The following was written by Amy. For both of us, it's easier to write than to talk. She wanted to express some of her thoughts too. Thank you, once again, for allowing us to use you as a sounding board.
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“God’s Grace is Sufficient”
The beginning of this year came with some wonderful events. First, Jeff and I had the opportunity to go on mission together to Ukraine. This country has been a big part of my heart for many years now. It was very special for me to experience the dedication of the church building with my Christian family in Ukraine. Then, about a week and a half after returning from Ukraine, we found out that we were going to be parents! I was pregnant. This was incredible news. We have tried to work through international adoption for the last year and a half but kept running into walls, and I had recently been told by my gynecologist that it was likely that I would never get pregnant. Yet, here we were going to finally be parents. We were ecstatic! Everything seemed perfect. God’s timing was ideal. I am currently on personal leave from teaching, so I could focus on having a healthy pregnancy (get plenty of rest, etc). Then the baby was due on October 6. This timing meant that I would not go back to teaching next year but go directly from personal leave to maternity leave. This would be wonderful so that I did not have to start a school year and leave the students mid-year. We are moving into our new house in March, the bookstore is doing great, and C28 should be stable by October. So, God’s timing could not have been better.
The two and a half weeks that we knew that we were pregnant were wonderful. I felt great (tired of course, but other than that, great). We were content, truly content. I really enjoyed getting to see Jeff in a “protective daddy” role. We were so looking forward to October. At the same time, we had already fallen in love with this baby. It was our baby and it was loved dearly. We couldn’t wait to hear its heartbeat at the next appointment. We couldn’t wait to find out if it was a boy or girl. We couldn’t wait to meet this little one.
Unfortunately, we will never reach these desires. About six o’clock in the evening on February 20 (my birthday), I started feeling odd and began to spot. I called the doctor and took it easy for the evening, keeping an eye on the situation. Wednesday morning, I was still bleeding, and it had gotten heavier. We were scared. We didn’t know whether this was normal or not. We didn’t know what it meant. The doctor told us to come in at two o’clock for an ultrasound to check if everything was okay.
The ultrasound was one of the hardest things that I have ever experienced. I was so glad to have Jeff there, holding my hand. The doctor and technician were quiet - extremely quiet. They mumbled maybe five words to each other the whole time. They both looked distraught. At the end, my doctor said that it didn’t look good but he wanted to talk to some of his colleagues and then would talk to us. The technician gave me a hug and said that she was so sorry. We knew that we were loosing the baby.
When we talked to the doctor after the ultrasound, he said that the baby was measuring 4-6 days smaller than it should and that there was no heartbeat. Even at that size, they should have been able to see the heartbeat, but there was none. The baby had not survived. I had not miscarried yet, but it was inevitable. I opted to wait for a natural miscarriage as I believed that this would be emotionally better for me than having a “medical procedure” to “fix” the situation. The doctor said it could be fast or it could take up to a week. God is good. Within an hour and a half I had fully miscarried. It was natural. I had closure. We lost our baby. I loved it dearly, and I still do.
“God’s grace is sufficient”. We have had an outpouring of support in the last 20 hours. We have had offers to come and spend time with us, which we treasure and are grateful for. But, we aren’t ready yet. We have wanted to be alone…to deal with this in our own quiet ways. We have also had an influx of emails with encouraging and sympathetic thoughts. We have really appreciated all of the emails from all of our dear friends comforting and supporting us. One dear soul wrote: “the passage ‘His grace is sufficient’ comes to my mind. It’s easy to quote that verse when we get a bad parking spot or something trivial...but I imagine it is hard to quote it now. But I pray that in the next days and weeks, that God's grace will truly prove to be sufficient for you and Amy.” This message really spoke to me. God’s grace really is sufficient. He allowed me to have exactly the kind of closure that I needed. If I had miscarried before going to the doctor for the ultrasound, I would have been a heap of emotional wreckage. I would have wondered forever if I had done something wrong, if I could have prevented it by being more careful, resting more, whatever. Instead, God allowed me to keep the baby long enough to see it on the ultrasound and to know that it was not developing and did not have a heartbeat. It was no longer alive. Somehow, this made the miscarriage a little less painful. God also allowed circumstances to bring me to someone to speak with who has gone through something much more painful than what we have just dealt with. This is someone who I have ultimate respect for. She handled her situation with more grace than I could ever imagine. She told me that if something did happen and I lost the baby, to trust that it was God’s will and timing. The doctor also told us that most miscarriages occur because of genetic abnormalities – the baby couldn’t survive. I trust that God’s timing is perfect. No matter how painful this time is, it could have been ten times more painful later in the pregnancy. Jeff and I discussed this last night. God says that He will never give us more than we can handle. Maybe we can handle this, but couldn’t handle what the future would have held. Only God knows. And His grace IS sufficient. So while it will take a little while to stop the sporadic tears, one day they will stop. And those tears are tears only of sadness, heartbrokenness. There is (perhaps amazingly – again: His grace IS sufficient!) no anger, bitterness, or guilt in these tears.
I have often (and recently) had conversations with my best friend about how we cannot understand how anyone goes through this life without faith in God. This is just one of many circumstances in my life that would be absolutely unbearable if I didn’t know for a FACT that God is in control. I may not understand why God gave me this child for such a short time, but I know that I don’t have to understand. I am so small, so shortsighted. I am glad that I am not in control of my life. I would just mess it up terribly. Instead, someone who knows beginning to end, who loves me more than I could love myself or anyone else, who is able to be my true comforter, is in control. That gives me peace that is beyond understanding. I don’t have to question; I don’t have to “fix” anything; I can just rest in His grace and His peace. What a wonderful place to be. So, even as we grieve the loss of our beloved little one, I am at peace knowing that he/she is in God’s hands. And so are his/her mommy and daddy. Thank God for that fact.
“Blessed be Your name, in the land that is plentiful, where Your streams of abundance flow, blessed be Your name. Blessed be Your name, when I’m found in the desert place, though I walk through the wilderness, blessed be Your name. Every blessing You pour out I’ll turn back to praise. When the darkness closes in Lord, still I will say, ‘blessed be the name of the Lord, blessed be Your name…’.” When we felt the abundance of joy of this little one’s coming, we rejoiced in the Lord. Now that the darkness closes in, we will still give Him praise. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
In His grace,