Beautifully Broken – But Mostly Beautiful

Blessed Assurance
Music by Virginia Street
Lyrics by Fanny Crosby circa 1879

Due dates are almost never when babies really decide to make their grand entrances, so the rational part of me states in no uncertain terms that crying today is a bit silly. The emotional side of me retorts, “It’s my party and I’ll do what I want to. Cry if I want to…” Anyone who’s tried to sit through sappy commercials with me knows that my emotional side usually vetoes my rational side. Calling them “sides” is actually a load of misnomer-y nonsense, as they would more accurately be described as my rational iota and my emotional queen that doth reign supreme.

Of course, I’m desperately pulling at straws with sub-par, geek humor to avoid the real purpose of this post, which is to mark the day that may have been. Many of my friends, family and followers know that this year has been a doozy in so many ways, all of which shadow in comparison to the great loss in April of our first baby. It’s hard to explain the sheer gamut of emotions that surrounds pregnancy, and impossible to explain those of a pregnancy cut short. So, I’ve drifted through my year, grasping for bits of air here and there, and thank the Lord, there have been many of those for me, but I still choke up, when I think about it. I still hear my rational iota telling me to buck up, move on, look forward, get out of bed, try and forget, stop looking back, no seriously, stop looking back. Ruminations – that’s what my psychiatrist calls them. Blasted ruminations!

I guess, though, that if there ever were a day to entertain a few ruminations, my what-may-have-been due date is an appropriate time to do so. As I said in my last post, the creative well of Virginia Street has been super dry this year. I’ve been blessed with a few moments of inspiration, but I haven’t even touched on addressing my loss in song, which is what I have done with every other tragedy in my life. Instead, I’ve reveled in the beauty of old, inspired lyrics, and found a lot of comfort in writing new tunes for songs, such as Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy, How Deep the Father’s Love for Us, and most recently, Blessed Assurance. I’d been creating a new tune for this song for a while, before I realized that I had been given an anthem to reinvent, instead of a new song to write.

Blessed Assurance was written in 1879 by blind hymn writer, Fanny Crosby. The themes of vision and eyes being those windows into our very souls have been jumping into my lyrics for about a year now, which gives some incredible context for how resonant this hymn is for me right now at this point in my life. For two months now, I have been crafting a new version of this song, singing the lyrics, but not processing the healing nature of their message. Until today.

If I could describe in one word the entire experience of beginning the adventure of parenthood, and then having it snatched away from you, that word would be: empty; and, the feeling would be: emptiness. There are waves of pain, loss, anger, bitterness, numbness, brokenness, but overall, the word, “empty,” finds its way into my ruminations more often than any other word.

Of course, smart-*ss rational iota over here is saying, “You are a ridiculously blessed person, full of love, full of Spirit, full of things to be thankful for, full of life to give, gifts to give. Just keep giving, and you won’t feel empty. You have too much to live for to waste time on feeling empty.” Fortunately, though, – and I do mean fortunately – the emotional queen doth reign supreme, and today is one of those days, when I let myself feel empty, in the hopes that in that brokenness, I may find something I’m not able to find when I’m trying to fix myself – empowerment from outside this fragile eco-system I call my body.

I’ve always found the Psalmist’s declaration that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” to be comforting. Life doesn’t have to go my way for me to remain fearfully and wonderfully made, because that’s something that I didn’t do, that’s something that I have the privilege of living out.

Sometimes I think that if I just speak the words, “beautiful – you are beautiful, this is beautiful, life is beautiful” enough, I’ll snap out of it. I have yet to see that happen for me, but I pray it does. As much as I hate to admit it, and as much as I like to keep rational iota in his place, I think I have found an intersection between my internal feuding factions. In the depths of emotion, the emptiness starts to feel a little less empty. In the pep talks of rationality, that little-less-empty feeling gets to be translated into something beautiful – my own declaration that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Even as I cradle my emptiness, I can truly and intimately understand and appreciate the words of a blind woman, who caught a glimpse of the fullness of God’s love, and was inspired enough to put it down to paper. I am forever in her debt.

Blessed Assurance
Music by Virginia Street
Lyrics by Fanny Crosby circa 1879

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine
O what a foretaste of glory divine
Heir of salvation, purchase of God
Born of His Spirit, washed in his blood

This is my story
This is my song

Praising my Savior
All the day long…

Perfect submission, perfect delight
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight
Angels descending, bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love

This is my story
This is my song

Praising my Savior
All the day long…

Perfect submission all is at rest
I, in my Savior, am happy and blest
Watching and waiting, looking above
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love

This is my story
This is my song

Praising my Savior
All the day long…

4 thoughts on “Beautifully Broken – But Mostly Beautiful

  1. The snippets of your life the last few weeks have touched me. Your comments have confirmed that you know your Redeemer has not forgotten you and because you are my sister-in-Him neither have I.

  2. It is through the struggles in life that we grow closer to God in our faith. To loose a child before birth or at the age of 22. It I leaves an empty place within our hearts that only God can fill. I have experienced both and God has brought me through! He will bring you through too. Love you Virginia and Ben always!

  3. Dear Virginia, with tears in my eyes, I am reposting this memory today. What a wonderful Savior we have! And how sweet are HIS good gifts to us! Always praying for you and praising God for you, I love you, Mum

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