A couple days ago I announced to my Facebook friends that our family is anticipating a precious baby. I’m only six weeks along with this pregnancy and, by announcing, I’ve broken the unwritten rule that we don’t go public until we’re safely into the second trimester. Only two days before our announcement, I’d planned on waiting too. Because I’m all about protocol. I’m a rule follower. And because my first pregnancy resulted in a miscarriage at six weeks.
A decade ago this November, that miscarriage nearly crippled me. It took my marriage into its first dark place as my husband and I struggled to make sense of our loss and heartache. The loss of a baby is devastating – no matter whether that baby is still yolk sack and heartbeat or whether that baby has grown to kick our belly. Our babies are our children. They are dreams and hopes and whispers of promises.
Last Sunday, while at church, fear found me and held tight; I was afraid I’d lose this baby. In the time since I’d found out I was pregnant, I’d already adopted a bad habit of actively looking for the signs of miscarriage: spotting, cramping, back pain. I was so prepared to be devastated that I’d given fear permission to pummel me. Sunday I bawled. I wore myself out and spent the afternoon in bed watching TV. Because I know that one in four pregnancies ends up in miscarriage. I’ve already been one in four. And it was enough for me.
Maybe you have too. Maybe you’ve been one in four over and over again. Maybe you’ve dreaded the early weeks of pregnancy. Maybe you’ve stared at the toilet paper terrified of a sign this baby might not stick. Because God knows I have.
Monday I spent my time with God. I cried and told him my fears (not that he didn’t already know). I worshipped and sang verses proclaiming his goodness and promises. I lifted my hands knowing the fear wasn’t from him – and I needed to let it go. I needed to give it to him. I needed to get out from under it.
And then I felt God tell me something that changed the trajectory of my thoughts: Our God is NOT a God of statistics. He is NOT a God of percentages. In order to get out from under this fear, I need to put my faith where my mouth is. I need to live it out loud. Out in the open. After all, we all know that light will eventually shine on what we try to hide in the darkness. That includes that life woven in the secret place in the depths of us.
As I processed those words I realized that no matter what happens to this baby, God will use it for good. No matter the potential worst-case scenario I can replay in my head, God will use my pain for his purpose – and it will be beautiful. If this baby never sees the light of day, I will still minister and speak hope into the hearts of other brokenhearted women.
Do I believe I’ll lose this baby? No. While God has given me a vision for this baby, a purpose and a promise, he hasn’t revealed his plan. But I trust him. When I dwell in fear I’m giving power to Satan and stealing it from my Savior. Because fear does no come from the Lord, but every good and perfect gift comes from above. This precious baby –this alien-looking tadpole growing and changing rapidly –was fearfully and wonderfully made, knit intentionally by God.
And so, in the midst of a dinnertime blessing, we shared the news of God’s glorious gift with our two children. They knew we were praying for a baby because we’d prayed together daily. We didn’t wait for safety. We didn’t wait on the reduction of risk.
Ultimately, for me, even waiting until the second trimester to announce our pregnancy was another factor of fear: fear of potentially losing my baby and my faith in the public’s eye; fear of feeling embarrassed, raw and broken in front of others; and fear that percentages will prevail over the promises of my King.
And so my husband and I have chosen to live out our faith. There’s not an hour that goes by that I don’t thank him for his gifts, and ask him to protect this life inside of me. And now, because we refused to stay in our fearful state, we have hundreds of others praying over the protection of this sweet baby. And what can be more remarkable and faith filled than that?
If you want to know my miscarriage story, or if you or a friend has suffered from a miscarriage, please share my blog post Surviving Pregnancy Loss as a Couple. I share my own story of loss and offer practical tips on how to survive the grief process together.
If you’re looking for a great book to help you through your loss, Loved Baby: 31 Devotions Helping You Grieve and Cherish Your Child after Pregnancy Loss, will be a powerful and heart-healing read.
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