, weird talks with God are the norm here too.

    Heather, thanks!

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  6. Paige, I have walked down the miscarriage road you are going down and the feelings and emotions are very real. I have for many years been in awe by the potter (God) and the clay(me) and am thankful that He still sees fit to mold me into His vessel, but reminds that I need to allow myself to be molded...He will not force me to be molded....love

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  7. I think it's actually been a surprise to me that as clay I can't form myself into a vessel. I can't even get to the relenting part yet, I'm still stuck in the "huh" of the realization!

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  8. Amy, I think strong-willed intellegent women have a hard time getting past the huh... Especially those who are used to working hard to achieve their goals. Kim, thanks for the comment. It has been a comfort knowing I am not alone in those experiences and feelings.

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  9. I love it when 100% different life situations yield the same lessons. I'm totally with you on the control issue, and this week has been a real lesson in letting go. I think I've realized theoretically what that means, but practically, every moment is an exercise in active relenting, which inevitably includes a strengthening of faith that God is in control of whatever I give up to Him. It's beautiful, but it's also hard and frustrating and confusing and sort sad, like I'm mourning the death of my autonomy. My in-charge-ness. My self.

    I guess the next step for me will be the realization that the death of me is also my very life, but I'm not yet to the celebration stage.

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