My Story, His Glory: 2008

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I need to write this but I hesitate to put it into words. I’m already editing too much so I’m just going to press on.

People are asking me (now almost three month post-miscarriage), “Are you ready to get pregnant again??” My answer? Yes…and no.

I loooove being pregnant.

I loooove babies.

I loooove being a mom.

I know I want more children…I know children are a blessing from the Lord…and I know God will give me the capability to handle anything He gives me.

Do you fell a “but” coming?

But…I’m scared. Yuppers. Scared.

Have you ever been through something terrible, but that ultimately helped you grow as a person or brought you closer to God or taught you something invaluable about yourself or life? Maybe you didn’t feel like it was necessarily “worth it,” but you could see how God brought good out of it. You could see how it ultimately served His purposes and brought him glory, so you accepted it as GOOD. And you made a mental note that the next time you went through something like that, you’d remember how God brought you through it and worked it out for good.

Well. I’ve been through that several times. Many, many times. And…I’m a little scared to go through it again. I’m even OK with the idea of going through something terrible and not knowing what the good is! I trust God, I really do. He has never let me down, not in all the 22 years we’ve been walking together.

But I know how God hates pride. And I’m prideful. I know I have pride when it comes to certain things and the whole “getting pregnant, pregnancy, childbirth, mothering” issue is one of my worst. Or was, actually. You’ll see why.

On the one hand, some of them are true convictions. I know God has revealed some specific things to me about certain aspects and He expects me to deal with them. But many of them are based on my own research, opinions and experiences. I probably treat them as convictions, too, sometimes.

You know what I’m afraid of? Getting knocked off my high horse again.

High horse #1. Having a home birth. I was so ready. I’d had a completely uncomplicated pregnancy, I’d gained a healthy amount of weight and the baby was measuring perfectly. I’d done my research and had prayed about it and I knew a home birth was my best choice. And after laboring for 18 hours at home, the midwives decided on an emergency hospital transfer. I’ll spare you the gory details (unless you want them–then e-mail me) but suffice it to say, twenty minutes after leaving home, our son was born. He was perfect–and he was a he!! But I wasn’t so perfect so I was whisked off to surgery and barely got to see him. An hour later, I was holding him and inspecting him, still in disbelief that #1, I’d had a BOY, #2, I was a mom! and #3, I was in a hospital. Everything I’d wanted in a home birth had been snatched away from me. Thankfully, I could rejoice in a perfectly healthy baby even amidst the crushing disappointment of having the exact opposite birth I wanted. Well, OK, a C-section would’ve been the exact opposite, but it was close!

I mourned for a while. There was a little of the “Why, God???” I was so sure it was the right thing.

But guess what. WHAM!! Knocked off that high horse, BIG time. We can make all the plans we want, but ultimately, we’re not in control!! I was given an entirely new appreciation for women who had less-than-desirable birth experiences. Who made their big plans, whatever they were–just to have them snatched away.

Imagine my pride, had I pulled it off. “Ooo, look at me! I did all my research and made my plans and look! I had the perfect home birth! You can, too, you just have to really want it!” HA!!! How abut this message to women: make your plans! But make them in pencil. Your baby may have other plans! God may have other plans! And rather than focus on the “perfect” birth, focus on a healthy baby. Certainly do your research and plan away–but leave room for the unexpected. Hope for the best and plan for the worst, as they say. That, in hindsight, seems a lot more powerful than the “Plan it right and you can do it!” message than can lead to a lot of disappointment.

High horse #2. My hubby and I decided we were ready for baby #2. Our November is insane and our son was born in November (God’s sense of humor again) so we waited until a November due date passed. Then the first month trying, BAM! Pregnant. I was…shocked. The due date was December 28. I’d been really hoping for a 2009 due date!! But I was thrilled that it “took” so quickly. I chart (which means I’m hyper-aware of what’s going on in my body) AND I have really long cycles so “trying” is torture. Well, not entirely, of course…ANYway, I was so excited! I told people, “God said it was good!” I bought maternity clothes, I surprised my friends and family with the news, I filled in a pregnancy journal. And WHAM. Miscarriage. On Mother’s Day. God said it wasn’t good. We’ll never know why. A “blighted ovum” was our midwife’s best guess, which made me feel better somehow, knowing there had never been a true baby in there. But, WOW. No one said it, thank God, but I know people thought it. “HER, of all people??” Yup. The Fertility Awareness advocate, the hard-core charter, the health nut. And if it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone. Even when you do everything right, things can still go wrong. And there’s nothing you can do about it! HELLO!!

