This year (especially since February) has been the roughest year on record for me since 2000. I know it's been especially tough on our church family as well.
As all three of you may have noted, I've not been in a "write-y" mood as of late. I have many words, but it hurts a lot to write and even to pray during times like these.
Since February, our church family has lost 7 members. These were not just "on-the-membership-roll" members either. This morning we learned that a gentleman whose wife passed away 18 days ago also passed away last night. They were married for 60 years or so. Many years ago, this couple was instrumental in beginning our children's ministry, and both were gracious, lovely, God-fearing people. Like all the others who have gone before them, they will be missed greatly.
The day after my birthday, on which we buried my friend L., DH and I found out we were pregnant. It came as quite a shock, but it was exciting too, as this meant that I was pregnant while L. was still with us. DH and I were both convinced that we were having a girl, but since finding out we were pregnant, I had a bittersweet feeling in the pit of my stomach. We had grieved so much in the last weeks, that I was afraid to find joy in our new circumstances.
May 2nd was the 10 year anniversary of my mom's death (2000, the best and worst year of my life prior to this year), and Sunday morning found me weeping, at times uncontrollably. DH and SWK comforted me as we sang in worship, "How Great Thou Art."
May 7th, I went in for the 9-week appointment to see the ultrasound of the baby, and I told my doctor, so he could gauge me in the next few months of pregnancy, that I felt a sense of dread. I wanted to be excited about the baby, but there was a "feeling." I wasn't sure what it was, but there were a couple of reasons: I'm 37, so that always weighed on my mind; We've been under a lot of stress with our church family; etc. etc.
When it came time to see the baby, the baby had stopped growing at 8 weeks, and there wasn't a heartbeat. My doctor patted my leg and reassured me that it was none of the above reasons but that something in the baby's makeup was not "compatible with life." He also reminded me, "You knew. You knew something wasn't right." Yes, and I think that was God's protection for me. I chose that day to wait to allow my body to miscarry on it's own. But by the next Tuesday, after spending the majority of the day in bed, I knew I couldn't wait; I have three precious boys who need me to be a mommy to them. I made an appointment for a D&C for the next week (DH was going to be out of town over the weekend). Normally, I'm not a person who likes to ask for special things, but this time, on Thursday, I felt compelled to ask for another ultrasound. I needed to have peace that the first ultrasound was correct. The nurse I talked to was so gracious and got me in right away that day to have another ultrasound. The result was the same, but I had a peace that I didn't have before. I had woken up that morning praying for peace. I received an e-mail from a friend later that morning, and the subject was "Peace." The e-mail said:
Peace does not dwell in outward things, but in the heart prepared to wait trustfully and quietly on Him who has all things safely in His hands.
God gave me peace, and I don't know why He chose to give us this baby for only 8 weeks, but I have a peace about it that surpasses my understanding. On that first Tuesday, when I called to schedule the D&C, I received an e-mail from my friend who'd just lost his wife L. The link was to an article by R.C. Sproul, For My Good? I read the article and wept because I know that my God is good, and all things that He does or allows is for my good and for His glory. That doesn't mean I don't weep at the thought of the baby I won't know, but it does mean that I can rejoice in the way my God has taken care of me in my sorrow.
I had the D&C on Tuesday and all went well. I don't know what the future holds for our little family, but thankfully, (however trite it may be) I know WHO holds the future. Psalm 119:68 (one of my verses to memorize from our Sweeter than Chocolate study): "You are good and You do good. Teach me Your statutes." He is good, and He does good, even when we don't understand. Just clinging to that can make all the difference in the world.