22 January 2014

Redeeming the Situation

I had a miscarriage.  It became important to me to write about it publicly because I realized how many women are affected by pregnancy loss.  It is an isolating secret that is hard to get out.  I posted about it here: "The 'm' word".  Since posting, I have read a few articles and blogs about women who have written their stories of miscarriage.  They are sad to read, but remind me of the importance of telling the story.  Tragedy affects us.  We cannot pretend it doesn’t.  For someone not to know my story is to not fully know me.
When I wrote my story, I had a good reason to finally be able to publicly share it, a reason some have guessed at, I am pregnant!  But here is the second half of the story.

Early in November I was feeling discouraged.  I was waiting for my period and feeling like getting pregnant would never happen.  (I realize for women who struggle with infertility that this may sound naive and arrogant; we had only been trying for two months.  My extremely brief time of waiting and hoping to get pregnant gave me a glimpse of the heartache that infertility can bring.  Hope deferred truly does make the heart sick, even if only for 2 months.)  The weight of the upcoming anniversaries was heavy on me.  I dreaded March 6th, my due date.  And July 16th, the date my baby died.  The what if’s of not being pregnant before those dates drowned out more sane thoughts.

It was a Sunday morning during worship that I broke down.  I don’t remember the songs, but I was not able to sing them.  During the break a woman I have known a long time came up to me.  She put her arm around my shoulders and said she didn’t know what was wrong but that she saw I was having a hard time in worship.  She had prayed for God to give her something for me and felt God say that the situation would be redeemed soon.  I broke into tears and let her know why I was crying, that I had miscarried in July and was having a hard day.  She prayed again specifically and the day went on.

I thought about what she said.  My hope rose, the situation would be redeemed soon.  My common sense piped up, God’s soon and my soon are not the same thing.  What does ‘redeemed’ mean anyway?  Why the fancy word?  Being the English major I am, I looked it up. 

      redeem (verb): to convert into something of value
                              to make good (or fulfill) a promise or pledge

Again, being the English major, I was looking for deeper meanings.  Not always the wisest thing when hearing from God.  Did it just mean to share my story and help another woman through a hard time?  That would be bringing value and good to a hard thing.  Did it really mean I would get pregnant soon or was I ‘reading into it’ too much?  I had to just give it up to God.  Which is what I should have done in the first place.

Ten days later I had a positive pregnancy test.

I wasn’t excited.  I wanted to be, really badly.  But I realized that just getting pregnant wasn’t the end of the story, I had to stay pregnant.  I googled ‘due date calculator’ and punched in the information.  That’s when I got goosebumps.  And started crying.  And realized just how much God loves me.  Loves me enough to do little things in my life that really, are huge.  I’ve always known He loved me.  Loved me enough to die on the cross.  But often in daily life I get so caught up I don’t see Him in the little things.  I miss His demonstrations of love.  This one I couldn’t miss. 

You know how I was dreading the anniversaries, the due date and miscarriage date?  Well, the due date will still be there, though now that I am pregnant I hope it will be a little easier.  And July 16th - the date my baby’s heart stopped beating, a date I was dreading (dreading the whole month really).  Except now, I can’t.  Now I have a reason to rejoice in mid-July.  I am due within 5 days of the year anniversary.  An early ultrasound put the possible due date even earlier. 

God has redeemed the situation!  He has converted something I dreaded into something of value.  He has made good on a promise.  Every time I think of the due date now I am in awe.  It didn’t have to be then, it could have been earlier, it could have been later.  But it’s not.  He loves me.  He cares about the little things in life.

A couple of those articles on miscarriage I mentioned are here as a resource for those who have gone through it and those who need to understand a friend's grief. 
The Miscarriage Secret by Caitlin Seccombe Lubinski
How a Man Handles a Miscarriage by Marcus Brotherton
And there are so many more beyond these. 

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