Friday, July 8, 2011

On Loss

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We thought we were going to be holding a new baby today.

We thought we would be welcoming our third child into the world today.

Instead, we're left wondering what might have been.

Was it a boy or a girl? Garrett says boy. Vivian says girl. (Of course.)

I suppose it will be a while before we find out.

Could we? Should we?
We struggled with whether or not to have another child. There was this deep wondering in both of us. Wondering whether it was a good idea. 

What about our finances.

We just sold our baby furniture.

I thought I heard the Lord speak clearly to me that children are a blessing and that he would take care of us. It seemed now that if we kept putting it off, we may be treading in disobedient waters. At the very least, we could be missing out on the blessing of another child. 

So we trusted.

Everything was going fine. There was no sign that anything was awry. We looked forward to the first visit with the doctor. We went to the first appointment with much excitement. 

"Take a look at this," the Doctor said.

We both knew the ultrasound didn't look right. There is supposed to be a well-formed sack. Ours was misshapen. 

Also, the heartbeat was faint. It was there, but it was faint. 

"Come back in two weeks and we'll check again."

Two weeks felt like two years as we played the guessing game and tried to explain away what we saw in the first appointment. 

Maybe our dates are wrong. What if we had a false positive the month before.

The dates weren't wrong. We went back for the second appointment with little expectation. Melissa knew it was over. The ultrasound just confirmed that feeling.

No heartbeat. No circulation. No electrical impulse. No life.

"I'm so so sorry."

The Problem With Statistics

Fifty percent of all women have a miscarriage. One out of every three pregnancies ends in miscarriage. We're statistically normal. Oh, how I wanted to be below average!

For a long time, I leaned on that statistic for comfort. I leaned on statistics and theology like a crutch. The problem is that Jesus didn't want to me lean on statistics or good theology. He wanted me to fall into him.

To take this loss personally. To grieve. To mourn.

It is in grieving and mourning that the strength of His comfort is made apparent. Real. Tangible.

It is in grieving and mourning that I lose interest in trivial things and set my heart on God. Nothing on earth can compare to His love.

Treasure In Heaven. Tears On Earth.

I know now what it means to have treasure stored up in Heaven. I thought it was just about money, but I treasure my children more than any amount of wealth. Jesus is right. My heart is where my treasure lies. For now, I miss the hands I don't get to hold, the feet I don't get to tickle, the lips that I won't feel pressed against mine, and the voice that I don't get to hear say, "I love you, Daddy."

The Scripture says that Heaven is a place where Jesus will wipe every tear from our eyes. Will. That's a future promise. Right now, all of our joy and happiness is salted with tears. There will come a day when we see Jesus face to face and--if we're related to him through grace by faith--our joy will be complete. So we wait.

We hope.

We love.


My friends, I didn't write this today to make you feel sorry for my family and me. I don't want that at all. We have two other wonderful children whom we adore. I just wanted to put words to my struggle. If you're statistically average, this may be your struggle, too. If that is the case, I hope you find encouragement in these words. More than that, I pray you find encouragement in Christ. This faith in Christ is not a 50/50 deal. When he died on the cross with the weight of the world on his shoulders, he did not say, "I did my part. Now you do yours."

He said, "It is finished."

He went all the way for you. Reach out in faith and grab hold to Jesus. Nothing else can satisfy the deepest longing of your soul.


If this has resonated in your spirit, please don't write it off or try to explain it away. Please contact me or leave a comment here. I won't publish it if you ask me not to, but I would love to hear from you and encourage you more specifically if you request.

Image: Marcus74id /

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