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Where is God in This?

It took me some time to actually address this portion of my journey dealing with the death of my daughter. I consider myself a woman of faith. Yet when I loss my daughter my faith was on shaky ground.

I prayed for a child. I prayed for years.

I was told at first that I had PCOS (poly cystic ovarian syndrome) by two doctors at the age of 22 and later at around 24. I was later told that I may not have PCOS but given the difficulty for me to get pregnant I would need medical assistance if I ever wanted a child. So at 25, I did it the doctor's way and took pills. My husband was tested and I was tested. Took Metformin even though the doctors didn't think I had PCOS anymore just problems ovulating and irregular periods. Then when I turned 27 and still no pregnancy, I said enough. I stopped all medication. I worked out more. I noticed then the periods start coming every month (sorry if this is TMI for some of you reading but I am sure there are many Moms out there who know the woes of us women and our bodies). 

But during all of my efforts, I also continued praying to God. Many of times with tears flowing down my face because I wanted a child so badly. I wanted to be a mother so deeply. I would read about Hannah's desire for a child over and over again to comfort myself knowing that if God can do it for Hannah He would do it for me as long as I remained faithful.  So I would then pray some more.

My husband and I been married since 2005. It took 5 years before I became pregnant with Ashley. Oh happy day! Once I knew God heard me I was over the moon happy. Ashley was truly the answer to countless prayers. God became so real to me because I knew He heard my heart.

Then the feeling of being pregnant is just a wonderful experience. To feel life growing inside of me. To experience what my body is capable of doing-- words cannot explain just how beautifully and wonderfully made we are as women when we are pregnant. I was living God's miracle for me and I felt blessed.

One of my last memories of my pregnancy was Palm Sunday. I was in church and my stomach was really showing at 20 weeks. I just remember really feeling Ashley move around while I sang Hosanna, Blessed Be the Rock. Little did I know at that time would be the last time my daughter and I would be in church together.

Good Friday. The day that Jesus went to the cross and died for our salvation. On April 22, 2011, it was the same day I gave birth to and loss my daughter. I believe all the things I felt that day probably mirrored many of the emotions Jesus' mother Mary felt centuries ago the day Jesus died. I left the hospital on the brightest, cheerful looking Easter Sunday I think I have ever experienced. Even though I could not get all my thoughts together in the moment, I found it all to be too ironic that I was going through all of this starting on Good Friday and ending the hospital experience on Easter.

Well once I got home I was furious with God. How can God do this? Why would God do this? Oh, I was so angry with God. So disappointed. So hurt. In my living room I have pictures depicting the Footprints poem by Mary Stevenson (to read: Footprints by Mary Stevenson) and I remember literally yelling at the picture of Jesus everything I felt in my heart because I was so wounded. I prayed like I never prayed before in that hospital while the doctors were trying to tell me the situation was hopeless. I am Christian! We are told before we can talk that as long as I have faith as small as a mustard seed, I can move mountains! Why didn't God move this mountain?! Why WOULDN'T God move this mountain?! Why would God give her to me just to take her away?!!! Why?! Why?! Why?!!!!! WHY?!!!!

Then I remember falling down to the couch in tears looking up at the picture of Jesus with that patient look on His face. I do not know why but in that moment I asked God to forgive me. I knew it was fine to get angry with God-- He can take it. I knew the fact that I felt comfortable enough to be so blunt with God spoke volumes about how personal our relationship truly is. But I knew I could not stay angry. I don't know how I knew but I knew I needed to lean on God more than ever to get through whatever this was I was feeling.

Then I went to read my Bible and I opened up to John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.". But this time it was more than about the promise of salvation and proclaiming Jesus as my savior.  "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son".  In that moment, I felt like God was letting me know that He personally understood exactly what I was going through. All powerful God could have easily took Christ from the cross but He did not. In order for salvation to happen, He had to allow Christ to die. In order to save me, He had to allow His innocent "baby" to die for me. On Good Friday, God loss His only begotten child just like I loss my begotten child. God knew firsthand my pain, my story, and my heart; and with that revelation, my faith was renewed.

