Jennifer Kostick– Jennifer has been married for twenty-three years to her high school sweetheart, Paul. She is the mother of three children, Paul IV (22), Samuel (6), and Grace (6). She also has six babies residing in heaven. It is those six tiny souls who have propelled her into women’s ministry. She is a conference speaker and author of the book Nothing to Hold but Hope (one woman's journey through miscarriage, stillbirth, and infertility). Jennifer blogs at www.Jenniferkostick.com and is passionate about encouraging women through a godly message of mercy and hope.
I have to be honest and tell you that the word still used to upset me. Just hearing it would actually shake me down deep in the core of my being.
I had a stillborn daughter. I suffered six and a half hours through a painful birth hoping and praying to hear a miracle cry at the end. I didn’t. Instead, I experienced silence accompanied by a stillness that nobody wants.
As soon as I delivered, I sat up reaching for her through sobs unlike any I had ever known. The doctor kept telling me to lie back so she could cut the cord and deliver the placenta. It took a little time to comprehend the need to allow my own body to be still.
I didn’t want us to be separated, and I knew that when they cut the umbilical cord it was over forever. At least as far as forever here on earth is concerned. I can’t explain the depth of the emptiness I felt that day, I can only be honest and say that in some mysterious way, it led me to a stillness like none other.
I already knew God. It wasn’t as if that tragedy all of a sudden led me to a Savior. I knew Him well.
He is a friend, and so I guess that’s why communication flowed freely over the days ahead. He is my Father, which was probably why, like a smart mouthed child, I felt comfortable screaming at Him for allowing me to suffer.
I shook my fists in the air and He loved me anyway… in stillness.
You see, I wanted a move of God, a miracle testimony, and it seemed that the only thing God was doing was remaining still.
Grief led to anger and as nonsensical as it seems, anger led to trust.
The journey to stillness is a process.
I was in a real quandary because let’s face it, if you can’t trust in God, then who can you trust in? My husband couldn’t fix it. My parents couldn’t fix it. Only God could fix it! And so how could I remain mad? I had no choice but to still my shaking fists from punching the sky, I had no alternative but to still the tongue that wanted to yell and scream at the only Being who had any power to fix it – to fix me.
I was broken, but in a way I’d never known before.
If we break a bone the physician puts us in a cast, which limits mobility, allowing the break to heal. Friend, if we are ever planning to be whole again, we have to allow God to cast us. It forces stillness and reawakens the heart all at the same time.
I don’t know why God allowed my husband and I to suffer that painful loss. We weren’t trapped in terrible sin and we served the living God. However, I do know this: because of that suffering and forced stillness, we were changed. He healed the break and made us stronger than we were before.
I’m whole and free, and I breathe the love of Christ through a daily series of inhales and exhales from a God who deemed James to write, “Count it all Joy.”
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
He showed me love through family, friends, and complete strangers. A stillborn daughter didn’t define me. It was the love of God through her short life that defined me.
If you feel so trapped in pain that you can’t move, I want to ask you to look at your situation a little differently. Think of God casting you, forcing your stillness, that you might be healed. Take time to study His word. Acquaint yourself with who He is.
Listen, I’m not trying to give you a bunch of platitudes or tickle your ears to make you feel better, but I know where wholeness comes from. His name is Jesus and He’s the only One who can turn anything and everything into healing and joy.
Make me hear joy and gladness, that the bones You have broken may rejoice.
With Jesus, stillness is yours.
If you’ve missed any part of my October series, The Struggle to Live a Still Life, click here and scroll down for previous posts.
To find out more about my battle through miscarriage, stillbirth, and secondary infertility , click here.