A year ago today, December 22, 2014, my husband and I were shocked with the news that we were expecting our 6th baby. Just one day after he turned 40.
I remember waking up that morning with the complete understanding that if a certain thing didn’t show up, I would need to go to Target to get “the test”.
I remember the long drive to Target, my 5 and almost 3-year-old in tow, navigating the aisles to get the test and feeling like people were staring at me, somehow knowing that 1) I was buying a pregnancy test, 2) it would be our 6th child and 3) I was less than thrilled at the prospect. All of this meant I had a right to cry. And I did.
I remember taking the test, the “+” showing up before the test line.
I remember sending my husband an e-mail (no creativity points for this news) saying, “Call that doctor. TODAY.” and him calling me within minutes and saying, “Are you okay?”
He knew I wasn’t thrilled. I wept and cried and frightened the kids because I was on the phone with Daddy and was crying (“Did Daddy lose his job?” “Is Daddy Sick?” “What happened, Mama?”).
My husband tried to comfort me… “We’ll get a bigger house.” “We’ll get a bigger car.” “It’ll be okay.” yet I continued to cry and just be angry with God. I wanted to be done with the baby phase. I wanted to do something else. I had been doing the pregnant/breastfeeding thing for 13 years and I was done. I needed something to feed my soul and nourish my heart. I was tired.
Have you ever felt like that? Just flat-out spent? Not even running on empty because “empty” was too full?
That was me.
And then, as the weeks went by and I succumbed to the fact that we *would* be starting over again (after I had gotten rid of the crib, the carseats, the strollers, the clothes, the rocker literally one month before the “+” sign showed up), I wrestled hard with God.
I knew in my head and my heart that God allowed us to get pregnant. It didn’t just “happen”. He had a purpose for that “+” on a stick.
When I went into my obstetrician’s office that January morning at 10 o’clock I had no idea our lives were about to take a turn, and a major one at that.
“I’m sorry. Your baby has what is called a ‘cystic hygroma’. It’s indicative of a major chromosomal abnormality and you’ll likely miscarry in the next few weeks.”
Followed by, “She has less than 1% chance of being born. Most women choose termination. I’m so sorry” just a few hours later.
But as I sat there and I heard the voice of the enemy say, “No one knows you’re pregnant. You should just do it. She’s not going to make it anyway. You’ll save yourself so much pain….” I remember so very clearly hearing the Holy Spirit say, “If the enemy is trying to get you to break God’s law by committing murder, you know FULL WELL that he is afraid of what God can and will do through this. God WILL be glorified.”
We chose to obey. We were very afraid of the hurt that was to come, but we knew that God is bigger than our fear. Fear does not come from the Lord. He asked us to trust Him. He would take care of us.
And He did. Oh how beautifully He did.
At the very beginning of our daughter’s life I was so angry. Why would God do this? Why would he make us have another child when we’re spread so thin already?
Yet as I sit here, with our miracle girl on my lap, defeating every odd she faced, I am astonished at how God used her precious, amazing life to save MINE.
Because of the absolute brokenness of our girl in utero I was forced to recognize and deal with deeply rooted problems in my own heart; things that had the potential to be incredibly destructive to me and my family. What was initially about me and MY life became entirely about the absolute value and preciousness of hers.
This little muffin, who very clearly desired to be here on earth, forced me to press into God when I hurt. No, when I ACHED in such a way that was so deep that breathing was laborious. Her broken little body forced me to ask God questions about His character that I knew in my head, but hadn’t ever recognized with my heart.
And He didn’t hold back.
He showed me that He is LOVE unconditional.
He showed me that He is CONSTANT and unchanging.
He showed me that He is GOOD and His goodness doesn’t depend on my (or any) circumstances.
He showed me that He KEEPS His promises.
He showed me that HE is the Author of our stories and of creation and that as the author, He doesn’t have to abide by the “rules” here on earth. Statistics? Odds? Chances? Yeah, He doesn’t have to work within those confines.
He showed all of us that He is the God of MIRACLES. Flat-out miracles.
Friends, we NEED this God. This God loves us powerfully and wonderfully.
When life happens, when the really hard stuff of this world is thrown at us, it is easy to listen to the voices that tell us God doesn’t care. It is easy to say, “If He was a good, loving God, then WHY does this happen?” and to just be mad at Him. But it is right there, right after we cry “WHY?!” that the enemy wants us to take up residence. When we sit and are angry at God for what has happened we are blinded from seeing what He is actively doing. When we focus on the “why”, we are not focused on the “Who” that has the power to bring us through it. “Why?!” is hopeless. “WHO?” offers us hope. Jesus. Jesus is who.
I beg you, if you are asking “Why?!” and are hurting in ways you can’t describe, I beg you to trust Him. In His word God says,
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Tell Him, “Lord, I am AFRAID. I am HURTING. I DON’T want to be going through this. BUT I TRUST YOU. I trust your character, your promises and in your absolute, unfailing love. I will follow You.”
The words might not be true of your feelings yet, but ask Him to help you get there. He will do it and your load will be lighter for it.
Have you gone through something so incredibly difficult that even acknowledging that there is a God seems ridiculous? May I challenge you to ask Him to reveal Himself to you? If you are willing to open your heart to Him, He will show up. He says so.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.”
He’s already there, waiting for you to invite Him in.
It’s only been one year, yet everything is different….
I wouldn’t have it any other way.
“My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.” –Job 42:5
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,” –Ephesians 1:18