Even in Death there is Hope and Peace

My mentor once told me we share our stories to reflect God’s glory.  So often social media only reflects the good and great.  What a disservice we do by not sometimes sharing the bad, the ugly, and the hard.  Even in those moments of despair God is still working, still weaving our story, and still doing something good. The seasons of life aren’t all sweet there is plenty of sour but without the sour we could never value just how sweet Jesus is and all the times he rescues us from our despair.   

I was just shy of 15 weeks pregnant.  That’s almost 4 whole months of walking around with a little baby and a growing bump.  We had shared the happy news and amidst this pandemic quarantine, we had something hopeful to look forward too.  

However, on Thursday morning April 16th,  I started bleeding and intrinsically knew something was wrong.  Later that day I had an ultrasound that confirmed what my heart already knew, that our baby had left this earth.  As I reflect on the last 48 hours, I can see and say with utter confidence that the Hand of the Lord was on me and with me and these are four important things this season has revealed to me.    

His timing is perfect

Psalm 18:30, “As for God, his way is perfect: The Lords word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.”   Last week was our 5th anniversary.  We celebrated, laughed and reminisced about the good and rough times.  It was a blissful time amongst this quarantine that reminded us about all the adventures we’ve had.  I couldn’t have imagined walking thru the miscarriage that week and being reminded of sorrow yearly on the day of joy.  I’m so thankful that God knew what we needed and how to prepare us for what was to come.  It was also Holy Week and being stuck at home gave us a lot of time to focus on the true gift God gave us. Most of the messages we heard throughout the week carried us through the trial of what was about to come.   

He prepares us in ways we can’t fathom.  

Time and time again throughout this pregnancy I kept telling people how peaceful I felt.  There was no doubt, insecurity, what if’s, second guessing, or fear.  I walked forward with confident assurance knowing God was with me in whatever was to happen.  Looking back, I realize that the Lord was perfectly preparing me for what was to come.  He knew the outcome long before I ever became pregnant and with each passing day he gifted me with peace.  Early on in the pregnancy the Lord spoke John 14:27 to me, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  A pandemic and pregnancy almost never equal peace but you will know the will of God through 3 things — His word, His people, and His spirit.  The spirit of the Lord had spoken this verse to me and then it was confirmed time and time again as I read different books and also through 2 different services I watched.  I couldn’t believe God’s faithfulness in affirming this verse but am so greatful for his sovereignty.  

He hears our prayers

Each day I had set aside a chunk of time to pray.  I set up a section of my closet and even my boys knew if the door was closed they were not to come in to get mommy’s attention.  I fervently prayed for a healthy mom and baby in the outcome.  There was one time that struck me where I was praying out loud and I asked for complete healing of this baby, that the baby would be healed of disease, sickness, and would be renewed.  I got up from that session of solitude and thought where did that come from?  My baby is not sick.  Well, my baby was sick.  My final ultrasound confirmed no fetal activity reveled that our little one was severely hydropic,  which in turns means there was a lot of swelling and edema around the baby.  God didn’t answer my prayer for a healthy mom and baby outcome but that one heartfelt prayer of healing was answered by his divine intervention.  Our baby is up in heaven with no deformity, no trial, no pain, no discomfort, no sickness.  It is complete, perfect, and without blemish.  God hears all our prayers.  Sometimes it’s a yes, sometimes it’s a no, sometimes it’s a not yet.

His Word is a lamp for my feet, a light onto my path 

God spoke 2 verses to me in early April.  I had know idea why these verses came to me but I had memorized them years earlier.  There was always importance to these verses around Easter but God had much bigger plans to use these verses to speak truth to my heart.   The journey to finishing this pregnancy was not an easy one.  My body had started the process of doing what nature needed to do around 4pm on Thursday and by 9pm I was in full active labor to complete the process. 

In early April, God had laid several verses on my heart.  They were 1 Corinthians 15:55-57, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death is your sting?  The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”.  Ironically, this was the first verse Andrew and I memorized while dating.  Each week we picked a verse to memorize together and because we started this around Easter this was our first verse.  How perfectly planned that God gave us this verse and how sacred that we would see the fruit of this labor 6 years later.  Yes, our baby died.  It will not have an earthly birthday or be bundled in its parents arms but we know because of God’s great gift of Jesus Christ and the sacrifice he paid on the cross we will be reunited again.  We will cultivate in the heavens and joyfully proclaim the goodness and greatness of God’s great love for us.  Our baby is certainly resting in comfort and joy living life to the absolute fullest on the streets of heaven and sitting next to the throne of our almighty King surrounded in more love than we could ever imagine. 

The second verse God spoke to me was Psalm 30:5, “Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning”.  From Friday morning at midnight until 6am I was in severe agony and pain.  My body had started the process but stopped and unlike the waves of labor where you have periods of cramping and then release, a complication made me in constant steadfast pain.  No breaks, no lulls, just pain with maybe 10-15 seconds of positional relief until it started again.  When we reached the hospital I was hopeful they would be able to give me something for the pain but unfortunately they knew I was going to be heading to the OR and therefore medication was not an option until anesethisa came to see me and well they arrived at 5:43am.  The only thing that kept me going was “Joy comes in the morning”.  This was not going to be the type of joy one hopes for after labor pains but this chronic pain brought me to Jesus on the Cross.  I don’t know how he did.  His love for us has to be so unfathomable.  I couldn’t wait for someone to stop the pain after a few mere hours.  I had my lovely husband to support me and comfort me but Jesus had no one.  He had people bash him at his lowest, spit at him, mock him, laugh at him and yet he freely walked the road, bore the sins of everyone.  I was in this pain for one person my own child but he was in the pain for everyone, for sinners, saints, murders, thieves, the broken, the weary, the good, the bad, the ugly.  Not one person was left off that list when he went to the cross he endured the absolute worst pain for us all and then said “It is finished.” It is finished is from the Greek word, “tetelestai” Which means “paid in full”.  The uniqueness about the way this word is written is that the tense of the word indicates both a point in time it was complete and that it would also continue to be complete or finished.  Jesus came to “finish” God’s work of salvation in us so that we may be free forever.   

So yes, this week was hard, it was brutal, but we still say that God is good, that his plans are perfect, and we still praise him for his good and perfect gifts no matter how short lived they might be.  

I know we are not alone in sorrow — above all else I hope you feel empowered in your trials and struggles that God is still bigger and has the potential to love us greater, reveal himself more, and lead us on a path to healing and righteousness if we chose to press into Him.