“Be still, and know that I am God.”
– Psalm 46:10
Well, here we are. Almost a year later! And I’m back!! Not much has changed…except for everything! It’s been quite a journey this past year- one that I would like to share…not because I have it all figured out – not even close, but more because if me talking about our journey helps just one person- even if it’s myself, then it’s all worth it! I guess I will start from the beginning.
Our lives are full of choices, thousands of them from the time we wake up, to the time we go to sleep, and then we do it all over again the next day. For the most part I would say that I am someone who chooses to look at the bright side of things. I choose to be happy. I choose to celebrate life and all it’s beautiful chaos. I may take the long route sometimes, but eventually I end up there. I believe happiness is a choice…and we all have that option. But what happens when things in our lives are chosen for us? BIG things. Things that will be with us forever. What happens when God chooses you for things you didn’t ask for?
People tell you kids are hard. It’s no secret. They may even share their stories of public tantrums, sleep regression, and of course the pleasures of a teething child. But what about the really hard stuff? The stuff that can take your breath away. The stuff that makes you question all you know about God and your faith…
As I came to the close of my reign as Mrs. Illinois we received amazing news that I was pregnant with our second baby! We had been trying for a little bit, so the news made us ecstatic!! Almost instantly I began to get sick. This wasn’t anything new for me. I had morning sickness pretty bad with our first, so I just tried to stay focused on the fact we were having another baby and push on! After all, I had a two year old to take care of! At around 8 weeks my husband and I attended a retreat for our church. I was able to pull it together for the weekend but it was so hard! Smells, motion, foods – pretty much everything made me so sick. I remember with my first, my mom told me that morning sickness was a good sign the baby was growing. So I carried that thought with me everywhere I went to help me get though the very long days.
It was a really long drive home. 4 hours! I made it pretty much the whole way without having to pull over- I was so proud! I decided to take a nap to pass the time. I woke up with terrible stomach cramps. I could barely sit up. I knew something wasn’t right. Chris wanted to stop so I could run into the bathroom, but we were only a few minutes from home so I decided to hold off. When we got home I ran up stairs to the bathroom. I will never forget the feeling I had. It was like my heart fell out of my chest. I was numb. There was so much blood. I was absolutely horrified. In a panic I opened the door, I yelled for Chris in tears- he came running to me and we just stared. My mom happened to be there watching my son, she told us to get to the ER asap, but I knew that much blood could only mean one thing.
We sat in the ER waiting room for hours. It was awful. Why wasn’t anyone helping me?? Didn’t they know how scary this was? I remember looking around the room, watching people go about their business and realizing the world does not stop for our tragedies. What was happening to us was going on without anyone even noticing. I felt so completely helpless. I felt like I was in a slow motion dream. We sat. And prayed. And sat. And prayed. We were joined by our friends from church in the busy waiting room. My first reaction was to tell them not to come. To leave me to feel my pain and feel sad in my own little corner. You see up to this point, I had tried to do things all on my own. Fight my battles alone, in the privacy of my own despair. What would people think if they saw me this sad, this weak, this vulnerable? Sometimes things happen that make you realize you can’t do it on your own. You need Him and you need the support of others. This was one of those times… with many more to follow.
Eventually we were sent home with a single piece of paper that had instructions with what to look for during a miscarriage, and pretty much told there was nothing they could do. I don’t think I believed them. Maybe I was in denial, or maybe it was my mommy intuition. What we also knew from the ultra sound taken in the ER was that our little peanut DID have a heart beat. To us, that meant we still had hope. Very high hopes. We also knew that we serve a very faithful God. For the first time in my life I truly realized all of our plans were now in His hands.