Late on the evening of January 16, Dr. Matt and a female nurse walked back into the cold, sterile ER room where I waited quietly. He looked at the tiny television in the corner of the room and said, “Can I turn this off? Or are you into this show?” I laughed and said, “No. I just watch Toddlers & Tiaras to make me feel like a better parent.” He smiled, turned off the television, took a deep breath, and then sat on a stool next to the bed.
And I knew.
I knew what he was about to say. It’s the reason I came to the emergency room that night. Because I already knew.
“I’m so sorry to have to tell you this, but…”
“I know.” I interrupted him. I could tell he didn’t want to say it.
“I’m so sorry.” His empathy was genuine.
“It’s okay….” I found myself wanting to comfort Dr. Matt because I knew that was probably the worst part of his job. To face people like me and to have to tell them things like that. Also, because he told me to call him “Dr. Matt.” And that just made me like him instantly.
He shook my cold hand, told me I would be in his prayers and left me with his nurse who told me what to expect in the days and weeks to follow.
She was compassionate, but I could tell she wasn’t comfortable with how to say it.
“Well, the baby – er…fetus – will make its way out within the next few days or weeks. You’ll have lots of bleeding…”
It wasn’t just a fetus. It WAS a baby. With arms and legs and a soul…just no heartbeat.
It was our baby. Our third. We were thrilled. We found out just before New Year’s, and I just knew this was an unexpected blessing from God in the midst of what has been a terrible valley.
At around 11:45 p.m., on the saddest day of my 31 years, I walked through the ER doors back into the bitter, Kansas winter. In my hand I held the one and only ultrasound photo of our 8-week-old baby.
I fought back tears until I reached the car. Once inside, my shaking hands fumbled through my iPhone until I reached a playlist I created in November and appropriately titled “Right Now.” One of the first songs that played is called “Blessings” by Laura Story. I had never listened to it all the way through – mainly because her voice is slightly annoying to me at the beginning. (Sorry, Laura…whoever you are.)
I finally listened to the song all the way through as I got lost trying to drive through a flood of tears:
We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe
‘Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise
And then this…this is the part that caused me to stop the car in the middle of a deserted road on post and just sob:
What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise
What if every trial I’ve been through since November – things too heartbreaking and humiliating to mention now – are really God’s mercies in disguise?
What if God has more “mercies in disguise” prepared for me? Will He continue to give me the strength to get through them? Because there are times I feel I’ve reached the limit of what I can handle! Will He use these disappointments and the “aching of this life” for His glory?
The answer is yes. Yes, there will be more disappointment (Psalm 34:19). Yes, he will complete the work He began in me (Philippians 1:6) and give me grace in the moments I need them (Philippians 4:19). And, yes, He will cause all of these things to work for His glory (Romans 8:28).
God willing, I’ll keep writing. And, God willing, I will have some more lighthearted topics to write about in the very near future. Like feces. Or Honey Boo Boo. Or politics.
Kidding! I don’t talk about feces.
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing on this earth more important to me than proclaiming the truth of the gospel. Nothing. That is why I was created. And that is why I created this blog.
But I could sure go for some silly, self-deprecating humor right now.
Like…did you know that I was a child model? Well, I was in an ad with Bill Cosby once. But they cut me out of the final ad because my hand was up my dress.
Stupid, uncomfortable tights.
Also, I cut my own hair the night before the photo shoot.
My mom was pretty happy about that.
Seriously, thank you all for the encouragement you’ve been in the midst of this valley. Thank you all for your kind comments, emails, Tweets, cards, and phone calls. And thank you most of all for your prayers.
I’m humbled. I’m thankful. And I’m truly blessed more than I’ll ever deserve.
It’s been such an exciting week over here in my little “corner” of the web. I went to a few parties, even.
(Cough) Twitter parties. (Cough)
Okay, I lied. I didn’t even go to those. I’m still not 100% sure what they even are to be honest.
But, I thought it would be fun to share my week in pictures. Because, believe it or not, someone as asocial as me still does have an opportunity or two to find some fun things to photograph.
Such as this…
This story is told with the permission of my friend as it pertains to her son. And even though I have changed names to protect the innocent, it’s one of those stories you don’t tell unless you ask the mother.
I post the following photos of our precious son with no apologies but with absolute certainty that someone will look at them and say, “I can’t believe she actually published those photos of her poor son!” And that person will probably be my mother. But that is because she’s long past dealing with daily tantrums – from her kids at least. Yes, that was a crack at you, dad.
I dedicate the following photos to my son who will, God willing, make it to adolescence. And he’ll no doubt get that surge of testosterone that seems to deprive the male brain of enough oxygen. And, I assume he will one day find himself in a serious relationship that causes him to feel like he wants to act on his urges. I’ll sit him down and speak to him about the beauty of marital sex and how abstinence is a temporary state, but it will absolutely bless his future wife. And THEN I’ll show him every tantrum photo and video I can find to help him understand the consequences of satisfying those urges prematurely. But I’ll leave out the part where even married people who wait until marriage have kids who throw tantrums. But why bog him down with details? It’s called shock therapy.
Motherhood. There’s nothing quite like it. I would venture to say that Martha Stewart’s
sentence vacation in a federal prison was more like a Caribbean holiday compared to the trenches of motherhood. I bet no one pooped on her in there. No one stood next to her and purposefully peed on her foot like she was a human fire hydrant. I doubt she was subjected to Wonder Pets. And then was horrified to catch herself singing it the rest of the day. I bet Martha got to watch all the Judge Joe Brown her little heart desired. And I confess that I envy her for that.