I would have been 35 weeks today. This year has proven to be the greatest roller coaster I’ve ever been on. But over the last couple of weeks God has really healed the void in my heart. (If you missed the last post, you can read about our miscarriage here.)
It had been my goal to go through the last five months well. I was amazed and humbled when people would tell us that they had seen how we were handling our own situation and it encouraged them and gave them hope. But somewhere in the beginning to the middle of June, God tried to show me that my heart was sick (Proverbs 13:12). Instead of dealing with it I just left it alone. And just like a physical sickness that doesn’t get treated, it got worse. Finally, at the beginning of July when I learned I wasn’t pregnant, I broke down. I text Joel and said I can’t deny it anymore. I’m struggling with depression. I had been crying myself to sleep many nights. I was starting to feel hopeless. I asked him how was I supposed to have hope and to dream when every month I was being slammed with disappointment. He told me it was good that I was admitting where was I at and that I needed to talk to someone. So I texted one of my leaders and later we talked about it in person. The enemy had been lying to me that since I was fighting depression I was no longer doing this well and that was hard for me. Before I could say this she told me that it’s okay to struggle. Just because I was struggling doesn’t mean I’m not doing well and that God was pleased with me. That immediately lifted off some of the weight I had been feeling. But I was still feeling a lot of pain. I didn’t want to hurt anymore. I knew that if something didn’t change soon I was going to harden my heart to fight the pain, and I didn’t want that.
A couple weeks later, Joel and I came back from vacation. As we laid in bed that night I realized what day it was. It had been exactly five months. So of course I start crying. Seeing me hurting and upset was hard for him because there was nothing he could do to fix it. And it was then that I realized some of the advice I had been given was true. In the beginning, I had more than one woman tell me I could talk to her if I needed another girl to talk to. But honestly Joel is an amazing husband, and he’s always there for me. However, we had finally reached a point where we weren’t on the same page. Yes, of course he was devastated at our loss, but he didn’t carry our baby. And as a woman I’m going to deal and process things much differently. So a couple days later I text someone who has been where I am and asked to meet up soon.
Fast forward to the following Sunday, two days before church camp. I’d had a really rough weekend. I would turn to social media as a mental escape from reality but so many times it would only remind me of what I didn’t have. It would remind me of what had been taken from me. The pain of our loss still ran so deep. I was praying for peace but instead I felt nauseous. I was praying for joy but instead felt sadness.
At service that night, I got something I had been asking for. I had been praying for weeks for God to give me a word. Something that I can hold onto. Something to fight the lies of the enemy with. And I got it that night. It wrecked me. As the girl who prayed for me left, I began to pray about it myself. And instantly the enemy started lying to me. I said no, I’m not listening to this. But it was like God said, oh daughter, it’s okay. You don’t have to fight this. And He sends another girl over to pray for me, and she begins praying against all the things I was fighting.
The things that had made the weekend hard came back Monday. I started asking God why I was feeling the way I was feeling. And because He’s such a good God, He began showing me the roots. I had grown angry at Him, and I was struggling with knowing He could give us another child, but I didn’t know if He would. That night at small group as I was thinking about my comment to Joel about not having hope or being able to dream, God told me to just let go and that became my prayer.
After the second night of camp I had let most of it go. I had let go of fear and shame, and I was feeling so much freedom and joy. But I also felt like God wasn’t done. On Friday, I met up with a friend, and we had a great talk. She reminded me of when she prayed for me a few months ago that God would give me stubborn faith. I knew the last thing I was holding onto was my desire to have my own kids and not just adopt. As we talked about it, it seemed clear to me that this was a desire given by God (Psalms 37:4).
Camp ended the next day and even though I had received so much I didn’t feel like God had finished the work. At service on Sunday evening, someone spoke about the story of Noah. He talked about how we don’t win when the battle is over, but we actually win during the battle. And it was then that I decided I win. That stubborn faith began to rise up. I know that we’ll have kids. I don’t know when, but I trust God with it and His timing. I know He’s using this. Even at camp, I watched God use my recent battle with depression to help me minister to someone else.
Before I let it go, I struggled with it because I felt that if I let go of the pain, what was I left with? That might sound weird. Who wants to keep hold of pain? But I have nothing physical to keep. I have my necklace, but it’s still not my baby. I was afraid if I let it go I would feel empty. But it’s in fact just the opposite. Now that the pain is gone, joy and peace are in its place. Don’t get me wrong, this is still a hard situation. I know I’ll still have painful days and I’ll always miss my baby. But the loss no longer fills my heart. Since January 4, pregnancy and loss have nearly consumed my mind. But this doesn’t have to be true anymore because I’m filled with hope for my future. I now wait with joyful expectation.
And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you. Psalms 39:7