June of this year did not exactly go the way we had planned it.
If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you might remember that we had some challenges over the past winter. My husband lost his job in November, and although God graciously provided a new job right away, Jordan had to work an extra job during the training phase of his new job because the training pay was so low. He ended up working at two jobs (one full time and one part time) for four months. It was a challenging time, but definitely a time in which we saw God’s goodness and provision, and God used those challenges to refine each of our lives.
In February, we made plans for a vacation in June – a trip to a Christian family camp in Colorado on the week that a pastor friend of ours was the speaker. Jordan and I could not wait to get away after such a difficult winter, and we all looked forward to this trip for four months!
Then, in early June, I found out that I was pregnant! A new baby was not in our plan right now, but we were thrilled just the same. We were definitely happy to welcome another little one into our home.
Our first OB appointment was on a Thursday, and we were supposed to leave for our vacation on Sunday. I had been praying that we would have a good appointment and be able to see the heartbeat if God would see fit, because then we could leave for our trip without any worries about the baby’s well being.
The appointment was not at all what I was hoping for!
The doctor started the ultrasound, and looked and looked for the baby. I have done this enough times to know what we should have been seeing on the screen, but we saw nothing. No gestational sac even. I was supposed to be 6.5 weeks at this point, so the doctor told us that there were 3 possibilities: 1. I was not really 6.5 weeks along yet, 2. The baby was already starting to undergo demise and a miscarriage was coming, or 3. The baby was developing in a tube (ectopic pregnancy). If we had seen anything in my uterus on the ultrasound, we could have ruled out an ectopic, but there was nothing to see!
We told the doctor that we were planning to leave for camp in three days. Because of the possibility of a tubal pregnancy, he said that I really should go to the emergency room if I had any bleeding or pain as a tubal pregnancy is not something to be taken lightly! So we had to decide if we were comfortable with the distance that the camp was from a hospital. After thinking and praying, we decided that we were not comfortable with traveling. We called the camp, and the director was more than happy to reschedule our trip! We were very thankful.
On Saturday, I went to the ER with spotting. They were able to do a more in-depth ultrasound, and also found no baby anywhere. While it was sad to know that the baby was not developing, it was also a relief to not find it in a tube and be facing surgery! I was released from the ER, and started miscarrying at home the next day.
Dealing with Loss
Having never experienced a pregnancy loss, I was amazed at how attached I could feel to a baby we hadn’t even met! While this was not devastating (I can image that it would be much more difficult going through the loss of a baby after a struggle with infertility, or farther along into the pregnancy), we were all extremely sad and disappointed. The younger boys didn’t understand what was happening exactly, but Aidan did. From a human point of view, it seemed so bizarre. Why would God give us a baby, especially when we were not even planning for one, and then take the baby away? And why take it away in such a way that it disrupted travel plans that we were all looking forward to? What was the point of that emotional roller coaster?
By God’s grace, we have been trusting Him that although we may never know the reasons for this event in our lives, God allowed it for our good and for His glory. And in that we can rejoice! We can be thankful even in the midst of sadness because we are confident of God’s character. We may never know the “why” on this one, and that’s okay.
Moving forward with a heart of… trust?
My biggest struggle has been with the future. Jordan and I both feel that this miscarriage confirmed our desire to have another baby. And yet, that might not be in God’s plans for us! My perfect plan would be to squeeze in one more baby before I hit “advanced maternal age” (I’m 34 now – not ancient, but I’m certainly not getting any younger!). “My” plan doesn’t include any more losses, just a healthy baby in my timing. Unfortunately, my plan makes me anxious about the future because I know that God is sovereign, and I am afraid that He might not do what I want him to do!
Isn’t that always what contentment boils down to? Anxiety pours in when we allow ourselves to believe that our plans are somehow better than God’s, that He somehow needs our help in figuring out what to do. And yet, I have no reason to question His faithfulness to us. My anxious heart is utter foolishness.
The other day, we were listening to one of our Seeds CD’s in the van, and a song came on with the words to Psalm 37:4-6. “Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He will do it.” I was thinking about these words of Scripture, and how obviously, it does not mean that God will just give us whatever we want. The key to understanding this verse is the first part – “Delight yourself in the LORD.”
Because when I delight myself in the Lord, it’s all about HIM and not about me.
Because when I delight myself in the Lord, I am content with what He gives, knowing that His wisdom far surpasses my own.
I stop being like the whiny toddler who throws a tantrum over not being allowed to eat dog food or play in the street, and instead become the submissive child who simply trusts.
O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty;
Nor do I involve myself in great matters,
Or in things too difficult for me.
Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
My soul is like a weaned child within me.
O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and forever.
Will God give us another baby? We really have no idea. But whatever He chooses, it will be good.