Today I am waiting. Waiting to know if my baby is still alive.
Paul and I prayed for this baby long before I saw the doctor's note: "Your test was positive. Congratulations!" I was so overwhelmed that when Paul prayed over me and our new little one, I sobbed on his shoulder.
Just a few short weeks later, here I sit. I go to the bathroom more often than I need to, just to check if it's there: the signs that could or could not mean that I'm miscarrying.
People say this could be normal. Or it could mean that God has taken our little one home sooner than anyone expected. Even with a call to the doctor, it will take time to get me into an ultrasound to know for sure.
In the meantime, I wait.
Does the little heart still beat at nearly twice the speed of mine?
Are the little limb-buds still stretching toward fingers and toes?
Were all the uncomfortable and exciting changes in my body not for the protection and growth of a child, but only so I can be his or her last resting place on earth?
I have prayed many, many times in the last few days. I have told the Lord how much I want to be a mother to this precious gift. If I cannot learn how to intervene powerfully for my child now, how can I do so in the years to follow?
I have surrendered the fear over and over and over. If I cannot learn how to give my child up to Him now, how can I do so as he grows and faces dangers that I can never shield him from?
I have praised Him for every moment I have with our baby. If I cannot learn how to see these moments as gifts and not as rights, how can I teach gratitude to a young soul that faces disappointment, delay, and doubt?
Even if He chooses to take this child from my womb and the things I learn now are only for my sake alone, and not for a son or a daughter, are they worth any less? It is not through a child that I learn to pray, trust, and praise. It is through Christ. He is worth every moment of this anguish.
I think I am learning something about trust in this waiting. I find myself praying, "If I could just know if the baby is alive or not...!" If he is alive, I can breathe a prayer of relief and continue to pray for his safety and growth. If he is gone, my husband and I can grieve, but we will have closure.
This waiting? There is no closure. There are no answers.
And isn't this--this season of wondering and waiting and worrying--isn't this what gives trust its substance? Isn't faith most evident in the things not seen, the answers not given, the closure not achieved? We have to trust because we don't know.
For the woman who waits to know if she will be a mother, it's hard.
For the woman who waits to know if her marriage will ever heal, it's hard.
For the woman who waits to know if her wandering loved one will ever come home to Christ, it's hard.
For the woman who waits to know if the illness will ever retreat, it's hard.
Trust is simple, but it is not easy.
We have to trust not only in God's knowing, but also in His goodness. Is He still good, is He still worth trusting, even if...? The psalmist answers this in words better than I could find.
For those who want to know the end of the story, here is the full story of my eventual miscarriage. We are healing--and God is still good.
None of my life has gone the way it was "supposed to go," but I don't love my life any less because of the hardships and new directions. I see so much unexpected good in it, and I want others to see the good in theirs.