Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Beauty From Ashes

I emailed this post so many people that read this blog probably have already read this...however, I cannot pass an opportunity to praise my God...
We found out at Christmas I was pregnant again.  
Two weeks later, I started spotting.  Now two ultrasounds later, we have found out I have a blighted ovum.
I am still unsure what this is...but I basically, I still have a growing gestational sac but no baby. I will eventually miscarry. We are praying my body naturally does this soon. With a blighted ovum, your HCG levels can still rise for months, telling your body it is still pregnant. I could have a D&C, but with all the other pelvic trauma in the last couple of years, we are wanting to minimize scar tissue. The D&C or the pregnancy going a long time could cause this so we are praying specifically that it will happen in the next couple of weeks. It will be great for closure as well. Now onto the personal aspect of this email...you all know my greatest heart's desire in my relationships is authenticity. I just want to share with you each what God has done for us through this....Bobby and I both said from the beginning, we will praise You if we have a baby and we will praise You if it is taken away. So right now, I want to give Him praise for what He has done. "I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." Psalm 27:13 When I started spotting last Monday, I knew I was standing at a crossroads. I knew that this trial...this heartache would either send me spiraling over the edge, away from my faith...away from the refuge of my God...toward bitterness and despair and depression. Or that I was going to come through it stronger...better. At the moment I saw blood again (my previous pregnancy was ectopic and I miscarried that pregnancy as well), I panicked. I was clinging in every way to my desire. My desperation for this baby. I wanted control. I wanted to know it was going to be okay. I have always claimed knowledge is power and so often, when I am vulnerable or scared, I seek information on the internet, or from others rather than running to the feet of my Father. This so often fueled my fear rather than eliminating it. Or it would be temporary and would last until the next wave of fear came upon me. I did this all day Monday. Monday night, I was at my darkest. My father in law called and encouraged Bobby to seek refuge in the Word. To seek the power and comfort that abides there. I got in bed that night, clasp my eyes shut tight and started begging God. I started that time begging Him for this baby. However, I spent what I can only describe as a supernatural time in the Word, walking away from my time saying "Thy will be done.."and meaning every word. I will say, the sweetest lesson in all of this has been of faith. I once thought that if I believed enough, did enough, asked the right way, promised enough, my will would be done. However, through this, I realized NONE of this is about us! Nothing. It about us coming to the end of ourselves and saying, "Please, you are all I want, all I need"...and knowing He is more than enough. 
I once heard a quote that the opposite of faith is not unbelief but despair. I now know that as truth. I was despairing though I tried not to as I clung to my desperation for this child until I let my trust in God take over. As I said in an email to some of you earlier, this is the kind of time that makes people ask why? and struggle to serve an all-powerful, all-knowing God that allows things like this to happen to HIs people. So many people cannot cross over that line and serve a God like that. But as one who has just walked through the fire, I can only say that these are the times that God shows HImself strong, and that your faith is purified. That the junk, the stuff you thought was shiny and great is revealed as dross and burned away. I have realized that I have spent 22 years giving lip service to a God that I had yet to fully meet. That is the sweetness of a relationship with a Holy God. He reveals Himself through each thing if you will let Him. I felt a peace, the peace that He talks about in Phillipians, the peace that transcends all understanding and guards your hearts and minds enveloped me and carried me like a bubble, protecting me from all I thought was going to sweep me under. Then I felt God gently tugging at the strongholds in my life. I realized my medical family has relied for years on the miracles of modern medicine (which I still praise God for) but over THE GOD OF MIRACLES. I also realized I have spent my life protecting my heart from the wrong person. I told my Mom yesterday that I was guarding my heart and she asked me how I would feel if Abby Kate told me she was guarding her heart against me. I replied that I was no longer guarding my heart against the what ifs, but now against my own desires. I have simply imagined my precious God weeping with me saying "Daughter, I know you are hurting. I am so sorry. But this precious child was going to be disabled, sick, not whole, or very worse, would never come to know me. The pain you are feeling will be temporary in intensity but those other things would hurt you until the day you die. This is a tender mercy." I know that may not be true, or off theology, but it is what I see. I will just end with a verse Bobby came across last night, which holds such joy, such power. It says, "I, even I, am He who comforts you...And you forget the Lord you Maker, Who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth; You have feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, when he has prepared to destroy. (this is our favorite part!) And where is the fury of your oppressor? The captive exile hastens, that he may be loosed, that he should not die in the pit...but I am the Lord your God, who divided the sea whose waves roared---the Lord of hosts is HIS name! And I have put My words in your mouth, I have covered you with the shadow of my hand..." Isaiah 51:12-16 Through this, not only I have gained freedom from the pit, but I have come to know my God, not as I have known Him to be, nor as I have been taught He is, but as He knows HImself to be.


Sarah said...

Steph, I love you friend. I will call you.

I'm Sadie said...

(((HUGE HUGS))) for your family from ours. I admire you so much Steph. Words can't describe how you are an inspiration for me. I hope that you two are able to find as much peace as you can.

shawnda said...

Steph I understand the pain, hurt and discouragement that comes from loosing a child. But I also understand and can feel the peace that you are experiencing. I struggled for a few weeks after I lost my precious little one, after seeing the heartbeat; but the Lord stepped in and took the hurt and pain away and I finially surrendered while I was singing "Gratitude" in church. It was a humbling moment when I broke down and couldn't finish the song but just closed my eyes and prayed the words of "I'll give thanks to you with gratitude for lessons learned in how to trust in you ... and may you grant us peace."
My heart and prayers go out to you friend. If you ever need anything or just a listening ear, don't hesitate to call or email.

Stephen and Whitney Eoff said...

Hey Stephanie!! I got a Nikon D40 for Christmas and we are having a BALL with it! It's GREAT and I love it!! Highly recommend it! :)
Love you! Whitney

Anonymous said...

Ah, This is spot on! Puts to bed
many misnomers I've heard