Monday, October 1, 2007

Living

Every day I find myself more and more thankful that God did not make us for this world. I realize that technically speaking, He did make us for this world for a certain period of time, but the days He ordained for us here are short! Whether it be one day or 100 years, in the grand scheme of things it is all, as the book of James says, just “a vapor.” I don’t know whether I would have been excited about this, say, just three months ago. I can guarantee I wouldn’t have been doing handstands about it in high school. I thought there was just too much life to live to be happy about the fact that it is so short. But, with each passing day, I find myself more and more aware that this life is not what we were created for! Nathan told me as we were driving away from Copeland’s funeral on Saturday that this same feeling had overwhelmed him as we sat through her beautiful memorial service. It’s like once the reality of suffering begins to seep through the surface level and implant itself firmly in the heart, all of the sudden the incongruity of what God intended for us and the reality of this fallen world hits full force. The pain we are all going through is just not what was supposed to be!

Just today I have heard from people who are experiencing a variety of suffering and heartaches ranging from leukemia, to depression, to bungled adoptions, to sick children. My eyes have most definitely been opened! No one is immune to the hurt and pain that can hit at a moments notice, and the pain is all around us! Regardless of whether a person knows God or not, the pain is real and unavoidable. The only difference is, that for the person who knows God, he has the concrete assurance that there is a reason for joy and hope in this life because of promise of being with God for eternity in heaven where everything is actually exactly as God intended without any of the scars and blemishes of this world to mar it. There will never be enough words for me to express to Jesus how grateful I am to Him for that!

I don’t want to give the impression that I now feel like life is a burden that I must endure, because that’s not how I feel at all! I love life, and I think that God intends for us to live, even in this vastly imperfect world, with laughter and fun and enjoyment. I love the movie Life is Beautiful, because the father in the story so typifies the very essence of living life despite the circumstances. But the truth is, while I do feel like the title of that movie is true, I think that Jesus will redefine the meaning of beauty once we get to heaven to mean something that is perfect and free from all traces of sorrow. However, for now I want to use whatever short time I have to bring Jesus glory. The gift of this little baby has made that desire deeper and more urgent than ever before. Everyday as Poppy lives and moves inside of me, she is constantly on my mind and my heart. I think about the specifics of her condition often, but she also reminds me of the condition of the world around me. She has helped me to see past myself and my own small concerns and to see the world around me with new eyes. She has helped me to see other people’s hurts, and she has helped provide me with an empathy that I was very lacking in up to this point in my life. God has done all this through her already, and I know He is certainly not through using her in my life and the lives of other people. She is without doubt one of God’s greatest gifts to me.

7 comments:

Amy Buchanan said...

Angi,
I found your blog through Copeland's blog. And I only found her's last week but it was a week that changed me forever. I am in awe of you, your husband's and the Farley's incredibly strong but real faith as you walk this unexpected and difficult path. Part of me wonders, though, why God has all of a sudden brought your families into my life. I say that because at 31 and having never been married and having had a hysterectomy just a few months ago, it's hard for me to identify with your struggles. I will never know what it's like to be pregnant with a child let alone to know that he/she will only live a very short period of time. But then there is a part of me that does identify with you because I, in essence, "lost" my children that I was never able to conceive. I grieved over that loss and had just as much anger about it as if I had held the child in my arms. I say all that to ask you how can I specifically pray for you and your family? God has shown me how precious life is through little Copeland but also how He can take a tiny baby sick with disease and in 8 short days change hearts around the world.

Amy in Little Rock

Elizabeth S said...

Thank you for your post. Because of people like you and Nathan and the Farley's, I am seeing life through new eyes. I am praying for you.

Laurie said...

Dear Angi,

I have never been down this road you and Nathan are on, this same road Conor and Boothe are in the middle of, Emily and Mandy are a little further down this road, Eliots parents are further still. I do know the Lord has led me to pray for each and every one of your families. The common thread is He is teaching us through the mouths of babes, before they ever speak a word. He is doing this through His spirit and yours. Your post spoke so clearly to my heart this morning that as He is forming Poppy Joy in your womb, He is forming in you a new heart, deeper wisdom and understanding of His ways that are not our ways, but better. I see her with one hand in the Fathers and one around your heart. A life-line from Him, through her, to you. His touch of love is all around you and in you and it shows in every post you write. This miracle is unfolding right before our eyes. I have learned more and had my eyes widened larger in these past months than some of the best preaching I have heard. He is using these precious babies to reach into hearts and show Himself in such a deep way. And He chose you and Nathan to be her guardians. What a heartbreaking blessing. Our God is so big and I feel so small. I do know that my prayers are for His protection over you, His peace flowing through you, His love to completely surround you and fill you and His Blessings to bathe you in HOPE. He has a perfect plan for you and I pray He mightily and gently carries you through.

Love and Prayers, many Prayers,

Laurie in Ca.

Ellie said...

You don't know me - but I stumbled on your blog this morning, and have been praying for you all day. My cousin's baby had Trisomy 18 and I ache for you during this time. Your blog is beautiful, and our God is big.

Blessings,
ellie

Adam & Amy Wilson said...

Angie, it reminds me of the last chapter in The Last Battle...where the concept of Shadowlands and the real Narnia are introduced: "And as he spoke he no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before." It brings "home" the truth found in I Corinthians 13:12: "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known." Love you, Nathan, and Marianna so dearly and am so greatful to our merciful Father for loving instructing us all through this time.

Emily said...

Angie,
I have been praying the Psalms over your sweet family for the last few days. I wanted to share what I read this morning. What a beautiful prayer this is when we reach the end of our own strength!

"Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I." Psalm 61:1-2

"Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right and upholds me." Psalm 63:7-8

I love you and can't wait to see you tomorrow!

Mandy said...

I am praying for you as you walk this familiar road. Please email me if you would like to talk.

Mandy
GA
www.madelinegracehopkins.blogspot.com