Here’s the thing. I’m not really sure where to start with this. But, if there’s anything I’ve learned in this spiritual walk of mine, it’s that God wants me telling our story. Whether happy or tearful, He wants me to be transparent. Because I can’t let other people find healing in my wounds, if they can’t see inside the deepest of my hurts.
Last Thursday, we heard those three little words again- for the ninth time, now. “I’m so sorry”. It was all there. A round little sac, a kidney-bean shaped little human in pure black & white, with perfect little nubs where arms & legs had begun to form. But one thing was missing -the precious little flicker that said his heart was still beating. It had been there. And then it wasn’t. We’ve been around this block a few times- there was no need to tell us. We didn’t need a doctor to confirm it. We knew immediately.
And as I initially typed these words, I lay there on my couch waiting for the contractions to start. I was waiting for my body to prepare to rid itself of the promise of this perfect little life. It’s a little life that held hopes & dreams. It’s a sweet little life that’s hanging on to me with all it’s got. Still. It’s almost as if he has sweet little hands dug into my innermost parts, hanging on to his Mommy for safety sake. I want to protect him. I want to protect myself from all of this, too. I’ve taken two rounds now, of the highest dosage of medicine, trying to induce the inevitable. He’s trying to hang on. God love him.
“The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit” -Psalm 34:18
It would be so easy for me to be bitter. Angry. Doubtful. In a way, I almost feel like I deserve to get to be bitter. Because this time, I know God’s promises for me. I’ve seen His goodness. I’ve seen Him perform the impossible. I’ve held Him to His word, and watched Him deliver my baby, healthy and unaffected. But, this time? What happened, God? Did you forget what You said? Wasn’t I faithful enough?
Everyone around me was happy and excited about this baby. Planning names, and gender reveals, and baby gifts. It made me a little angry at first. How could they be so excited about room colors, when all I wanted was to wake up tomorrow with two hearbeats still inside me? They hadn’t walked in our shoes for the past 10 years. They didn’t fully understand the phrases we knew so well- “hesitantly excited” and “cautiously optimistic”. You can’t blame anyone for that. That’s my deck of cards.
They told me I should be happy. God had this. His promises told me that He had this, and I should trust Him. I didn’t need to worry about making it through the next 4 weeks, because God had already handled all of the weeks. And, you know what? They weren’t wrong. Neither was I. It’s just that His way of handling things doesn’t always look like we expect.
It’s easier to let your guard down, when you’ve seen Him work miracles before. If you’ve read the blog, or know much about me, you know my story. I have two beautiful, incredible, miracle kids that shouldn’t even be a part of my story, except that the grace of God is just that good.
So, I did. I let my guard down. I made plans, and I let the hesitancy go and threw caution to the wind. We picked names, we told our kids, we made it “Facebook official”. It was weeks before we normally would’ve even uttered a word to anyone, unless to request prayer from our closest confidants. We thought we were trusting God at His word, and we did what we knew better than to ever do – we took God’s goodness and grace for granted.
I’ve cried more tears this week than I know how to explain. This was the hardest loss yet, and the fact that this baby has seemingly become a semi-permanent part of my desperately longing to move-on body, hasn’t helped much. This baby wasn’t any more special than any of the others. That’s not it at all. But, now I know the joy. I’ve felt it. I was ready for a hospital bed full of arms & legs meeting a new sibling, a restless night listening to light breathing by my bed. I’ve experienced them. I know what I’m missing. And, in the words of an all-too-smart-for-his-age 4 year old, “we really wanted that baby to live with us”.
But, friends, this is what I’ve learned from all of this…because God always has a lesson in there somewhere for us. We can’t let our knees get clean. This time around, mine did.
I’m ashamed to admit it. Because I, of all people, should know better. Sure, I prayed for this baby. But were they passionate prayers? Or were they superficial ones? Sure, I read my Bible and searched scripture. Did I claim Malachi 3:11? Did I speak the words of Jesus, and tell God that I know what is impossible with man is possible with Him? Sure, I knew God could take care of this baby. Did I ask for free flowing blood & wholeness of body every time I thought of the little life inside me? Did I ask God His opinion on whether or not I should inject blood thinners this pregnancy- or did I just assume His answer would be the same? I’m jumping up & down, shaking my fist at myself. Did I consult Him at all for His direction? Or did I take it all for granted?
Now, people, I’m not saying that if you don’t pray hard enough or “right” enough, that you won’t have a baby. Please, don’t misinterpret me in that way. It’s not even about a baby, really. It’s about us– our hearts. What I’m getting at, is this. Don’t get lazy. Don’t take Him for granted- in any circumstance. Pray, seek Him, with your whole heart. And if you’re not sure if you’re seeking Him strongly enough, then seek harder.
Don’t just assume that because He can, He will.
Our pastor made a point last Sunday that cut me like a knife, and has stuck with me almost hauntingly. In time of trial, we prove- do we love His heart, or do we love His hands? Do we love Him for what He’s done for us….or what He can do for us? He is after our heart — trial proves whether or not we are after His.
I wasn’t after His, y’all. Not fully & completely. Not like I have been in the past. Not like I know I should be. I was after what He could do for me. Not what I should be doing for Him. I’m a work in progress, just like most everyone else. It was time that I searched my heart.
I’m mourning this baby. More than I’ve mourned any of the others before. I don’t tell you this for your sympathies- because, believe me, I know this road all too well. I’ll be fine. We’ve proven that already. I tell you this because, in my mourning, I’ve come to realize that it’s not just the loss of my baby I’m mourning. I’m mourning how far off course I’ve gotten from the King of my heart. You might not know it by looking at me outwardly. I’ve loved God all along, and I know His goodness. But it’s not about what the lips say, but where the heart resides. And my heart wasn’t all-in.
I could’ve had a D&C on Tuesday of this week. It would’ve been over in an hour, and I could’ve moved on. And right now, oh how I’m wishing I’d done that. But, see…I had this desire in my heart to grieve differently this time. To see. I thought this way would be easier, quicker, and I’d have more closure. I wouldn’t wonder- I’d experience the “letting go”. If you want to hear God laugh, tell Him your plans…right? Now, I’ve been reliving this all week. Days on days of waiting. Contracting. Waiting for this nightmare to be over. And it’s not. But, God…I think He planted that desire in my heart…because He knew. The anesthesia & stark OR & mindless procedure room wouldn’t allow me to process all of this. I wouldn’t come to the realization of what He was trying to teach me.
Is God punishing me by taking this baby? No. He’s not a mean God. He’s a good, good Father. Always. In every trial, y’all. Whether your trial is babies, or husbands, or friends…whatever it is. He’s not trying to hurt you- He’s not trying to break you- He just wants to mold you & teach you. And He so desperately wants you to let Him love you.
He’s proven in the past that sometimes it takes drastic measures to open my eyes. And here I am….eyes wide open. And now…only now….I’m ready to seek Him harder.