Part 2 of a far too familiar story, a story of miscarriage. This story, I hope offers the good news of promises kept. Promises that did not go the way of expectation.
From Part 1:
As I read the scripture in my mind, all of a sudden in my heart came these words…. “I am giving you what you asked me for. I am giving you a son. This is my promise to you.” Need to read part 1? Click here.
I honestly did not know what to do with this information. My heart was beating in my ears as I waited my turn to share the scripture I had pulled.
This couldn’t be a coincidence.
My mind became fogged with a million thoughts when I heard a voice… “Joy, It’s your turn to read”. Huh? Oh, that’s right I was still sitting at this table with this precious group of women and it was my turn. Do I blurt out and share what was happening? Do allow myself to break down and cry at this news? Will my friends find me more peculiar than they already do?
I decided to read the scripture gently and leave it at that. I still had so much to think about that honestly, I wasn’t ready to open up these thoughts to more meaningful speculation…at least not yet.
I drove home from that restaurant in a bit of a daze and I chose to tuck away these words of hope for a little while.
The next day, I purchased a pregnancy test and put it away in the bathroom drawer, just in case.
I was elated at the idea that I would one day have a son. But, I couldn’t help but be concerned that maybe it was all in my head and the scripture triggered it.
So, the pregnancy test acted as my fleece.
I went on with the season’s celebrations happily embracing my family and focusing on the good around me. Christmas morning arrived, the presents were opened, the special breakfast was consumed and we were absorbing the laughter and fun of putting beloved toys together.
My thoughts went to the test sitting in the drawer. “Why not?” If it was negative, I had so much love surrounding me – I would be ok.
I took the test… and waited for what seemed like an eternity.
The alarm I set went off and I gingerly walked toward the test. Sneaking up on it like that would change the outcome.
There it was – all the proof I needed.
I was pregnant!
I walked back into the living room with the test in hand and showed my husband. He looked at me and then we looked at the girls and I said – we are going to have a baby! The squeals and cheers shook the house and the happy dance ensued.
Overall the pregnancy was amazingly easy compared to the past. All was going well. Until it wasn’t.
One day I woke up not feeling right.
Something was wrong.
I laid there, frozen in the bed. NO, NO, NO please, NO. Not again. I can’t do this again. I can’t lose him. I gathered my courage and got up. The pain wasn’t going away. I called my doctor and he told me that I should come in for a check-up and ultrasound.
This was it. I could either scream and yell and get angry or I could take the blessing I had to carry this child to 6 months and be grateful. I found myself somewhere in between.
I began prepping a bag for the hospital. As I ironed a couple of things to take, I felt in slow motion. I felt mechanical. I didn’t want to cry. I just wanted to not feel anything. My oldest daughter came into the room while I finished ironing a blouse and she asked me what I was doing.
“I am getting ready to go to the hospital, baby”, I said in my calmest voice. “Why, momma?” she inquired. “Because I woke up in pain today and I think the baby might be leaving for heaven. We have to go find out.” I felt like a robot was uttering these words, they were so “matter of fact” and controlled as I continued to iron the sleeve.
“Momma, stop ironing and look at me.” my daughter insisted. “I’ve got to wrap this up dear, I need to get to the hospital,” I said. “Momma, I mean it! Stop! Look me in the eyes, right now!” the most authoritative voice was coming out of this mostly quiet little girl. I was shocked and put the iron down and bent slightly to look into her eyes as she commanded.
Her little hand touched my belly while our eyes remained locked.
“He will not die. In the name of Jesus, he will not die. I am telling you right now, he will live.” she said firmly. I dropped to my knees and hugged her tightly. Then she said, “You have to say it, mom”. “In the name of Jesus, he will not die, he will not.”.
I have no doubt that God will use whoever and whatever is necessary to reach us. Sometimes, he will use our children to bring us back to faith.
I unplugged the iron and left the suitcase on the bed and we went to the hospital. I laid on the table and prep for the ultrasound began. As she moved the wand around and made her notes, she said…would you like to hear the heartbeat?
