Monday, October 28, 2013

God's Perfect Timing

As I have written about before, I had a miscarriage in January of 2012, an event that affected me so deeply and so fully that it changed who I am.  Since then, as friends have loved me, listened to me, shared their stories with me, and prayed with me, I know I have healed.  But miscarriage is one of those events that I am not sure someone can ever completely heal from.  For months following the loss of our baby, I was on a mission to become pregnant again.  It consumed my brain and I couldn't make it stop.  I studied ovulation charts, read books, stalked pregnancy web sites, consulted with friends and family members, spent a ridiculous amount of money on ovulation prediction kits, and pretty much drove my husband crazy with incessant planning. My husband was a good sport about my, "we have 12 hours to get pregnant" announcements month after month, only making sarcastic comments roughly half of the time. Seriously, this man should get an award for his love and patience, especially since during part of this baby craze, he had a drainage tube in his side for some kidney stone issues he was having and he still didn't tell me to give it a rest.  He was mostly patient and understanding and I am continually thankful that God chose this man to be my husband.

During all of this planning and research, I started to become convicted about the whole thing.  As I prayed, I was continually met with God asking me, "Do you want this baby more than you want Me?" and "Don't you trust Me?".  At first, I pushed those questions away because surely I loved the Lord above all and trusted Him fully, I didn't even need to think about it.  But then, I started examining how I spent my time. Did I really think about this non-existent baby more than I thought about the real and living God?  Was I spending more time perusing natural fertility web sites than I was studying the Word of God?  It terrified me to come face to face with this truth.  God is definitely first in my life, but the fact that this concern was even in my mind gave me a new outlook on having another baby.

Finally, I had had enough.  I could no longer calculate the best day to get pregnant.  I couldn't handle the pitying look the cashier at the Dollar Tree gave me as I purchased yet five more ovulation kits.  That two week wait to find out if I was pregnant was just too dreadful for me to endure. I certainly couldn't tolerate the possibility of this baby becoming an idol.  As much as I wanted another baby, I prayed for God to change my heart if this wasn't His will for my life.  I also prayed that He would give me a desire for Him that was greater than anything else in my life.

A dear friend gave my family the opportunity to have an affordable beach vacation, which happened to be the week that our baby would have turned a year old.  I was relieved for the distraction from our every day life and glad to be able to get away with my other three little blessings from Jesus to have a fun week.  But as the anniversary of my would-have-been due date came, I found myself feeling a bit sad.  It seemed the beach was filled with one-year-old babies and pregnant women!  I couldn't help but think about how much fun it would be to have a sunblock and sand covered toddler with us, chasing seagulls, spilling juice boxes, finding lady bugs and eating dirt.  I again longed for that baby I didn't get to meet.  I also thought it was strange that I was so grieved by this day that I began to physically feel pregnancy symptoms.  Unwilling to let my emotions and now physical ailments ruin our fun, I ignored all of this and continued on with our vacation.
Watching the waves on Lake Michigan.

We got home and unpacked in the evening on August 29th, a year after the day our baby would have been due and I still felt not-quite-right.  I still had a pregnancy test in the bathroom and decided to take it just in case this nausea wasn't all in my head.  It was positive.  I was in shock.  I wanted to be excited.  I wanted to love this baby and think about who he or she would be.  In reality though, this was not at all how I imagined I  would feel when I finally did become pregnant.  I wanted reassurance that this baby would be healthy and a guarantee that I would be holding this little baby in the spring.

Doug and I decided to wait to tell our kids until after we heard the baby's heartbeat.  When I miscarried, there was never a heartbeat, so this seemed like a good milestone.  At nine weeks, I had an appointment with a nurse and I lost it.  I told her about my miscarriage and how unenthusiastic I was about being pregnant.  She had experienced a miscarriage as well and understood, so she squeezed me in for an ultrasound.  I got to see little hands and a little heartbeat, so I did feel much better knowing there was a live baby in there!  We told our other kids later that evening and they were excited about having a new baby.  My daughter had just turned four and is obsessed with babies, so this news was the best ever for her.  She even asked me if this baby can be her own child when it grows up.  I am not sure what that means exactly, but I know this little baby is loved already!  She tells everyone from the nurse who gave her a flu shot to the cashier at the grocery store that there is a baby in her Momma's tummy.
Ellery making footprints in the sand with her baby doll, Logan.

I am excited to meet the baby God has made for our family.  This baby is the one He chose for us, not the one I planned and orchestrated.  Isaiah 55:8 says, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD."  It can be so hard to "give up" sometimes when I want something so much that I felt like I need to help God in order to make it happen.  That wisdom He gave me when I was faced with those hard questions wasn't easy to accept. But thankfully, God has made a way for me to have another baby, but in the way that He planned from the start.

"My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from him.  He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken."  Psalm 62:1-2

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