I was 22 years old. My husband and I had been married for about a year. We were a happy, close couple. We built forts in the living room of our apartment. We would meet up with friends to play frisbee at midnight in empty parking lots. We often had friends over for dinner and stayed out late. It was a blissful start to our marriage. The "I Do's" seemed pretty easy and life was good.
We were overjoyed when we discovered that we were pregnant. Although we were excited, my husband and I wanted to wait until after the first ultrasound to tell anyone. Doctor appointments followed. Finally, it was the day we were waiting for. I was able to have my first ultrasound! After the appointment, the tech gave us those precious black and white films, and we stared at them more often than I ever thought I could. We went downtown to a little shop and bought a special frame for our first baby photo. We finally were going to share our special news!
My husband surprised me with three roses, one representing him, one for me and one for our baby. Friends joined us in celebration by buying us "What to expect when you're expecting" books, cute baby everything, showering us with cards and joy. We even surprised family with bibs and the ultrasound pictures.
My heart was the happiest I had ever known it to be. Every day I placed my hand on my belly praying over my child. Every day I told the Lord that this baby was His child. I entrusted my baby to Him. I also prayed for myself as I was becoming a mother. It was all so new. In all of the change, however, I knew that my God was faithful and would care for my baby.
Then, it happened. The thing that all of us mothers dread. Pain. Cramping. Bleeding. Something was wrong and it was wrong all too fast.
At 15 weeks, I had to say goodbye to my unborn baby. My body miscarried and my heart broke. My ever-supporting husband wanted to take care of his wife all the while hurting inside on his own. How could this happen to such a loving couple? We adore children. We wanted that baby from the deepest desires of our hearts.
The day after I miscarried, I began to share the heart-wrenching news. Some responded with their sorrowful condolences. Others, unknowing of the sting, replied with, "You're young. There is still time." There were also eyes filled with compassion, not knowing what to say.
Less than 24 hours after receiving the worst news of my life, I was to sing at a church service. I knew I needed to go. I knew that I could not stay in my apartment alone weeping for loss. I knew that I had entrusted our baby to God. I now needed to be embraced by the strong arms of my Father, who also was embracing my baby.
We sang a few songs that I don't remember. The pastor gave a sermon to which I felt numb. However, after the sermon, when it was time to sing again, true worship happened. I remember vividly standing before my God and joining friends singing the hymn, "It Is Well", by Horation Spafford. I remember the friends who knew what had happened singing this hymn of faith with all their might alongside of me. A strong chorus of believers telling God that even though this tragedy had just come, we would not allow that sorrow to keep us from praising His name together.
"When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul."
Our faith was changed that night. Not because God needed to hear us approve of the circumstance, but because we needed to tell Him that we trusted Him even though it hurt.
This grief was not short lived, however. I had several more miscarriages and one ectopic pregnancy that ruptured and led to an emergency surgery. Each of these trials was just as painful as the first. Through each one, God proved over and over that He is good and stronger than any of my grief.
Today, I am a happy mama of seven adopted children. Our first adoption started with a little girl named Rose. Through the tragedies of the loss of my children’s biological family and the loss of my babies, God brought us together to make something beautiful. Our new family each has had loss and brokenness in our individual lives. However, God made us into something beautiful together, like many shattered pieces of glass coming together as a stained glass masterpiece. We are the stained glass family.
Everything he does reveals his glory and majesty.
His righteousness never fails.
Psalm 111:3 NLT
See y'all in the Round,