I came across a quote that perfectly describes how my view of God and His plans has changed. It says, “We’re not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.” It’s from C.S. Lewis and it leapt out to me from a book I’m reading called “Finding God in the Dark” that my friend Amy sent me.
This loss has changed me. Prior to this, I had a pretty easy life. I had a perfect childhood. My parents always told me I was beautiful and smart. They are still married. We went to church regularly and I loved Jesus from a young age. My mom taught me about buying things on sale, but we generally got most of the things we wanted. We lived in nice houses with pools. School was pretty easy for me and I always had friends. I had nice boyfriends and got to be on the homecoming court in high school. I got voted “Most Lovable” 3 times. I felt special, safe and loved. As I’ve grown up, there have been some hurts and challenges, but nothing like this. I’m overweight and I really hate that about myself. I got in a car accident and had to have my ankle reconstructed at 24. I got my heart broken really badly at 28. My job can be really stressful. None of that is really so bad though. I always felt like God protected me and gave me extra blessings.
When Josh and I decided it was okay to have a baby, we got pregnant within 2 months, on the first real “try” according to my brief fertility tracking. I thought that God was again blessing me and giving me an easier road. I thanked Him many times for not making us wait a long time to get a baby. I thought since it took me until 34 to get married, He felt I had had to wait long enough to have a family and was helping me make up for lost time. I felt like my wide hips and family history of many healthy babies (my grandma had 7) was paying off. A few weeks before Luke’s birth, my sister was telling me about her new boyfriend’s ex, who suffered from incompetent cervix and had lost a baby girl at 20-something weeks and at least one other baby to miscarriage. I felt thankful that I seemed to be good at getting pregnant and growing babies. I actually thought God had designed me for that. All my life, I felt it was my purpose to be a mom and a wife.
Then we lost Luke at 39 weeks. During this loss, I have felt God holding me in the palm of His hand and catching my tears. I have felt the prayers surrounding us. He has given me comfort and held me up. I think I could be doing a lot worse than I am. But it has drastically changed my expectations of life. I know that He has control of the universe and that nothing can come to me without passing through His hands first, but I’m scared of what else He may allow. Gone is my previous worry that Josh would only want one child—it is now replaced with the fear that I will not have even one child that lives. Now I fear that I will have to walk this painful road of loss more than once. People often tell me I will have other children, but people have multiple stillbirths and miscarriages. Even people who really deserve babies. I’m scared. I don’t think I can do this again.
I know God is in charge, but if He let this happen, what else does He have in store for me? I have to remind myself that He says, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”–Jeremiah 29:11. I have to remind myself that life is hills and valleys, not just valleys. It’s just hard to see the good coming when you’re mired in the sad. But there must be some coming. I have to rely on the knowledge that He won’t give me more than I can handle and know that when I can’t walk on my own, He will carry me. But I long for the relief of heaven in a way I never did before. I think that instead of expecting good things as I naively used to, I may now be surprised when good things come. At least for now. What is best may not be what I want and it may hurt. A whole lot. Lord, please continue to restore me to health and give me back my hope.