Its July 30, 2018. Today is the day that I thought I would be done. I thought I would be done having kids, done being pregnant and done with the childbearing stage of my life. Yet here I am and I have no idea if our family is complete as it is right now, Jake, our two sons, and me, or if there is more in store for us. I have no idea if I’ll ever be able to get pregnant again, whether through IVF as with our first son, or naturally, as we did with our second (and third).
There is a trickiness to being a c-section mama. You see, I know without a shadow of a doubt that this would have been the day we would have met our third child. I could tell you what time we would have woken up to go the hospital, the exact time pre-op would have started and the approximate time that the baby would have arrived. As a result, there were certain times of the day today that stung more than others. 4 a.m. when the alarm would have gone off, 6 a.m. when we would have been expected to arrive at the hospital, and 7 a.m. when pre-op would have begun. If all had gone well, the baby would have been here around 8:30 and by this time we would have hoped the boys would be arriving to meet their new sibling. But here I am, sitting at home, writing while my sons nap and tears welling in my eyes.
There is a release for me today. A release of the expectation for things to work out on the timeline that I expect. A release of what the redemption of this hurt should look like on this side of heaven. And as a result of this loss, a release of my expectations of how God heals me and changes my heart.
There were a couple of months that I expected God to grant us another pregnancy because, well, that might ease the pain or distract me from this loss. I’m not trying to sound insensitive or diminish the impact of the miscarriage; I’m just being honest. There were other months that I thought God would work things out in a different area that would be to our family’s advantage in continuing to pursue His will for us. Yet, none of those things have come to pass. I am not pregnant. We are still very actively working through some things for our household and our budget and I know that I need to stop putting God in a box outlined by human outcomes.
I’ve tried to negotiate my way out of this pain in so many different ways in my walk with the Lord. I’ve tried to negate the pain or distract myself from my hurt but that is when God has drawn closest. I now realize that it is in fact during our times of greatest weakness that the Lord can press in and fill in spaces of our heart that we thought were unfixable.
I now know that in this rawness and vulnerable heart space that the Lord has such immense love and longing for each of His children. I consider it my greatest purpose to simply show people how much he loves them - just as they are. Not because of anything they have or haven’t done. Not because of a specific level of strength or weakness. Not because they know the Bible by heart or sing well during worship. Just because. Love has been my most powerful lesson because that is exactly how He has healed me.
There have been moments in the last six months that I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t pretend to be ok. I couldn’t pretend to feel fulfilled or know how to move forward. I couldn’t sing or worship and I couldn’t pretend I wasn’t upset with God that things worked out the way they did. Don’t get me wrong, I know where fault lies in all of this – this isn’t a debate on theology and spiritual warfare. Its an honest portrayal of walking through and battling for faith after loss in my life. Its coming to the jarring realization that no matter how you’ve served or what your faith walk looks like – bad things still happen to you, bad things happen to anyone. And yet, here I sit – knowing I am deeply and passionately loved by Jesus. I know just how true it is that he will leave the 99 and pursue me. I know that I will not be abandoned by Him.
Grief can make even the most connected person feel lonely and isolated by humans but with Jesus, healing is possible. I miss this baby with everything in me and unlike anyone else ever will but I can’t neglect to highlight exactly how far Jesus has gone to pursue my heart over and over and over again in the last six months. He has shown me and unearthed a level of compassion and love for others during this time that I would have never known without being broken apart and slowly put back together again.
It is so very hard to walk through difficult times and it is even harder to press into faith and Jesus during those moments but when you do – there is a level of love and surrender unlike anything you’ll ever know.
My heart is broken but it has finally been broken by Jesus. I can confidently say that I know the Lord is going to use this broken heart for bonding with others through brokenness and building stronger faith. Our table has seen and felt heartache this year that we never knew before but because of it our table has new seats of understanding and compassion. With each new journey, God expands my empathy and it will be used for His glory. So please, don’t ever feel alone - come to the table – I pray we never tire of serving His grace, love and forgiveness through the sharing of heartache, brokenness, joy and laughter.