Strength & survival

Our StoryJoanna Zuidema3 Comments

Sometimes life isn't tied up with a bow. Sometimes it's messy and broken.  

"Your strength is inspiring." 
"You guys are so strong." 

You need to know just how fragile that "strength" really is. 


Sunday started out with the best of sleepy mornings: the scent of fresh-brewed coffee filled the house as we celebrated 34 weeks over simple but yummy breakfasts. 

Then was time for church.

Today's intro started with an overview of the upcoming baptism service. This overview involved the heart-wrenching yet transformative story of a couple from the church.  

Knowing how myself and others had intense emotional reactions to the story, I'm not sharing details. Know only that it involves child loss. 

Every ounce of my being wanted to get up and sprint out of that building. 

But I stayed.  

I stayed and I wept. 

I could sense it in Lane too – holding my hand tightly as I worked to muffle the tears. 

You should know how out of character this is for me; I've prided myself on staying composed in public, I mean, composed to a fault - funerals, weddings, it doesn't matter.  99% of the time, my honest emotions arent revealed until I'm alone.  

But there I was, crocodile tears pouring down my face like a dam had just let.  

We had just come face to face with the  frailty and finality of life.

It landed on my soul like a ton of bricks:
Norah has never been and never will be ours. She has always been and always will be His.  


Once we were home and I was alone, I completely broke down. See this crib? That railing is what I clung to for dear life as I wept. That shifted carpet? That's where I fell to my knees. 

That empty crib terrified me. 

I don't know what God's plans are for Norah; her little life is having such an impact already. 

I just so so selfishly hope that he doesn't take her from us.  


Continuinually learning of our utter lack of control in life is incredibly painful. 

If I just buy the right things, register for the right gear, ask the right questions, take the right pictures - then, THEN everything will be right and good with the world.  

So false.

None of that matters even a little bit. There's so much more to life than which color pacifier to get or who to invite to a baby shower.

Thank God His plans are so much bigger and better than that.  

Even if those plans don't make sense to us now, one day we'll meet Him and it will all be explained.  

That's what we cling to.  

When you're drowning and find what saves your life, you don't let go.  

This is us, needing God more vitally than we need oxygen. It's not optional; without the hope we have in Him we would not survive.

This is our reality; there are good days and there are bad ones.

Both stories need to be told.  


Today, we were both emotionally bruised by reality testing our growing trust and faith in God. 

Today, the dishes didn't get done.  

Today, the laundry didn't get folded.  


But today - today we survived.