You have turned my weeping into dancing…
That was the Scripture promise that my calendar displayed last month, a promise I saw fulfilled when I conceived that precious little baby we’d hoped and prayed for for a long, long time. Now, I’m seeing that promise fulfilled yet again, but in a different, deeper sort of way, as this past week, and last weekend I have experienced the depths of a terrible grief, and then the peace of a soft and glowing hope.
I hardly know where to begin, and have had a hard time finding words to express all that has been going on with me, with us… Please forgive my long silence, but it’s taken me this time away, this week of being alone with my thoughts, with the Lord, and with our family to come to terms with what’s happened.
*tearful sighs* I lost the baby last Saturday morning, at 6 wks. and 3 days. The tears flowed endlessly on Saturday, as I said good-bye to a child I’ve yet to meet. I was immersed in waves of grief, numbing sorrow and disbelief as I bled out the life that I’d held for such a very short time. I don’t remember ever weeping so… I am okay now though, I really am. We’re all dealing with it together, and the Lord is Faithful. Oh, HE is so good. He has brought healing and closure in some beautiful ways, though I’m sure that I/we shall always carry an ache in our heart over this.
“Joy is not the absence of suffering, but the presence of God.”
In the last few days, I’ve experienced the stark reality of that statement in a way that I never had before. I had started bleeding last Thursday, actually just spotting brown. Then on Saturday morning I woke up to red, flowing blood and clots passing. I think I was in shock… I think I even saw the little fetus… it was pretty traumatic, and I had to catch my breath, and it took me a few minutes before I could even say anything to Chris, whom I’d walked right past as I exited the bathroom. I went straight to my bed and just started bawling into my pillow, though at that point I wasn’t even sure I’d lost the baby, couldn’t be certain… yet, I knew deep down that it was happening… And eerily enough, I’d dreamed that it happened a couple of weeks earlier, and had even told a friend about my nightmare. By then, Chris was sitting next to me, with his arm around me, just being strong and silent, my solid rock. Oh, what an anchor our loved ones can be, holding us steady, keeping us from drifting too far out into oblivion… simply by their presence. T brought me back too…
N had spent the night with a friend, and his friend’s Mom, who is a very good friend of mine, called me about that time (while I was still in freak-out, “what’s happening, this can’t be happening” mode) and I just burst into tears on the phone and told her what was happening, and that I suspected that I was miscarrying. She was then crying with me, and prayed with me and offered to come and get T and take our kids to the park with her family for the day. So, I thankfully accepted her offer, and willed myself to calm down so that I wouldn’t alarm T, who was by that time coming into my bedroom and asking what was wrong with me, and why was I crying. I just assured her that I was okay, and would she like to go to the park with Bubby and our friends. She was delighted, and this was just what I needed… to be able to just be alone with my tears, my God, and with Chris for most of the day, as I said good-bye to this child I’d met in my dreams numerous times.
My friend had recommended that I call another friend of ours, who’s had had 2 miscarriages, and one baby born at 27 wks., which only lived for three days… and so I did. And what perfect timing it all was, because this friend’s kind and thoughtful words were just what I’d needed to hear ~ to steady me. She spoke of how each child is a miracle and there’s a blessing in them, no matter how long we hold them… and I believed her, and wanted to know the blessings God intended from this little one. I’m certain that his/her purpose is immense, and beyond my understanding. In the midst of such sorrow, she spoke hope over my situation, and she prayed with me as well…
She recommended that I call my doctor, and I did. Her calm direction and halting words were heaven sent. As I’d suspected, the Dr. said that if I was miscarrying, then there was nothing that could be done to stop it, and only go in to the ER if necessary because of excessive pain or bleeding. I did go into the Dr.’s office on Tuesday and had an ultrasound to make sure that all is okay. I’m okay… just empty.;(
But, back to the way it went… It was a beautiful, sunny and windy/cool day here on Saturday… and I was aimless, restless, and grieving. So I went outside and just sat… weeping behind my sunglasses, waiting for the rest of the inevitable. Chris sat a chair out on the hill for me, and one for T, who was waiting for her ride to the park. I silently thanked the Lord for our view… and took in the healing warmth offered by the sun, the peace from the sight of the sloping hills covered in flowers and the escape offered by the restless wind, whooshing all around me and whispering through the trees like water. The weather and His creation was so very therapeutic and calming… T thoughtfully fetched us some umbrellas (*aaaaw*) and cold water… how she made me smile, even then, as I tasted the salt tears flowing from behind my sunglasses… She sat decidedly beside me, somehow knowing that I needed her, and certainly aware that I was very sad. And she offered the most perfect antecdote, her quiet, accepting presence… bittersweet moments they were.