Again. Get this. Which message needs to be heard? “We decided to get pregnant and it took on the first try!” or “We got pregnant and lost the baby.” I realize now that my compassion for women who’ve dealt with miscarriage was virtually nill before I experienced it. Imagine that!! Now it just breaks my heart, to hear that other women are going through it. I just want to hug them and tell them, “I’ve been there. However you’re feeling, it’s OK.”

Now listen. I’m not saying that God can’t do amazing things when everything runs smoothly and goes according to our plans. And I’m not the type to go around giving worse-case scenarios, playing devil’s advocate or “warning” people about what’s to come. I’m saying that, in my life, God knocks me down to get my attention so He can teach me something. Or allows things to happen so that I can learn compassion. Some of the hardest things I’ve been through have been made that much worse because I felt like I was alone. If I can be a person who can provide comfort, who can say, “I’ve been there,” and who can offer hope from the other side–then whatever I have to go through is totally worth it.

Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”BUT. I’m afraid of getting knocked down again. I’m still feeling a little dusty from the last time. This isn’t just about getting pregnant again, either, by the way. This is my life, every day. I’m afraid. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to advance God’s kingdom, to bring Him glory, to spread the Gospel. Well, with conditions, of course. Been there?

I really do appreciate the things God has taken me through and looking back, He was always with me. Although at times it felt unbearable, I got through it! And God made me a stronger person with an even more powerful story to share with the world. Possibly even to share here!

This just hit me as I was writing. I’m a teacher. I’ve always wanted to be a teacher and although my actual teaching career was stopped short after two years so I could have our son, I will always have a teacher’s heart. I love educating people. I love learning!! I love passing on what I know.

So that probably makes me more open to learning things the hard way, eh? I won’t just put them behind me and move on, I’ll process it all and insist on telling everybody about it. “Look what God did!!!” Why wouldn’t God take advantage of how He made me, by giving me unexpected circumstances to deal with and bringing me through them that much stronger and more reliant on Him, so I can tell other people about His faithfulness and mercy?? To teach, one must have something to impart–and that’s what God does. He’s giving me my lesson plans in the form of real-life situations. Situations that get my attention, take my focus off of myself and force me to turn to Him. so I can say, “Look what God did!!”

God is so smart. Isn’t He good??

So…I’m wondering what’s ahead on this journey to a second (well, third) pregnancy. I’m a little scared. Yup. My high horse is a heck of a lot shorter, though, I’ll tell ya that!!

But what’s going to be written about this story?? Am I OK with whatever God is going to dish out? Really, am I?

Do I put off getting pregnant again, just to avoid any possible hurt? Do I plunge ahead, trusting that it will all work out, but willing to accept even a less-than-desirable outcome?? When do I get “back in the saddle?”

I’ll be posting more about this as I study, pray and read. Please feel free to comment with your own Scripture or prayers, too. I’ll take all the help I can get.

And I’ll let you know when I’m ready to get back up on that horse.

***ADDENDUM***
Isaiah 40:31 “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles…”

Hebrews 13:15 “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that confess His name…”

When I Survey the Wondrous CrossWhen I survey the wondrous cross

on which the Prince of Glory died;

my richest gain I count but loss,

and pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,

save in the death of Christ, my God;

all the vain things that charm me most,

I sacrifice them to his blood.

See, from his head, his hands, his feet,

sorrow and love flow mingled down.

Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,

or thorns compose so rich a crown.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,

that were an offering far too small;

love so amazing, so divine,

demands my soul, my life, my all. Phil. 1:18, 20-21

“What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice…that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. 21

For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

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