In my previous post, I told you about IF:Gathering. I told you how thousands of women wrote on a stone, marking the step of faith they would next take. A tangible, solid promise to God. I sat watching them pile the rocks high while the band led the masses in beautiful worship. What do I write, Lord? I prayed and pondered, waiting for God to stir my heart, wishing for an answer. Nothing… yet. I’ve prayed about that stone all week.
I’ve been intentionally introspective this week; a habit long since shoved aside for the busyness and exhaustion of motherhood. What am I doing? Why am I angry, impatient, and frustrated? What do I want for my life? What’s on my altar? Hard questions that lead down ugly roads. I’ve stopped living intentionally and just started rolling with it. Don’t be brave, keep your head down and just finish this task. Don’t look for beauty, you’ll get distracted. I have allowed myself to be robbed of so much joy.
My relationship with God has always been something I’ve struggled for. My biggest struggle has been with prayer. I never believed my prayers worked. I experienced catastrophic loss through highschool. My grandfather, my uncle and young cousin, my horse in a barn fire. I cried out to God in anguish asking him to fix it. He didn’t. I stopped believing he was good, just… loving. I didn’t believe prayer worked. Then, I got married. A couple months later, I got pregnant. Pure joy! But as I sat alone at a routine 12 week visit trembling as the doctor searched long for a heartbeat, my joy was leaking through a whole so big it might have swallowed me up too. Once again, I believed God had turned a deaf ear to my prayers.
A little over a year later, we found out we were expecting a second baby. There was joy, but it was not unbridled. I had lost the naive innocence that believed this pregnancy would be joy-filled. I didn’t trust God. So I prayed, unbelieving, for God to give us a baby in July. A week before my birthday, I relived the horror of that 12 week visit. Silence. Baby dead. World crumbling. This time, I wasn’t alone. I was too gripped with fear to ever go to another check up by myself. We made a fast decision to have surgery only 2 hours after that damning check-up. We wanted answers. So I went to sleep with my second baby still inside of me, and woke up empty… numb. I didn’t feel anything. I didn’t yell at God. What was the point? I was so numb, I didn’t feel God move.
I was begged by a friend to attend a Bible study. I went for her. God worked, he began to thaw my heart. Hope was returning that maybe he was good. I met a new friend. She felt my pain as deeply as I did. She had said goodbye to two babies as well. Her two rainbow babies, one adopted, one biological, only 4 months apart, were little beams of hope. She told me that she wouldn’t change losing her babies. She told me that one day, I would see how good God was not in spite of my miscarriages, but he was good in my miscarriages. I wanted to believe her. It sounded so much better than the anger, pain, and hopelessness.
On our second wedding anniversary we got the answers we were looking for. Trisome 13. Not compatible with life. Carrier. Will probably happen again. We were also told that we wouldn’t be getting the little home we had fallen in love with. A double whammy. We sat dejected on the bench on my parents’ porch. What now? Where will we live? Do we try again? We should’ve been toasting our marriage and talking excitedly about what this new year would bring to our union. We should’ve been decorating a nursery in our new home. Instead, we were nomads living in a tiny room above my parents’ garage slapped in the face with the reality that we would probably relive the nightmare again. We chose to press on. To pick up the pieces and keep trying. It was messy… there were a lot of pieces. In the midst of a disappointing needle-in-the-haystack search for the perfect home, we got a call. We were getting the little home we loved after-all! It took us a month to get it cleaned and painted and polished. We filled it with our hand-me-down furniture and piles of books. I put nothing in the room I would’ve wanted for the baby. I closed the door. The stone sat heavy in my chest.
To be continued…