Really? I sowed this hurt? What seeds did I plant that justifies my awful pain? In the last six weeks I've lost a daughter and my mother. And that horrible question, "Why?" gets whispered to God almost hourly.
And, oh God, I so dearly want to feel near you. But with all this pain sometimes the hurt tears me from peace. Is this hurt something I'm deserving of? Why is it happening to me? To my family? To my loved ones?
But logically I know I did not sow these seeds. I did not create that rare in-utero condition that made my twin girls be born 3-months premature. I didn't somehow give my mother a neurological disease that made her suffer for the last two years. And I had no control over Isabela, my tiny 2-month old girl getting a common virus that her little body couldn't fight.
I swallowed back the tears and stared at the words in my devotional again. "You reap what you sow." and a voice that I usually can't hear beyond the pain, whispered to me. Look deeper, beloved.
So I did. And I remembered.
I remembered hours holding Isabela close to me, loving her, letting her touch and become an intricate part of my heart. I sowed that seed. I did. I sowed seeds of love and will never have regrets of the time I spent or did not spend with her. I loved her and have memories of her. I reap hurt because of that love, but I also reap a sunshiny part of my soul that knows I gave her two months of life where she knew her mother's arms, smile, voice, and love.
I reaped what I sowed.
There are memories of my mom, too, that fill me with joy for her and thankful for the friendship we shared. I laughed with her, cried with her, shared with her my hopes and dreams and shared my life with her. I have reaped a full and loving lifetime of memories with her. I sowed those seeds of love with my mother and have years of joy to warm my heart even though she is gone.
The tears could be swallowed back no longer and I saw then that we cannot experience what is around us and feel responsible for it all. We do reap what we sow, but we sow among the thorns of life, among the rocks, in the storms and droughts, and also within the good soil.
I know all Christian have these thoughts, wondering if our hurt is the result of God disciplining us. But sometimes things happen as a result of living in this world. For living isn't easy, but there is beauty to be found in the flowers we have sown among the weeds.