A while back, I felt like I should take a break from writing. We had a lot going on with birthdays, vacations and the end of the school year. I felt the Lord whisper to, “take a break and just rest”. Funny, a week after I decided to listen, we found out we were pregnant… with our fourth. We were excited and a bit overwhelmed at the idea of four kids, but mostly just stoked. I was really wanting another baby… and so was Davin.
These last few months have been gloriously free from most social media, blogging and all the “writing thoughts” that go on in my mind during the day. I took a step back from all that I was engaged in and just rested with my family. I played with my family, took naps and ate snacks. Not much to worry about except what I should eat. Pregnant ladies get really, really hungry… all day long. It’s a serious business, that eating.
A week ago, we discovered that our baby had gone to heaven… with… out… our permission. He or she most likely went to heaven around nine and a half weeks, because that’s what the ultra sound showed the growth rate at the day before our miscarriage, information we didn’t have until the following day. I was fortunate enough to have a natural miscarriage, without any medical procedures. Since we had never experienced one, and still didn’t have the news from our doctor that the baby had stopped growing, we at first were still hopeful that maybe the baby was okay even with the spotting, since it can be normal in pregnancy. (Warning: the rest of this paragraph may be TMI for you… warning… warning!) By 2:30 am when my water broke, we were pretty sure things weren’t okay. By 4:30 am, after much bleeding and contractions we knew I was miscarrying our baby. By 8:30 that morning, my contractions stopped, and the bleeding subsided, our baby was in heaven.
We cried when it was happening. We cried when we realized our hopes for our little Dude or Lady in January were crashed. We cried to think of the sweet child that we would never get to know on earth. We cried just thinking about telling our kids that the baby they loved in Mommy’s tummy was in heaven.
It was sad. But you know what else? It was inexplicably covered in peace. Literally just how the scripture that says in Philippians 4:7, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” A peace really did come over us and that transcended ALL understanding.
I know it’s early in the process, and I’m sure there is more grieving to be done. I am not minimizing that. I am just saying that in the midst of physically experiencing a miscarriage and not realizing what was going on right away, in the midst of understanding the truth that our baby wasn’t with us anymore, in the midst of grieving the loss – I still felt surrounded by peace. If that doesn’t transcend all understanding, I don’t know what does.
Worldly logic says I shouldn’t be able to feel any peace in the midst of this sorrow.
Here’s something else. The day before when I was getting the silent ultra sound, (I say that because the tech only asked me three questions, then never spoke again…) the tech finished and went to see if the radiologist wanted to share any information with me, which he did not. While I waited, I stood there thinking, hmmm, this wasn’t like all my other ultra sounds where the sweet lady says, “ohhhh, here’s the baby’s heartbeat! Here’s the hands!” it was just some weird dude saying not a word. Thoughts started to cross my mind that the spotting might have actually meant that something was wrong. When I started to panic and get sad, I heard the Nat King Cole song, “Smile” on the speakers in the hallway. It’s a pretty tragic song guys, if you start playing it while you read this, you might just cry. So only do that if you want a good cry. Once I heard the sound of Nat’s voice, I felt this crazy peace rush over me and I was back at my grandparents’ house, as a kid, listening to their records. My grandpa is already in heaven and I felt like that was God’s way of saying, “Yea, this is rough, but it’s going to be okay. We go way back, I was there with you then, and I’ll be here for you now.”
Guys, I didn’t walk through this miscarriage alone.
God surrounded me with his presence in so many ways. Jesus showed up in Davin as he sat near me the entire night, holding my hand, taking care of my every need, being unbelievably supportive, loving, amazing and strong. He showed up in the love and support of my family and friends through texts, muffins, flowers, cards and a friend watching our three kids so Davin could go with me to the doctors to make sure I was healthy the next day. God was gracious to take the baby to heaven earlier in my pregnancy, when it wasn’t as difficult to miscarry naturally. He timed it so we’d still have space to heal before we go on the crazy awesome tropical kid-free vacation we’d planned for this summer. I even still get to look forward to and celebrate a baby right around Christmas, since my brother and his wife will be having their second then (#babyfix)! And, I felt his grace when I held my three kids the next morning in the kitchen, thinking that some women experience a miscarriage, and don’t yet have a child to hold and thank him for.
I keep thinking of all the ways that he was so gracious to me, even in the midst of this sorrow. And, it doesn’t make me not sad that my sweet baby is in heaven. That I’ll never hear this kid laugh or see he or she smile on this earth. But seeing God show up in so many different ways made me feel like there must be something bigger going on than my plans and purposes. Because those weren’t my plans and purposes.
God is sovereign.
Does that mean he wanted my baby to die and my pregnancy to end in a miscarriage? No. Not at all.
We live in a non-Eden world. It’s not a perfect heaven just yet. God’s given us the power of free will, making our world a messy, sin-filled, sometimes crappy place that we get to bring light into through Christ’s love.
God is sovereign means that he has a bigger plan that he is working out in spite of sin’s effects on this world, making room for his love in the tough stuff. And because he sent his Son to die for our sins, we know that his whole plan is motivated around his love for us. Even when it doesn’t look like it. Even when it doesn’t make sense to us.
We toss the word love around like it’s whatever, but when you really, really think about it – God loves ultimately, fully, completely and perfectly, each one of us. And somehow, I think that truth resonates with you, somewhere deep, deep down in your heart. And if you want him in your life, you don’t have to be perfect, it’s as simple as this prayer,
“Jesus, please forgive me for all the stuff I’ve done that didn’t honor you. I’m sorry. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Please come into my life and begin to make stuff right. I want to see you transform my life into something beautiful. Please be Lord of my life. Amen.”
That’s kinda a, “Jesus Take the Wheel” type of thing, giving your life over to him;-) It’s sorta a big deal, so If you did pray that for the first time, you should find someone who reads their bible and let them know so they can help you find a church. Walking with Jesus is never an orphan experience, you need a big family around you, reminding you about God’s love and truth in word and action. And, some churches are awesome and some are not, or can be super old-school and if that’s not your thing, keep looking until you find the one that feels like home.
And, like I told Davin after we’d finished crying, “Hey, that’s the BEST kid we ever raised! That baby is in heaven! SUCESS!” God can bring good out of anything. We high-fived with tears still running down our faces, knowing that there was still joy in our future.
Now I am a mom of four (actually maybe five, we thought we were pregnant before this one and then weren’t after a few days, so maybe number four has a sibling in heaven). Either way, I have three little ones on earth to raise-up to know the Jesus that their little sibling or siblings are hanging out with right now.
And that’s a huge job.
Thanks for reading.
And for those of you who just love to cry… I give you
“Smile” by Nat King Cole
Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it’s breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you’ll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You’ll see the sun come shining through for you
Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That’s the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what’s the use of crying?
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile, if you just smile