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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Empathy

My friend Ann had a miscarriage today :-(.

I was fortunate to get pregnant 4 times and have 4 children to show for it. But that doesn't mean I don't understand what she is going through is some ways. See, we struggled with infertility for 5 years. And while we were "praying" for a baby, our spiritual walks were no where near where they are now, and I can't say it went much deeper than that. We relied mostly on our own strength, and every month was hard. My cycles have became irregular when I went off "the pill" in my early 20's and we started trying to have a family. And cycles that were sometimes 28 days, sometimes 2-3 months between periods were not uncommon for me (and still aren't). Imagine that being your "normal" and then add trying to get pregnant into the mix. Every time a regular person's 28 cycle would pass, I would begin to wonder, am I pregnant. Days would stretch to weeks. At first, of course, I took pregnancy tests regularly, but when they would be negative and still no period, you think to yourself, It could be wrong, so you take another. And another. And another. Then you just stop taking them. And you stop believing this act that seems so simple for undesiring teens around the country is ever going to happen for you. Each period is like a baby lost. You can't help but think when you haven't had a cycle in 3 months that maybe the tests are just wrong. Your hopes get up a little. You start to think, What if? And then BAM! All your hopes are dashed again and again and again. Chart after chart, test after test. For 5 years. My prayer life now leaves a lot to be desired and I talk to God frequently each day...then my prayer life was virtually non-existent. I was one of "those" Christians. I knew what I knew (and looking back much of it was scripturally questionable, and heavily worldly influenced) and that was good with me. I knew I could do better, but I didn't have time for all that "doing better" seemed to require. Or really, I didn't make the time for it. Thank God that His voice is strong, and He is patient. He calls us to restore our relationship with Him even when we don't think the relationship needs restoring. I've grown a lot in those 10 years. And God was faithful to us even when we weren't actively seeking Him. In fact, He used my eventual pregnancy (I actually wouldn't believe the test until the doctor confirmed it) to begin His life changing work in us.

Thankfully, Ann is much further down the spiritual path than I was then, and this was to be her 5th child. I know she is sad, her husband is sad, and her girls are sad. How can you not be? And yet, there is a solace that belongs only to Christians in knowing that our God breathed all creation into being. He knew us before we were in our mother's womb, and He loves us more than any one on earth ever will. And that same God holds her and her family in His hand right now. And they know that. They know their baby, this would be child and sibling, is with it's Creator right now and there's no place better we Christians can desire to be. They are sad, I imagine, at the "could-have-beens" that that child's conception brought into existence, but I'm sure that they rejoice in knowing heaven is a sure final resting place for believers, and eternity is much longer than our brief life on earth.

I still have really irregular cycles, and earlier this summer, I had another 3 month stretch that caused me to take yet another pregnancy test. But now I pray before I take them. I pray that God's will be done in either outcome. I really feel with every fiber of my soul that we are done with having biological children. Recent health issues make me certain another pregnancy would be physically beyond what I can imagine coping with. But I know that if God has another baby for us, He will make it happen and He will give me the strength to endure. If He doesn't, I'm good with that too.

I'm blessed to have a friendship that is growing with Ann, and blessed even more to see the joy this pregnancy brought their family, and the peace God's will has given them in hardship. I'm thankful beyond words for my children. Each and every one of them. They make me the mother I know God desired for me to be.
until tomorrow,
obm
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1 comment:

Clunn Family said...

Thank you my friend. Your story speaks to me and I can relate. Powerful words and a comfort when I least expected it.
I am glad you recognize us so accurately in this situation and can yet bring blessing with words that speak to my spirit. Love you!