weeping may tarry for the night

A lot of you have probably already knew or had read about how my wife was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure and told that she would never, ever, ever get pregnant.

She did get pregnant.  We have spent the last 8 weeks really excited about something that we thought we would never get to be excited about.  We praised God for a miracle.  We really couldn’t believe that we had created a baby.

Well, there have been some complications for the past two weeks or so, but we’ve been hopeful.  We had an ultrasound the other day, and the doctor said that there was no heartbeat.  But we were still hopeful.  Quite a few people told us that they had similar things happen and gone on to have a healthy baby, so we still had hope.

But we lost the baby this morning.

I know that most of you may not understand this, but we lost a child.  We lost a child that we loved as much as any parents would ever love a child.  We had already picked out names for him or her.  We had already started planning for cribs and strollers and all that stuff.  We lost our baby.

Its hard to breath right now.  We’re not going to be able to get through this without God.  We’re not going to be able to get through this without our friends and our family.  But we’re 2000 miles away from our families.  But we still need you.  Leah needs you.

We need you to pray.  We don’t need you to tell us you are praying for us if you’re not.  We really need you to pray.

We don’t need a nice hallmark message as you go on with your life, we need empathy.  But we don’t need you to just read this and not say anything.

We’ve got eachother, and we’ve got God, but we feel lonely.  We feel really lonely.

We’re trusting that God will be with us, but that doesn’t make it much easier.

In the midst of grief, in the midst of the toughest trials, God is still good.  God is still enough.  He is enough, but this is still hard.

Some people may think that we should not have shared about our pregnancy as early as we did in case something like this were to happen.  But we don’t regret it.  We wanted you guys to share in the miracle.  And now we want you guys to be there for us in the grieving.  In reality, I don’t know how we would make it if we hid this all away and didn’t tell anyone about it.  Or how we would explain that things are just different right now.

It may take us some time to get back to normal.  Or to find a new normal.  Things feel really dark right now.  So we need your love.  We need you to mourn with us and for us.  We need you to be there for us if we want to cry.  We need you to be there for us if we want to laugh.  We need you to be there for us if we don’t want to say anything at all.

Psalm 30 says, “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”

“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
you have loosed my sackcloth
and clothed me with gladness,
that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!”

Right now we are in the night.  We are mourning.  I don’t know how long this night will last, but we both trust that God will bring the morning and turn our grief into dancing.

Keep praying for us.

We love all of you.

-Brandon

drops like bells

I’ve only read two of the blog posts about Rob Bell’s recent interview in the Boston Globe.  Jared Wilson’s and Scot McKnight‘s.

Much of the response has been extremely negative towards Bell and his failure to clearly articulate the gospel at every single waking moment.

I figured I would offer my thoughts as well.  If anyone cares.

I think that, like any piece of literature, genre and context are of key importance. And most of the people who have criticized Rob Bell’s statements here are ignoring both.

1. This is a transcription of a journalistic interview. Many people have treated it as if it were an all-inclusive systematic treatise of Bell’s theology. It isn’t; interviews are conversational, and, as in any conversation, things get left out. You have to realize that.

2. We cannot take this quote from Bell and determine things about Bell’s nature without considering the context in which it was said. First, he was doing an interview with the media. Who wouldn’t see this as a chance to change some people’s views about Evangelical Christianity? The first thing that he says is that evangelicalism isn’t what most people assume it is: right-wing, anti-intellectual fundamentalism. Naturally, he would follow that up with something that is strikingly dissimilar with what most people assume when they hear “evangelical.” And those things that he mentioned should probably be some of the natural responses to those who believe in the “evangelical Jesus,” if you will: helping the poor, caring for the environment, and extending hope to the world.

If Bell had said, “evangelicalism is all about telling people about Jesus.” The interview, in most of the readers’ minds, would have been over because they would have turned the page. They would have assumed that this guy is another religious nut job and would have ignored him.

Finally, you cannot remove this quote from the totality of Bell’s body of work and say that it somehow gives us a more clear picture of where his heart is at than anything else does.