I am so thankful for my precious husband and our beautiful children, the blessings we have. I’m filled with a new found gratitude and awareness of and for them. I am simply so thankful for this glorious day that our Father has given us, and for the fact that I can get pregnant… and that I DO have two lovely, healthy children… life is so very fragile. I did keep thinking of this, but the tears kept coming, and an irrational plague of guilt and what-ifs too.
This baby’s presence in our lives, albeit short, has been a blessing in some meaningful ways. And I/we trust God, He is so Faithful, and His ways and understanding far beyond our own.
Something really precious and comforting that the Lord did for me though… on Saturday, He gave me a Rhema word.
I’d started this scheduled *read thru the Bible in a year* last January, but haven’t been keeping up with it too well lately. As I was just distraught, restless, so very grieved and sat outside with Chris, in the sun and wind, I found my thoughts turning hopefully to my Lord. “Talk to me Father… help me… I need You, I do TRUST in YOU, but I need to hear from You, right NOW…” I went and got my Bible and my reading schedule, to look up what my reading was for that day, April 15th. I was desperately in need of comfort, and just knew that the Lord would have something for me, He would meet me, He must have set a table for this day. *smiles*
The OT portion of my scheduled reading was from II Samuel, where David and Bathsheba lost their first baby. I was so encouraged in the Spirit, by David’s response, through that passage, and the truth of the reality that this baby we *lost* is in heaven, and someday we shall go to meet him/her.
19 David noticed that his servants were whispering among themselves and he realized the child was dead. “Is the child dead?” he asked.
“Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.”
20 Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate.
21 His servants asked him, “Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!”
22 He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ 23 But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”
“Wow…”, I thought, as I stared lovingly down into my most treasured Book… from which flows such life and love, my Bible. He knows, He knew, You planned for this passage to be here for me to find and read today… this moment in eternity, as I said good-bye to that little person, that eternal soul, I received something from our Father in return. He deepened me somehow, and softened my heart in a way that only this could..
Oh, what reassurance swept over me in that moment, what a release I felt beginning to happen… I need not entertain all of those nagging questions and suspicions, for He saw ahead to this day, and knew that this would be, and that I would need His assurance, and that I would need His nod of approval, His nudge to worship, His release and Presence to Praise Him, and to dance (for I am practicing our big dance ~ the Irish tap “Lord of the Dance” which we’ll be dancing in worship to Him on May the 24th), and to know with certainty that this baby is very much alive in heaven right now, “being raised much better than we could ever raise it” as Chris so matter of factly put it.
But isn’t that so cool, that the two chapters containing this passage was my scheduled reading for that day, Sat. 15th, when I needed this encouragement, mainly the reminder that God knew beforehand that this would happen, as my biggest struggles have been all of the “what ifs”, the irrational guilt trips your head tries to play sometimes.
My thoughts then began to turn to our children. How Chris and I grieved for them, and prayed for them, and dreaded having to tell them, for I/we knew that their little hearts would just break… On Sunday morning we told them that our baby had already gone to heaven… And they did, they cried, and had such horrible looks of shock cross their little faces. And we talked, and held them. We’d packed a picnic lunch already, and so after wiping away tears and trying to end on a positive, though tearful note, we all went to the lake for the swim they’d been begging for all week. They are okay now too, and eager for another baby. But I do think that we’ll wait awhile longer before telling them on the next time… Yesterday and today N and T have both been working on their essays (in which they answer a series of personal questions) that they have to complete for their riding instructor, as part of their application process for *Summer Horse Camp*. I was so thankful and blessed to read that T had written “Jesus is our God and we will trust in Him”… Yes, I think that she is okay… and N too.