I posted this on Facebook about my experience and God one month after losing Ashley:
"Although this is such a sad situation, I cannot ignore God's hand in the entire situation. (1) It happened in the morning before my husband and I went to work so Brandon was able to be with me the entire time. (2) The staff at the women's pavilion at Franklin Square, the doctors and the nurses, were outstanding and so considerate about the entire situation. (3) The week before, I was trying to change OB doctors and I had picked a new one. I was going to meet with the new OB for the first time on the 24th because she was the one I wanted to deliver my baby. Well, the day this all happened that same doctor was on call and she did deliver my baby after all. (4) Ashley went almost an entire half a day without water and never once was under any distress and heart remained strong. (5) Ashley's lungs were not developed, being only 21 weeks along, and yet she lived for 2 1/2 hours. (6) I was told by the doctors afterwards that I lost over 2 liters of blood and you only have 5 liters of blood in your entire body. That's 40% of my entire blood supply and yet I'm still here. (7) My husband has been extremely supportive through this entire ordeal. He's been so strong, sometimes too strong, and I know he's hurting too. However, we have been each others support and our marriage is truly standing up strong against this test. (8) Most women wouldn't even have the strength to get of bed after going through something like this. Let alone talking about it. But I refused to allow this to consume me. I know my child is in heaven and there is no getting her back. I have to continue on my walk with God to get to where she is. So I know right now it is truly God working through me and sustaining me so I can have the peace and occasional joy you see from me right now. I truly feel most of the time that  I'm crying on the inside every day all day. However, it is nothing but the grace of God that I am able to smile and function as soon as a month later. So all I can and do say is THANK GOD for all the good He has provided in such a horrible situation."

So where is God in this? Right there with you. He knows it hurts. He knows you would have given your very life for the life of your baby the day of your loss. He hears and sees you crying now. He knows your broken heart. He has not left you even though it may feel like He has. I do not know all the details of God's plan for me but I have learned time and time again God has His reasons. For me, I figured if God Himself would allow Himself to go through this pain out of love for me and for my salvation, I could not allow Jesus' death to be in vain and not continue to walk with Him.

Bible Versus That Helped Me

When I needed comforting:
  • For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. ~ John 3:16
  • For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. ~ Revelation 7:17
  • And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.  ~ Revelation 21:4
  • Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. ~ Psalm 23:4
  • And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4:7
  • Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. ~ Matthew 5:4
  • Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. ~ 1 Peter 5:7
  • Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. ~ 2 Corinthians 1:4

For my concern about if my daughter was saved or had any chance of being in heaven:
  • Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. ~ Jeremiah 1:5 
  • But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me. ~ 2 Samuel 12:23

For those "Why Days":
  • For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. ~ Isaiah 55:8
  • Let my cry come near before thee, O LORD: give me understanding according to thy word. ~ Psalm 119:169
  • And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee. ~ Psalm 9:10
  • As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all. ~ Ecclesiastes 11:5
  • Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
My mom said it best that we are lent to one another. Everyone's time on Earth is only a little while. No one knows how much time we have which is why time and life are the two most precious assets we all possess. I am thankful to God that He allowed me to be Ashley's mother; and I even though she is not here and I was not able to raise her, I still feel blessed that she was mine, inside of me, and a part of me-- even for just a little while-- because she will always be my daughter. Amen.


6 comments:

  1. Hugs & prayers for you and the family today and every day! ♥

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  2. Barbara Keating MatthewsApril 22, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    Thinking of the three of you and praying for comfort and peace.

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  3. I'm reading your post from the babycenter site. Thank you for sharing your heart.

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  4. Grace's 1st Angelversary was on Easter this year - April 8th. We invited friends and family to a balloon release we held at a local park. My husband and I thanked everyone for supporting us through this, and then we let all 50 balloons fly. Afterwards, we spent time in the park letting the children play together for a few hours. It was wonderful.

    I didn't know what to expect on her 1st birthday, but I wasn't as sad as I thought I'd be. Our dates lined up in a way that could only strengthen our faith. You see, Grace's little heart stopped beating on 4/6/11 - this year it was Good Friday - and she was born on 4/8/11 - this year it was Easter. I still miss her deeply, but I remind myself that this world is not our home, and we will all be reunited again one day.

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  5. Excellent post! I must thank you for this informative read. I hope you will post again soon.
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  6. I lost my son this past Saturday at 16 weeks. He was alive for two hours after he was delivered. Wish I could find solace in the bible but instead this has driven a bigger wedge between God and I than existed before. Worse yet it could have been prevented had my obgyn done their job right and correctly diagnosed what caused it. It would have been my 4th child, my 1st son, and my husbands first child.

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