I was riding in the car on the way to church about a week ago and a song came on the radio that really touched me. I forgot about it later. Yesterday it came on again and I downloaded it to my itunes right there (Michael was driving).
Ruby has been doing so well moving her tongue lately. She sticks it all the way out. She lifts it wonderfully. Her suck has improved tremendously. So yesterday morning (Sept 30) I decided to try moving her to the medium sized tubing on the SNS. She struggled the first few times. But by the end of the night she took 5 oz in 20 minutes. That’s better than the goal that Beckman Clinic sets (4oz in 20 minutes). After she went to bed I spent several minutes in the quiet dark thinking. I was thinking great things. It wouldn’t be much longer and she would be strong enough to nurse. I closed my eyes and imagined it very vividly.
Today didn’t go so well. She struggled all day to eat. It was okay early on. But it got worse and worse throughout the day. Then I realized that she couldn’t stick her tongue all the way out even though she was trying to. I felt under her tongue and do you know, that stupid tie is back!!!!! I’ve been doing the exercises for two weeks when they say you only need to do them for one week. I go two days without doing them and it’s back.
So I moved the poor baby back to the large tubing tonight so she could eat enough to go to sleep. Then I sat down to pump, pulled out my iphone, and listened to the song I downloaded yesterday.
I feel very strongly that God was leading me to this song so that he could use it to minister to me. Like he was trying to tell me something. I listened to it several times while pumping and became confused about the message God was trying to send me.
The first part of the song says, “I’m holding on, but I feel like giving up.” But the chorus says, “When all hope is gone and I’ve been wounded in the battle… he will carry me.” If all hope is gone, why continue? How can one continue when all hope is gone?
At first I was thinking God was maybe trying to tell me it is okay to let this go and he will help me deal with the loss I feel. But then I listened to it again and was still drawn to “I’m holding on.”
So am I supposed to hold on or give up?
I know that God gave me a promise about this. I know God is able to complete the work that he began. I know he is not a liar (Numbers 23:19 God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?) This is called having faith. I know that “without faith it is impossible to please God.” (Hebrew 11:6) So therefore I choose to continue to have faith that God will work. But I truly identify with the song about “all hope is gone.” Then I thought, what is the difference between faith and hope? So I googled it and found a quote by Martin Luther from his Table Talk. The chapter is “Of Justification” the section is numbered: CCXCVII
“…faith consists in a person’s understanding, hope in the will…”
So it is possible to have faith but no hope. In my mind, I posscess the knowledge that God gave me a promise and he keeps his promises. But I have lost my will to keep fighting for this.
Then it hit me!
The song says, “And even when I’m walking through the valley of the shadow, I will hold tight to the hand of him who’s love will comfort me. When all hope is gone and I’ve been wounded in the battle, he is all the strength that I will ever need. He will carry me.”
I’m wounded from fighting all of this and I have no will to continue fighting (aka no hope). But in the moment that I have no hope, he will be my strength and will carry me through this time.
Earlier I posted that I will “hope against hope.” Now I’ve lost hope. But I still have faith. Our hope comes from our strength to hold out and keep fighting. But when we loose that, God is strong enough to carry us through the most difficult times of our lives. Circumstances can cause us to lose hope. But they cannot force us to lose our faith because faith is knowledge. Once you learn something, you can’t unlearn it. I have learned that when God says something, I can trust him with it. I trust him with this also. He will carry me through this time of my life even though all hope is gone!