A couple Sundays back, I had just gotten back to my seat after partaking in communion. The song shifted to a favorite of mine, “King of my Heart.” I stood and sang along. Then we got to the bridge. Now, our church sings it differently. Our former worship pastor added extra lines to the bridge so that right next to the part where we sing about how God will never let us down, we then sing about how Jesus is our solid ground, and how we are held secure within His hold.
That combination of lyrics of God not letting us down and being safe within His hold… well, let’s just say the tear ducts sprang a leak.
I’ve felt let down before. I’ve felt the bottom fall out before.
What if it does again?
Maybe you know my complicated story. In one year, while actively preventing pregnancy, I got pregnant three times, all ending in miscarriage. Each time, I remember looking at that second line on the pee stick, a little shocked that somehow God was going to bring another baby.
I learned that year no matter how you react to your surprise pregnancy (be it fear, dread, or glee), it only takes a mother a second to fall in love. And that is the tragedy of miscarriage and abortion, because we fall in love whether we realize it or not, and then we have to go on living with holes in our hearts where a baby started taking up residence the very instant we knew of its existence.
I once read about how at conception, as soon as the winning sperm enters the egg, zinc is released that makes a visible spark of light when put in the right settings. Perhaps, the zinc release serves some biological function. But perhaps, in this elaborate microscopic orchestra the real Conductor of Life reveals Himself. My point: In the beginning, God… He is there. Psalm 139 echoes this, “You formed my inward parts; you wove me together in my mother’s womb…Your eyes have seen my unformed substance…” (v. 13, 16)
You know when a baby starts to take form? It’s early, six weeks and you can make out a head, body, and arm and leg buds. By ten weeks, it looks like a baby—albeit big-headed and thick-necked in just over an inch body. Yet God was there before there was a form.
It means even if you lost your baby days after you found out, you can grieve a loss. It took me a long time to come to grips with this.
It means that, perhaps even more difficult, if God was there in the beginning, He has always been there. He was there when you found out, and He was there when you bled out.
That Sunday morning, I was forced to take to my seat as the tears kept coming and the legs got shaky. Because there was the question resurfacing some four years later, “Do you believe God is good to you? Do you think He will abandon you?” I found that I have been holding my breath for two long months waiting for the worst because I’ve had surprises before.
Funny, as I sat trying to calm down and remember what I know to be true, the sweet college student standing next to me handed me a very-needed tissue and hug. She said nothing, but it was that gentle reminder from the Lord, “I see you, Amanda. I’ll never abandon you.”
You’re never gonna let, never gonna let me down.
I don’t know what kind of set-back, loss, or disappointment you’ve faced. But here’s what I remembered on Sunday: It might feel like the bottom fell out. It might feel like the bottom will fall out of whatever good news you receive. But the truth is, the bottom can’t actually fall out when the whole time God is holding you. (And if miscarriage is your story, let me tell you, yeah, you grieve what you never got to hold, but never once did that formed or unformed baby leave the hands of God. Not once.)
The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, but even in that we recognize nothing leaves His hands.
Our earthly future will always be uncertain. It’s just that sometimes we are more keenly aware of it.
The strange beauty of those moments when your life is turning out nothing like you thought it would, before you stands the proof that God is in control. God is holding you. God is working His perfect will.
You wouldn’t choose this or pursue this, so it stands to reason, Someone is in control. And it isn’t you.
The question is, Will you trust Him?
So here I am, four years later, almost to the day of the last and hardest surprise I lost, looking at another surprise growing within me. I got to see it squirming and kicking—all 4 cm and 164 heartbeats per minute of him or her. Life is such an amazing miracle. I am choosing to rejoice in the miracle, in the surprise of it all. Because, come what may, it’s God. And He’s good. And by golly, I shall learn to trust Him yet.
So yeah, this heavy revy post is also an announcement.
Lord-willing, our family is growing by one more this January.
I am still getting used to the idea, adjusting all my expectations for what I thought my year would look like, and holding firm to the hope that the moment will come when I stare up in wonder for all the ways God knows so much better than I do.
Our kids are over the moon, and my husband, who was most adamant about us being done, has been the most supportive and loving partner one could ask for. I am looking forward to sweet snuggles, squishy cheeks, and the end of morning sickness (amen). I am not looking forward to childbirth (at all), but the moment after… oh, I get to fall madly in love all over again.
Funny aside for those of you who read here regularly. Remember that post where I wrote about turning 35? Truth be told, that was my way of coming to terms with leaving my baby-bearing years behind. It was my step towards trusting God, towards letting go, though I assumed it meant I was done because my husband wasn’t budging and new opportunities had presented themselves. After that post, I even started giving away the baby stuff. Well, 3 weeks later, it occurred to me after losing my appetite at dinner that this highly regular woman was late. Yep.
I just about got technically pregnant the day I decided to trust God and step out into this idea of “doneness.”
And that, dear friends, has got to be the Providence (aka the sense of humor) of God.
Extra bonus aside: the day I got the pregnancy test, wide-eyed and scared of how everything was about to change, the only other thing I needed at the store was the movie my kids had decided on for a family movie night. The title: Brave. The irony was not lost on me, friends.
4 kids. Yes. I will need a whole lot of Brave.
Here’s a question for you to think on: When you get good news or some kind of surprise, do you act like you are waiting for the bottom to fall out? Or do you take it and rejoice in it unreservedly??
By Grace and chock full of hormones,