23 February 2010

Pregnancy Watched by God: Part 1

I wanted to tell you the story of how God watched over my last pregnancy. As my toddler furrows his brow to me and is learning how to potty-train, I think back to his time in the womb, and his delivery, and thank God for watching over him. It's a long one, faithful readers, so grab your coffee and settle in.

I was separated from my husband when we became pregnant. We decided to reconcile and began building our relationship up again after a year apart, on Thanksgiving Day 2006. In April of 2007 I knew I was pregnant. I put the kids to bed, (then they were 5, 3, and 1) and left them with my dad (I was at his house) and went to see a dear friend who had been supporting me during this season. I stopped at the store on the way to her house- it was after 9- and bought a test. I planned on taking it to her house, but then I couldn't wait. I peed on the test in the store's bathroom but I put it back in the bag. A few minutes later I was sitting at the light, waiting to turn left. I turned on the interior light and pulled it out of the bag- it was so clear. Two lines- pregnant!

"Holy Mary, mother of God." It just came out of me, I don't think I've ever said that before or since. The Catholic just popped out. I drove to my friend's house high on adrenaline. She was expecting me. She opened the door and I said hi to her husband, who was watching tv. She knew why I was there and we just stared at each other expectantly until she just grabbed two couch blankets and we slammed the front door behind us and went out on her front porch.

I remember lots of pauses. I love babies and love being pregnant, and my husband and I were committed to our marriage, but the timing- sigh. I definitely didn't want to tell my family. They are not believers and did/do not understand why I do things the way I do.

I didn't know how James would react to the news, especially since our life was just becoming more calm. It was a silent few days before I could get him alone- I didn't want to press it and say something like "I need to talk to you, now." Finally we went to a noodle restaurant. It was one of the first times he paid for my food and ate at the same time as me in a long while. I didn't beat around the bush, I just told him. He said "Perfect!" and put down his napkin or drink, I don't remember. But then he said "No, really, perfect." I was surprised and pleased.

Then in June, the seventh, I took the kids to the grocery store and lifted my 3-year-old into the cart. In the middle of the motion I thought "he's just too heavy for me to be doing this anymore!" but I managed to get him in there and we shopped and everything like normal. We went home and I put the baby down for her nap and I laid down too. As I rolled onto my side, I felt a twinging feeling or felt a snapping or something, but I thought, man, I need to lay down! and I dozed for a while. When I woke up I felt like I had to go to the bathroom but when I did, there was a big rush of bright red blood.

Now is the time to mention that I'm one of those pregnant women you may love to hate: no stretch marks, no morning sickness, no fat ankles, none of the unpleasant things- just the growing hair, the big round belly, the kicks and the eat eat eating! I have been blessed to never live in fear about spotting, viability, health, or gestational diabetes or anything. So this bleeding threw me for a loop. I called James and freaked out and he was going to come and get me. I waited a little bit and then thought, he doesn't understand- he's not coming- and I drove to the house James was living at.

I stood up to get out of the van and felt that awful rush again. I left the kids in the van and banged on the door and he finally answered- He had been asleep. I flew past him into the bathroom and saw that the bleeding had happened again. I fairly lost it. I made him take me in the van back to my dad's house.

So, because of the place I was in at that time in my life, I still had only told a few Christian friends- not my family or other friends. So I called my neighbor and sort of announced in a shaky voice, "Uh, I'm pregnant and I might be miscarrying and can you come and watch my kids for a few hours while I go to the hospital. Yeah, I'm about 12 weeks." She came over right away and James drove me to the hospital where our one-year-old had been born. As we sat at a red light, the wonderful awful song by Mercy Me, Bring the Rain, came on. You may know it, but try to imagine me, still shaking from a year of pruning and new growth during the breakdown of my marriage, and our separation, and then me sitting at that red light, not knowing what was going to happen with the precious baby I was carrying, and so in love with already:

I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that
I've gone through…
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You?

Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray...

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings
You glory! And I know there'll
be days When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to
praise You, Jesus, bring the rain.

I am yours regardless of the clouds that may
loom above because you are much greater than
my pain. You who made a way for me suffering
your destiny so tell me, whats a little rain?

So I pray…
Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings
You glory! And I know there'll
be days When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to
praise You Jesus, bring the rain…

Holy, holy, holy…
Holy, holy, holy…
is the Lord God almighty
is the Lord God almighty
I forever sing
Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God almighty
is the Lord God almighty
everybody singing
Holy holy holy…
is the Lord God almighty
is the Lord God almighty!
you are holy (holy, holy, holy)
you are holy (is the Lord God almighty)
Is the Lord our God, is the Lord our God...

I just had tears streaming down my face. I just was falling apart, silently, because although I was pregnant with another child with this man who sat beside me, my husband of nearly 10 years, I was unable to voice the thoughts that were running through my head.

I was stunned. Was losing this baby to be my next trial? Why was everything so hard? Why did I have to endure so much? I didn't want to have any more rain in my life. I didn't want to learn any more about how God was enough. I wanted a breather from hard lessons. I wanted to learn something in the classroom, from the book, not from the heart-wrenching, gut-tearing, sob-inducing street I had been wandering. When I heard the lines

"Bring me anything that brings You glory!
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to
praise You, Jesus, bring the rain."

I was just falling apart in rebellion. Did I give the baby to him then? No; I think it was when the long, long celebration of God's holiness came at the end of the song. My mind was a swirl of questions and complaints and then the words broke into my consciousness again-

Holy, holy, holy…
Holy, holy, holy…
is the Lord God almighty
is the Lord God almighty
I forever sing
Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God almighty
is the Lord God almighty
everybody singing
Holy holy holy…
is the Lord God almighty
is the Lord God almighty!
you are holy (holy, holy, holy)
you are holy (is the Lord God almighty)
Is the Lord our God, is the Lord our God...

Oh, ladies, the Lord our God is holy- he is holy! He holy, just and pure even if we lose our baby. He is the Lord God Almighty even if our marriages dissolve. He is holy. He is holy. He is holy.

Our situation and how we perceive it does not change God's character. He is, He was- He will forever, BE. We can bring him glory no matter what our situation. We can rage and shake our fist and clutch the things we hold dear- even good things like babies and marriages. But He can get more glory when we trust him and know him to be good and holy- even when we are losing everything and falling apart.


I'm honored that you would read New Mercy and
I would love to hear from you through comments!
Teresa (Tracy) Dear


1 comments:

wayne's blog said...

Thanks for your transparency and humility in sharing this story. Yes, He is faithful and we do bring Him glory when we trust Him. So thankful that out of millions lost He chose you and has engraved you on the palm of His hand.