I wish I could tell you I passed these days with stellar strength and poise. That even in the middle of my fearful thoughts I stood up underneath and smashed them to the ground with unwavering faith. I wish I could say all of that, but it wouldn’t be true.
I went down last week to a place too eerily familiar. I went to the same exact place I was last Christmas time: depressed and praying each day for the strength to get out of bed. Acceptance is a process. I knew that this time and yet my emotions still battled the same. I just wanted to quarantine myself, cry, and do nothing. A constant battle between the angel on one shoulder and the demon on the other.
“You know, just because you lost Gideon doesn’t exempt you from losing this one too. Remember the pain never stops in this life,” says the demon.
“Remember Maria, that the God who got you through those days, will get you through these days too. Remember that so you can have hope,” says the angel.
“Why are you so down? If you really trusted God you wouldn’t be down. Why would He answer your prayers since you’re doubting,” says the demon.
“There is nothing you could ever say or do to make God hear you or love you less,” says the angel.
“God needs you to suffer to be glorified, so the suffering will continue for you,” says the demon.
“God loves you, and He wants good things for you. He does not punish you or enjoy your pain, He weeps with you waiting for the day when your tears will be wiped away,” says the angel.
“Since you want it, you won’t get it. God likes to be right instead of you,” says the demon.
“God sees a picture, a picture too beautiful for you to understand. You know its true, because He gave you a glimpse of that picture through Gideon,” says the angel.
I could go on like this for hours, and I’m sure you want me to get to the test results, but sometimes I feel like I need to let out how weak and frail I really am. People always tell me how strong I am, and I know that God’s strength is powerful enough for me to live in, but this journey comes with a whole ton of weakness too. I felt so foolish, as I sat on my couch kids unfed, laundry piling up around me, life needing tending too and there I sat…paralyzed by the wondering if I’d lose another child. Crippled by the reminder that I am not at home in this world and never will be. Stunned by my joy being entirely stolen by doubt.
I guess…what I realized…the hope that did come even before the results did…is that bad days don’t necessarily have to turn into bad weeks. And bad weeks don’t have to equal bad months. That there is always joy possible a midst the storm, even if for a fleeting moment. And so, I settled in. Wouldn’t you know, as soon as I settled into my new temporary reality of waiting and wondering…the phone rang.
My heart literally beat through my chest as I picked up the phone. The doctor didn’t leave me in suspense for very long, “Its good news,” he said, “everything on the test came back negative. Your baby is not at risk for any of the items we tested for. This is very promising news.”
This heart hadn’t heard good news like that in a really long time.
The blessing washed over me like a large tidal wave of joy. I know it won’t last forever, but I sure as heck am going to savor it in for today. For today, its good news. For today, my baby is alive and well. Today I will praise Jesus for that, and soak…it…in.
My husband and I almost immediately started planning how we would tell the kids. We have been longing to tell them, but our hearts have not been free too. We wanted to be able to offer them excitement and joy with the news, not feigned smiles attempting to mask over the real burden and worry. For today, the burden and worry was gone…and so it was time.
The funny part is, I could have sworn the news would come with the following:
1. A million questions about the health of the baby. “Would this baby come home with us?”
2. Excitement and overly joyful reaction.
3. A wondering as to why we waited so long to tell them.
Can I just tell you none…of…the…above. I was literally laughing out loud at their reactions because they were so matter of fact and silly about the news. Now I have seen these kids ponder, and long, and question and talk about babies and life. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they understood the news they were being told. I can only describe it as a display of immense trust. That they were just so joyful and happy in their now, that they did not feel the need to grill us about the details or attach any past emotion to present news. For the Kingdom of God surely does belong to such as these. I marvel at their faith, strength, and resilience.
Yes, we also learned the gender, but we are going to wait a little while and unfold that in the upcoming weeks. We shared it with the kids already (its our little family secret) and we are going to let the kids have fun telling family and friends in creative ways that they come up with.
Thank you so much for your prayers. I promise you I felt your prayers bolstering us, that just in the moments that got too heavy or burdened there came some form of relief. I continue to pray that someday God would use me the way He has continued to use you. Dave and I wish we could hug and thank everyone of you individually for your prayers and support. Though the journey is not over, and we never know what tomorrow will bring…
but for today we rejoice!