“This pregnancy is not good.”
The doctor's voice thundered in our ears. My husband and I looked at each other in disbelief. One of us managed to whisper a stunned, 'But why?'
It was a question that we were going to ask aloud several times in the following weeks.
At that moment though, nothing registered. I pulled myself off the examination table and stoically walked out of the room, barely looking at the attending doctor or the nurses. I was definitely not going to break into tears in front of them. No way! I had to get away – and fast!
Like every young married couple, we had dreamed of becoming parents. So when we realised that our dream was going to come true, we were overjoyed. Celebrations, plans, pregnancy books, baby names, announcements and all of the trivia that comes along with having a baby filled our days. It was a big deal. We were going to have a baby!
Then, just like that, we had been unceremoniously yanked from atop the clouds that we were floating on. We lost our baby and we didn't know the first thing about landing safely.
During those long nights, we wrestled with God. The unfairness, hurt, anguish, and confusion washed over us again and again. One day, in the midst of this din, God spoke very clearly. Not the answer we wanted to hear (which was to have our baby, of course) but one that quietened the rage in our hearts and flooded us with peace.
He sent Kay Warren into our lives (figuratively).
Kay Warren is the wife of Rick Warren, pastor of the Saddleback Church and author of The Purpose Driven Life. When Kay was expecting their third baby, she had an extremely difficult pregnancy. She was laid up in bed, temporarily crippled for three long months. One morning, lying in bed alone and anxious, her eyes went to a short passage in Habbabuk that read,
"Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails, and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to go on the heights" (Habbakuk 3:17-19 NIV).
Lying there, she sensed the Lord speaking to her. Even if her baby did not live or she never walked again, she resolved to rejoice in her Sovereign Lord. She would trust in Him.
A couple of months later, their son Matthew Warren was born. Initially, he seemed to be a perfectly healthy baby, but soon he was diagnosed with bipolar depression. He battled with and fought hard against it. But when he was 27, after years of pain and struggle with mental illness, he took his own life. Kay says, "I had feared for years that he would take his life . . . it became his greatest pursuit and my deepest anguish . . . I had to come to the point in which I said as I had 27 years before – “EVEN IF my worst nightmare comes true and he takes his life, I WILL rejoice in the Lord; I will be joyful in God my Saviour. My heart remains wounded and battered, but my faith is steady. There is, and will be, as Steven Curtis Chapman says, a “glorious unfolding” of all that God has in store for me and my family.”
Tears streaming down my face, I grieved with Kay and her family. Her pain and loss were heartbreaking. And then slowly the infectious hope and quiet strength in her words warmed the crevices of my heart. I soaked in the familiar love of God once again. He wasn't sleeping in our boat, clueless and apathetic. What mattered was that He was right there with us. So instead of looking at the waves that came crashing at us, we decided to curl up with Jesus, snuggled right beside Him.
We still do not have answers to our questions. Why didn't our baby live? Why were our hopes raised only to be dashed soon after? But when all the 'whys' clamour for attention and demand an answer, we know that our hearts can rest in not necessarily knowing the why and how but in the knowledge of who our God is.
He is the beginning and the end. He is the author of our lives. He is our Saviour and Redeemer. He is and has always been faithful, loving, true and righteous. In this broken world, sorrow and pain may abound, but our God will never change. He drew us to dig our feet into that truth. So even if we would not have answers this side of Heaven or never become parents, He led us to place our trust in and rejoice in Him. Always.
When we returned home after my hospitalisation, we came back whole and put together. I don't mean that it was like magic. Snap and no more sadness. No. It was a beautiful process. We grieved – well. We cried – a lot. We clung to each other. Our loved ones rallied around us. We didn't pretend that our hearts didn't break when we saw other little children. But it didn't eat at us anymore. Truth set in: the knowledge that our Maker and Saviour loved us and was with us; the truth that He was sufficient for all our situations; the truth that there were a thousand tomorrows of joy awaiting us in our journey.
Photo Credit: Unsplash
**This post was first published in June 2017 on IndiAanya**
Thanks Ceenu for sharing such a personal experience. I'm so encouraged by how the LORD led you to a place of trust and rest in Him through such a painful experience. So true -'in this broken world, sorrow and pain may abound, but our God will never change!' Praise God for that! I love you and love lil Anaya. God has answered and we praise Him for it. So blessed by this post!
Thank you Ceenu for sharing.
So encouraged by your story 🙂 Have you heard this song - "Even if" by MercyMe? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6fA35Ved-Y What you write and what he sings about align beautifully.