Wednesday, February 27, 2013

In the Midst, Part 2: Pregnant and Bleeding

I'm sharing about how God met me in the midst of my miscarriage in this series. You may want to read my first post and then head back to this. Here is a series of text messages I sent updating when bleeding started and as we waited, not knowing whether I'd heal or we'd lose the baby:

"Dec. 14th
In hospital for an ultrasound. Listening to praise music as we wait to stay our hearts on Christ. Scary situation, but faithful God.

... Just left hospital. Definitely still pregnant. Glimpse of underdeveloped baby shows that I could be "pre-miscarriage" or we miscalculated my due date. On bedrest now. Will get more bloodwork monday to ensure the baby's # rises and then prob. another ultrasound in a week or so. Not super hopeful news, but thankful the Lord does know and trusting Him in the emotional roller coaster of it all.

"I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning."

"For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.
O LORD of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you!"

Waiting and wondering (while still bleeding) is really emotionally hard, but we know God has been saying it's HIM we're really waiting on and seeking. So that's a comfort. We aren't waiting for blood numbers, we wait for Him. And He WILL act. So thankful for that truth.

"Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!"

Dec 16
Today's update: bleeding is still bad- tablespoon sizes clots. No pain. I am weak physically. I slept ALL morning while andy took the kids to church.

I shared with Andy that if these are our last few days parenting this little gift, I don't want to spend that time worrying, but want to parent this child as we always have with our children by praying, praising God, and doing church- however that is possible while still physically on bedrest.

Soooo... we invited friends over this afternoon as the boys napped to pray with us, fellowship, and share all God's doing worldwide. it was real and beautiful with tears and laughter and worship and excitement at how God is moving. It was a a sweet gift during an emotionally and physically exhausting weekend.

December 18

This song came to mind and I can't stop saying YES! We just sang along in family worship time as we prayed:

God is able
He will never fail
He is almighty God
Greater than all we seek
Greater than all we ask
He has done great things

Lifted up
He defeated the grave
Raised to life
Our God is able
In His name
We overcome
For the Lord
Our God is able

God is with us
God is on our side
He will make a way
Far above all we know
Far above all we hope
He has done great things

God is with us
He will go before
He will never leave us
He will never leave us
God is for us
He has open arms
He will never fail us
He will never fail us

"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work."

Dec. 19
I've been reminded that all our science is just us trying to figure God out and give terms... But He does whatever He wills. And it's amazing! Makes no sense:)
We still don't actually know how I am or how the baby is doing.

This waiting has made me appreciate David's crazy talk in the Psalms much more (you know- how he'll praise God who never leaves and then in the next psalm ask how long He'll forsake him) i feel like a crazy woman emotionally and spiritually. Yet He is steady and His Word a constant comfort.

We're tired today. Hopeful. Nervous. And tired. This is a comfort:
"Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you."

I'll share more texts in the next few posts. I'm hoping reading them will show my struggle in real suffering and how God met me in it...

[Quick links to the rest of the series: 3, 4, 5 ]

Monday, February 25, 2013

In the Midst of Miscarriage

Oh wow, this is hard to type out. Forgive the blubbering as I type through tears. Here goes: I miscarried about a week before Christmas. Actually, I'm still physically and emotionally in process. Apparently natural miscarriages can take a long time. 

I'm blogging about it because we listened to a recording of John Piper's last sermon at Bethlehem a few weeks ago. You can imagine my emotional roller coaster as I listened to this (incredible) sermon about how the world needs to see people cherishing God while sufferingYou can check it out here:

Even though my miscarriage is still fresh and raw, i sense God telling me to blog and live it openly now, not down the road. I want others to know someone has been there. 

One morning during communion, my Pastor read Jesus in the garden saying, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup..." it was like he spoke straight to me!!! Hearing that familiar chunk read aloud, I was struck by how similar my own prayer in the midst of the miscarriage was to this one.

I so longed for God to take it from me. I knew He was able to restore my body and save our baby and i begged Him to. But He didn't. He chose for me to walk through miscarriage.

And i've asked Him in it for grace to go through grief and loss firm in my faith in Him, desiring only Jesus as my true treasure and trusting Him fully. I asked for vision to see the good in this that He promises is there (Rom. 8:28).

photo credit: Mary Osborn
I began reflecting on Christ's prayer and mine. Especially watching how He walked His suffering out and what that means as i walk this out. And I gained vision in a few of Paul's reflections on suffering:

The church can gain from faith-filled suffering:
"Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church..."-Colossians 1:24

Fellow sufferers can gain from faith-filled suffering:
"For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows."- 2 Corinthians 1:5

Non-believers can gain from faith-filled suffering:
"Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory."- 2 Timothy 2:10

This is not what I prayed for, hoped for, or dreamed of. I wanted to celebrate birth. But as i grieve, He's reminding me there is wonderful purpose in it- I "complete" Christ's afflictions when He is seen in my own suffering. I have an opportunity, by His grace, to make Jesus known in the church, to fellow sufferers, and to the unsaved through suffering. Wow.

Though I longed for "my cup" to pass, embracing it brings Him such glory. I'm asking for his grace to surrender fully to Him and trust His purposes. I'm praying as ugly/awkward as it may look as i walk this season out that some might see and savor Jesus through it. 

And with these thoughts, I'm beginning this series, where (I think) I'm going to share some pretty vulnerable texts/emails I sent to friends and family as I walked through the days of "pregnant and bleeding" to miscarriage and grief. I'm praying it may bless you and bring you comfort and joy in Christ as you read along...

[Here are quick links to the other posts in this series: 2, 3, 4, 5 ]