You know...God is funny in a cool sort of way. I knew that when we went to Peru there was the possibility that it would change my outlook on life and serving God. I knew that I might come home more thankful for the things I have. I knew that I might feel the need to do more or give more. And those things did happen and as I shared in an earlier post, so much more. There was; however, one very unexpected result...
You probably need backstory. And I haven't shared any of this backstory at any point because I didn't think people would want to hear it, I didn't want to be a Debbie Downer AND it is still pretty difficult. But here it is...
Mother's Day 2014 I was dealing with the loss of a child. In April of that year, at the age of 41, I had found out that I was quite unexpectedly pregnant. I had always regretted not having had a 4th child - we didn't because we weren't sure how to afford another child (which is another blog post all together) - and so the years passed and our youngest child was almost 13, oldest child was 22 and having a 4th child on purpose seemed like a crazy, impossible, foolish thing to do. I had shared these feelings with friends in March and a couple of us spoke about how we had always felt like someone was missing from our family. So, when I found out I was pregnant I had A LOT of crazy mixed up emotions. I was scared about the process of having a child at 41, I was nervous about the reactions my friends and family might have, I was anxious about the future and finances and where we would put a child and my job, etc. etc. etc. But I was also excited that our family would be complete-that the regret I had about never having the 4th child I had so desperately wanted would go away.
We told everyone - our family, our friends, my boss! We made plans and started picking out names. I got excited about the things I would do differently - cloth diapers and being more careful about what immunizations I would do and when. How does that thought still make me cry all this time later!
And then we went for our first doctor's appointment (on my son's birthday, no less) and were told that there was no detectable heart beat. My word, we were in complete and utter shock. And we were broken. BUT - we decided that we were going to trust God. We were told that it was possible that we were looking for the heartbeat too early so a follow up appointment was scheduled to see if perhaps the initial ultrasound was premature.
We decided to stand in faith and speak the Word of God. I was so very careful with my words and we were also very careful about who we told because we did not want anyone speaking fear or death. We didn't even tell our two youngest children. We just spoke the Word, prayed and trusted. In fact, at our First Wednesday service, we went for prayer and I was convinced that in the following months, our church would be able to share our story of life and redemption and healing with the congregation. That the life of our child would be a testimony to God's faithfulness and the power of God through faith and prayer.
As it turned out, upon returning for a follow up appointment, we found out the baby was, in fact, not alive. What a devastating blow. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't stop crying. How could this happen? What had we done wrong? Why did this happen? Why did we even have to have conceived in the first place? I had been just fine. I had dealt with the fact that we were never having a 4th. And then, after getting so excited - it was ripped from me!
Fortunately, God put key people in my life that helped me process the whole event and deal with the thoughts and emotions that accompany tragedies like this. I never blamed God - it is the enemy who comes to steal, kill and destroy. I was confused though about why my faith didn't appear to work like I had always believed it should. Thank heavens a friend shared with me things she had learned out of her personal tragedy. She shared that as believers, we know that as soon as a child is conceived, God places a spirit within the new child. The Bible is very clear that God knits us together in our mother's womb and that he makes a plan for our days before we are ever born. That spirit had a say in the matter. I believe my child had a choice and chose heaven. And I can't honestly say I blame her! I believe that I will see my child in heaven and I believe that she is hanging out with Grandma and Grandpa Grape in the meantime!
All of that being said I do still desire to the core of my being to have another child. Scott is completely NOT on board with the idea but we have talked multiple times about the possibility of fostering or adopting....
...and that is where the backstory ends and the dots are connected!