Would I like to hear the heartbeat?
Are you kidding me, lady? I thought. I uttered, “Yes, I would”. There it was, this beautiful sound that rivaled the greatest classical score, the sound of a heartbeat. My child’s heartbeat.
We learned that the pain was coming from a very large cyst that had developed and it would either burst on its own or they would deal with it when the time for my son’s birth. In any case, they would keep an eye on it.
I walked back to the car, feeling like I had been freed. I would be meeting my son in just a few months. My son was born in August 2004. He was my shortest delivery at 8 hours. I was grateful. My oldest was a whopping 72 hours and my second daughter, 16 hours.
As the years have gone by and another move back to Texas, I still ached for the one who was in Heaven and for my dream of a big family. I had wanted at least 4 children.
Not wanting to come across as ungrateful in any way – I just always felt that I would have at least 4 little ones. So I did what I do. I went to God and talked to Him about it. I laid it all bare, He was aware anyway so I was completely and totally honest. I waited for an answer. I got nothing. Well, not nothing – I emptied my heart and soul.
I went back to focusing on the good.
We were able to purchase a dream type of house for us. A house big enough that family and friends could feel welcome and we could have huge gatherings. I had huge gatherings in our smaller homes but this was a dream and we filled it up every chance we got.
One day, while doing the most mundane and medial task – cleaning the kitchen stove. I began to just sing little worship songs as they came to my heart. It was so much better than fussing at the baked-on grease. I stood up from my hunched-over state and the words came.
The conversation went something like this –
“I gave you your 4th child.”
“I know, I have three here and one with you.”
“No, I gave you your 4th child on earth.”
“No, you didn’t.” Why do we argue with God? But I knew I could count and I only had three.
“Your 4th child lives through every child that comes into the home I gave you. Whether it is for 30 days or 30 seconds, I have put them in your home so that you can pour into them.”
“Not every kid who comes here needs or wants prayer- I don’t think I have poured into them”
“Because you seized the opportunity to open your home – every meal they gathered, every game that was played, every laugh made, every cannonball into the pool was a chance for them to have a safe place to be and indirectly know ME. I know you prayed for them in the quiet when I asked you to. It was no coincidence who showed up at your home. Some just needed to laugh, to not be alone, to feel my peace.”
“Oh wow, I never saw it that way.”
“I know, that’s why I am telling you now. You need to understand, I gave you what your heart desired, just in a way you didn’t expect. I do things like that.”
“Yes, you sure do. Thank you”.
I changed after that conversation.
The ache is gone. The void has been filled – in a way, I had never thought about. I was thinking too small, seems to be the case so many times in our lives, doesn’t it?
Everything we do, everything we are can be used to help others. I heard a phrase many years ago and it has always stayed with me. “You may be the only bible someone reads.” You matter. What you do matters. Those little daily decisions, matter.
I say this knowing full well that we are all human, we are all broken and we all make mistakes. God knows this too and yet still wants us to purpose to walk the walk and talk the talk.
I am broken. I have made mistakes. I have gotten lost in the minutia. I have taken my eyes off of HIM.
I have been hurt.
I have hurt.
I have been treated unfairly.
I have treated others unfairly.
I cry out to God for forgiveness and He hears me. He hears you too.
I feel unworthy to share things because I have not been perfect. I have been ridiculed and made fun of by strangers and those who have been close to me ( those tend to sting the hardest, don’t they) – judged unworthy in their eyes because I dared to share the little things on my heart. Maybe you have as well.
Let me just share this good news with you –
IF the Alpha and Omega God who made Heaven and Earth can forgive a contrite heart completely – that is ALL that MATTERS. Move forward into what you know to be right, share what God puts on your heart. Be who God wants you to be. Share YOUR story of heartbreak, loss, and redemption. Someone needs to know they are not alone and your words may be the comfort and strength they need to move forward.
Share your heart my friends and I will too.