|Our 4th child, "Baby Boo," at 13 weeks|
It's been a long time since I've posted, but I have an excellent excuse: I'm 4 months pregnant, and the first 3.5 months were pretty miserable. I was so exhausted and felt sick all the time (in contrast with my previous pregnancies) so I'm just thankful I got through them. But I'm feeling a lot better now, and there is so much I'm itching to write about!
Three years ago today I had a miscarriage. It's a common experience for women, but one that we usually don't talk about. Thankfully my mom was always very open about the two miscarriages she had between my sister and I, and my sister and other friends had shared with me about their miscarriage experiences, which helped prepare me to deal with my own.
But the best preparation and help I received before and during that time was from God. The way He reached out to me then through His Word still gives me chills when I think of it, and continues to help me trust Him, giving me strength and hope. It's one of the big "ebenezers" in my life.
When God did amazing things in the Old Testament, he instructed the people to build monuments to remind them and future generations of what He had done. One time, after God confused an attacking army and sent them running, the prophet Samuel "took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, 'Thus far the Lord has helped us.'" (1 Samuel 7:12 NKJV) So also in our own lives when God does amazing things, we should look for ways to memorialize the event so it can be a reminder and source of strength in the future.
In this case, I wrote about it on Facebook, and have gone back and reread the story to remind myself of what God did.
Today I share my ebenezer with you.
|I have a charm on my bracelet |
for each of my children, including Faith.
In Memory of Faith Will
September 9, 2012
I found out I was pregnant on Tuesday, September 4. We were sooooo excited, but decided to not tell the world right away this time, since we’ve had several friends experience miscarriages, and so wanted to be a little more cautious.
In my personal Bible study that day, these verses from Isaiah 26 stood out to me: “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.” I decided to make that my theme for this pregnancy, and hold onto those verses through all the good and bad days ahead.
For six days, we happily made plans and talked about the future and I smiled when I saw babies and pregnant ladies.
While Andrew was teaching our Sunday School class that week, another verse stood out to me – Isaiah 7:9 “If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all.” I jotted it down in my journal. Later that day, in my personal Bible study time, yet another passage from Isaiah seemed to leap off the page. This one was a bit longer:
Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him…you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you. And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. (Isaiah 30:18-21)
That night, Sunday, September 9, I began to miscarry our second child. As soon as it happened, the first thing that came to my mind were all of those verses, and while I cried over the loss of this precious child that I had barely had time to rejoice over, I marveled at the fact that God cared enough about me and the pain He knew I would endure to send me passages of comfort to cling to before I even knew I would need them.
That last passage especially keeps coming back to me. I certainly feel like God gave me “the bread of adversity” and “the water of affliction” last week, but just like the verses say, He also showed Himself to me in an amazing way by giving me these verses ahead of time so I had them when I needed them. So I feel even closer to Him than before, and am so thankful that our little Faith (that’s what we’ve named her) is with Him right now.
We went to the doctor on Monday and he ran some tests and confirmed the miscarriage. It was very early, and very normal, and he assured us that we shouldn’t have trouble having more children in the future. I sure pray so!
But little Faith is still a member of the family (even though we won’t meet her until we get to Heaven) so I want to tell her story. A friend of mine recently had a miscarriage and is now pregnant again, and she feels bad when people congratulate her for her current pregnancy, and never even knew about her first pregnancy. “In no other relationship would we allow a death to go unacknowledged,” she said. She’s right, so I want to acknowledge Faith’s short life and her death.
By the way, I still smile when I see babies—even if there is a tear in my eye, too.
Goodbye, Faith. I love you. I look forward to meeting you someday!
Note: We don't know if Faith was a girl or a boy, but since we'd already had a boy, I thought of our unborn child as a girl, and the name Faith seemed very fitting. We are very thankful that a few months later we were able to conceive again, and this time carry our second born son to term. He is now a very energetic two-year-old. And now I have an 18-week baby kicking in my womb! There have been many moments--especially during this pregnancy--when I have been tempted to worry. But I keep looking back at my ebenezer and remembering that God is in control and my Teacher will help me through whatever difficult circumstances he allows in my life.