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.”
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.”
October 25, 2016 at 11:23 PM Loved spending Team time with you and being portable Capitol Church praying over you. Enjoy Cape Town with Sue. Don
October 26, 2016 at 9:18 AM We are so sad to hear your news, sweet friends. We are praying for you and thinking about you! Sending lots of love your way ❤️
October 26, 2016 at 10:49 AM So sweet, Melinda. I am truly sorry for your loss, Melinda, but grateful for God’s peace in the midst of it all. Blessings upon you and much love from your cousin!
October 26, 2016 at 11:08 AM Oh dear friend, I am so very sorry. May God be near as you mourn, may He bind up your broken hearts in His perfect timing, may He lead you to green pastures where you can rest in Him and Him alone. Our deepest condolences on your loss. Thank you for being so transparent so we can lift you up in prayer specifically. We love you guys.
Becky Bruce Zani
October 26, 2016 at 11:24 AM Oh, Melinda, my heart aches for you but I am so grateful for that peace that transcends understanding. He holds you in the palm of His hand and you are LOVED.
October 26, 2016 at 6:21 PM Melinda, I am so sorry for your loss and want you to know you are in my thoughts and prayers. I am so looking forward to meeting you, Brandon, and Zach. I will be there in 6 weeks. God bless you and your family.
October 26, 2016 at 6:40 PM Oh Melinda…. my heart goes out to you my sweet friend. I wish I could hug you so tightly right now. You are such an inspiration to me on how you are handling this with such courage and grace. I will be praying for peace and comfort for you…. love you dearly.
October 26, 2016 at 7:28 PM Thanks Melinda for sharing this tender thing with us. We prayed for you and Brandon today in the LTM meeting. I am so glad you’ve been given a supernatural peace.
October 28, 2016 at 10:50 AM Melinda what a beautiful testimony of God’s work in your life. Indeed, blessed be the name of the Lord whether he is giving or taking away. Where else can we go for this kind of peace and comfort. My prayers are with you my dear friend.