Please read this entire post. Thanks.
This post is my heart. It is raw. It is bloody. It is desolate. But I want you to see it anyway, because this is real. We are going through a deep hurt. We are walking in the Valley of the Shadow of Death. I’ve never understood what that meant, but I do now, because I can see death looming up next to me.
I’m sharing this with you because you are important to us. I want you to know what is going on in my heart. I want you to share in our sorrow, so that you can one day rejoice with us too. I feel like I should ask something of you when you read this, but I don’t know what that would be. I’ve found great healing in being honest and vulnerable, perhaps this is a part of my healing, or yours.
Israel and I have wanted a baby for years. About a year and a half after we were married, we thought we were pregnant, or rather, everyone in my family thought we were pregnant. It wasn’t in our plan to get pregnant at the time, we were going to move to Seattle and go to grad school. But, the potential of being pregnant changed our plans. Why not start trying? Why not stay close to our families? Why not start early and be young grandparents?
On January 1, 2008, I took my last birth control pill. And we waited. And we waited. And we waited. The first year was difficult. Birth control had messed with my body quite a bit. We’d go for a month or two thinking we could be pregnant, but there was never a positive test. Once, I went four months without having a period. Eventually, with the help of some medicine, things went back to normal, but by that time, I had withdrawn. I’d hidden the part of me that cared whether we got pregnant, because I couldn’t hope for it anymore. And our families stopped asking, because the answer was always no.
Then we found out about Black Forest Academy, and suddenly it all made sense. If our plans had worked out, we would never be able to move to Germany quickly. If we’d had a baby and a house and had been in grad school, there was no way we’d be able to move so easily. At that point, my desire changed. I didn’t want to be pregnant yet; I wanted to be able to fully invest in BFA for a while. So, we went to Germany on July 16th.
On Sunday, August 29th, I took a pregnancy test. It was positive. According to the way they count pregnancy, my first day of pregnancy was two days before we left, July 14th. We couldn’t believe it. How in the world could this be possible? We’d just finished the first week of school!
Before I took the test, I was angry that I might be pregnant. God knew that I didn’t want this now! He knew that I wouldn’t be able to fully invest while taking care of a baby! But by Monday afternoon, my heart was already gone, given to the tiny one growing inside me. We called it the Blueberry, because that’s how big it was when we found out. The Blueberry was due on April 20th, 2011. It was clear that this was God’s perfect timing. He wanted us in Germany and he wanted us to have a baby now.
A Sudden Goodbye
On Friday, September 10th, I found blood. I was at school at the time. I sat in my office for two hours, wrapped in blanket, quickly wiping my tears away in case someone walked in. Eventually, my dear friend did come in, and I felt brave enough to walk home with her. I was just entering my ninth week.
The weekend was horribly confusing. We were told by a doctor who is on staff at BFA that there was a 50/50 chance of miscarrying. I cramped and spotted on and off from Friday morning until Sunday evening. I couldn’t go to a doctor for an ultrasound because they were closed until Tuesday. On Monday, I was sure I was miscarrying. On Tuesday, the doctor confirmed it. There on the screen was the little Blueberry, but no heartbeat. On Wednesday morning, we went to the hospital for a D&C.
In the Valley
I don’t know that I’ve ever cried so much in one week. I know that I’ve never wept like I did on Friday evening, when I found more blood. After finding it, I sat down next to Israel and began to sob—deep, uncontrollable sobs. Israel had never stopped wanting a baby. He was excited from the moment that little purple line showed up, and I felt like I was taking that from him. I felt guilty and ashamed and embarrassed.
I don’t really know how to process this. I don’t know what the point of this is, or what God is doing.
I was already learning so much! In June, God started working on the most wounded places of my heart, places that I thought he’d already healed, but that were still bleeding. So he’s been teaching me that he is good, that he is my loving Father, that he cares about me, that he knows me, that he loves me. I know all of these things about God, but I don’t believe them. What I believe is that God only does things in my life so that he will get glory and so that I will learn the lessons that I fail to teach myself. I think he does these things with no real regard or care for me. I believe that God doesn’t really know me. I believe that God doesn’t really love me, or comfort me, or sit with me when I cry. But he’s been gently removing the layers of protection I’ve build around my wounds, so that he can heal them. I knew that the Blueberry was part of that healing.
And then the Blueberry left, and I found myself bewildered. I don’t understand what this means about who God is. I don’t know how to believe that God is loving in this. I don’t know how to believe that he cares about me or the Blueberry. Why would he let us get pregnant immediately after getting to Germany and then take it away only two weeks after we found out? We told our families we were pregnant on Sunday, September 5th; we told them about the miscarriage only one week later. What is the purpose in that? It just seems like cruelty.
But I’m trying to hold on to what I hope is true. God is love. God is good. God cares for me. He cares for the Blueberry. He is holding the Blueberry while we cannot. He did not cause this, but will bring good from it. He loves me in this, and holds me while I cry. He hurts when I hurt.
This has brought me to the edge of myself. I wrote this in an email to a friend, “Maybe that’s why he did it now, because he knew this would bring me to the brink of myself, where I have nothing left and am totally shattered. I feel so needy; I don’t like it. I have nothing.”
I am heartbroken. I am confused. I am shattered. I am empty. I don’t know if I’m angry, perhaps I feel forsaken. But I’m believing that God is present and is big enough to hold this weight of sorrow. I’m clinging to the hope that He will save me from these waters, which have come up to my neck. And when he does, I will let him hold me, and I will rest in him, and I will call him my Papa. Because he loves me even more than I loved the Blueberry, who I had yet to even meet.
The day before my surgery, I asked God to give me a sunrise. God gives thunder to one of my friends as a sign of his love for her. I’ve been trying to believe that He would do that for me to. So I asked him for a sunrise, because I’ve always loved them. I stared at the sky the whole way to the hospital; it was a normal sky—blue with white clouds. I had just decided that he wouldn’t give me one, but we rounded a corner, and there it was. Pink marble resting on the hills of the Black Forest.
That morning, I wrote Psalm 32:7 on a note card and kept it in my pocket. “You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance.” Though I may not be able to hear it yet, he is shouting deliverance around me. He is roaring at the darkness and scattering it. Soon I will be able to hear my Papa coming for me.
I wrote this last Thursday, the morning after my surgery, and I wrote from the depth of my pain and sorrow. I’m not in this place anymore. God’s begun to redeem this. He’s shown me what he’s doing through it. I hope to post about these new things in a few days.