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The time my teacher didn’t come back…

Middle school was a weird time for me. I think I’m finding the more I write that I’m always going to have to preface my younger years with how awkward or weird I was. I spent my formative years floating back and forth between private and public schools. For reasons that I’m sure I’ll mention in a future story time I found myself back in a private school for part of my 6th grade year and all of 7th and 8th.

To say that this time in my life was difficult would really be an understatement. I don’t know how my mom and dad survived all of the ridiculous things that happened to and around me at school…

I was a different denomination than my private school peers and because of that… my days were difficult.

I was different. I was labeled as different. We believed in the same God. We believed a lot of the same things about God… but the things we differed on made me a target. I don’t know that I need to get that specific… Let’s just say that I believed that God was three persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and they thought that the Holy Spirit was best left at home in the back of your closet. You could occasionally invite Him to church with you but He should sit on the back row and definitely wear a tie.

 

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the time I didn’t get my miracle..

She didn’t know what to say and neither did I. She looked down on me with pity and even though I felt her compassion I kept my head down letting my tears fall straight to my lap. I told her thank you and tried with everything in me to keep myself from falling onto the floor in bitter anger. I was furious and shocked and broken…

God was supposed to perform a miracle. I had decided that God was going to prove all of my doctors wrong. At the ultrasound that day there would no longer be an empty six week sac but now there would be a baby! A beautiful, strong, healthy baby. I was going to see a heartbeat. I was going to shout from the rooftops how my God had done a miracle!

Instead, that day I saw the same empty sac that was on the screen 5 days earlier when we had gone in for our first obstetric appointment. There was no baby. There was no miracle.

I now sat in a hallway waiting for a nurse to come and take me to another room to wait to talk to the doctor. A young girl came out from the ultrasound room after me holding a long strip of photos of her unborn child. She laughed and talked with the receptionist as she excitedly scheduled her next appointment. I scooted my feet back as she passed by me and my eyes stung with tears as I watched her open the exit door and walk out so simply.  

The nurse came after what seemed like hours and brought me to a small room with a large blue easy chair in the middle. I sat down and she told me the doctor would be in soon. I know I couldn’t have waited long in the hall but if that felt like years to me then this wait for the doctor felt like eternity.

 I went back and forth between sobbing and gathering myself as much as I could so that when the doctor came I wouldn’t lose control and fall into her arms and beg her to change what I knew was going to happen. I had to keep it together. 

I hadn’t met this doctor before and somehow I began to feel self conscious and worried what she would think of me. I hadn’t worn much makeup that morning and suddenly couldn’t remember if I had put on deodorant. My eyes were brutally red and my nose wouldn’t stop running. I can still feel how rough the tissues felt against my face. They didn’t comfort me…. but nothing could. 

I could hear the nurse outside the paper thin door discussing my case with the doctor. They spoke plainly and used the word ectopic more than once. I had already googled that possibility and the thought made me cringe. 

When she finally opened the door I was surprised by how warm she was. She didn’t carry that look of pity that everyone else had. She explained that there was a possibility that there still was a baby and that I had miscalculated my dates. She told me what would begin to happen if I did miscarry. She also told me the signs of an ectopic pregnancy. 

I felt a false sense of hope.

As long as I wasn’t bleeding heavily then there was a chance right? 

It could still happen. 

The miracle.

I decided that I would pick my kids up from school and take them to a movie out of town. Maybe if I could get my mind off of it then everything would be okay. As we drove we listened to music and sang together. We were silly and happy and unaware. I let the worry go…

Then it happened…

I felt it begin.

I was miscarrying.

I made it to the bathroom of the movie theatre and realized that there was no saving this. Now there was no possibility. My baby was gone. 

I called my doctor’s office right away and let them know that I didn’t want to come in for further tests. I cancelled all of my appointments. The receptionist was so frustrated with me when I told her that there was no need and that I just didn’t want to go through any of that. 

I reluctantly made a two week checkup appointment and sucked in every emotion I had so that my children wouldn’t know what I knew. I made it through the movie and managed to drive them home. I put them in bed with me and called my mom to come over.

 I remember not knowing how to feel.

On one hand I was just coming to terms with the fact that it was actually happening… and on the other all I could think about were my friends I kept up with on Facebook who were trying desperately to have one child! I had two healthy beautiful babies… was I selfish to want more? Was I horrible to grieve for this unborn baby?  

And then there was my husband…

My sweet, sweet husband.

He was out of town for most of the process of our first miscarriage (yes there were more) and it broke his heart to not be there with me. Our church was holding a women’s retreat several hours away and our business was providing production for the event. There was no way he could leave and ruin their retreat and leave them stranded. 

We both knew this when I called him to tell him the news. We both knew his hands were tied and I would have to go through this without him physically being by my side. But I was okay with that. I was going to be strong and I was going to get through it and be the wise woman who had gone through something so hard and came out on the other side. I have a tendency to be naive like this. 

The week of that first miscarriage our pastor spoke on God’s sovereignty. I didn’t know then that God was preparing me to walk into a season of such pain.

I grew up in church. I’ve attended countless church services, been under so many pastors and leadership, I even pursued a ministry degree in college… and it wasn’t until I was 29 years old that I heard this one single truth about God that would put His sovereignty into perfect perspective for me. My pastor said these 4 little words and they made my head spin.

“God is not surprised.”

That phrase blew my mind.

I realized instantly that this was the one area that I hadn’t been thinking of God as God. I had been thinking of Him as me. Not the “wretched-black-hearted-sinner” me, but just the human-thinking part of me. I was thinking that God was just as surprised as I was that I had miscarried. And if God was surprised then that meant somehow He had dropped the ball. He wasn’t paying attention to me and had forgotten to give me the miracle I so desperately wanted. Those unintentional thoughts must have grieved His heart.

See now I realize through that little phrase that God really is sovereign. He knew it was coming. He heard my cries and He answered me. It’s just that His answer for me was no.

We can’t forget how good God is when we go through pain. We are going to experience it in all different forms. Life is messy. But God… God is a good dad. He wants good things for His children. We can’t think of painful experiences as God punishing us or Him not paying attention to us and letting the bad things happen. God is aware of every thing. So He is aware of the good and the bad. There are good and bad things that will all weave together to create the intricate patterns of our lives. Peaks and valleys. Highs and lows. However you choose to think of it. It’s beautiful. Even the pain.

So that’s the time I didn’t get my miracle. If I could leave you with a final thought it would be the words to a hymn that I held so dear during this time.

When peace like a river attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll,

Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,

It is well, It is well with my soul.

If you get a chance to look up the story of how this song was written I would highly recommend it.

-Jess