Looking at the ultrasound monitor, I didn’t need anyone to tell me. I knew as soon as I saw him. My baby was dead.
We sat in a small, separate waiting room with dim lighting and multiple Kleenex boxes waiting for the doctor. Four weeks ago our baby was wiggling all over that monitor, waving to us, measuring just right, looking good. And now he was dead. Why would God do this to us again?
Seven months ago, we had lost our first baby at 18 weeks. I thought it was the hardest thing I’d ever gone through. By the time I started miscarrying, he was already absorbing into my uterus, so I had to have a D&C. We had asked so many questions, felt so much grief, and yet God had carried us. We learned and grew closer to God and to each other.
We’d been way more careful this time, many more ultrasounds, and things had been looking good. It seemed like God was answering our prayers. But now my heart was breaking all over again. Why? Why would God let this happen?
The doctor came. He told me our baby was bigger this time. He told me it would be better if I delivered him. He wanted to know if tomorrow would work. Tomorrow was Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day will never be the same for me, but I’m okay with that. I spent February 14, 2009 in the hospital laboring with my tiny baby. It was a bit surreal. To be on the maternity floor. To hear babies crying. It lasted all day until finally, at 9:34pm, we got to see our teeny, little, baby boy. He was about 15 weeks along, even though I was at 17 weeks, with tiny fingers and toes, and little ribs. You could even see his fingernails starting to form. The nurses let us spend as much time as we wanted with him. It’s hard to explain the pain I felt, kind of like my chest was ripping in two. I wanted that baby! I wanted him so much! But I wanted him to be alive. And he wasn’t.
I remember them asking if we had a name for him. I didn’t had any names for dead babies, only for living ones! We didn’t know what to do. My husband and I talked about it. We were struggling to trust God and believe in His goodness. It felt impossible to hold on. So, we chose to take a step of faith, and we named our son, Trust. Not because we felt it, because we didn’t. But, we chose to trust in a God that we could not see and did not understand. Instantly, I felt peace flood my heart.
I know what it means in Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Because the peace I felt didn’t make any sense. It wasn’t like anything had changed in my circumstances…but I had absolute peace.
“…I am the LORD, and there is no other. I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity. I am the LORD who does all these things” Isaiah 45:6b-7.
I found this verse before my babies died, but afterwards it became my life verse. I had heard well-meaning people tell others who were grieving that God was sorry their pain happened. I didn’t want God to be sorry, because I didn’t want Him to be weak. I didn’t want Him to be like, “Oops, sorry about that!” I wanted a God who was totally in control. It comforted me to read this verse and hear God tell me, “Christy, I took your babies. I did it on purpose. It was not an accident.”
Because a God who is completely in control and loves me, is safe even if I don’t understand Him. I love believing in a Being who is good and loving, but so far above me that He doesn’t owe me an explanation for His actions. It brings me peace.
Jesus carried me after my babies died. He held me five weeks later when I shared my testimony of loss and trust with a group of juvenile delinquents on a Reservation in South Dakota. He held me up so that I could still reach out to the junior high kids in our youth group. Jesus carried me through my friend’s pregnancies, and baby showers, and seeing young teen mom’s at Walmart. Oh, I cried, often! But they were not tears of hopelessness and despair, just of sorrow and somehow trust. I was a blubbering mess just writing this! Choosing to trust does not mean that we don’t feel pain.
One year after we lost Trust, despite thinking we might never have children, God miraculously provided a diagnoses, a fertility specialist who just happened to be one of the best in the nation, $8000, a surgery, and a brand new baby growing in my tummy.
Our daughter Zoe’s birthday and Trust’s due date are just two days and one year apart.
Sometimes God gives us the desires of our hearts even when it seems impossible, and other times He doesn’t. I have a close friend who struggles with infertility, she has even been through IVF and God has chosen not to give her a baby. Why? Often we will never know that answer, but we can believe that God never loses control and we can choose to trust.
“…I the LORD, do all these things” Isaiah 45:7.
How does that make you feel?
It gives me confidence knowing that nothing can come to me that hasn’t passed through the hand of my Heavenly Father. His plans and thoughts are so much larger than mine.
I can trust Him.