A few weeks ago I took a pregnancy test. It was positive. I was of course happy, and I shared the news with Travis who shared in my joy. The holidays came and went and so did my pregnancy. I was disappointed, though not completely surprised. I’ve had several miscarriages before, and after some testing found that I have a blood clotting disorder. My recent pregnancy loss as well as some of my others had nothing to do with my disorder, though. We are assuming a chromosomal abnormality since my levels were tested and found to be “negative.” The levels fluctuate- sometimes positive, sometimes negative- the doctors treat me throughout pregnancies as if they are always positive though, which is a baby aspirin a day and heparin twice a day. I followed the same protocol when I was pregnant with Judson until we discovered a sub chorionic hemorrhage and stopped treatment completely. That pregnancy and the baby were without any difficulties or concerns.
I was given a 50/50 chance to even have Judson. He is my miracle baby. But aren’t they all? Miracle babies.
So when I got the news of another pregnancy I took it with reserved elation, and I even told my husband, parents, and in-laws (the only ones who knew of the news at the time) that I know that pregnancy doesn’t mean baby. Yes, there is life there, but it may not be for me to hold. Heaven may hold him/her first. And that is okay. I am okay. When I knew I was going to lose the baby I was saddened, yes, of course, but I knew that this like my other three miscarriages are a part of God’s plan. Does He take joy in my sorrow? Of course not. I believe He weeps with us and is especially near to the broken hearted. I just know that this is how it is meant to be, and I accept that. He gives and takes away. Right now in my loss I am thinking about all that I have been given. More than I deserve. I’m not strong. I’m not above grief. I have grieved all of my losses, but this one differently. I’m waking up to the reality that the very fact I have been given anything is grace.
I read this prayer the other day and it hit me right between the eyes. It is from The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions
“I thank Thee for personal mercies, measure of health, preservation of body, comforts of house and home, sufficiency of food and clothing, continuance of mental powers, my family, their mutual help and support, the delights of domestic harmony and peace, the seats now filled that might have been vacant, my country, church, Bible, and faith…”
By the grace of God I have seats now filled that might have been vacant. Does this minimize my pain in loss? No. It softens it some, though. And more than even this I am being blessed by love through the loss. My husband is caring for me well. My mom calls me and texts me throughout the day with prayers and Scripture. My church family is unbelievable in how they are loving us through this- this thing I keep minimizing and trying to keep under the rug as “no big deal.” My church family and new friends are serving us so well- the hands and feet of Christ.
Like so much of hardship in life I want to push through it, rush beyond it, and move on. But this miscarriage unlike my others is not allowing me to do that. It has been almost three weeks of wondering if it is in fact a miscarriage, failed medications, and now a scheduled D&C for next Wednesday. My body is tired, my hormones are all out of whack, and mentally I am trying to get past this while physically I am not able. I don’t slow down. I do rest, yes. I enjoy “me” time, but when I am not in “me” time I am in “go” time. And I go go go! I like it that way, so this whole pulling the Band-Aid off slowly is not my thing. Also, I am not really good at receiving. I think a lot of people in ministry are that way. If we were honest (I’m raising my hand here, peeps), our struggle with receiving stems from our pride. We don’t need anything! We are strong and able! We’ve got the Lord! Yes, we’ve got the Lord. And the Lord uses His church– the hands and feet of Christ- to serve “one another.” It is a “one another” thing, not a “one-to-one” thing. Man, I struggle with this. So, friends, family, church, here me out- I am learning to receive love even in loss. And it is a wonderful thing to feel God’s presence through His people!
“But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved…” 2 Corinthians 2:14-15