Sometimes life’s path takes us to the most beautiful places. They leave memories of great joy! But the journey also takes us to some dark and lonely places. When we are passing through, it seems like it will never end. But the Lord tells us that He is with us and will never forsake us.
In 2002, my husband and I decided to have another child. We had every reason to believe that having our fourth child would be as easy and uneventful as it was when we had our other three children. I had no idea that one of the darkest times in my life was ahead of me.
When I became pregnant, it seemed to be progressing normally, as far as I could tell.
But at 9 weeks along, I had an ultrasound done at the doctor’s office and she could not detect a heartbeat. Though I believe the doctor already knew that the baby had died, she said she would check again in two weeks.
So at 11 weeks along, another ultrasound revealed that there was no change. The baby had died at about seven weeks gestation. A medical procedure was necessary, as my body had not rejected the miscarried fetus. I felt like I handled the whole thing pretty well. I was certainly sad about losing the baby, but I was also very optimistic about trying again.
A few months later, I was pregnant again. I was excited and hopeful. But early into it, I began to miscarry. A trip to the doctor confirmed it.
I was devastated! How could this happen again? Was I too old? I was 38. So many questions crowded my mind. Questions about whether I had done something to cause this, and questions to God of why He had allowed it.
I was sad and upset, very confused, in addition to going through the physical effects of hormone fluctuations and depression.
And then, I just got angry. Yes, it was an early miscarriage, but it mattered! That little person, however early in its existence it was, mattered.
I just couldn’t believe God would allow this to happen again. Didn’t He hear my prayers? Was He being cruel or was He even there? I felt so alone.
I was so angry at God, and I let Him know it, too. I couldn’t find my faith! I told my husband that he could do the praying because I just didn’t feel like I had enough faith to ask for myself. I really didn’t think God was listening to me at all. I was in such a dark place.
I think sometimes we are afraid to tell God how we feel, but He already knows and He wants us to cry out to Him!
I remember telling God, very angrily, about how people who go through difficult things always seem to say later on that they were glad it happened because of something good that came out of it. “Well”, I said, “I will NEVER think that. Nothing good can come from this.” I also remembered a saying I had once heard, “tragedy doesn’t build character, it reveals it“. Well, I saw a very bitter side of me being revealed, and as much as I didn’t like it, I felt it was not in my control to change it.
When you are in the midst of that dark place, it’s really difficult to see the positive side or that there is a way out. You are trapped in it and in your own strength, it seems impossible to bear. I just wanted to isolate myself from people. I was dealing with this all alone.
However, I had been in contact with someone through email, she is a wonderful Christian woman with a lot of wisdom, and I was able to share with her all those things that were replaying over and over inside my mind. All of the ugly, angry words being used against me in this unspoken battle. She gave me good counsel, she had been there, she understood. It helped so much just to give a voice to my thoughts.
But you see, time really does help to heal us. I know the Lord was there for me. Deep down in my heart, I knew that, even though my emotions at the time were telling me He wasn’t.
It wasn’t long before my healing came, when I finally felt free of the darkness which had engulfed me. And the Lord was there.
Psalm 139:8-12 says “If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, though art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me’; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.”
The Lord knows our pain. He knows that we get angry when we hurt and we don’t understand what He is doing in our lives. He says in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
We all go through difficult times of life. But my Lord said He would be there with me, to strengthen me, to guide me, to teach me to lean on Him, and to bring glory to Him. You see, He had a plan for me & my family. He had a gift for me and it would soon be on its way!
My heart’s desire was for a baby girl. I had prayed many times that God would give us the child that He planned for us, but that if it were His will, I would love to have a baby girl.
In January 2003, I became pregnant again and I wanted to be excited, but was understandably reserved. We waited until about eight weeks into the pregnancy before going to the doctor.
An ultrasound revealed a tiny, beautifully formed little person, with a strong heart. On September 26, 2003, I gave birth to my beautiful baby girl. She was absolutely perfect. We named her Megan.
I didn’t want to go through that dark place in my life journey. But when I look at my daughter, I know that I would go through it again, knowing that she was the prize at the end.
The book of Esther in the Bible tells the story of a young woman who walked through a very difficult place, yet she did so, trusting that God would be with her. And He was! Because of her obedience and sacrifice, God used her life to accomplish a mighty thing!
“….. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14 NIV
Have you entered a dark place in your journey? Do not despair! God is there! This time will pass. And when you reach your destination, you will look back and see where the hand of God guided and directed your steps.
Just hold on and keep moving forward!
(Photo credit-Robin Abrams)