Have you ever had a situation happen in your life that was completely unexpected and perhaps difficult, but through that situation you got to know God, really know Him in a greater way?
As I walked through our house everything seemed just about ready. Surely, it can happen any day now. It felt like we’d been waiting for him for forever. The house was clean, his room was neat and if he were to come today we were ready to receive him. I couldn’t wait to hold him in my arms. I was so excited, nervous, anxious… about all the unknowns… What if my water breaks? How will I know? I feel heavy, swollen and ready to pop!
I’ll be going to the doctor, my husband will come with me like he always does. It’s just a routine visit. I suppose it’ll be one of my last few, since my due date is so near. As we get to the doctor’s office I’m greeted by the receptionist. I walk in to the room; where as usual, I sit on the examination table and my husband takes a picture of me showing nine fingers to symbolize how many months pregnant I am.
The nurse comes in, asks a few questions then goes to check the baby’s heartbeat…. “Hmmm… can’t find it. It must be the old monitor” – she said. She goes out and brings a different one, surely they’ll be able to find it with this one… I thought. As the nurse browsed around my big round stomach I just stared at the ceiling with confidence waiting to hear his heartbeat. “Hmmm, no. The baby must be in a weird position, let’s try a different monitor,” the nurse said. She brings a different monitor and another nurse in with her. “Aha! There it is! Wait, no, that’s not the heartbeat, it’s a contraction… let’s see, where is his little heart?”
My husband and I just stared at each other wondering what could possibly be going on. He reassured me to be calm and to trust that everything was fine. After minutes of trying to find that precious wush, wush, wush sound without any success, they left the room. I saw their faces, my eyes started to get watery, but I’m sure everything is ok, I thought. My husband and I were just quiet. Trying to make sense of all the commotion around us. The nurses came back in to take me to a different room where the doctor could see me.
As they were taking me to this other room for an ultrasound of the baby, I hold on to my husband’s hand praying in the inside that everything is ok. “Oh! God please let everything be ok”. I look at my husband and I say to him, “I can’t… this can’t…” I stopped talking because everything must be ok. What could possibly go wrong at this stage of the pregnancy, right?
I laid on the ultrasound bed. The doctor started asking me questions: “When was the last time you felt the baby move? Have you felt any contractions?” “Huh? What?” all these questions were confusing me…I could only stare at the ceiling thinking, praying, “God please, please, oh God please”. She begins to roll the ultrasound probe in my stomach; and there it is, our precious son… aww! I can see his little nose… such perfection. But…
“I’m sorry” she said. “I’m really sorry”. As she held the probe in a specific place on my stomach she said, “There is no heartbeat. See, here is his heart.” Sure enough,I didn’t see it flickering like it was the last time I had an ultrasound done. There he was, as still as can be.
“WHAT?!? WHY?!? HOW!?….. NO! No! Noooooo!!!” I looked at my husband, as we both had this terrified look on our faces. I started to cry, but then I stopped. “No! This can’t be, why?” I couldn’t even articulate a sentence without going into utter despair.It was all happening so fast, a second doctor came in just to confirm our worst fear.
There are no words to explain the shock, the flood of pain that just surrounded us, the confusion, the questions, the numbness in our minds and hearts. Our son, gone. Just like that! Two words shattered our world: “No heartbeat.” The doctors stepped out of the room and there we were, my husband and I, looking at each other with total disbelief. We didn’t say a word, we hugged and just cried. As heart-wrenching as that moment was, it was only the beginning of what was to come.
We tried to pull ourselves together. We stepped out of the examination room, the doctor told us we had to go to the hospital where they would induce my labor. Being a first timer I had no idea what to expect. I was almost convinced they would put me under, perform a C-section and have this nightmare be over. However, that was not what happened.
In fact, my labor was induced. There came a point when there was no progress, my body wasn’t really reacting to the Pitocin. I had already been in labor for more than 30 hours; and based on the lack of progress, the nurse said it could possibly take another 24 hours. That was the lowest point for me. I looked at my husband and I said, “I’m defeated.” I have never felt so hopeless, so weak, so defeated. Physically, emotionally and spiritually, I had given up.
My husband looked so desperate to see me in such condition and not being able to do anything about it. He turned and grabbed the Bible and the Holy Spirit guided him to 2 Cor. 12:9
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
In such an unexplainable way this Word gave me everything I needed. Nothing short of a miracle; God gave me hope. He gave me strength. Really, His grace was enough – even if our situation remained the same, His grace was truly enough. My despair, my failure, my loss had all of a sudden become my greatest victory. After 36 hours of labor, our son JonDavid was born, without the breath of life in him.
Even though we believed God could still give him life; when He didn’t, we surrendered to His will. It was bittersweet – we held him in our arms for the first and last time, but we had peace. We were so happy to be able to see him and touch him even if it was just for a moment. We understood why the labor had to be so long. God had to give us that time to process what had happened so that when the time came, we would be ready to say goodbye.
Needless to say, the months to come were difficult times in our lives. We took time to grieve, heal, and learn to live our new “normal”. We held on to the only sure thing we had, God and His Word. Through this experience our marriage got stronger and our relationship with God became real. Surely, this is an experience that continues to teach us and continues to show us how great our God is. Job 42:5 “I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes.”
30 Day Devotional
This resource can help you and your family encounter Scripture together and make deeper connections with God and each other. This has been designed to be used during the month of July, but you can use it at any time. We suggest you begin Day 1 on a Sunday because some activities are designed around the weekend and Sunday worship. God bless you!