"Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him." James 1:12
I think I have shared before that I believe my baby in Heaven is a son. His life was too brief for us to know for certain, but that belief has never wavered so I tend to think it is from God to help bring me peace.
As I was seeking wisdom on how to manage my grief, I found that many people found comfort in naming their child. It is very difficult to always say "the baby" and avoid pronouns altogether (I refuse to say "it.") so I wondered if that would be good for me to do as well.
Before I finished that thought, "James" was all but audibly whispered in my heart. I would never have considered the name James myself, and still am not completely comfortable calling him that. It seems like such a grown-up name for such a small, however significant, life. I believe more than actually giving my child this name, the Holy Spirit was guiding me to this book of the Bible. As soon as I could get my hands on God's Word, I opened up to James 1 and found these verses:
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
I dare you to me that was an accident. I would surely distract from the power of what I experienced if I tried to spell it all out what this meant to me when I found this, but it certainly solidified my faith that God was speaking to me. He was giving me the comfort I was praying for.
Now when I hear the name James, I think of God's promise. He is teaching me perseverance.
A dear friend recently gave me this beautiful metaphor that is bringing me peace: It's like when a parent has to keep a child from doing something she knows is for their own good, but cannot fully explain why it has to be that way. The child may be hurt, angry, resentful, and that hurts the parent too, but all the while she knows it is best in the long run.
God hurts because I am hurting. He loves me that much. I just have to trust that he does know what is best for me even though I will never understand it.
I would love to find a good Bible study on the book of James to get deeper into it. I'm doing a wonderful study right now on discerning God's voice. It is helping me not only in the present, but in hindsight as well to see how God's hand has been in everything.
Thank you, Lord, for protecting me and loving me, even while I am kicking and screaming. Thank you for your peace and your joy that you have promised to those who ask for it. I will continue to seek your face so I can know the fullness of your greatness. These past 5 months have been the hardest of my life in some ways, but thank you for teaching me through my suffering. Help me to use my experiences to help someone else and bring You glory.