Thursday, September 17, 2009

Back to the Beginning

About a year and a half ago I started this blog. Prior to that I really had no idea what blogging was all about. I had heard the word “blog” before but honestly I didn’t know what it meant. In March of 2008 Dominic and I had tickets to a Point of Grace and Selah concert. About a week before the concert I heard on the radio that Selah would no longer be attending because Angie, the wife of the lead singer Todd Smith, was pregnant with a baby that was “incompatible with life” and she was going to be delivering soon. The station then gave out Angie’s blog and told the listeners to check it out and leave the family prayers and support. Thus began my introduction to the world of blogging.

Angie’s blog had an immediate and profound impact on me. At the time I was still struggling with my recent miscarriage. To be completely honest I was angry. Angry that God would allow something like that to happen to us. I felt like for the first time in a long time that Dominic and I had things “together”. We were praying together as a family, we had found a way to resolve problems in our marriage in a reasonable way, we were communicating and bonding like I had always hoped we would. So I felt like there were 101 reasons that we “deserved” to be pregnant. And when I feel I deserve something, well I like to see it work out. And when things don’t go as I plan I tend to get a little angry and resentful. And to top it all off I felt my anger was justified because of all the reasons I stated above that I also deserved the pregnancy.

It is a vicious cycle and one that leads to loneliness and despair. I could no longer see God in my life, or at least see God in the way that I wanted to see Him. You see I had heard that Bible verse about having the faith of a mustard seed and being able to move mountains. So I knew that God could save my pregnancy if He wanted to – I believed it with all my heart. I got down on my knees that morning in February and begged Him to do what I couldn’t – save the life that was growing inside of me. I pled with Him, reassuring Him that I believed, I had the faith that He could do it…so please just do it!!

When He didn’t perform what I was calling a “miracle” in me, in the way that I wanted, in the time that I wanted I was sure that I must have done something to deserve it or that God just didn’t love me the way I needed. I spent months thinking of nothing but my own difficulty. I was bitter when I saw women who were pregnant and wondered what they had done to deserve something that I didn’t.

I would talk to my friend Clare asking why I couldn’t “get over” all of it. Part of me wanted to feel normal again and part of me felt comfortable wallowing in my own self pity. I know that sounds crazy but it was my reality. But one thing that helped me so much during this time was reading about how Angie was working through the loss of her daughter. I was so impressed by her love for God in spite of her circumstances and I wanted what she had. I wanted to love God regardless of whether my life was perfect or not. I wanted to trust Him even though I couldn’t see how I would ever recover from the loss. I wanted to believe that He could redeem that part of my life into something good.

So I started to talk to Him, in complete honesty. I wasn’t afraid to be angry with Him. I usually apologized for being mad, but I needed to get it out. As time went on God began to heal my heart. With love of good friends who supported me and let me talk about it over and over again I slowly changed. It was something that happened without me even realizing it really. It wasn’t until I got that call from Beth back in September a year ago telling me that she was pregnant , and all that I felt was complete joy for her, that I realized that the resentment was gone, the bitterness was resolved and God had made me whole again.

Quite a journey. And as many of you know He didn’t stop there. Tomorrow will be Elijah’s 4 month birthday. The circumstances around my getting pregnant with him when I did, the fact that Beth and I delivered 9 days apart, isn’t something that I could have orchestrated if I had tried. God had a perfect plan in that situation and today I can reflect on the journey that brought me here. I wasn’t able to see the “whole” picture. I wanted to manage my life so that it would be most comfortable for me. What I couldn’t see then, that I realize today is that when I am most comfortable I tend to pull away from God. I think that I have it all under control and my relationship with my Savior suffers. When my life isn’t perfect, when I struggle, when I stumble, I see the need I so desperately have for Him to take back the reigns of my life and lead me on His path.

And I have been given gifts because of this experience. The gift of friendship with women who have also had similar experiences. I connected with an amazing woman Suzanne who I got to meet in person when we travelled to California last summer. Suzanne has had more miscarriages of any woman I know. And yet when I shared the news of my pregnancy last September she responded with such joy and support I was overwhelmed. Overwhelmed that God would put such a woman in my life, who acted in ways I couldn’t when I was in her shoes. I have been given a heart for women that I didn’t have before. I have had the opportunity to reach out and offer hope to others as they struggle with the loss of their child. It is something that has been made even more personal to me. And something that I appreciate now today, a gift I couldn’t have anticipated over a year and a half ago.

I know that there is a possibility that someone reading this has also experienced the loss of a pregnancy. If that is the case please leave me a comment or send me an e-mail. I would be honored to pray for you. My prayer is that regardless of what situation we find ourselves in, no matter how dark, that we would be able to see the face of Christ in it. That we would be drawn to Him and would feel His peace. And that God would take the ashes in our lives – whatever they might be - and make them a beautiful offering of His redeeming mercy.

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