“The heartbeat is fast—166 beats per minute,” the technician told me a week ago in the blue hush of the ultrasound room.
“Is that good?” I said.
“Oh yes, that’s very good—very strong.”
Then he told me to hold my breath and I did, and then released as he played back the sound he’d just recorded—the beautiful “ba-boom, ba-boom” of life, its fluid line sketched across the screen and the baby’s arms and legs kicking like tiny sticks on a peanut.
Our child was two centimeters—just over an inch, at 9 weeks, 2 days old. Due March 14, 2015.
“It’s implanted perfectly—it’s got a beautiful place in your uterus. It’s very comfortable,” he said, smiling at me, knowing this was my fifth pregnancy but only the third to make it this far.
And finally I let myself smile back.
My baby was comfortable.
My body was making a home for this little one, and the insides of my soul relaxed. And for a moment it felt like the past year and a half of trying for, and then conceiving and miscarrying and then grieving and trying again–trying to conceive for nearly 12 months—it was all worth it.
Because after losing a couple of babies, you learn—even as you take folic acid and prenatal pills and progesterone to protect the conception—you learn also to protect your heart.
Trent was sitting with me on the bed in the dimly lit room—our baby dancing on the screen. He looked over and his fingers played with mine. And it didn’t just feel like another baby—who was alive and comfortable and growing well. It felt like God saying, “See how I keep my promises—even when they look different than you expected.”
The past year has been a test to our faith.
We got pregnant last April, and I didn’t know I was pregnant until one night I heard God say, “Don’t drink anymore,” because I’d had a glass of wine that evening. “You’re pregnant,” I heard God say, and the next day I took the test, and I was.
I don’t take hearing God’s voice lightly but it’s a still small whisper which started back when I was in high school, and the more I read his Word, the more I recognize his voice.
Trent and I were deliriously happy for two months, because a year earlier we’d both had a vision of another child joining our family. Up until that point we’d been happy with our two boys (and two foster boys at the time made it a full house).
And then, the blood. And the cramping and the clots and the sitting very still trying not to move just in case you can somehow stop the dying. And all the time, me hearing God say that our baby would live—in that same small voice, and us, believing, until I was in the hospital room and the sac slipped into the toilet.
When the nurse came out holding the sac of our child, God vanished. A flash of light, and He was gone.
My faith has never felt more like an abandoned store, all boarded up, a “for rent” sign in the window.
And I’m not sure I would have ever opened up those windows if it hadn’t been for an email waiting for me when I got home, from a friend who hadn’t known I’d miscarried—a prophetic friend whom I trust with all my heart.
“God placed you near my heart this morning, and He held you there so very tenderly,” she wrote. “And He wants you to know that everything He said to you is true. It may not make sense right now, but He has not lied to you. He will fulfill His promises.”
That day in the ultrasound room, our peanut swishing across the screen to the thump, thump, thump of life—like horses galloping—I felt His promises wrap around me.
And friend, I want to reassure you that He will fulfill the words He has spoken to you as well.
It may not make sense right now.
Your faith might feel like that abandoned building.
But God does not play tricks with us. You can trust Him. He does allow us to walk through fires, and floods, and earthquakes and famines, yes, but He is right there with us, going through all of it at our side, because He cares.
He will never leave you nor forsake you. He delights in you, sings over you, and desires to quiet you with His love.
And we can say with confidence—we, a throng of women on bended knee—“I will wait for the Lord—to show his goodness in the land of the living.”
photo credit: MON BY ANETA NIEDOBA ON FLICKR