Reflective Meandering

Thoughts on faith, people, politics, travel, and transition.

God’s Grace in Our Suffering

on April 24, 2017

The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

I think the hardest part of experiencing the death of a loved one is that everyone else’s world doesn’t stop. When I lost a friend a couple of years ago, I remember feeling shocked and disappointed that everyone who lived around him wasn’t mourning with me. He was a great man, and a great witness for Christ. This world lost so much when it lost him. I feel similarly now. Not that my baby had done great things for the Lord, but that his potential was endless.

My husband and I went out to pick up lunch and I stayed in the car. We were at a shopping center and I watched people buzz around me, going into shops and restaurants, their lives unchanged by the loss we’re experiencing. It makes sense. I’m sure they’ve experienced losses I couldn’t sympathize or empathize with as well. It’s still overwhelming though, that something so world-changing for me doesn’t even begin to affect the people in the car next to me.

To say we are devastated is an understatement. But, the Lord’s ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts higher than our thoughts. I cannot comprehend His works right now, but I know that they are good.

The Lord is not surprised by our loss. Not a sparrow falls without the Father’s knowledge. I wish knowing that was a salve to my wounds, but right now it’s merely a reminder of His power and sovereignty. Right now, we focus on reminding ourselves of who God is, and how He has shown us grace, even through our suffering.

The timing of my water breaking was a blessing. I was with my husband, we were together, able to go to the hospital together, hand-in-hand. I can’t imagine having to begin this process from work or by myself.

We feel fortunate to have had our baby with us long enough to see him wiggle all over the sonogram for us, but not so long that we would’ve had an even more difficult miscarriage in our second trimester. Things could’ve been much worse, particularly if this occurred during the babymoon we were planning to take. In fact, it’s a blessing we hadn’t yet finalized those babymoon plans.

It was so gracious of the Lord to allow our baby to arrive in this world whole. Our perinatologist told us to expect to see white “tissue” mixed in blood and that would be the baby. But, we had seen his head and his hands and his legs and his feet via sonogram, and I think it would’ve been so much harder had we not delivered our little guy intact. Not only that, but we had the blessing of having the doctor tell us that our baby boy was beautiful. I will always treasure those words.

The timing of our delivering our little guy was also a blessing. It just so happened that when we left the hospital it was too late for us to go to our pharmacy, that we just so happened to think of a pharmacy close by, that just so happened to have a single stall bathroom at the front of the store, and that just so happened to be less than a mile from the hospital for an easy jaunt back after then bleeding began. None of these circumstances just so happened, and we are so thankful we didn’t get all the way home (25 minutes away from the hospital) and have the bleeding start.

It was also such a blessing that the hubs was back at the hospital when I fainted, so that I didn’t hit the floor, and before I went down to surgery so that we could exchange I love yous.

Before this situation developed, I was incredibly disappointed with the perinatology practice I was referred to. They rotate you through the doctors so that you’re comfortable with all of them for labor, and I hadn’t hit it off with any of the doctors at the practice, which works closely with the high risk floor of the hospital I went to. That said, there’s one doctor that I didn’t see at the practice that happened to be working at the hospital that night. She saw me at each stage of our miscarriage’s progression. She provided condolences for the loss of our son, she said my baby is beautiful. She seemed informed and intelligent, but also compassionate, and she made me feel comforted and validated, which was not something the other doctors at the practice provided. She was such a blessing to me.

There are so many ways in which we could see God’s grace in our suffering. I suppose the greatest evidence of that grace is, as one of my friends put it, our “son is where we all long to be.” He has achieved his eternal glory, and made my longing for heaven that much stronger. May we all live lives worthy of saying, as Paul did, “I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.”

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