Redefining Relationships

Last year, I felt the gentle touch of change within and around my relationships. The shift was rooted in the complexity of grief and loss in the wake of my first miscarriage. Instead of finding myself held tightly by the friends I loved and counted on, I was finding myself alone.

Rooting in prayer, and finding foundations in the gospels, I slowly awakened to the things God was leading me to observe. And it all started with a prayer for destruction

With my legs folded under me, I sat and looked at the paper with wonder. “Okay, God. I don’t know what this means, but I know you are moving,” I whispered as I smoothed the scrap onto my wall. The words, “Destroy my Home Team” stared back at me.

Rising early the next morning, I glanced in the mirror: tired eyes, wild hair, thick pajamas. My eyes slid away from my reflection and landed on the menacing words “Destroy my Home Team.” Forcefully, I squeezed my eyes shut, willing the alarming prayer to disappear.

Destruction wasn’t something I wanted, yet the mystery of it grasped tightly to me.

Snow crunched under my boots as I opened the car door. Riding alone, I could think only of my destination. For the second time in a short 12 months, I was on my way to the hospital with the fear of losing my child.

At triage, I reached into my purse and was surprised by the soft pages of my Bible. When I made it to a room, and I sat on the stiff hospital bed with the lights off.

Quietly, I began praying. Silent lips moving. Listening throughout the hospital for something other than my own pain. An answer came as the words of an old accented man met me. He was singing an old Irish song, with words I couldn’t make out, but with joy that was palpable. Once again, the mystery of God had found me. How could someone send up such a joyful song in such a desperate place? Didn’t he know what people lose here?

I sat for a long time, listening to the man, holding my Bible. Nurses bustled around and about. The doctors came in and out. Fog. But the man across the hall grounded me to God’s kingdom. He kept singing to nurses and ushering prayers to his doctors.

“God be with you, today and always,” he said in his old Irish accent before singing another ditty. The stranger was completely unfazed by whatever had brought him to this place of desperation.

The ultrasound tech came and took me away for a while, then she wheeled me back, and I could hear the man again. The doctor came in shortly and told me what I had already known. My baby had been lost, again. I was untethered. Fresh tears fell on their own, and my face became prickly and wet. I listened to the man until I was discharged.

The Irish soloist was the beginning.

He was a revelation in destroying my home team.

He was an interloper who taught me what God intends for connection.

He was the first outsider to redefine my home team. “Hello, nice to meet you, I have no idea who you are. Welcome.” 

The point isn’t knowing him. The point is how God saved me through him.

While my world fell apart into a million pieces with my second miscarriage, I was shepherded through God’s kingdom by this connection to the kingdom that forced me to unlearn everything I had known about the radical love that comes from Jesus. Destroying my home team wasn’t meant to ruin relationships, it was a call from God to redefine them.


Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Dear Lord,

Awaken us to your kingdom within and around us.

You have given us a heart for people we don’t always understand, and for that God, we thank you.

Teach us, Lord, how to be better listeners. Guide us to be observers of the truth you have called us to witness, so that we may remember who you are.

Shepherd us in our intentions. Help us be prayerfully quiet. Cultivate in us the love and grace of Jesus.

Lead us closer to you.

We want to know you more.

Amen

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