It’s 8:30pm, the teeth have been brushed and the pull-ups are on. The next logical step is bed, right? But here lately, in our house, we have had dance parties before we finally lay down to sleep. Each of my two boys picks a song they want to hear, and for the duration of the song, we dance! It may be the worst parenting move before bed that has ever come into play, but they love it, and I love them.
It’s not something we did before the two miscarriages. In fact, there are quite a few things that we do and don’t do now because of the babies we lost. Loss changes things, it just does. Now, I treasure the two boys I have more than ever because of the loss. Some of that treasuring comes from a place of gratitude and thankfulness. I’ve realized what a miracle and a gift pregnancy and parenthood are. However, some of this newfound treasuring comes from an unhealthy place, where my kids have become the supreme affection of my heart. A place where only Jesus belongs.
Loss changes things.
Paul says in Philippians 3, “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him . . . that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection of the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.”
How great is this love that Paul has for Christ? He so confidently and proudly proclaims that his entire life, and even his death, is all about loving Jesus and knowing him above everything else. I wish I could write to you and tell you that in my greatest joys and in my deepest sufferings, I treasured Christ above all, through it all, but I can’t, and I didn’t.
It hurts me to say this, and it’s not a place I am proud to have been. When we lost our babies I didn’t want more of Jesus, I wanted my babies back. I would have counted Jesus as loss to know my babies, but this is backwards.
The truth is (because the Word of God is true, not because my heart always agrees) that Jesus really is worth the loss of ALL things, and in the things we lose involuntarily or the things we give-up intentionally, we pursue treasuring Christ because He has treasured us—“because [He] has made [us] his own.
Of course, our pursuit of Christ, our treasuring him is imperfect.
Even in our pursuit of him, we turn so many ordinary and some profoundly good things into God things. Our jobs, our relationships, our financial security, our children (as in my case)—all good things given by God that can end up taking His place. And then sometimes we get it right, we have seasons of sweet communion with him.
But treasuring Christ goes beyond really big highs and really devastating lows. Living for Christ is very similar to living alongside other people you desire to grow in relationship with. It takes time and intentionality.
Living for Christ means getting to know Christ, believing in Him, and making him known. It’s means loving him, and it’s hard to love someone if you don’t know them.
“Pursue Christ at all cost. If you clean up your life and you never struggle again but you don’t get Jesus, you’ve lost, who cares? Don’t let your goal be to be a good person, make Jesus your goal. It’s all rubbish compared to Jesus.” – Matt Chandler
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