These past two weeks have been a roller coaster.
We found out we were pregnant on January 5, much to our surprise considering our history of struggling to conceive. And thus we began the wonderful journey of early pregnancy–cautious hope, hesitant excitement, all with a dash of anxiety and a base of trust.
Unlike my three pregnancies that ended in miscarriage, I had an incredible sense of peace that this one was going to work. Even when I would wonder and slip into doubt, I could honestly say that it felt like we were definitely going to have a baby in September. I just had peace.
By the time I was 6 weeks along, we were feeling pretty good. And then we received some fun news that a friend was pregnant as well! How fun that she and I would get to experience this joy together.
Then I started bleeding. And I must say, I just lost it. I ignored the peace that I had, and I sobbed. And sobbed. And sobbed. I was so hurt, and scared, and confused. I just couldn’t understand why God gives, and takes away. (Even though I recognize He doesn’t necessarily cause miscarriages, in my sorrow, I was upset that He hadn’t prevented it.) We began to prepare our hearts for the journey we know all too well–recovering from the grief and heartache of early miscarriage.
But I was still pregnant–what?! My hormone levels were rising, my symptoms weren’t disappearing … and lo and behold, a week and a day later, after spotting consistently, I saw a teeny tiny little heartbeat. The peace I had was accurate; in spite of all appearances, there’s a little baby growing in there!
The same day, my friend experienced some spotting too. She got an ultrasound, saw a teenier-tinyer little embryo (no heartbeat yet) and felt great! We again were so excited.
But her spotting continued. While mine finally, slowly, went away (it was due to two small clots near the placenta), her’s increased. Until, sadly, yesterday she lost the baby.
And thus the blog title: Trusting in the Midst of Grief.
In the midst of heartache and pain, what does it look like to trust? In the midst of the unknown and fear, how do we rest in God’s peace? Does trusting mean the absence of all emotion? Does resting mean we never cry out in agony and pain?
If I learned anything in my journey to conceive Joshua, it’s that God is big enough to handle my emotions. And boy am I glad He is, cuz I sure have a lot of them! I remember feeling some guilt after we realized I wasn’t miscarrying. I recalled finding the bleeding, and turning my face to the ceiling, asking, “Really God? Really?” In hindsight, I of course felt bad that my first response was the blame Him.
But guess what–He’s still God.
In the hours leading up to my ultrasound, where I would discover whether my baby was alive and growing, or about to miscarry, my battle against fear and anxiety was escalating. It took every ounce of my strength–Christ’s strength in me–to surrender my fears and TRUST. And if you could have heard me in those moments, you would not have heard anything that sounded like peaceful trust. I was a little bit of a wreck. The unknown–the possibility of having to accept and slog through another miscarriage–was weighing on me like a ball and chain. Did this mean I didn’t trust that God is good? Did this mean that I didn’t know that His plan is best and miscarriage serves a natural purpose? Did this mean that I wasn’t trying to surrender and rest in His peace?
Trusting in the Midst of Grief is hard. It sucks. It’s a roller coaster.
My friend is there right now–and I’m there with her. My heart is breaking for the pain I know she is feeling. The pain I begged God to give me, instead of her, because I at least know from experience how to deal with it. I tear up constantly, my heart physically aches, my stomach just isn’t right today. I am asking God “Why?” … and yet, I trust. I trust that He is good. I trust that He can handle our grief. I trust that He saw that little baby, and He knew the journey my friend would take. And I trust that He will sustain her, and make her stronger, through it.
I will see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD.