I remember standing in front of the pre-born memorial statue where the ashes of my child were being scattered. In that moment, I couldn't hold back tears and had many eyes on me. We elected to join a community funeral, as it was more comforting to be among a group of families who understood what we were going through than to do it alone. I knew from then on I would never be the same.
I was 18 weeks pregnant when July 2019 rolled around. Our anniversary was on July 6th, and we decided to spend a long weekend together in Cincinnati. We went to the zoo to see Fiona, a baby hippo whose story I'd been following for several years. It was a wonderful time, but the joy of a sweet weekend alone would become bittersweet with what happened next. Upon arriving home, I was bleeding, so we had to go to the hospital and found out when there the baby was breached. I was admitted for the weekend, and then lost my son that Sunday after our anniversary at 4:00 PM July 7th delivered stillborn.
Ever since then, I've gone through the ups and downs of trying to sort out what happened for what is now almost a year. The anniversary of Simon's death is coming around the corner, and I am not sure yet how I am going to spend those few days. All I know right now is I don't want to be alone.
Despite so much uncertainty around my family planning journey, I still choose to believe and trust that God has a plan for me. I still hurt, in fact I severely every single hour of every day, and I don't think a moment has gone by without me questioning every bit of what happened or what will be still even today. The idea surrounding building a family, and pregnancy, and when it will finally happen for us is the most stressful thing on my mind. The "not knowing," or "lack of control," can drive me to moments where I question my own sanity at times. It's just how much it hurts, and this raw honesty is just to share with you how much I can relate. And despite all of the pain and constant shifts in my mind, I always come back to the only one who I know can make a difference for me.
There's no magical bible quote I can give you to make all the difference, in fact the only verses that have gotten me through my loss have been words of love and comfort. But, I can tell you he hasn't let go of me. I have experienced his nearness from the day I said "I trust you," as we were driving in the middle of the night to hear the worst news of our lives when we reached the hospital, and up until now. This "all-consuming love" I experience for my baby I barely even held is nothing in comparison to the never-ending love that God in Christ has for us. And believe me, the heartbreak of losing someone I barely knew yet intimately knew in a way no one else did was massive for me. I changed that day when Simon went to join Jesus in heaven, and I haven't been the same since.
I am not at the point yet where I know for sure if the uncontrollable transformation I am experiencing is something I'd say was worth it (just because I am still in that journey and still have much to learn from it). There have been good things that came out of his loss, for sure, like being a part of a life-impacting business such as My Baby's Family and Next Right Choice. Not only that, but I've had the love and support of so many wonderful people to help me continue to put one foot in front of the other. But I don't doubt at the end of all of my emotions and reasoning through situations that God is for me and that he has a plan.
What answers I've received in this time of uncertainty:
“For my thoughtsare not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,
As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts."
"And we know that in all things God works for the goodof those who love him, who[a]have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28
Job 38-42 - The entire response God gave Job when he was suffering, and the intricate yet vast way he has knowledge about the universe we could never possibly understand.
All of Psalm 91.
Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” Exodus 4:10-12
In summary, the conclusion of the above verses that God was trying to share with me is that he knows and understands things about this world at a much bigger place than I ever will. That he loves me, that he's for me, and that's going to make it all work out some day. He reminded me in Job 38-42 and Exodus 4:10-12 that no matter the situation he can make something beautiful from what's broken. I resonate with Moses' lack of confidence in himself and fear of failure. I've been placed in situations that I don't understand or have much control over and have to fiercely believe and trust and have faith in God that all will work out.
I am acutely aware of how God is the only one who has control over life and death. Not only that, but I am also very aware that he doesn't have to answer to me at all no matter how heartbroken I am. That his love and comfort alone in this time of hardship is precious mercy that is inexpressibly valuable considering who he is and who I am. I am and always will be subject to his sovereignty; and I have peace within that because I know Christ as my Savior.
When Christ is in your corner, the hardships of this life will wash over you like a wave of the sea. It's hard for a moment, even if that moment seems to last forever, but that's all it really is--a moment--in light of eternity: "He will wipe every tear from their eyes.There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelations 21:4
In times of distress, I cling to that verse. I cling to all of psalm 91 as well, and I put myself completely into it. I believe his promises as hard as I possibly can! Because what else is there? To pretend that we can make it through by some invisible force of uncertainty? To drown in anxiety and constant mind-boggling questions that we can't ever answer ourselves despite the advancements of modern medicine and science?
The reality of this world over and over is that there is a Creator, and we were not brought into existence by accident. More than that, sin is a massively evident reality in the evil and brokenness we all suffer through in this world. Being that reality is present, the need for a Savior is alarmingly overwhelming. I cling to The Comforter (2 Corinthians 1:4) in my loss and in taking one step at a time to move forward from it every day because I don't want to be alone in this life. And with Christ, I know I won't be. I have a sweet assurance, a spiritual knowing that surpasses all reason; the Holy Spirit given to me when I was saved by Christ. The Holy Spirit living within me gives me surpassing peace (Philippians 4:7) and supernatural strength when my own well dries up to continue to put one foot in front of the other every day. Even in this--the loss of my Simon--even though my every other thought is despair and overwhelming exhaustion. If I can't take the step, he does it for me, and he will do it for you too.