“How long, O Lord?”
Two tears fell to the pages of my Bible one after the other as lament sprung from my lips. More tears followed. Words could no longer be spoken with clarity and I took comfort in the fact that the Spirit was interceding the groans of my heart. Groans like, “Lord, why do you keep taking my babies?” and “I’m so weary of this grief.” and “help.”
Three years ago today, we lost our first baby, ushering us into a world of chaos and suffering that went on for some time. It was a season of Psalms. Recurrent miscarriage with a layer of childlessness will cause a woman to sit there awhile, echoing heartfelt prayers of previous suffering saints. It’ll cause a woman to “drench her couch with her weeping” as I did that day (Psalm 6:6). Surely, “my eyes wasted away with grief” (Psalm 6:7).
And yet, now, three years later from when it all began, I find myself rising early and reading those same Psalms through tired eyes until I hear the sweetest sound—my babbling baby whose face is a testimony to the kindness of my God. When his giggles fill the room, my heart erupts within me in thankfulness to the Lord. You see, I hold a gift I never believed I’d receive. The gift of finally holding a baby who took residence in my womb.
God’s always been faithful, both in seasons of loss and plenty. “But would he still be faithful had he withheld once more?” you may ask. Certainly. His faithfulness is not contingent on earthly gifts. But it’s loudly proclaimed in the ultimate gift—the gift of his beloved Son.
Walking through the winter of grief on grief on grief taught me how to savor the gifts within the season of suffering. I learned to savor his goodness in the loss (though not perfectly of course), and that has given me all the more joy in the plenty.
Today, for the first time, I approach the anniversary of the death of our first unborn child with full arms. I know I don’t deserve this gift. I know babies aren’t promises. But God has chosen to show his goodness to me through the gift of a son and in that, I can’t help but rejoice. Theodore doesn’t replace our other babies—I still wonder who they are and what it would be like to hear their giggles and see them smile—but he’s the sweetest gift nonetheless. So, today I praise God for all he’s done in the last three years. I praise him for my children—all of them. And I praise him for how he’s changed me through their lives. Thank you, Lord. You are always faithful. You’ve always been faithful to me.