But, this is not our first pregnancy. It's actually our third. Last June, we lost our first child very early on in the pregnancy. We were shocked and sad, but we knew it was kind of common, and we were thankful that we could even get pregnant. We worked through the attributes of God and really found comfort and strength through knowing Him and who He is.
In September, we lost our second child. This one was a bigger shock for me and brought with it questions and unknowns. But after a day of numbness, I was brought back to the multitude of blessings found in Christ. I have Christ, and I knew if I never was able to have a child, I could find contentment and joy in Him. It was good for me to not just say this, but to have to work it out through my daily life.
After the second miscarriage, my body didn't recover like the first time. For three months I dealt with crazy hormones, minor pain and bruised arms from lots of blood tests. Finally, my body was back to normal and we were able to move on. We learned that I might have a hormone deficiency that could be causing the problems, but we also knew that there were no guarantees that it would ever work. I really had to think through what motherhood is all about. Is it about an experience that I need to have? Or is it about teaching the gospel to the next generation? (Which is an entirely different blog post!)
[Of course, all of this was going on during our saga of trying to find a orthodontic practice for Hubs.]
So, as we embark on this pregnancy, which seems to be normal and healthy, I find that the past 12 months has given me a different approach than what I would have had without those miscarriages. I find myself more reliant on the Lord, more grateful than before and less prone to complain about my circumstances.
I'm keenly aware of God's sovereignty in sustaining life. My life is nothing short of a walk of trust in the Lord each day. And although I think there could be some uncertainty and fear in that, I have instead found comfort. Who better to trust in that the Lord who paid for my life with His blood? No matter what happens, I am daily leaning on the solid rock who is my Savior.
I feel more grateful and full of thankfulness to the Lord for each day. Everyday I am thankful because I don't know what the next day holds. Part of me thinks that this won't actually happen - that I won't make it the entire pregnancy. I struggle sometimes with doubt and hold back excitement because of it. So daily, I remind myself to enjoy and be thankful for this day. I obviously pray about the future - for this person to love Christ more than anything else, for us to be faithful parents who talk about and live out the gospel to our kids, for health and safety. But, ultimately I am just thankful and grateful that God has given me this child and this opportunity to grow and know Him more.
I'm less prone to complaining. There are some great things about Facebook. But one of the awful things is the complaining that happens, especially when it comes to pregnancy. Maybe I was more aware of it due to our situation, but every time I saw a comment about a person wishing they weren't pregnant anymore, it made me sad. Sad for those women who struggle with even getting pregnant or keeping a pregnancy. When we see comments like that, we just want to beg you to be thankful for those difficult times.
"Complaining is the most serious of all spiritual threats because complaining puts yourself on the throne of God and says, 'I expect and deserve better than what you have dealt me in my life, God.'" - Rick Holland
So, although I can (and do) find plenty things to complain about and ultimately to bring attention to me and my situation, I am choosing my words, even my thoughts, carefully. I am trying to take those difficulties and turn them into reminders that I have so much in which to be thankful. And instead of grumbling about them, I am thanking the Lord for who He is and reveling in the amazingness of how He created us to bring new life into the world.
Isn't it great that God has chosen to use our lives to bring Him glory and conform us to the image of His Son? Ultimately, no matter what, we can rejoice that He remains faithful. My prayer and hope is that He finds me to be faithful in return.
"If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself." 2 Timothy 2:13