Yesterday we got to meet some of the families from Eastside Christian Church at their homes. Denford, our partner, told us we would be meeting a woman who had just lost her baby a week ago. My heart was instantly saddened for her. Sonia greeted us and welcomed us into her home; a roughly 10×10 cement room with a single bed. Her possessions neatly stacked on one side. As we found seats on the floor or the occasional chair you could feel the sadness in the air.
Drew asked her how she was doing given all that had happened. Her head hung low and she said she mostly stays at home. I could feel the tears welling up in me. This mother had just lost her 8 month old baby. Her 3 year old was clinging tightly to her skirt. He knew the sadness too. Dad was out in the fields working. She was doing her best not to cry or break down. After we shared some scripture with her, Drew handed me a small plaque, a gift, to present to her. How very appropriate that the words on the plaque read something similar to “Hold tight to His word.” I paused, took a deep breath, and knelt down to give it to her. We each held a side of the plaque and looked each other square in the eyes. I told her that no matter what was going on we can always cling tight to God’s word, His truth. As I said those words, she broke, openly wept. That raw flood of emotion covered us both. I moved over and just held her. Both of us crying. She was feeling the pain of losing a precious baby, and I just was flooded with compassion.
Jesus wants us to be real, raw, and honest with our feelings. Our God is big enough to handle it all. As I held her I looked up at the rest of my group, all with tears streaming down their faces. It was such an emotional moment. I couldn’t speak. Drew started singing a Zimbabwean song and the voices joined in. I held Sonia as the words of the song, “Every day, every hour, you are faithful oh, Lord” poured over us. How true are these words. God never leaves us. No matter what we are going through in our lives, no matter what pain or what joy we are feeling, our God remains faithful. It was a moment that moved me. God told me to come to Africa just a couple of months ago. And if for nothing more than to hold Sonia as she cried in that moment, then I’m fine with that. I am His.
Not my will, but yours God,