Recently, after another baby announcement, followed by yet another reminder to myself that this is about my pain, I had a realization - all the times I've pushed on His bruises (the analogy I use: the bruise is always there, can be almost forgotten about until pushed on, and then it hurts) - all the times I've twisted the nails - by denying Him, by turning away from Him, by questioning Him, by not trusting in Him or believing He is enough.
Suddenly, aligning my suffering with His started to make sense. In all those moments when my pain is pushed, I am experiencing what He experienced, He experiences every time we sin; every time we doubt; every time we turn away. I am reminded that in Christ's walk to Calvary and in the hours he hung on the cross He took on all sins from the beginning of time to the end of time, and that includes MY sins.
This gave me a totally new understanding of redemptive suffering. Of offering it up. Of uniting my pain with Christ's and allowing myself to be sanctified, just as He was.
I'm going to a baby shower today. The first one since we've been TTC. I've avoided all others in the past 3 years until now - either by deliberate choice or by an actual schedule conflict. There is a pit in my stomach and every single fiber of my being has kicked in to major "flight" response.
My prayer is that I do this with grace. That I find joy in this sweet baby and mama and that I am able to efficaciously unite my suffering to Christ's. I will be specifically offering this afternoon up for all those mamas who are facing an unplanned or difficult pregnancy, that they may also find joy in the life within them.
It is about my pain, but only in so far as it is about His pain.