Tuesday, September 30, 2014

As the Sky Comes To Be Dark and Low Overhead

We peered at the horizon as the storm clouds loomed,
We wondered, the mystery of leaden encroaching skies,
Though clouds have settled overhead thunder hasn’t yet boomed,
The clap of the heavens will reverberate when our baby dies.
When the mystery is exchanged for numbing grief,
Having meet our little darling, finally, having earned their peace,
There’ll be no sense for hardship or joy or relief,
Our loss will hold us apart from an eternity of release.
***
Oh what the day will bring – a calamitous notion; an incongruous reality; the first and only thunder crack peeling from the heavens; a last gasp and the slowing to a stop of the heartbeat. We fully expect to reacquaint with our darling little one in heaven one day.
Our loss will hold us apart from an eternity of release.
Our loss will teach us; we have yet to even perceive that contemplation. We cannot yet know it. We ponder what it may be like; the moment, the seconds, the labour, the exhausted relief of having delivered the baby and the momentary ecstasy to meet him or her, which will too soon be replaced with earth-shattering and soul-piercing sorrow to be there in the experience of their passing.
I apologise if this is too dark, but it does help me to wonder into the future. I find grief not to be feared, but cherished, for God is there in the absence of hope and in the vacuum of life.
As our perceptions are shaped by our realities we can expect to experience something very solemn and holy.
Sorrowful seasons are bruising but bettering. As we step forth in the day of annihilation – where soul and spirit are split asunder, with pain – we are greeted by a companion who will never let go; who will show us for who we are as he will show us who he is.
The signs medically, they are polarising. The aggressive nature of the amniotic fluid build up, and the status of other indicators, leaves us expecting birth anytime.
As always we look to God in the heavens, and with us, and in us, here on Earth.
Through it all, our eyes are on him. And we are still being blessed to minister in those special lives God has given us to enter into at this time. God is good. No matter how dark the clouds are overhead, God is good.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Finding Love in the World


Acceptance is the eternal gift,
To accept and be accepted,
It settles every interpersonal rift,
And ensures wellbeing is collected.
***
Power and control, when replaced with love, because of fear, alienates good friends and close family. Even where there is love – conditional as it may be – there is also fear, and fear tends to quench love’s spontaneity. It cools love’s passion. It makes of love something detestable to the discerning soul.
Finding love in the world is not about romance, though we all want to find that kind of love. No, finding love in the world is about finding acceptance and grace in relationships everywhere as far as we can. It’s about finding a place where compassion reigns and kindness is implicit; where gentleness and patience are sought-after qualities. Finding this sort of love is best found in one’s family, then in one’s workplace, then in one’s church. The time we spend with people ought to be because we can love them and be loved. There is little sense in enduring some relationships that bear scant signs of love; where we can no easier influence love than get beyond a superficial conversation. Life with our important ones – those we will spend most our time with – needs to be more than superficial conversations.
The threads of life in the yarn of acceptance are encouraging and affirming. But the strands are disparaging in the wearing of rejection.
There is only one decision in life worthy of sweating over: who will I/we love and who will love me/us? We need to shove love to the top of our value list, and ensure we settle for nothing less in the overall flow of life.
We need to love and be loved. If we find ourselves settling for not being loved we have to ask ourselves are we doing all we can to love. Not being loved can be about abusive and one-sided relationships where one party always seems to get more out of the arrangement than the other.
Love is important; it’s the most important thing in anyone’s life: to be love and to receive love.
If we can love ourselves we can love anyone. And what leads to self-love is the proper understanding of God through Jesus Christ. To love anyone is our mandate. If we can love everyone we will find that love has found us.
Rejection is a powerful curse,
It brings a veritable hell to earth,
Rejection carries acceptance out to sea,
Where acceptance can no longer be.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

It’s Only A Day At A Time

This life requires the investment,
A daily commitment to reality,
A day at a time’s the way to contentment,
It’s the only way to achieve an essential morality.
What we are learning is the humility it takes,
To stay in God’s momentary will,
To quell the tension this life makes,
To acknowledge the wisdom in being still.
Nothing can be planned with utter certainty,
Nothing can be taken for sure,
Nothing is sure other than God and eternity,
Being still must be taken into our core.
We stand astride one another looking ahead,
Time is steadfast and true,
But tomorrow is yet to be said,
So we are best to live like the hours are few.
***
Only eight days since Sarah’s last amnioreduction – where over two litres were taken – we are back in hospital again – this time 2.25 litres have been taken (including some blood!). Whilst Sarah is in good spirits, and we have arrived at the conclusion that she needed relief within hours of calling the hospital, we sense, more than ever, that the pace of the baby’s growth is speeding up – as is the rate at which we are traversing this calamitous journey.
We are fine. God’s peace transcends our sorrow at this time, though we do ‘escape’ into the reality of what can only be imagined and hardly conceived. Our humour is alive and well, and we have indeed grown closer in this way.
As Sarah just could not sleep, we are now planning (with the nurses and doctor) how she might sleep tonight – in hospital. Losing over two litres in basically clear fluid in fifteen minutes is taxing for Sarah – we need to consider electrolyte replacement to build her blood pressure up faster.
A friend with a prophetic gift was led by the Holy Spirit to give us Matthew 6:25-34. We endeavour to live life only a day at a time, despite our human propensity to get ahead a week, a month, or a year.
One day at a time is all we should do. It’s the only way to live life presently and true.
Now, especially now, we are reminded that God is in control, that we are not, yet we can rely on Him who is holy and wholly good. That is our choice to remain in this day; to scour the moment; to live in the second.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Experiencing and Overcoming Despondency


Despondency is a normal state in life,
We all experience dejection at some stage,
When doors of mood open to strife,
There is the certain outcome of rage.
Then comes awareness of our Lord,
To fix our eyes above the despair,
An extravagance of spirituality we can afford,
To know Jesus and his care.
Dictionary definitions for the word despondency talk about a person bearing the state of low spirits, a lack of hope, a vacuum of courage, and a sense of dejection.
A Reminder from Hebrews 12
As I write this I am feeling quite despondent, yet not about what the typical reader might predict; the situation with our baby. I am being real in these matters of brokenness for the lack of hope, courage, and even faith that I am experiencing. What it is that is causing the distress is not so much the issue, it’s the fact that I’ve taken my eyes off the Lord Jesus Christ.
As I wrangle with the emotion churning within me, God offers a simple and effective alternative; to fix my eyes upon Jesus, the Author and Finisher of my faith.
When we consider that each moment we walk upon this earth we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses – those who have strode their own steps, valiantly and in despair and all between – we are inspired to keep going where these angels are urging us to stride that Ancient Path: the will of God.
Although we can know that despondency is no appropriate final destination in the will of God, sometimes it is part of the experience of adjusting emotionally and spiritually.
We must not stop in our despondency and get stuck there.
We have an opportunity in experiencing despondency to see it for what it is. God can only use despondency if it is impetus to learning; that which gets us back on to that Ancient Path.
Awareness is the key. Once we become aware all we then need is the humility to repent of our despondency, to take courage to take another step, and then one more, and so on.
It is the gospel way to be resurrected from these crucifixion experiences; even if we are, ourselves, the very ones hammering the nails.
Experiencing despondency is normal in life. Upon awareness we have the opportunity to overcome it. We need faith and courage, and the rekindling of hope. Think of that great cloud of witnesses whom watch us. We are urged on in the heavens, and we experience such encouragement spiritually when we are aware of it.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.