I’m not great at a lot of things, but some people say I’m pretty good at planning. I planned my own wedding, I’ve planned over twenty bridal and baby showers. I plan game nights, birthday parties, brunches, and teas. I’m also good at planning out my life. In my head I plan when and where we will move, how many children we hope to have, family vacations, dates, anniversaries—so many things to plan! The problem is, my plans don’t always align with God’s plans (Who knew?!).
Like the time I became an ex-fiance at the age I’d planned to marry. Or the many times I’ve had to cancel plans due to a flare-up of my chronic stomach pain. Or like this week, when we discovered three (benign) tumors on my spine in the middle of multiple major life decisions. My plans are shifting.
Honestly, I’m okay with that. I see evidence all around me of how God’s plans are abundantly better than anything I could dream up.…
Sitting on our back porch, I copied passages of scripture into my journal. I felt the summer breeze brush across my face, shifting my eyes upward. I knew God was with me. I spent many months there, prayed many prayers there, cried a lot of tears there. It was a sunny refuge from the season of storms and steady rain that went on in my heart. A gift from above. It wasn’t an escape; it was a comfort—a place that drew thankfulness from my lips in a time of much grief.
Recently, I was listening to the best-selling book, “The Nightingale” when the narrator referred to the main character’s fertility struggles as, “the miscarriage years.” No longer sauteing dinner, I listened intently. I wondered if perhaps the author had lost babies in the womb. That’s just speculation. But the words she used felt more than just a simple statement about loss.…
I haven’t eaten Taco Bell in years. As an adult, I succumbed to the fact that my body really only ever rejected such an offering. “I’m gonna regret this,” I’d say to my high school friends when grabbing a quick burrito before practice. We all laughed. But, at some point, it wasn’t funny anymore.
I’ve suffered moderate to severe stomach pain since I was fourteen. As I write this, cramps that pulse up and down my abdomen, seemingly catching on other organs and twisting and turning make it hard to breathe. This is normal for me. And it has been for seventeen years.
I can hear my son giggling with his daddy and I think of the many moments I miss while curled over in the bathroom. I’m weary of missed moments, of asking for prayer again, of being scared to eat, of fearing the next attack. I’m weary of chronic illness. …
This article was originally published on Gospel-Centered Discipleship.
It was a warm October that year. As the leaves began to boast one last time bearing auburns and oranges before falling to their death, I suspected new life. The first signs of pregnancy found their place in the smell of a far-off unlit candle and the heaviness of my eyes. One pregnancy test later and my suspicions were confirmed. But just as we lost our first baby, this one was gone too soon, as well as our third child.
After nearly two years of walking through devastating grief on grief on grief, I was diagnosed with Recurrent Pregnancy Loss.
It was like walking through a season of storms and steady rain. The storms are like tsunamis, threatening to overtake and drown your life in sorrow. Once the storm is hushed, you’re left with unrelenting rain—the steady undertone of sadness as you learn to live without the babies you’d hoped would be part of your life. …
Tim Challies has deeply encouraged and impacted so many writers over the years, including myself. Just in my small writer’s group of six women, we each could name the many ways he has spurred us on not just as writers but as disciples of Jesus.
So when I heard the devastating news of the loss of his dear son, my heart was crushed. I looked into the eyes of my one-year-old son and couldn’t fathom the depth of grief my brother and sister in Christ are facing. So today, I’m joining my fellow writers and pausing to pray for the Challies family.
Oh God, we lament with this dear family over the loss of their beloved son. We weep with them and cannot imagine the grief they are experiencing. You know, Lord. You see. You understand. You care. You draw near to the broken-hearted. You are not far off. No Lord, you’re carrying them through.…
The pain of watching the ultrasound tech search for that once-obvious baby while contractions pulsed and tears filled my eyes, was one of the most traumatic things I’ve experienced both physically and emotionally.
The anxiety caused my body to shake uncontrollably as three words slipped from my lips.
“There’s nothing there.”
Just one week prior, my baby’s heartbeat was flickering on that screen as my heart overflowed with hope and gratitude. But now, the Lord had chosen to take that life away. And I was left with an empty womb, a head full of theology and a heart still asking, “Why Lord?”
The Answers Won’t Suffice
“Why?” is a silly question for a sovereign God. At times we may ask it from a humble heart, but other times it jumps off our tongue as a demand for answers.…