The other day, I was seated in the waiting room of my doctor's office flipping through the pages of my health information the receptionist had given me to look over. A line read: "number of pregnancies = 4." A sharp pain shot through my heart and I sat up a little straighter, surprised by the intense feeling that a reminder of my miscarriage between my second and third son brought. Later, at home I dug out what I had written as part of my processing and healing process some months after my miscarriage. As I re-read what I wrote years ago, I feel gratitude and amazement at how God always shows up in my life.
“I spy with my little eyes…” I glanced out the car window looking for any color besides grey to describe to my two sons who were enjoying our game from the back seat. It was winter and a colorless grey settled comfortably on the earth. The sky was gloomy, muddy snow covered the trees and ground, and cars whizzed by coated in a slush that dulled their shiny appearance. Yet, the scenery of this road didn't always look this depressing. I had driven down this same road the summer before when it was full of life and beauty. But, that summer my heart did not see the sunshine and warmth, it saw the colorless grey of the winter I am looking at now.
Life’s sorrows often falls on us in dull colors, stifling the vibrancy of our surroundings.
My husband and I had just found out we were expecting our third child. Our hearts swelled with joy and we wondered in excitement what this new baby would be like. Would we have a boy or girl? Should we go with a family name or just a name that we like? How should we decorate the nursery? We were so excited and joyfully announced our pregnancy.
Then, our joy was shattered. I miscarried.
Always being a practical person, I knew how common miscarriage was and thought if I ever had one, it would not bother me much. I was wrong. When I miscarried, I was devastated. Our unborn child and the loss continually stayed on my heart. I mourned for the baby I would never meet. I wondered why this had happened; perhaps I had done something wrong? I feared maybe this was the beginning of a struggle with infertility. I felt an overwhelming feeling of sadness, like one single storm cloud had settled over my head to follow me around and remind me of my pain.
This sadness stayed with me as I continued on with my life. I felt like I was set on automatic pilot as I went through the motions of being a mom and wife. I found busyness dulled my pain, so I fully immersed myself in life’s activities while I quietly grieved inside. I surrounded myself with joyful, encouraging people because I felt like I needed to. I was sad when I was not with people. I stole small moments in my day to share my burdens and my heart with God. I meditated on God’s promises and tried to concentrate on knowing who God is; that He understands my pain, and has a plan for my life including knowing the number of children I would have. I focused on God's truths, that He is a bigger than I fully comprehend and His colors, full of love and beauty, surround us, even when all I can see is grey. I did this even when it felt hard and I didn’t want too. And I let myself be sad, because I was. I found, as the clock continued ticking, very slowly, my storm cloud began to clear.
God seemed to wrap His loving arms around me through the beautiful love and support of my family and friends. Through their consistent and gentle encouragement and love, the pain in my soul began to ease. Through meditating on God's promises, peace from believing His truths ever-so-slowly seeped in to my heart. I felt God around me in my everyday life. It settled my anxious thoughts and lighten my heavy heart. My sadness thinned and I found myself smiling with my husband and laughing with our sons. The skies became clear. My heart and soul slowly began to feel colors and see beauty again.
And as I write this, I feel the kick of another son inside my belly…reminding me of one of God’s most important colors….hope.
For you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. (Psalm 25:5)