I can’t explain the despondency I was feeling around the beginning of October. As we crept into the beginnings of the month, I was anticipating what would have been the first birthday of the baby we lost, and thinking a lot about what may have been. My husband and I had been going to a specialist for infertility since January and every trip yielded more depressing facts. When one problem improved, another unraveled.
Here it was… October…. and if it didn’t work by November, the next step in the process would have required procedures my husband and I object to. I knew that in four weeks, I would hear the doctor say, “I’m sorry, but there is nothing more we can do.” For anyone that has sat in a doctor’s office and heard those words, you know the heart-shattering ache that they bring.
I didn’t want to hear them.
I spent several days in deep reflection about our circumstances. Had God truly promised us a child? Or did I just conjure that up in my mind? I thought back to our steps of obedience and how somehow, I believed that our miracle would be tied to them. I thought about all the times I went up for prayer, believing and trusting God for Him to move for us, and never seeing the answer. I wondered about the possibility that perhaps God knew something about our future that made children a “no-go” for us. I began to analyze all of the scriptures about infertility and the promises in God’s word. Was every promise for me? Or were some only for the person God was speaking to in scripture? Was Abraham’s promise my own? Or was it just Abraham’s? Children were always mentioned as blessings from God, and favor with God. Was I out of God’s favor? Six out of seven barren women of the Bible were healed and given children… the one that wasn’t healed was not a godly woman.
I thought back to a service in April, when Brother Jeff Owen prayed for us, I felt an assurance like none other flood my soul and God spoke to me.
“The answer is marked down on the calendar.”
Then there was a service in May. I was praying for people in the altars when I heard someone call my name. I looked around and saw Bro. Kevin Lloyd motioning for me to come, with our pastor right behind him. As they prayed for me, I heard those same words.
“The answer is marked down on the calendar.”
I left each of those services, feeling thoroughly convinced by God that His miracle was indeed scheduled. I didn’t have to try to convince myself or persuade myself to believe it. I simply knew it. Months had passed from those services however, and still, nothing had happened. I almost felt betrayed by God. Betrayed by His promises, both to me specifically and those in His Word. I knew this wasn’t true- but I had to have some kind of answer. I needed a glimpse of the mind of God in our situation. So, for several days I continued to delve into the heavy questions on my heart. I did some weighty soul-searching about the trips to the doctor and attempted to solve complex problems that there really was no clear-cut Biblical answer to.
As I plugged through a stack of financial work on my desk one day, my boss/pastor walked by the office door on the way to his own. As is customary, I had my weekly series of questions and information that had to be run past him for me to complete my work. For whatever reason though, when the questions were answered, the conversation took a turn. He started talking about God’s promises, and the price of asking. He spoke about Abraham’s promise of a son… a son that one day, he would be asked to sacrifice. Abraham had to die to himself to trust and see God unfold His plan and promise…
The price of asking… is dying.
I knew as he spoke that he was referring to the deep questions in my mind, though I had never uttered a word about them to him. I had been hovering in this place where every direction looked like that utter dying of self. If I cut off my appointments with the doctors and chose “faith alone” it would be crucifying my flesh. If I continued to see doctors and hear the dreadful facts, it would be self-crucifying…. I had been holding back a flood of tears for months, believing God would want me to be strong… As my pastor spoke, tears welled up in his eyes and he said, “it’s ok to cry about it Becky.” Then, out of nowhere he prophesied with absolute certainty: “God will do it… in the name of Jesus, He will do it.”
I left the office that day in a somber state. I didn’t feel any special assurance in his prophecy. To me it was just another dangling piece of an unfulfilled promise. One more thing that may have gotten my hopes raised if they had not already been lifted and dashed a thousand times before. The more I reflected on my questions however, the more clear answers became. As I pondered the promises in God’s Word, I was reminded that it is a living book. One that is for us and meets us where we are and comes alive as we comb through it’s treasures.
The promises are ours.
Not only the general ones, but if God speaks to you through a scripture… even if it was Abraham’s promise, or Hannah’s promise… that promise is for you too.
The more I thought about the doctors, (and there is nothing wrong with doctors), the more their status in my situation before God began to unfold with clarity. After much turmoil and fighting within myself, I did the unthinkable. I canceled my appointments for corrective procedures and decided I wouldn’t keep making the trips up there. The days following this, I went back and forth about that “final month” I would have with doctors. Would I cut off the medical avenue completely? Or would I go ahead with the procedures next month for that one final try? Was I demonstrating a lack of faith by seeing a doctor? Or was I denying God the ability to work through the wisdom and knowledge He granted man?
It was in those days that I simply gave up “trying.” I didn’t give up hope or trust. I just… surrendered everything I was doing to try to see this happen. I surrendered the doctors, the medications, the vitamins. I simply threw my hands in the air and surrendered. I knew that life was a gift, and that there was nothing I could do that would make life transpire…life was a gift and a gift must be given… and it must be given by God.
Two weeks later, I was staring at a positive pregnancy test, wondering if it was real or a cruel dream I would wake up from. Having lost a baby very early before, I didn’t know whether to accept it or remain in denial. We lost our first baby at six weeks, so we were apprehensive and jittery about the possibility of losing this one. We kept our lips tightly sealed about our news, not ready to fully jump into “reckless joy”. As each blood test came back with positive increases in HCG I was baffled.
As the weeks unfolded, God’s scheduled miracle began to make more and more sense. We had been creeping day by day towards that 6 week mark when the utter irony of the timing hit us. This baby reached 6 weeks on the 1st anniversary of the due date for the child we lost. The odds of this happening alone are well over 1 in a million.
On that treasured, much longed for threshold of six weeks, I had planned to commemorate the “first birthday” of our baby in Heaven, and celebrate the “emerging” from scary territory. I expected the day to yield joy and relief… but got something very different instead. When a severe, sudden headache cracked through my skull and all of the following symptoms mimicked a ruptured aneurysm, I was taken and admitted to the hospital. I came to a place where I was on the brink of literal death. I went through the most horrific days of my life… excruciating pain without relief for weeks on end… terrifying drugs that were known to cause harm to babies… tests that had the potential of ending the child’s life… and for several days I thought we would never see this child…
The safety and protection of this child I had been so cautiously guarding was completely out of my hands.
For weeks in a half-conscious state, I thought I would emerge childless.
There was no way a tiny frail baby could survive such horrendous circumstances.
But God carried both of through those dark hours. Every appointment for the baby shocked me. When my husband showed me the pictures from an ultrasound taken 5 days earlier while I was not conscious, I was stunned to see the little child. Mark told me they saw the heart beating, but I couldn’t believe him. Then I saw the little one on a screen for myself… still there. Then we saw the heart flickering declaring life against all odds. Then we heard the heart beating… Still alive… still there. That baby lived through things bigger than I thought even I could live through. It was as if God carried me through death to show me…
My miracles are not only on time… they are certain.
There is no need to doubt them or fear for the future of them…
When God ordains something, it will be.
He was reminding me…
He is God.
Today, I am a little over 12 weeks. The baby is healthy, my status has improved drastically, and I am wondering about this little one inside of me. Not whether he (or she) will make it… or if I will make some mistake that will end its life… or if God will actually give me this child to keep on this earth…
But who God has ordained this obviously special child to become.
Who will this incredible over-comer be?
What kind of secret is wrapped up in the future of this well-timed promise? This rainbow after stormy days…
The gift of God, built by God.
It is someone amazing… and I can’t wait to meet them.