My mind has been in a swirl lately. Lots of emotions, lots of thoughts, and a definite off-and-on bad mood that Kerry and the kids have been very gracious about.
To be frank, the moment I knew we were pregnant last December, I asked God to let this baby grow up with us. I asked him over and over, and thanked him over and over when there were no signs of early miscarriage. I did complain about the nausea and fatigue, but we got through that, and mixed in with it was a lot of joy that things were moving along.
When we couldn’t find the baby’s heartbeat on the monitor, I didn’t just ask, I pleaded with God to let her be ok. Even after we got the ultrasound confirmation that she had died, I pleaded with God for a miracle. I pleaded all the way until the moment she was born. If God can knit together a whole baby in the womb, it seems a small matter for him to get her heart beating again.
And God said no. He has the right to say no. I can actually accept that, but I told a friend recently that the hard part for me is that it seems like it was a cold no. It doesn’t feel like it came with a warm arm around the shoulder, or a compassionate, “I’m sorry, Sweetie, but it has to be no.” It feels like it came in silence.
My friend knows what grief is, and she said something very simple: “Jesus did not give you a cold ‘no.’ He gave us both his blood.”
I know that’s true. In fact, God is reminding me of it all over the place lately. Songs I hear, scripture I read, notes from friends … all speak truth. I just now flipped through some devotions by Charles Spurgeon and read this:
“O child of suffering, be thou patient. God has not passed thee over in His providence. He who is the feeder of sparrows, will also furnish you with what you need. Sit not down in despair; hope on, hope ever. Take up the arms of faith against a sea of trouble … He will bind up thy wounds, and heal thy broken heart. Doubt not His grace because of thy tribulation, but believe that He loveth thee as much in seasons of trouble as in times of happiness.”
I know it’s true, I’m just having a hard time accepting it. I told Kerry today that I feel like someone who went to a “team-building camp” and the counselor let me fall flat on my face in the “blind trust” exercise. In human terms, that counselor would be a jerk, but God is holy. Hitting the ground isn’t proof that we can’t trust him, it’s proof that we can trust him far more than we ever imagined. But hitting the ground sucks.
God never promised me we’d get to keep Claire. Or Lucy. Or Luke. Or the three Babies M. And if I’m honest, the fact that he gave them to us at all is a huge gift. I’m just mad because having them for a little tiny bit made me want to have them for the rest of my life. Instead, I only get them for the rest of eternity.
Some days I can feel the absurd generosity of that. Mostly right now though I feel the sense of loss in the here and now. And I think God understands that.
“He wounds, but he binds up; he shatters, but his hands heal.” (Job 5:18)
He lets me fall, but he will pick me up again. And someday, I will agree with him that all of this was good.