Chris and I decided on Monday to name the baby, and after praying about it, we decided on Judah, which we’d already been considering for a boy, and which means “praise”. We think that it’s especially fitting since the baby would have been born in December, during the time of Hanukkah… when we remember, among other things, the courage and faith of the great hero~Judah Maccabee, who led of the Spirit, saved all of Israel… and as a testament to the fact that we win our battles through Praise. Oh! It is all very significant and intimately meaningful to us, and consider my calendar verse… weeping into dancing, ashes into beauty… Praise!
So, when we told the kids, N asked “What about a middle name? Can it’s middle name be Carmen?” And T excitedly agreed. He’s always loved that name, even named a cousin’s kitten Carmen a couple of years ago. Chris and I agreed, “Judah Carmen it is”… Well, I was so blessed when I looked up Carmen in my baby names book, and found that it’s Latin, and means “song”… so our baby is His *Praise Song*…
The Lord truly did do something amazing in me. On Resurrection Sunday morning, the day after my miscarriage, I woke up with such a peace and joy. I felt that the grief had literally been lifted up out of me, and I felt His abiding peace just enveloping me. I’m certain that having had all day Saturday to immerse and grieve helped me to have closure, and undoubtedly the prayers of our brothers and sisters in HIM.
We did attend the Sat. evening service at church, which was probably crazy, but I knew that I wouldn’t make it on Sun. morning, and we had already planned to go, and T had a new dress to wear, and I had a song to hear and a dance to see. And going was an easier option than trying to explain to the kids why we weren’t going, if we didn’t, at that point… So, I got a shower, we all got dressed up, and off to church we went. Fortunately, it was so crowded that we were able to sneak in and out, without running into anyone (besides one precious friend who already knew and had been praying), as I was an emotional train wreck at the time. But I am so glad that we went, because a team of dancers worshiped through a dance choreographed to the song “He Is”, which is one of my favorites. I knew they were doing this, and couldn’t miss it, and how healing was ministered to my spirit through that song and dance on that evening… I’d needed to hear who He IS…
I am so utterly aware of how very blessed we are, of my two wonderful, strong and healthy children, of how very fragile life is, of how valuable every moment that we have to love is… and we are thanking Him for our precious children. I have a whole new depth of awareness and gratitude for them, for what we DO have, and I’m so glad that Chris’s vas reversal was a success, and that our Father blessed us ever so briefly with this little baby that we will meet someday in heaven.
Yesterday was a hard day again though… the grief was biting, and I was weepy and a bit shaky all day… but today, again, it has lifted. Truly, the JOY of the LORD is my strength, and it is in His Presence that I’m finding rest for my weary soul.
Today, we had a really slow, beautiful day… It’s been rainy all day, and Jennifer’s mare gave birth to a sweet, spunky little filly yesterday morning. She called us right away to come over there, but we couldn’t make it until today, and we just spent hours watching, and petting and talking in hushed tones, and grooming some of the other ponies, and listening to/watching the vet who came… it was just a very soothing day. I will post some of my pics soon… Also, the eggs in the barn swallow’s nest that the kids have been watching hatched, and we bought 6 little baby chicks recently too, and have been watching them grow so quickly… We are just surrounded by life, and love…
I thought how rather strange it seems that I lost my Dad on Easter wknd. 19 years ago, and now I’ve lost this little one the same wknd… *sighs* I called my Grandmother on Sunday, and we talked for a long time… she held him, my Dad, her lost child, much longer than I held this one. We remembered, and laughed together… and wondered over it all, and grieved together. It was good to share with her.
Anyways, thank you so much to my friends and family for your thoughts and prayers. And to those whom I haven’t contacted yet, please understand that I have been so short on time between tap 3x this week, riding, having company for two days straight (and overnight on Wed.), chores, homegroup/church on Thurs. evening, and lots of phone calls coming in.
We have been so very thankful at this renewed realization of how abundantly blessed we are here locally, with such wonderfully loving and supportive, prayerful friends who have surrounded us and lifted us up during this difficult time. I’ve known that I need to share what’s happened with my friends online as well, but I just haven’t been able to find words for it all until now, nor the capacity to sit in front of the ‘puter.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
Note: Although the date of posting *says* Tues., April 18th, I actually only just posted this on Sat., April the 22nd. I’d started this post on Tues., and just didn’t/couldn’t finish it until the wee hours of this morning.
Artwork is “Reflections of Giverny” by Greg Singley, from allposters.com