Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Conversations with God

As I walked out of the ultrasound room, back to the waiting area of my Obstetrician’s office, I could hardly breathe. Trying so hard to keep my composure, hearing in my head over and over the words just spoken from the ultrasound technician, “There is no heartbeat, the baby stopped growing two weeks ago”. I was told to go back to see my doctor before I left. I signed in at the desk, just as I had done so many times, but this time knowing that if I as much said hello I was going to lose it. How could I love something so much that I had never seen? How could I have let myself get to such a vulnerable place? This moment took the journey that I had been going on for the past year in a new direction. You see, I had been married for 6 years, we had recently purchased our first home, and we were living the American dream and walking in blessings. So naturally, when we decided it was time to start a family, we never imaged that it would be a struggle. It took a year to get pregnant, which in my head was the longest year of my life at that point. Trying to figure out what I had done wrong and what I could do differently to deserve a child.

I have been a Christian since I was a kid. I have always said I trust God, I have always told people to trust God. So hear I am, with my feelings and my beliefs not lining up. How could I trust a God who gives me a child and takes it away? But I am supposed to trust God. “How could I not?” I would ask myself.

Three months after our loss, the doctor released us to start trying again for a baby. Remembering all the advise we had gotten, my husband being told to not to wear whitey-tightys, and for me to eat raisins, lentils, oysters and to cut caffeine, just to name a few. Month after month went by, continuing to visit Walgreen’s, CVS and Wal-Mart, to pick up my $12.99 box of pregnancy tests, continuing to get negatives. What was wrong with me? What could I do differently? God, are you there? I prayed every thing my little analytic mind could come up with. My evolving prayers went from the “begging” prayer- “God, pplleeasse let me be pregnant this month”, to

the “humble” prayer,

the “intellectual” prayer,

the “why” prayer,

the “logic” prayer,

the “enlarge my territory” prayer; and the faithful backup,

the “don’t you feel sorry for me” prayer. None of these seemed to work. So I came up with a new one. I began to ask God to take my desire away to have a child. Logically, this made sense to me. I had been doing great for years without a child, I can go back to that, right? So that was my new prayer. It seemed smart to me.

Through this journey of pain and self-discovery, I realized that I didn’t even really know what trusting in God meant. I just wanted it to be over. I began to realize that I was trusting in Him to do it my way, to bless me, after all, God is here for me, right? Well, “that’s ridiculous”, I would think, but that is how I was behaving.

As easy as it was to think, God CAN do it, and the fact that He’s not, means He’s punishing me, or doesn’t love me, or ignoring me. But I knew it wasn’t that simple. There must be something I need to learn.

“Every experience God gives us… is the perfect preparation for the future only He can see.” What beautifully profound words spoken by Corrie Ten Boom. I can hardly compare myself to someone who survived Hitler’s concentration camps, but my journey has certainly been bigger than what I thought I could handle.

So, what is it I need to learn in this wait? Trust seemed to be a major issue. In realizing I wasn’t really trusting in God, it led to several “What’s the meaning of life?” and “Why am I here?” type questions. Some questions I never thought I’d ask or didn’t know to ask. It made me ask myself, more than wanting what I want, do I want God? And if I chose myself over God, what does that mean for my life? I knew choosing myself over God was not a choice I wanted or was willing to make. So, since that was out of the question, I began to seek Him and learn what truly trusting in Him meant. Why would God want to give me something that would make me lean on it for identity?

As I began to relinquish my need to control, and allow myself to trust, God made it easier and easier to trust in Him. I thought a baby would bring the fulfillment and peace my heart desired; but peace and fulfillment came way before a baby came, through walking in trust with my God, who knows all, sees all and loves me dearly.

Before the baby loss, I was searching for “the next thing”. Continuing to set goals, small and large, and work toward them. Lots of selfish goals. This loss, trouble, has stretched me beyond what I thought life was, who I was, who God was and I’m so grateful. I have learned that Jesus is my only source for true peace and fulfillment, no matter what He does or doesn’t bless me with. As life goes on, and I’m continually faced with things outside of my control, I know that I am connected to the One who is in control, and I can trust Him completely.

Sommer Bradshaw
Reunion Counselor

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