Christmas Reading

Over Christmas, I did a lot of reading. One of the books I flew through was “Holding Onto Hope” by Nancy Guthrie. Nancy and her husband lost two babies consecutively, a little girl and a little boy, both within months of birth. Below are a variety of quotes that I journalled from her writings.

At that point, God gave Satan permission to hurt Job. We don’t want to hear that, because it just doesn’t square with our understanding of a loving God. But it is clear. (p6)

You know I think we expected our faith to make this hurt less, but it doesn’t…Our faith keeps us from being swallowed by despair. But I don’t think it makes our loss hurt any less. (p9)

…don’t be afraid that you will make me cry! …my tears tell you that you’ve touched me in a place that is meaningful to me–and I will never forget your willingness to share my grief. (p10)

Job openly mourned. He didn’t cover up his sadness or put on a happy face or offer religious-sounding cliches. He hurt. And he was not ashamed to show how deeply he hurt…Your tears do not reflect a lack of faith. (p12)

But it is not just the people I will encounter that makes going to church so difficult. It’s God himself. It’s the words we sing during the service that get chocked in my throat…Sometimes I just don’t feel like praising and adoring God for who he is and what he has done…To offer up thanksgiving and praise to him sometimes feels dishonest or insincere. (p15-16)

…we realised we had an unspoken agreement with God that went something like this: ‘Fine. We will accept losing Hope and all that this brings. But we don’t lose Matt. We don’t lose each other. No car accidents. No cancer. No financial collapse. This is it!’ But as we voiced our deepest feelings and fears out loud, we realised that we had to let go of those things, too…Some days I wonder if the letting go is ever going to stop. (p21-22)

God gives, and God takes away. But let’s be honest: We just want him to give, don’t we? And we certainly don’t want him to take away the things or the people we love. We tend to think…possessions we have are ours–that we’ve earned them. That we deserve them. But the truth is, everything we have is a gift. (p23)

Where you come to the place where you recognise that everything you have and everyone you love is a gift, it becomes possible to enjoy those gifts–not with an attitude of greed but with one of gratitude. You and I, like Job, know that God gives and God takes away. And when He takes away, if we’re able to focus on the joy of what was given, if only for a time, we take another step down the pathway toward the heart of God. (p24)

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Melinda
    Jan 22, 2009 @ 11:10:00

    Thankyou for sharing those thoughts with us. It is hard to understand what you are really going through but this helps give us a better understanding and helps us know ways we can help you grow. I have lost people close to me and I know that it hurts but I have never lost anyone as close to me as you have and so I can’t say I know how you feel but I can say that I will do everything I can to help you to feel better.Love you lots sis,Melifish.

    Reply

  2. Jasmine
    Jan 22, 2009 @ 22:04:00

    Thanks for sharing about this book. I heard the Guthries on Focus on the Family or Family Life Today (can’t remember which one) ages ago and was amazed at their faith, courage and openness. My little sister just lost her husband a few weeks ago so I think I need to get this book to have on hand in case she needs it sometime.Thank you for sharing so much of your journey too.Jasmine

    Reply

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