At the hospital, when I had realized that I was in labour with Noah, I couldn't focus on anything else except getting through the pain of each contraction and praying desperately to God, "Please, God, protect my baby." I remember doing one last ultrasound in the ER and the doctor said, "He looks good! Heart is still beating and he's moving around lots in there." Even though I was in a lot of pain, I breathed a sigh of relief in that moment knowing the power of my God and that He would protect Noah. He would protect him, he would stop this labour. And my contractions slowed shortly after, so I believed in my mind and heart that everything would be ok. I had so much confidence that my baby would be ok.
For those of you who have read my previous posts or know me personally, you know well how this story ends...
But for those of you who don't know, unfortunately my labour continued to progress and as I was moving from the stretcher to the hospital bed after I had gotten transferred to the maternity unit, my water broke. I can't even explain the pain I felt in my heart at that moment, the gut wrenching realization that I was going to have this baby and at merely 19 weeks, this baby will die the second it is born. Once the water breaks, game over. Can't put the bag of waters back together. Can't put that amniotic fluid back in there. Can't keep the baby from coming out. God did not give me the miracle I was asking for.
I often ask: Where is God's hand in all this? Why would He bless me with this child just to seemingly 'ignore' my prayers to save him and have him die at 19 weeks? God is in control, He is all powerful, with the snap of His fingers He could have stopped my labour. Then I could have just been on bedrest and kept Noah in my tummy until later. The story could have ended so different. It could have had a happy ending with Noah, earth-side, in my arms.
But it didn't. It ended the way it did. And God is sovereign over it all - He is in ultimate control. Lamentations 3:37-38 says, "Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come?"
But you see? The sovereignty of God is a double edged sword. It's a positive thing when miracles happen and things are going well. You hear a lot of people say "It's a God thing" when something good and miraculous happens. But with situations like this - devastating, unnatural, unfair, painful ones - is He still in control? Is He still sovereign? Yes, He is. And it is apart of His plan. Nothing happens without His saying so, including the "bad" things that happen. But does anyone say "It's a God thing" when they lose their job? When they lose a loved one in a tragic accident? When they suffer years of infertility? When they don't have enough money to pay their bills? When they are going through a nasty divorce? No, I haven't heard anyone utter the words "It's a God thing" for any of those circumstances. But the reality is that our seasons of pain and suffering are just as much a God thing as are our happy, blessed, and joyful seasons. But it's easier sometimes to just pretend that God doesn't have any control in our suffering, doesn't 'allow' suffering, and that it just happens instead. But this, in my mind, is actually diminishing God's power and His plans.
Having God be in ultimate control is comforting in the sense of God always having a plan and purpose. That all this pain and suffering doesn't "just happen" because someone is "unlucky" or because the universe hates you. But in another sense, it's ... how do I put it... maddening! It's frustrating when it feels like nothing is going your way and there is a constant stream of pain and suffering. When it seems like you're getting kicked while you're already down. This is how I feel, like I'm drowning in my suffering getting pounded over and over by waves of trials and affliction not being able to keep my head above water long enough to take a breath.
Complications of miscarriage.
Scarring from D&C.
Procedure to remove scarring.
Pregnant with Noah (preventing me from having procedure).
Premature labour with Noah at 19 weeks.
Trouble conceiving again.
Total of almost 2 years of trying to conceive... and counting.
No baby earth-side.
This is my journey. This is my story. This is my nightmare. I didn't ask for this.
Sometimes I say to God, "Where are you in all this? Why me? Why can't I get my miracle? Why can't it be my turn? Why couldn't you have just protected Noah like I asked you to? Why can't I just get pregnant right away... after all I've been through don't I deserve that at least?! Surely, I have suffered enough God. It feels like I'm being punished. Why?!"
I know He hears me. I know He's sitting with me here in this pain. I know He's in control. I know He has a plan. I know He's good. But sometimes, I just wish He would just do something. That He would come through for me in this situation. That He would give me breakthrough. I feel like David in Psalm 13:2, "How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?"
Good Christian? Yeah, not really. I don't honestly have very many positive thoughts or words right now. I don't have much of a silver lining. I feel like my hope is dwindling. And this is where I'm at; these are my raw emotions as I'm feeling them right now. I'm at the point of relying more on God holding onto me because my arms are tired from holding onto Him. And I know He holds me in my brokenness, my fierce anger, my lack of strength to carry on. Thank goodness He does. And thank goodness His grace and love for me - for all of us - is infinite. I know that my faith is not very strong right now. I have to claw at whatever ounce of faith I have left to be able to trust He will come through for me. Thank goodness it only takes the faith of a mustard seed (Mathew 17:20) because I don't think I have much more than that left...
I look back on the verses that I have highlighted in my Bible and I see this one: "All my longings lie in open before you, Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you. My heart pounds, my strength fails me; even the light has gone from my eyes...Lord, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God." (Psalm 38:9-10&15). This is how I feel.
How do I get here: "That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." I have no idea how Paul got to a place of being able to delight in hardships. I am not at that point. I hurt. I am drowning in my hardships - struggling to see God's purpose in it. My hope and prayer is to one day be where Paul was in that verse, in a state of spiritual maturity and peace, trusting God wholly; being able to see the big picture.
I can't wait for the day when I look back on all this as a distant memory. Seeing how God's plans have unfolded and being able to sit in victory and joy. Since I know "that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28). And this is my hope: "And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory of Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast" (1 Peter 5:10).
Until then I keep waiting, trying to muddle through this mess and allow God to work on my broken heart. Allowing Him to mature me in my faith, refine me like gold. Relying on Him to be my strength in my weakness.