Last Sunday, Brandon drove out of country to pick up a short term mission team. We were so excited because the team was from our home church but also anxious as this was the first short term mission we would lead by ourselves.
Later that same day, I started cramping and bleeding. I was 12 weeks pregnant. I thought it was just a little scare, like we had with Zach. I had so looked forward to the next week when I would have my first ultrasound and get to share the news with our friends and family.
By Wednesday, when the pain had only become worse, I knew it was serious. I was told to leave the team and go home to rest. I felt God prompt me to make an appointment with my Swazi doctor despite my intentions to ignore the pain. The following day, my doctor said I would need surgery as soon as possible. Within 24 hours we had dropped everything to see my primary OBGYN in South Africa. He gently told me that my baby had most likely passed away at 8 weeks, but my body took a month to recognize the baby’s passing.
I felt horror, grief, and disappointment. I don’t know why these things happen. I don’t know why these things happen to me. I laid there alone in my hospital gown for hours awaiting surgery, looking at an unfamiliar hospital room, on the other side of the world from most everyone we know. I listened to worship music. I prayed. And I felt God’s undeniable peace. I felt so much peace, I fell asleep. Nurses woke me for my pre-surgery “calm” medication, but joked I might not even need it because I seemed so at peace.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Even now, I feel peace, yes, grief too, but also the “peace that passes all understanding.”
If anything, now I’m focused on Life, as I was after our first son’s passing. I hug my husband a little tighter; take joy in our son even quicker; appreciate family more.
I’m reminded how valuable life is. What a miracle. Every person should be cherished. I feel this is what God must feel, when He looks down on his much beloved children, hoping they will see what a gift they are. And hoping they will see it in each other.
You, dear reader, I love you. I hope you know you are cherished by the greatest Love of all.
Today, may you feel His Peace beyond all understanding.
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18