Our Unexpected Journey

Jer 29:11

I wrote the post below nearly a year ago, but, until now, Mark and I just weren’t ready to share it.

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March 13, 2013

Throughout life’s journey, some situations go according to plan and others don’t. Many situations that don’t go according to plan are seemingly insignificant and easily brushed off. Others are more significant, and when they don’t go according to plan, we are hurt, sad, confused, angry, the list goes on. I believe it’s in these more significant situations – these unexpected journeys – that we can most clearly see God is in control, full control; a realization that can be extremely comforting.

Almost a year ago Mark and I started trying to have a baby, and thus began our ‘unexpected journey.’ We became pregnant really quickly and we were so excited (but also scared and nervous)! I remember seeing the positive pregnancy test – it was so surreal.

My first sonogram didn’t show a heartbeat. Mark and I were disappointed, but the sonographer reassured us that it was still early and that by next week we should be able to see a heartbeat.

Next week came. Mark and I were nervous and excited. We couldn’t wait to tell the rest of our family we were expecting a baby. As the sonographer was looking at the image on the screen, she somberly said, “Guys, we have a problem here. I’m so sorry.”  Our baby had no heartbeat. Tears immediately streamed down my face. Pain and sadness overwhelmed me. Emotions impossible to put into words rushed over me.

A few minutes later the woman left us to ourselves. Through my tears, and a few of his own, Mark prayed with me. I don’t remember the words of the prayer, but I know it was comforting.

The months following my miscarriage were filled with so many emotions. Anger. Excitement. Nervousness. Uncertainty. Sadness. Grief. Heartache.

During these months, I prayed like I had never prayed before. I prayed for a child, but also for comfort in my sorrow. I’m ashamed to say I also prayed a few self-pity prayers, “Lord, it’s not supposed to be this way!”

In the midst of all these emotions and self-pity prayers, I leaned on the Lord. My refuge was Jesus, even though, at times, I was so angry with him. I knew that He was in control. I know the Lord’s plans for us are for our benefit. He sees the big picture. I don’t.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

My relationship with Mark also strengthened during the months following the miscarriage. We were closer to and more in love with each other than we had ever been before.

After what seemed like an eternity, Mark and I could try to conceive again. In January, not too many months after our first miscarriage, we had another positive pregnancy test. Different emotions surrounded the pregnancy this time. We were excited, but also very apprehensive.

Four weeks after the positive pregnancy test, I had my first sonogram. The baby should have measured about 8 weeks. Instead, the baby only measured 6.5 weeks and, again, had no heartbeat. The sonographer said there should definitely be a heartbeat. Again, she told us how sorry she was and left us to ourselves. Through my tears, Mark prayed with me again. We were devastated.

I’m not angry this time around. I’m just sad, really, really sad. I’m also confused and afraid – afraid that I’ll never be able to bear a child. At times I want to feel sorry for myself, “Why me, Lord? Why me?” But, then I realize how ridiculous this is. The Lord knows what He’s doing. He sees the big picture. I don’t. I have to trust in Him. I have to give all my burdens to Him. In order to be at peace with this, I must rely fully on the Lord. This isn’t easy, but I’m getting there. I’ll get there. A peace surrounding this situation is slowing washing over me. I still pray for a child, but also for peace in this situation. Mark and I have no idea if we’ll ever be able to bear a child. Mark’s at peace with that; I’m getting there. We know our bigger life goal is to commit our lives to Jesus Christ and to follow Him. I also pray for the ability to do this – to fully submit my life to Jesus.

We know our ‘unexpected journey’ isn’t over. Over the next several months I’ll have multiple doctor’s appointments and tests, and then we’ll go from there, trusting in the Lord throughout.

“My God is strong and mighty. My God is faithful. My hope is in the Lord, for He is able.” (All Things Possible – Mark Schultz)

Just some afterthoughts:

This hasn’t been easy at all – I hope I’ve made that clear. But, I hope I’ve also made clear that seeking refuge in Jesus is what gives me comfort. I know that my situation is more than what I can handle on my own. It’s bigger than me. Giving it to the Lord is all that will give me peace.

So many songs on Christian radio have spoken to me throughout this journey. Songs like The Hurt and the Healer by MercyMe, Praise You in This Storm by Casting Crowns, All Things Possible by Mark Schultz, and many others. These songs have truly been a blessing.

We would love for our brothers and sisters in Christ to pray for us. Obviously, we want a child, but we also want to be fully at peace with this situation.

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Back to today (February 2014). Mark and I have now experienced miscarriages three and four. I think, finally, I can say I’m truly at peace with our situation (praise the Lord!). I’m not angry. I am sad and a bit confused at times. But, in the midst of all of this, I’m still joyful because I’ve learned to put my hope in the Lord. He knows what he’s doing :) . It’s not my job to understand Him, just to trust. Through this I’ve learned what truly trusting in the Lord means; I’m so thankful for that.

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