photo source: http://www.annvoskamp.com
Monday October 2. This date will always be a day that will likely take my breath away for some time to come. Not only was it the day of the largest mass casualty shooting to strike my hometown and affect so many friends and families I know, but it was also the day, one year ago, that I lost a life. A tiny little, 8 week old baby that just days prior was seen wiggling around, beating heart and all the feels. Only days later it’s life would be flushed away.
This post was originally supposed to go out on Monday, but waking up to the tragedy in Vegas didn’t feel right or appropriate to share. I do plan on sharing my heart on what has happened in a city and state that I love once I am able to process and get more thoughts into actual words on a screen.
This post originally appeared on our previous blog just a month after my second miscarriage last year.
No one prepared me for the first miscarriage. Yes, I just said the word… first. It’s not something anyone ever thinks will happen to them. Until it does. July 8 our lives changed and a piece of me died when I lost my unborn child. They say it’s a club no one ever wants to belong to, but once you’re in, you are forever grateful for those women also in the club who journey painfully with you.
After six weeks stateside, we rose up and we returned home. Bruised. Beat up. Full of pain. And full of his love. And we began healing and we began walking forward. New season. I was fully focused on being wholly healthy- physically, spiritually, and in ministry. God was breathing new life into us in a season where we needed desperately to tangibly feel his presence, his arms, his love.
On September 19 that changed again. I found out I was pregnant. Shock, anger, and fear were all amongst my first responses.
Shock- we weren’t even thinking about expanding our family. We were focused on becoming healthy not pregnant.
Anger- how could my body get over the loss of the last baby so quickly? I thought we were still grieving.
Fear- what if it happens again? Would I be okay?
I called a dear friend the same day I found out I was pregnant. Her voice was a healing balm to my shaky soul. As she prayed for me and spoke words of affirmation over me and this sweet little life she thanked our heavenly father for giving us this good gift and in that moment my entire perspective began to change. My heart filled with gratefulness and joy. My mind filled with thoughts of a good father who was so excited to give us the gift of another pregnancy as soon as he could. I began seeing the pregnancy in another light.
I anxiously awaited the days. Once a week had passed from finding out, my doubts of a second miscarriage began to ease. I began pinning, dreaming, planning, decluttering… again.
1 week and 3 days after finding out I was pregnant I saw the first sign of miscarriage. The following day I got to experience something I hadn’t with the last pregnancy. I stared at the black and white screen on the machine and watched a tiny little baby with a with a tiny little heartbeat dance around on the monitor. I was in shock- so much so, that I forgot to ask for a printed photo of the ultrasound. I regret not asking for that photo. I regret not having a second ultrasound done right there just so I could have a photo.
With the heavy amount of bleeding I was put on bed rest at home for the next week, and it was in the next days that I would experience the fullness of Christian Community. Within less than 24 hours my room was filled with dear women creating plans for school pickup, homework help, and meals. I don’t do “receiving” well, but God showed me so much about the body and community in those moments.
There wasn’t enough bedrest that would save this sweet baby and just three days after seeing its heart beating so fast on that monitor I found myself saying goodbye to another baby.
We weren’t meant for this much pain and grief and mourning and suffering. It’s hard. It sucks actually. But. We are seeking him. His peace. His ways. He mourns with us. We take comfort that this is not what he wanted. He grieves with us. The same way he grieved the death of his son Jesus. The reality of the broken world has been made so real to us in very personal intimate ways in this last season. We cling to the hope that even though he did not want this pain for us, it can be used to bring him glory. That is our desire. To glorify him with our hearts, words, and love for others. We see the joy that comes only from knowing him.
We are in pain, but it will lessen in time and I find great peace and beauty in community that surrounds us as his hands and his love and comfort will meet all of our needs. And so we journey on with the joy of the Lord as our strength.
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