I’m honored to participate in our pastor’s current sermon series, “#1 Fan?” as a guest writer. Here is the fifth installment:
It had come as a shock. She simply placed her hand on my arm and with sympathy in her eyes and her voice barely above a whisper she said, “I’m sorry. There’s no heartbeat.”
I choked back a sob and then tears silently streamed down my face and I spent days in depression. At church one Sunday during worship, I was singing without really worshiping because I knew if I really got into it even for a second, the tears wouldn’t stop. So I stood singing at a whisper begging my eyes to stay dry. And I heard in my Spirit
The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. (Job 1:21)
And I choked back a sob and then tears silently streamed down my face but I suddenly felt peace. And when depression and despair threatened to overtake me again, I used my sword and repeated back out loud
The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
I prayed it over and over and over until my heart caught up to my head.
Months later I had another shock. This time it was another woman but the words were the same, “I’m sorry. There’s no heartbeat.”
I didn’t cry immediately this time but hen the tears did come, the were followed by anger, not sadness. And one day I decided it was time for God and I to have it out. And I sat at the coffee shop with my hat low and my Bible open and forced myself to read even though I didn’t want to. And as I poured out my heart in my journal and absorbed these words from Job, God once again brought peace.
“From out of a storm, the Lord said to Job: Why do you talk so much when you know so little? Now get ready to face me! Can you answer the questions I ask? How did I lay the foundation for the earth? Were you there? Doubtless you know…” (Job 38:2-6)
And when anger and frustration threatened to overtake me again, I used my sword and repeated back out loud
The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. Why do you talk so much when you know so little? Doubtless you know…
I prayed it over and over until my heart caught up to my head.
Months later yet again, the shock was in seeing an incredibly strong and vital heartbeat. The words this time were “Congratulations! Everything looks great!”
And I choked back a sob and tears silently streamed down my face and I was thrilled and scared all at the same time. And from that day forward, the most difficult part of the pregnancy was mental as fear tempted to overtake me at every turn. Each appointment, each ultrasound and each night I feared the worst. And when my thoughts plagued me, I had to conjure up all the scripture I could and pray over and over. I fell asleep countless nights praying Psalm 139:13-15
You are creating his inward parts and are knitting him together in my womb. I praise you — regardless of how you make him, he’s made by you — fearfully and wonderfully. His frame is not hidden from you. You are weaving together the fabric of his being intricately in the secret place. I choose to believe this and I choose to believe you…I choose to believe…I choose to believe.
It wasn’t until Paxton was born and safely in my arms that I could rest that he was okay. And I held him and poured over him and thanked God continually for giving and not taking away this time.
Praying scripture during this season didn’t answer questions I had of God. I still don’t know why God allowed me to get pregnant twice if it was going to end in miscarriage. I don’t know why Paxton came perfectly healthy and beautifully into the world. But what praying scripture did do was make it okay for me not to know. The more scripture I read and the more I prayed, the more it didn’t matter why things happened the way they did. It gave me permission to trust blindly. It gave me permission to feel sadness and depression and anger and fear, but showed me I don’t have to remain stuck in those dark places.
There was power in those dark places. But I had to reach up and out to get to it.
“Pray always. Pray in the Spirit. Pray about everything in every way you know how!” (Ephesians 6:18, The Voice)