This past October we found out we were expecting our fifth child. Even though the thought of five kids seemed a bit scary, we were excited!
The first ultrasound is always something I (Nick) really look forward to because it’s like meeting your child for the first time. The first time you get to hear your baby’s heartbeat is so special, and seeing their tiny little body wiggle around up on the ultrasound monitor is life-changing.
The Wednesday after Thanksgiving was our first ultrasound, and we both were anxious to meet our little baby. During the ultrasound, the nurse began measuring the different parts of the baby to make sure the baby’s growth was on track and that everything was normal. When she got to the baby’s heart, the monitor came up ready to display the heartbeat, but nothing happened. No line moving up and down. No quick sound of a rushing little organ pumping life-giving blood through the tiny developing body. The nurse asked me (Sarah) to hold my breath and I did. Still nothing. We just looked at each other, knowing the results, but hoping we were wrong. The nurse quickly moved on, unable to share any results with us. She finished the ultrasound and then had us sit in a waiting room. Alone with fear and worry about what we thought just happened. A bit later we were told we could leave and that we would get a call from our Doctor. Later that afternoon we got the call that confirmed our fears. We had lost our baby.
The days that followed were difficult. They still are. Passing the baby’s body at home wasn’t our first choice, but it was what we had to do and it was traumatic. (A special thank you to the people who watched our kids for us and brought us meals.) Our emotions were (and still are) all over the place. But we are learning that living a life of worship through pain and difficulty is one of the most faith-filled things we can do. Oswald Chambers said,
Faith is the deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time.”
There is definitely a lot of things we don’t understand right now. But what we do know about the character of God is carrying us through.
Whenever we walk through things we don’t understand we can lean on the goodness and love of God. That is something we know. The cross forever settled that. When we can’t look at our circumstances and say they are good, we can look at our God and say he is. Because God is good, we can trust in his control when we don’t like or understand what is going on. Walking through this miscarriage has been a continual exercise in resting in God’s sovereignty. Regardless of the goodness of our circumstances, we can trust in the goodness of God’s character. Resting in God’s sovereignty doesn’t deny our emotions or circumstances, it just speaks a bigger truth. The truth that God can be trusted. (Romans 8:28)
Knowing our little baby is in the presence of Jesus has brought us so much comfort (1 Thessalonians 4:13). One of the most real truths of our lives is that God has secured for us a glorious end. We don’t know what is going to happen on the next page of our story, but we have read the back of the book and it is filled with God’s presence and fullness of joy. Nothing the world can offer or take away can compare with that, and because of that, we can worship God. We can endure the difficult twists and turns this life throws at us because we know the end. Knowing how Jesus has secured our end, and our little baby’s end is what allows us to worship Him in the present. Even though our present is hard and filled with grief, there will come a day when every tear will be wiped away and we will meet our baby face to face in the presence of our Savior. And that grace is what allows us to endure our present suffering with hope.