Relying on God, all over again: Trent's story
I learned a lot about trusting God after the miscarriage. I learned that I won’t always know why God allows bad things to happen, and I knew that God is good, that he loves me, and that I didn’t have to know why bad things happen in order for me to love him back. I knew I didn’t have the complete picture of how he was working in my life, and I was okay with that. But that didn’t mean that I had it all figured out. I still don’t. My relationship with God is growing though, and I trust Him more deeply now, than I did then. Much of it comes from experience. Here’s a story about one of those experiences.
My next pregnancy, a year later, was admittedly filled with fear. I prayed often for a healthy baby, and I did feel the peace of God often during this time, but there were also times when I allowed my thoughts to go to dark places.
One such time was after a doctor’s appointment, at eight months, when my doctor said that she was concerned about something she heard with my baby’s heart. We were still living in Wenatchee, and there, whenever there’s a serious medical problem, doctors send their patients to a large hospital in Seattle. That’s what she did.
Sadly, my first reaction was not to pray. Instead I went home and started reading everything I could find about my baby’s suspected heart condition on the Internet. What I read terrified me. I was a mess. One thing that helped me, though, is that I had been keeping journals, for years, and I also read those. I read about the ways that God had been with me through good times and bad. I read about answered prayers, some in ways I had specifically asked for, others in ways that surprised me, and were better. I calmed down and I prayed, what I should have done in the first place. I took comfort in verses like this one,
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27
Derek and I barely said anything on the three-hour drive to Seattle the next day. I do remember that we prayed together. At the time, that wasn’t something we did very often, together. We were going to meet with a genetic counselor and have some ultrasounds that could look inside our baby’s heart. We were hoping for the best, but we knew from experience that pregnancies don’t always have happy endings. We were trying to prepare ourselves for whatever news we were about to receive.
That morning was a blur. We met with the doctors, did the ultrasound, and waited. In the afternoon the doctor went over the results with us and told us that our baby was fine. His heart was fine. It was such a happy moment, such relief and gratitude. We prayed again, a prayer of thanks.
It was close to Christmas at this time, and we were looking forward to welcoming our baby boy, sometime in the middle of December. We celebrated by going to a nearby shopping area, buying a “baby’s first Christmas” ornament, which was also a picture frame. It felt like an act of hope.
Trent, my sweet baby boy, was born a few weeks later. He was very sick, not with a heart condition, but with an infection. He needed to stay in the hospital a few extra days, and once again, it was a scary time, but that time, we were quicker to go straight to God in prayer, and once again, we trusted that God was in control. That didn’t mean I wasn’t scared. But God had used those past experiences to strengthen my faith in Him.
On Christmas Eve, we brought our baby home, and one of the first things I did was put his picture in that ornament and hang it on our tree. We’ve celebrated twelve more Christmas’s with Trent since then, and every time I see that ornament, I think about the day I bought it, and I think about the never-ending faithfulness of God.
I can’t say with certainty how I would have reacted had this story not ended with a healthy baby, but I realize that I’ll probably have more of these kinds of hard stories before all is said and done in my life, and I pray that whatever happens, I’ll be able to say, like Job,