Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Working Through Fears Of Miscarriage

I recall not long ago (but long before I was pregnant) I was reading a blog by one of my favorite bloggers who had recently announced she was expecting. One of her first posts after announcing was a post dedicated to how difficult it was for her to announce the pregnancy to the world because she still feared miscarrying. At the time I felt quite sad for her, that she would be so held down by fear. My own sister walked through two miscarriages before she had her first child and through her experiences I learned how common miscarriages are- how normal it is to lose a baby in the early weeks.

That's hard to even type. How normal it is to lose a baby?

Fast forward to the day we found out we were pregnant. We were ecstatic. Nothing but pure joy filled our hearts. I spent the day on a happy little cloud... until that very night when I saw the tiniest amount of blood when I used the washroom. Enter: Panic. One of my closest friends had just walked through a miscarriage less than two weeks prior to this. The memory of her nervous texts about spotting were now screaming in my ear.

All of a sudden I was confronted with a very real truth. The Lord gives and He takes away. Just because He created the life inside of me doesn't mean it will be sustained until delivery. His promise of giving good gifts to His children and being faithful doesn't necessarily mean that good and faithful gift will be a child in 9 months time. Bad things happen to good people all the time.

I've always known these things, but now I was confronted with them. Now I was living it.

The days went on and I continued to spot. It never got worse, but it remained. For about three weeks, I consistently spotted every third or fourth day. Each time it stopped I prayed that would be the end. Each day I would see it I would feel fearful once again. I drank water like it was going out of style just so I could run to the washroom to pee every 20 minutes to check. I over analyzed every twinge or cramp I felt. I read WAY too much on the internet and I prayed. Oh friends, how I prayed.

Long before I became pregnant I knew that I wanted to fully enjoy my pregnancy. I didn't want to view it as a waiting room before the baby- similar to how I feel that engagement should not be a waiting room before marriage. There is much to be learned in these seasons of life, and much that God wants to teach us. So my prayer was always that my pregnancy would be a sanctifying time for me. A time when I would grow closer to God- even if there were hard things to go through. It's a bold prayer, and one that I'm not sure I fully understood, but the Lord is so faithful and He certainly granted my request.

The question deep in my heart was this: If I miscarried and lost this child that we prayed for and had waited on.... would I be able to praise the Lord with all my heart? Would I thank Him for His unending grace, mercy and love? Would I declare Him to be righteous and good?

I knew that if I lost the baby it would not be my fault, or my body failing me, but instead a natural reaction to an itty bitty miscalculation in a giant miracle. Not that God makes miscalculations or mistakes, but our bodies certainly do. One chromosome off could be all it would take. One cell too many or too few. Life is a delicate, perfect balance and there are so many things that can go wrong. So my question then, was how can I attribute all life to God, and not blame Him when something goes wrong?

I'm not sure that I ever got to the point where I was sure that I wouldn't. But what I can tell you is that there was a change in my heart in my search for the answer. I clung to my relationship with Him, and that became more important than anything else to me. Each time I walked from my desk to the bathroom I repeated over and over "I praise you Lord. I will praise you either way." I was desperate to see only white on that tissue, but even more desperate to know that I would not question his goodness. That I would not forsake Him, just as I knew He would never forsake me.

God spoke this verse to me in those days, which has been sealed on my heart. It has become a great comfort to me in any uncertain moment.

"for God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self control."
2 Tim 1:7 ESV

I sit here now, 6 months pregnant and a little closer to God. He is so good, friends. So good. I anticipate all He will continue to teach me in this pregnancy, as well as what He wants me to learn in motherhood.

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