For one of his classes Chris asked me to write my thoughts about what union with Christ means to me.
After Owen died but before I was induced to give birth to him, I remember telling my pastor that I wasn't angry. Unable to stop the tears, I cried, "I'm not angry with God. I'm not angry." And it was true. Then.
Weeks passed and the anger came. I didn't understand why this had happened. He was a perfectly healthy baby just 4 weeks from his due date. I struggled with anger at the Lord, disappointment with God, fear that I had done something to incur this suffering. It would take years of struggling with these feelings before I felt the softening of the Holy Spirit's work in my heart. Through the suffering I experienced, I saw the complete faithfulness of the Father and I gained a great awe and appreciation for Christ's work on my behalf. After all, I was seeing sin exploding from my every pore. I railed at God, my Father, stopped worshipping Him at church, stopped praying and instead griped and moaned and questioned Him.
Even after all this, the Holy Spirit still worked in my heart, beckoning me to look to the Father, reminding me of His great love. I was won over. Suffering produced in me an incredible dependence on the Lord without whom I would still be lying on the floor immobilized by grief and anger. I can see now that my suffering showed me who God was, and that I was united to Him by no work or merit of my own. And nothing could separate me from this awesome union.
Praise the Lord.