Sunshine. Unicorns. Glitter.
These are words that scratch the surface of what was seemingly oozing from my pores as I sat in the waiting room of my doctor’s office. I had taken about a million (okay, only four) pregnancy tests and reality had started to set in that I was going to be a Mama of two. I went back for the ultrasound and heard the most glorious sound – a heartbeat. A strong, steady heartbeat. Aside from being a wife, being a Mom is my favorite part about who I am. The thought of getting to experience that all over again filled my heart with unexplainable joy. I left with endless amounts of ultrasound pictures and even more thoughts about how he or she would look and what our new life would be like.
Life went on as usual. There wasn’t as much time for naps as the first time around because…well…I was chasing a toddler this time. Several weeks went by (14 ½ to be exact) and it was time for my next appointment. I walked into the doctor’s office, again, on cloud nine. The nurse came in first to get the baby’s heart rate. I laid there for, what seemed like, hours while she moved and positioned the monitor every way possible.
She told me not to worry. This was normal at this stage of the game because of how tiny the baby is. She was sending me across the hall to the ultrasound room to have my doctor check for the heart rate instead. My head wanted to panic, but my heart still felt at peace. The doctor came in and, with a series of several tries with several different machines, searched and searched for a heartbeat.
I remember hearing “I’m sorry…” and after that I don’t remember much. I was numb. Totally and completely numb. This was the second time in three months I had been told that my baby no longer had a beating heart. The pain felt like it would consume me.
Physically, it took quite a while to heal. My spirit, however, was in for a much longer recovery time. I spent the next few months being pretty angry with God. I know that’s not typically something people want to admit to, but if I’m being 100% transparent, I was furious. My husband and I were in full time ministry and had committed to a life of serving the Lord. Why us? I avoided church at all costs. When I did show up, I came in late and snuck out early. One Sunday, a sweet, older lady in our church came up to me and hugged me for, what felt like, an eternity. She slipped a piece of paper into my jacket pocket and said, “read this when you have some time to REALLY talk to God about it.” I got home, opened the paper and on it was written:
“Let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross.” Hebrews 12: 1-2
I focused on the word “endurance”. Isn’t it funny that it wasn’t written “let us run with gladness” or “let us run with ease”. The word “endurance” was used because there are moments in our race that we will have to endure. There will be days that make us feel like we are hanging on by a thread. The race will be difficult on those days, but God has called us to endure.
Right there in the middle of my 900 square foot house, I felt like I had been punched in the gut. Maybe I didn’t understand God as much as I thought I did. I had been so angry and bitter, I had forgotten that He knew my hurt before I even felt it. I sat down and began to pray and, in that moment, God spoke to me in the most crystal clear voice I have ever heard and said, “Why are you so busy looking for answers instead of looking for me?”
Despite my hurt, I found God in the middle of the most heart-breaking time of my life. I found God when I was at my lowest. I believe that David wrote “I will lift UP my eyes to the hills” because he knew that, sometimes, you have to be at rock bottom to learn to look up. I had spent most of my life involved in ministry, but had overlooked the idea of completely trusting in God.
I don’t know where this will find you. Life may be going exactly the way you want it to. If that’s the case, I am thrilled for you. This may have, however, found you at your rock bottom, wherever that may be. Hear me.
The thoughts in your head aren’t too loud for the voice of God.
You are never too far for God’s reach.
You are never too broken for the Potter to put you back together.
You are never too hurt to be whole again.
You are never too mad to find understanding.
You are never too low to look up.