|Need to cry? Me too.|
You were my first pregnancy. I was so excited when the test came back positive. My visit to the doctor confirmed that I was indeed pregnant. You were due in April and your Daddy would graduate from seminary in May. The timing was perfect. I was so ready to be done with working at the bank.
Knowing that you were growing inside me was this little secret that only we shared. From the very beginning, you were loved and desired.
Everything seemed to be going smoothly until a trip to the bathroom caused some concern. I called your Daddy and he encouraged me to call the doctor. The doctor wasn't too concerned, but encouraged me to come in anyway- just to make sure.
I felt a little bit nervous, but not overly concerned. On the way to the office, we heard Twila Paris singing "God is in Control" and looking back, I know that God planned for me to hear that song. He knew that my heart needed to be resting in his faithfulness for the news I was about to hear.
He has never let you down, why start to worry now?
The office visit started with an ultrasound and when the picture on the screen didn't match the growth chart on the wall, I started to get concerned. When my doctor came into the room carrying a box of tissues, I knew that I had lost you.
And Hope, even now as I write this, 12 years and 4 babies later, my heart still breaks a little. You were so loved.
But God used your little life to teach me some valuable lessons.
1. God is faithful- even before we entered the office, we were prepared for good news or bad news. In the midst of the loss that we experienced, we never lost sight of God's faithfulness. We simply came to understand it in a deeper way.
2. I am not in control- oh, I wanted you so badly. In my timing. When I was ready for you. Losing you taught me that holding onto the controls of my life is pointless. All of life is a gift and when we demand life to follow our plans and expectations, we will be miserable. It is not within our realm of control.
3. There is blessing in mourning- It says in Matthew 5:4, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." Your Daddy and I found this to be so true! As we ached with the loss of you (and with the monthly visits to the doctor, because this was not a normal miscarriage), we were amazed by the love and support that we received. We had friends who cried with us, friends who shared their own stories of hurt and how God met them in the hurting places. We had friends show love tangibly with chocolate cake, banana bread and cheeseburger casserole. But the biggest blessing was in knowing that Jesus wept with us. He hurt by our side and he comforted us every step of the way. And now we are able to comfort others out of a depth of pain that we didn't understand prior to losing you.
4. We can and should find joy in the midst of sorrow- while we were crying and comforting each other in the doctor's office, we made the decision to go to Hawaii. Prior to this day, dear friends had invited us to travel with them and we had said no because of the pregnancy. We could have stayed in our misery, Hope. This is a choice. But we have never regretted the choice to find joy in the midst of mourning. That lesson has been well learned and it continues to help us to this day. Now when we mourn, we look for our "Hawaii".
5. Never judge someone else's level of grief- you taught us to be sensitive to the grief of others. We didn't know how deeply the loss of you would affect us. But now we know. And no one gets to determine how someone else will experience grief. We don't get to "rate" tragedy or compare someone's mourning with our own. A loss is a loss and grief is grief. And we need to have compassion on others whether we think their loss is as deep as ours is or not. Comparing reasons for mourning is never healthy and it is not God honoring.
6. Don't assume- one of my fears when I lost you was that I would never be able to have children. God has blessed us with 2 girls and 2 boys since then. And sometimes I feel guilty for being able to have children. Because so many of my friends have not. But you have taught me that we all have our areas of grief. I don't want others to assume that just because I have 4 children, I never experience grief. And I don't want to make assumptions about others either.
Here is your sister with the stuffed puppy that we bought for you. We have told your siblings about you, because we want them to know all of these lessons that we have learned. Oh, I don't want them to go through this same kind of grief. AND YET, I am so thankful that your Daddy and I have walked this road. Because I am truly thankful for the lessons that we have learned. I am able to love Jesus and your siblings better as a result.
"We mourn, but not without hope". (1 Thessalonians 4:13)
Love you forever and always,