Hello! We are so excited to share our newest series, Testify Thursdays. Normally, this would be coming to you on a Thursday (hence the name!), but a chaotic week threw everything for a loop for me. That being said, the purpose of Testify Thursdays is to highlight the stories of our community, what God is doing, what we are learning, and how we are changing and growing. The stories may be hard, the stories may be deep, and the stories may be lighthearted. Most importantly, the stories are real and speak to the glory of our very real God.
On that note, here’s a part of my story.
“For everything there is a season, a time for every matter under heaven…” Ecclesiastes 3.
I must admit, this passage has always been one of those “glass half full” passages for me, a favorite even. Let me elaborate.
Growing up in the church and in a Christian school, I have had many run-ins with this verse. For as many times as I have heard it, I’ve always seemed to conveniently pass over the hard parts.
A time for war? More about a time of peace.
A time to weep? Give me a time to laugh!
Oh! And that whole time to mourn? I’d rather have that time of dancing.
It wasn’t that I hadn’t noticed the harder parts of the passage; it was just easier to focus on the positive. The feel good parts. The parts that show the glorious parts of life.
To believe that no matter what, there would always be a time for those things that are just so lovely.
Like a buffet line. All about the seconds of desserts and only a skim over the steamed veggies.
I was “buffet lining” this passage.
Mourning is hard. War is hard. Weeping is hard.
Why focus on those when God so obviously tells me there is a time for those, but, even better, there is a time for dancing?!
The only time I ever really gave those hard time portions of the passage a second glance was when I would attempt to offer them up as comfort and peace to someone who was living in a time of hard…as if silver lining their grief with promises of better times made it any easier for that person.
It wasn’t all that long ago that life handed me one of those dark times. One of those times that demanded me to grapple with what it means to live in hard times, uncertain times…the not so fun times of not dancing and no peace and no laughing. The time of waiting. The time of mourning.
Flashback to June 2016. I had recently found out I was pregnant with Baby #2 and was over the moon thrilled about expanding our family and having our precious Noah become a big brother. Because I am one of those women who are hyper aware when something is off, I found out super early on about the baby.
And, because it was so early, we decided to keep quiet for a bit, just to be sure.
I had only known about the baby for a few days when everything fell out from beneath me.
It was a Saturday night.
My husband, Joe, was at a baseball game with some friends. Noah was sleeping peacefully in his crib. I was cleaning up the apartment, preparing for a visit from my mom who was coming to town the very next day.
I had been working hard all day and noticed that it was starting to take a toll on my body. My back was really sore and I started cramping. I felt spent and tired.
Simply thinking I had overexerted myself, I decided to relax for a bit and take a bath, treating myself to some peace and quiet.
I got out and put on my Netflix show of the moment when I noticed it.
My heart sank, panic setting in. I called the Family Birth Center, already knowing in my heart what was likely happening and what I had to do. They confirmed I needed to go to the ED to be seen, to confirm what I felt was the inevitable.
I called Joe, barely making out the words, “I think I am losing the baby.”
Without missing a beat, he responded, “I am on my way home.”
Packing up a sleepy Noah, we made our way to the ED.
The whole way, my panic mounted. I could barely think straight. All I could think about was losing this future I had just started dreaming of, this baby who I newly discovered and already deeply loved.
I was praying for everything to be okay, for our baby to be okay, but in my heart, I believed it was already over.
Hours of anxious waiting revealed that I was having a threatened miscarriage, a diagnosis that meant while I wasn’t actively miscarrying, my body was acting like it was. I was told it’s common in very early pregnancy to miscarry…I was so early on that they couldn’t even tell me how far long I was. The ultrasound had simply revealed a teeny bubble, the teeny bubble of my baby who I loved, who God had fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps. 139:14) and who I was afraid I’d never get to know on this side of heaven.
We were sent home, told to follow up with my OB, and basically just wait. If I was going to miscarry, there was nothing they could do…but they would be there if it happened.
The days that followed were some of the heaviest, most mentally and emotionally draining days I have ever had.
My symptoms continued, sending me once again back to the ED. I was told that, at this point, a miscarriage was becoming the more likely end result.
Where were my times of peace? Of dancing? Of joy?
I was supposed to be celebrating the life of baby #2 cooking away inside.
Instead, I was living each day in complete uncertainty, fear, and anxiety.
This continued for over a month. In hindsight, it really doesn’t seem that long.
But in the moment, it felt like a lifetime.
Isn’t that how it always seems to go in the dark times, the hard times, the times of mourning?
Those days were one of the hardest times of my life.
Everything about that time was completely out of my control.
I couldn’t stop my symptoms. I couldn’t make the physical pain go away. I couldn’t save my baby.
All I could do was pray and abide.
Saying that now, I feel like I’ve said the most dishonorable thing I could have ever said about my heavenly Father. Really, that’s all I could do?
Because you know what I learned through the whole experience? When you are in the thick of those dark and hard times that is when God shines the brightest. When you are at the point where you, in your earthly, broken body, cannot do a single thing to impact the outcome and prayer to the Maker of the entire universe is THE option you have, that is when He shows up in mighty ways.
I found that from the darkest place, came my greatest peace.
No matter how dark the season, God is still God.
No matter how hard the season, God is still good.
No matter how desperate the season, God is still good to me.
As I began to grasp the truth of these words, I was reminded of Romans 8:28…“That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good” (MSG).
I may not have known what the outcome was going to be, but for me, the peace of knowing God was there, working for my good, not leaving me out alone to dry, was enough. In that moment, I did not know if God was going to show up in the ways I wanted, but I did know, He was there. Always.
I am beyond grateful and happy to say that God kept His hand over our precious baby and I am joyfully a momma to two beautiful boys.
However, I am even more grateful for the lesson I learned. Yes, the times of joy, dancing, peace, and laughing are great and make life so sweet. Yes, it is those times that make our days memorable and full.
But for those sweet times to be so sweet, you have to go through the tough times.
The tough times to make you strong, to make you fully know just how good and faithful our God is.
No matter what, God is God. God is still good. And God is forever good to me.
Even in the wait. Even in the mourning.
Especially in the wait. Especially in the mourning.