God Will Make a Way!
It was 45 years ago this month when we walked through the valley of death. I was nine months pregnant and had two wonderful little boys under the age of four. Even though our family life was full of noise and activity, my husband and I were eagerly looking forward to the birth of this new baby.
The pregnancy was completely normal and uneventful. I was faithful with keeping my doctor appointments, seeing him every week by then. We didn’t have ultrasounds “back in the day” to tell us if our baby was a boy or girl. We had to wait patiently for the doctor to surprise us when he announced, “It’s a boy!” or “It’s a girl!” We were hoping that 'it' would be a girl.
My due date was February 20th and that day came and went. My parents, who lived in another town, had come a few days earlier and picked up the boys taking them back to their home.
Two days later, I realized that my baby was not moving. At first I would not allow myself to believe it. I kept trying the technique of deep breathing, because that would usually cause some kicking and movement. But now there was nothing. I had to tell my husband. I had to call the doctor. Norris didn’t seem to grasp the seriousness of the situation, but as the mother, I knew something was desperately wrong.
When the doctor examined me the following morning, he confirmed that there was no heartbeat. My baby was dead, but still in my womb. Our horror and disbelief sent us to our knees.
We drove straight to our church and went immediately to the altar. Churches were not kept locked in those days. We both prayed and sobbed at that altar until we were exhausted. The questions kept coming.
“Why, God? We are both serving you Lord, and we are active in the church. God, why didn’t you protect this baby and keep her alive? What have we done to deserve this punishment?”
My parents had taught me, from a young child, that God is always faithful and I could trust Him to always take care of me. Why was He not taking care of me now? Oh, so many questions.
We stayed at the church until we could no longer pray or cry. We could only try to find comfort by holding on to each other. We drove home in silence and lay down on the bed, even though it was still afternoon. We were emotionally exhausted and fell into a deep sleep for several hours. It was as if God had given both of us a sedative so that we could rest.
It was dark when we awoke and there was a calm sweet spirit of peace in the room. The Holy Spirit’s presence was there and He was reminding us that even though we will walk through valleys of death in this life, He would always walk with us. He will even carry us when we are unable to walk. We can always trust Him to be our strength in our weakness.
My merciful God gave me the strength to have a natural labor and delivery, even though the baby usually needs to be taken by cesarean in those circumstances. I carried her for five more days knowing that she would be stillborn. Yes, she was a baby girl.
We were told that she had a congenital defect and if she had been born alive would have been severely handicapped living only a short time. How do you accept that? How do you digest that and come to terms with that information? How do you go through the process of giving birth, and yet go home without a baby in your arms?
No, God had not forsaken us. He was not punishing us. We live in a sinful world and bad things will happen from time to time. God is faithful and will walk with us through all of the heartache and pain that we may suffer. His presence will give comfort and His power will give us strength.
I have to admit; my heart did not grasp this truth at first. Norris and I were very young and still immature, but we had wonderful family support and a great church family. After months of prayer, I came to realize that even though I don’t know what my tomorrows will bring, God sees the whole picture and knows everything about me from beginning to end.
If I allow Him, He will hold my hand and even carry me when I can’t walk. He is the only one that can give me a deep settled peace in my spirit. He has shown me His constant love for me time and time again. Through the good years and the bad, He has always been faithful to take care of me.
For many years I was haunted with the “what ifs” as each February approached. Gradually, my heart healed and God gave us two more beautiful boys.
I know that I will see my baby girl when I get to Heaven. Even though I missed raising my own little girl, God blessed me with eight granddaughters, one stepdaughter and five daughters-in-law.
This is the first time I’ve written about this part of my life and I wasn’t intending to share it on this post. It is not my usual content and because it is longer than I usually write, it will take more time for you to read. But, I feel that perhaps there is someone that is going through a similar experience, or has in the past and is in need of encouragement.
If you are the one who needs to read this, then I believe God loves you and cares about you so much that the Holy Spirit will direct you to this post. May God comfort you with peace and His love. He will make a way for you to overcome just as He has for me.