Today is yet another hard day for us. March 19th, 2014 was Jude’s due date; our precious baby Jude, our fourth child that we know absolutely nothing about. We are so sad that we have to wait until heaven to meet him or her. We are comforted by the fact that Jude is with Lucy and Pax and most of all, Jesus. We are thankful that Jude was not stillborn, and we think that God might have been sparing us from that deep pain by taking Jude early.
When we found out that we might be experiencing a miscarriage, we cried out to God to spare this baby’s life. I sat down with my journal and my Bible and begged God to speak to me, to comfort me or prepare me for whatever was coming. I flipped back to a special promise that God had given me a few weeks after Lucy died-
It was about a month and a half after I lost Lucy. I was still bleeding heavily (6 weeks later, which isn’t normal) so I had to go back to the doctor to have everything checked out. This meant sitting in the waiting room full of happy pregnant women. That morning I woke up and wanted to die, I was so overwhelmed with sadness. To get to my OB’s office you have to walk right past the newborn nursery at the hospital and see the tiny, beautiful newborn babies. I literally didn’t know if I could do it. God reassured me and I felt like He said very clearly, that He was going to tell me something important at my doctor’s appointment. I doubted that anything good could come out of this appointment. When I sat down in the waiting room I looked up and there was a woman from my church who was pregnant and due about a month after Lucy. She was there to find out the sex of her baby and was thrilled. Her face was alight with joy and excitement and innocence. How different our two ultrasounds were going to be that day. I died inside and begged God, “Help me, Jesus, help me. I can’t do this. I want to die, Jesus, help me.” He said, “Look at Psalm 21. It’s for you. I will do this for you.” I was skeptical, but I turned to it right then in the waiting room and read this (I have replaced “The King” with my name, since it was a personal promise for me):
O Lord, in your strength Bethany rejoices, and in your salvation how greatly she exults! You have given her her heart’s desire and have not withheld the request of her lips. For you meet her with rich blessings; you set a crown of fine gold upon her head. She asked life of you; you gave it to her, length of days forever and ever. Her glory is great through your salvation; splendor and majesty you bestow on her. For you make her most blessed forever; you make her glad with the joy of your presence. For Bethany trusts in the Lord, and through the steadfast love of the Most High she shall not be moved.
How sweet is my God to give me that promise right then when I needed it most? It brought me so much peace and it got me through that horrible doctor’s appointment. They had to do an ultrasound to make sure nothing was left in my uterus. There in front of me was my empty womb where Lucy should have been. I turned my head to look away and my eyes landed on the stack of onesies they give out when you find out the sex of your baby. Heartbreak. I thought about the promise God had just given me and it got me through.
So, when I sat down and flipped back in my journal to read that promise I noticed the dates. Do you know when God gave me that promise? March 19th, 2013. Baby Jude’s due date was March 19th, 2014. My heart relaxed with relief because I thought surely this was a sign that this baby would survive. But Jude didn’t make it and our hearts were completely broken. I felt silly for hoping.
Now, here we are on March 19th, 2014. No baby Jude, no baby Pax, no baby growing in my belly, no 8 month old Lucy. But I have the amazing promise that God gave me one year ago today. He will give me my heart’s desire and will not withhold the request of my lips. What have I requested, again and again and again? Lord, give me more children, Lord heal our hearts, Lord be glorified through our pain. He will do it.
This is what is sweet about this promise to me. The thing I have asked God for the most this past year is LIFE. Life for Lucy, life for Jude, life for Pax, more little lives for me to mother. And He promised me specifically:
She asked life of you; you gave it to her, length of days forever and ever.
Lucy, Jude and Pax have been given life, length of days forever and ever, and so have I. I get to have my babies forever. Over the past year I have often wondered if God’s blessings have just run out for me. He blessed me so much for the first 32 years of my life, maybe all He has left for me is suffering. But on this day last year He promised me specifically-
You have given her her heart’s desire…you meet her with rich blessings…for you make her most blessed forever; you make her glad with the joy of your presence.
And yet another beautiful contrast- Since losing Lucy I have felt so LOW- embarrassed, ashamed, sad, hopeless…but with these verses God has promised to bestow on me glory, splendor and majesty. One day He will set a crown of fine gold upon my head. I am trying to focus on this promise today instead of the painful emptiness that should be filled by my sweet little Jude. Would you pray for us today? We are so very tired of grieving and hurting, but we are still trusting.
For Bethany trusts in the Lord, and through the steadfast love of the Most High she shall not be moved.