carried + loved collective

Psalm 34:18

Wednesdays In The WordJessica ScheksComment

Since I often talk about the importance of getting into the Word, I started a series where I share one scripture or passage of scripture each Wednesday and talk about why it has meant so much to me. I hope it encourages you to get into the Word and to use these scriptures as starting points perhaps, but to also find meaningful things in the Bible on your own as well.

Ever since my first miscarriage I feel like I've been on a roller coaster; highs and lows that I feel are out of my control. But I've noticed there is one thing that keeps me stable, and that is God's Word. Hebrews 4:12 says that it is ALIVE, meaning that we can interact and engage with it! When you open His Word with an open mind, He will fill it as you read and you will walk away feeling encouraged, challenged, peaceful, and joyful no matter your earthly circumstances!

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

| PSALM 34:18 |

This is one of those scriptures that I read hundreds of times before my miscarriage and it was a nice little thought. But going through a miscarriage transformed this verse from just words on a page to a promise that I clung to. I had never really experienced a broken heart until our first miscarriage so I had never given much thought as to what it would feel like. You just don't know until you're in the midst of it. And this verse promised something so amazing.

When you are grieving you often feel so alone. Even though people try to do and say things to help you feel better, there is just something so isolating about grief. But Psalm 34:18 promises us that in the midst of heartbreak, God is so very near. And I experienced this firsthand! I have never felt as close to God as I did in the first few weeks after my first miscarriage. I saw Him in everything; cards or packages that showed up on a tough day, a text message at just the right time with just the right words, gentle medical personnel, feeling anointed as I read the Bible, a message in church being exactly what I needed to hear, and the list could go on and on.

But after my second miscarriage things felt very different. This time I was mainly just angry. We hadn't publicly announced our second pregnancy before we found out she no longer had a heartbeat (we had already announced our first pregnancy by the time we lost that child), so not as many people knew and I felt really isolated. However the Lord still fulfilled the promise from Psalm 34:18 to me, but in a different way this second time around. Of course I did receive some things in the mail and sweet text messages from friends, but it seemed like the Lord was most near as I opened His Word and read His promises. Every time I began to read His living Word, it spoke back to me. I was filled with new thoughts, peace, and comfort as I read, which sustained me and encouraged me.

As I immersed myself in His Word I truly felt joy, and I knew it only could have come supernaturally from the Lord because who feels pure joy a week after having surgery to remove her dead child from her body? I knew that the only reason I felt joy was because I was in His presence (Psalm 16:11).

He has been so near to me in my time of heartbreak; I don't think I could make it through without His constant presence and lovingkindness. I think that is one of the most beautiful things about suffering; God is so close. Close enough to carry us and to compassionately care for us. It reminds me of this poem by Martha Snell Nicholson:

"I stood a mendicant [begging] of God before His royal throne
And begged him for one priceless gift, which I could call my own.
I took the gift from out His hand, but as I would depart
I cried, “But Lord this is a thorn and it has pierced my heart.
This is a strange, a hurtful gift, which Thou hast given me.”
He said, “My child, I give good gifts and gave My best to thee.”
I took it home and though at first the cruel thorn hurt sore,
As long years passed I learned at last to love it more and more.
I learned He never gives a thorn without this added grace,
He takes the thorn to pin aside the veil which hides His face."

I just love those last few lines. Suffering changes your relationship with God in a way that nothing else can because He proves Himself in such a powerful way. You feel as if you'd sink, but He doesn't allow it; He sustains you. As painful as these last 444 days have been, I wouldn't trade them because I've learned so much. I found my passion and calling in the midst of my heartbreak, which never would have happened if it hadn't been for those two tiny precious souls who broke my heart as their's stopped beating.

Exciting Wednesdays In The Word News!

My new friend Anne Marie, from The Loved Bible Project, and I are teaming up with this series I started! Please go check out her website and Facebook page - there is SO much encouragement over there and I LOVE her heart behind the awesome mission she has going on with her ministry. She wrote this super sweet and inspiring post about how we plan to work together. Every week she is making a free printable to go along with the verse I write about. You can find the free printables on her resource page. We encourage you to print them out, decorate them and then put them in your own Bible or put them in a Loved Bible that you are making for someone else!