Two pink lines tell it all. As soon as they appear in that small plastic window, I fall madly in love. There is a life growing inside of me and I get to be her mom. How amazing!
Immediately following the excitement of the news, I am struck with paralyzing fear. What if this baby doesn’t make it? What if the pregnancy ends in miscarriage? Or, what if she goes full-term and has similar medical challenges as her older sister, Charlotte? What if she has just as rude beginning to life as Charlotte? How in the world am I going to raise two children under two, with one (or perhaps both) having serious medical challenges?
‘Breathe!’ I reprimand myself for panicking. ‘Fear will not protect this baby,’ I remind my racing heart. I must choose to simply love her each day I get to carry her. So much easier said than done.
Just three short weeks later amid nausea, exhaustion and cravings, my precious baby slips away. This beautiful life, so celebrated, is now lost. My fear is realized.
She went home to God so early. So young. I only got to carry her for six short weeks, and I only knew about her for half that time.
I stand in the bathroom holding my pea-sized miscarried child in my palm, seeing her tiny arms and her tiny legs gone limp. I wonder what to do next. I want to cry but I can’t seem to generate tears. My heart is so … broken. And I feel so … empty. Why can’t I cry? Are my tear ducts broken? Why can’t my body sustain this precious life? Am I broken? How dare God give me this life only to take it away! Instead of the expected tears, a deep rage boils inside me.
In a recent bible study with our church’s Young at Heart group, there was a series of questions asking, if Jesus were my next-door neighbor, how would I feel and what would I do or say to Him? Looking down at my baby’s tiny limbs and her little tail she still has from fetal development, I find my answer.
I would march over to His house, pound on His door until He answered and scream at Him. I would throw my fists at Him with all my gusto. What little energy I have left, I would spend making sure He knew what a cruel joke this all is. This thing called life and death.
After I threw as many punches as I could muster, I would wilt and crumble to His feet, weeping. I would beg Him to hold me while the tears finally released, flooding and overflowing. I’d plead with Him to never leave me or let go of me, despite my anger.
I’m so mad at Him. But I need Him.
Between sobs I’d beg, ‘what more do you want from me, Jesus? What more do you want!?’ I’d expect Him to leave me. To yell at me. To tell me I have no right to be mad at our Creator. That I should be ashamed of myself. He is God for Pete’s sake!
Instead, He patiently holds me. He draws me in and rocks me until my sobs become faint whimpers and my screams become muffled. I feel His warm tears fall gently on my own soaked cheeks. He cries with me.
Still standing in the bathroom holding my dead child, it dawns on me that God can handle my pain. He can take my punches and He can hear my harsh words, all the while loving me through my brokenness. He is strong enough to hold my emotions and love me despite them. Which is what I need right now. I need His never-ending, faithful-to-the-core, fearlessly-pursuing Love.
If you’re angry at God but afraid to tell Him about it, ashamed to admit it, or fearful of His reaction, know that God wants to enter into your pain. He hurts for you. He weeps with you. He wants to heal what is broken. But He won’t force Himself in.
He will patiently wait until you choose to come to Him. He’s just that good of a God who allows us to have free will, even when He knows what is best for us. He’ll even invite you in if you come to His ‘house’ with stomping feet and balled up fists, ready to tell Him how you really feel. He will be glad you came.
Go ahead, let Him hold you. Tell Him what you truly feel, throw a few figurative punches if you must. From personal experience, it’s quite relieving and satisfying to let out all the bottled-up anger and hurt, confusion and chaos. Then, melt into Him and expect His loving embrace. There’s no doubt it’s what I need. It may be what you need, too.
Your sister, Emily
PS – If you’re looking for an amazing bible study that will help you encounter Jesus on a deep level, I highly recommend Dr. Allen Hunt’s study The Turning Point, a study of the Gospel of John. While I bet Dr. Hunt didn’t plan on me having such an emotional reaction to one of the questions in the study (insert upside down smiling emoji), it, along with the rest of the content, has provided an incredible guide for me to grow my relationship with Jesus. I encourage you to check it out!