September 6

I had to tell my mom first.

I couldn’t walk down the stairs to tell my husband, who was lounging on the couch, clueless to the mess going on upstairs.  I don’t remember explaining to my mom what had happened, I think she just knew.  I could feel her heart aching on the other side of the phone, unable to hold me while I sobbed and shook.

I couldn’t make the words form, but when Devin heard my cries and came to my rescue, I didn’t have to say anything.  He fell to the floor beside me and held me while my mom tried to grasp me from afar.

I had to text my friends and coworkers that knew, trying to masque the pain through a vague message.  People were supportive, but I didn’t care.  I didn’t thank anyone. I pleaded with God to let me have one more day, one more moment.  I didn’t have a picture.  I never got to see this baby’s smile or hear this baby’s giggle.

Though it took my body only a few days to recover, my heart withered for months [maybe even years].  I didn’t have an answer or a reason.  Instead I was left with immeasurable guilt and sadness.  And fear.  And anger.  And shame.

Visiting the Doctor’s office was the hardest of it all.  It was hard not to look at the mommies-to-be without screaming, but worst of all was the crusty, old Doctor who flatly said, “You had a miscarriage.  It’s very common.” And as he tried to normalize the commonality, I couldn’t help but feel like he was minimizing a pain that was all-encompassing.  Though he’d seen- probably- hundreds of women each year in my pain, he had no right to write off my heartache like a common cold.

Months later when a pregnancy test would reveal once again a new miracle, my heart didn’t overflow.  I didn’t smile or scream or jump up and down.  I stared at the two lines, praying for strength. The guilt trickled back in when I realized that I was simply incapable of being excited for this baby.  This new beautiful blessing growing inside me felt like a trick that would only end the way it previously had, and I would once again turn into a puddle of despair.

As time went on and Baby Lucy grew big and strong, we bought the crib and diapers.  We bought blankies and toys.  We knew this little one was the light at the end of the darkness. We watched her heart beat on the monitors with tears in our eyes, calling out to her.

When Lucy came into the world on November 8, 2010, everyone was overjoyed at the tiny miracle that we created.  We held and kissed her and I finally breathed a sigh of relief.  But through all the cheer, my heart still ached to know the one before.  I wanted both babies.

As the months and years passed, this baby was always in my dreams.  Most notably, I dreamed this baby was being taken care of by the sweetest people- including my grandpas.  Eventually my heart would partially mend, believing that I ABSOLUTELY WILL one day be reunited with my sweet little one in heaven.

If I would have had 10 minutes with you, what would I have chosen to say?  Would I tell you not to be afraid?  Would I tell you about the Father in heaven that you get to spend eternity with?  Maybe I would have just held you close, silently.

I look for you in the stars.  I kiss Lucy and Eleanor two times, one for them and one for you.  I eagerly wait until we are a family of five for the first time.  I love you.

“And to think, when their little eyes opened, the first thing they saw was Jesus.”

“There is a unique pain that comes from preparing a place in your heart for a child who never comes.”



Wading in the Water

The water was freezing, but Lucy didn’t care.  She ran in up to her belly and dove right in.  When she needed air, she would jump up laughing and yelling back to us, “Look! I’m bobbing!”  As the water grew colder I began to warn her that our time swimming was almost through.  She ignored my requests and continued to swim as I watched her tiny body shivering in the water.  “We’re going to have to pull her out, Devin,” I said.  We glanced at each other, without saying a word, deciding that we’d let her play a little longer.

The Bible often mentions water in some of my favorite Bible stories.  Most recently I spoke with my CLUB students about Peter meeting Jesus at the Sea of Galilee when Peter watched in amazement as his new friend walked on water towards his fishing boat.  Water is also mentioned when Jesus kneels down to wash his disciples’ feet as a sign of love and spiritual cleansing.  And of course, water is often written in the Bible discussing many baptisms.

Water is all around us- not only the oceans and seas, but the rain, the dew that stands on grass in the early morning.  Our bodies are made up of 65% of water.   We are encouraged to drink 8 glasses of water per day.  Water is all around us from our morning shower to our tears.  It’s overwhelming to think about how all-encompassing water is to our life!  It’s everywhere, in everyone.

I’ve become to think that our life with Jesus is like wading in the water.  There’s no fear to get your feet wet or to walk in up to your ankles.  Even up to your knees, you can still feel pretty safe.  It’s not until you’re walking up to your chest that you are able to move freely within.  It’s not until we shout, “Lord, take me where you want me to go!” that we feel safe and secure in the water, believing that the raging seas won’t pull us under.  It’s not until we give it all up, the waves stop crashing and the water becomes placid.  It’s not until we can dive head first that we can feel that peace.  A peace that holds us up, God as our life preserver, the peace of feeling that we are no longer drowning.

Life often feels like we are drowning in seas of despair, anxiety and burdens.  But that same water that feels like it’s pulling us under is the water that washes us clean and sets us free.  The water isn’t something to fear because we will never drown with Jesus at our side.  We don’t have to waste time treading in the water being exhausted from the swim, we can let go, breathe in and keep our eyes above the waves.

When Peter saw Jesus walking on the water, he wanted to rush over to him.  As he got out of the boat and began walking on the water, it was only when he looked down that he started to fall in.  So as long as we keep our eyes on Jesus, we do not have to be afraid of the water.  As long as we put our faith in Jesus, we will not sink.

Are you standing on the bank of the river wading ankle deep?  Walk in, run in, dive in.

And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:29-31