That little apartment was beaming with joy. Inside was a young wife who had just confirmed her suspicions-she was pregnant. Life was blossoming within her and she couldn’t contain the smile it produced on her lips.
“Hello little one,” she sang as she gently caressed her now precious belly.
How would she tell her Love? How should she share with him the most wonderful news of their lives?
She raced to the store to buy a statue of a man holding his newborn baby-she remembered her Love admiring it before. Soon she was in her galley kitchen mixing the batter to a cake she would ice blueand pink. She quickly prepared the tiny home for her Love’s arrival, made their favorite dinner and queued the movie to just the right place.
There was his key in the door. That familiar sound sent excitement through her veins as she put on the most ordinary face possible.
“I want to eat in here tonight,” she said motioning into the living room where the baked tortellini was sending steam to the ceiling of the enchanted room.
“Ok, what are we watching?” His eyes moved from the little laptop screen to her coy face.
“Oh, I was watching Made for Each Other, do you want to keep watching?”
Always up for a Jimmy Stewart film, he settled into their couch and marveled at the cake. “Wow! What is the occasion?”
“No occasion, just felt like baking…” Did he not notice the color scheme? “Oh never mind he will get it soon enough,” she said to herself.
The movie took up where she had stopped it: John Mason opens the note slipped to him by his wife and he slowly grasps that they are going to have a baby. As the couple on screen exchange bewildered expressions the little wife sitting next to her unsuspecting husband presented him with a gift. His confusion fell to the ground with the wrapping as he helds the final clue to his future.
“Yes.” She nodded her head through tears and they embraced. That night was filled with laughter and talk of the future. Images of a beautiful child flashed in their imaginations as they spoke of the experiences to come. They threw off any fears that some might suppose accompany such news and thanked their Heavenly Father for the gift of life produced through their love.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” -James 1:17
Their child was shrouded with prayer that night. That night in January of 2008.
It wasn’t normal. Surely she shouldn’t be feeling like this. Is that blood?
“No, God, please no.” Tears formed pools of sadness in her eyes. She looked out the window and prayed to her Father, but in her heart she already knew what was going to happen.
The next day the young wife and her brave husband sat in a dark room next to the glow of a computer monitor showing their baby. Their precious baby, so small, so miraculous.
“It is hard to tell at this point,” the caring voice cautioned, “Usually there is a heart beat, but sometimes not yet.”
Not yet? Could the young wife cling to those words? “Can we have that picture?” she asked hesitantly.
One picture. One piece of evidence. Proof that a baby had existed. One glimpse into their possible future.
They left that room with uncertainty, but the next few days of anguish confirmed the young wife’s heart knowledge.
Her baby was taken from her. In a war of horrid pain her baby was snatched from her womb. Where life had once been, there was only stillness. In the final hours of February 25th the young mother and the young father she loved lost their baby. A still silence punctuated only by their soft whimpers filled their tiny apartment. Her mother, the bereaved grandmother, sat close by stunned by the utter sadness. What words were there to say?
Silence was broken by the young mother’s feeble words, “We should pray.” The young father, her love, lifted up their little family to their good God. They asked for peace, for comfort, for joy. They asked for clarity and trust. Their hearts cried out to the One who took their baby, the baby he had given them.
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” -Job 1:21
“Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” -Job 2:10
The pain didn’t go away. She carried it with her everywhere she went. It was heavy at first, strong like the waves of the ocean. Each baby she saw seemed to push her back down into memories of a lost future. Push, push, crash, crash. As she worshiped alongside other families on Sundays she silently cried, longing for what they had, longing for her baby, her lost baby.
But her pain wasn’t wasted. It wasn’t for nothing. Every tear, every longing was a sacrifice she offered up to her God, beautiful incense. She begged her Savior to teach her the lesson he intended for her to learn, that she would have the ears to hear it and the heart to grasp it. She gave him her pain and asked for his strength.
She asked him to be strong for her and he was.
“Who is like the LORD our God, who is seated on high, who looks far down on the heavens and the earth? He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes, with the princes of his people. He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the LORD!” -Psalm 113:5-9
Every day she grew stronger and slowly the waves got smaller. The Lord brought new blessings into her life. She would never be the same. Her faith was deeper, more real than it had been. She walked through the fire of affliction and was more beautiful because of it. She loved her God with a more natural, more pure love. Her praises were filled with memories of of pain and deliverance; her testimony one that had been tried, tested. She was thankful, thankful for the pain.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” -James 1:2-4