HE HELD MY HAND

She can't find a heartbeat. "No, Lord, not again," I pleaded in my heart as I lay on the ultrasound table. I couldn't lose another unborn baby. The ultrasound technician left the room with the words, "I'll be right back."  I stared at the ceiling and tried not to cry. Suddenly the Holy Spirit took over and my heart shouted, "Your will be done, Lord." I knew my baby was gone.

Although I was only having a regularly scheduled ultrasound to learn my baby's gender, it turned into something totally unexpected, but all too familiar. Three years before, at a scheduled prenatal check up, my midwife couldn't find a heartbeat. My 15 week old baby had miscarried. Three days later I had an induction delivery and went through eight hours of labor to deliver a baby that I would never hold, hear cry or laugh--at least not in this life.

I remember feeling God's presence like I never had before. That night God kept me from sleep in order to show me He cared. He laid a verse on my heart.  It was Romans 8:35, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall tribulation or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or peril or sword?" Simply put -- God never stops loving us.

I realized that God was not just watching me go through this, but He was going through it with me, I will help thee." He helped me to realize that no matter how alone I may feel that He is with me every step of the way.

Is my God going through this same thing with me all over again? I thought. It was so easy to forget the truths I learned with the first loss.

My mother was with me in the ultrasound room. We were silent. The

ultrasound technician returned about ten minutes later but it felt like hours. I said, "You can't find a heartbeat, can you?" She said, "I have to wait for a call." More time passed in silence. Finally, the call came. She told me I needed to go to a different part of the hospital where my midwife was. My mother and I walked into the room and my fears were confirmed. "I'm sorry. We can't find a heartbeat."

"What was God's plan in all of this?" I asked myself. How could anything good come of this?

The next day I repeated the induction delivery and after nine hours of labor delivered a 7 ½ inch baby boy. I was in the birthing center of a hospital and it was hard for me to hear the cries of the precious newborn babies. I would have rejoiced at hearing my own baby cry! Just to hold it, smell its sweet smell, and feel its soft skin. My hurt was tremendous. I ached to have a healthy, full-term baby whose chest would move up and down as it took its first breaths.

A nurse came in and said we had visitors and my husband went to see who they were. We were all surprised when he came back, after checking the hall and the waiting room, and said, "No one is out there." My midwife said they must have been angels.  Psalms 91:11 says, "For he shall give his angels charge over thee in all thy ways." God was at work, except my eyes were not opened to it yet.

A week later I was still crying at the drop of a hat, wondering what God's plan was. God comforted me with His words in 1 Peter 5:10, "But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, strengthen, settle you." I realized that God, who held my hand three years ago, was comforting and holding my hand again. What an amazing feeling!

A few weeks later I had a follow-up appointment with my midwife. We discussed my health and then to my surprise she mentioned "my angels." I really don't think she'll ever forget them, and neither will I. She believed God sent His angels to watch over me.  Could it be that God was using my situation to strengthen her faith too?

Through all of this He's drawing me closer to Him and giving me the opportunity to minister to someone else who may go through something similar. It's not all about me. God is at work through everything. I still cry when I think of my two babies in heaven but I believe the tenderness is God-given. It gives me compassion for others I come in contact with who also have "heavenly" babies.

If you are facing a trial, open your heart to God. Allow Him to comfort you and hold your hand through them. 1 Peter 5:6-7 says, "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." And we are comforted through Romans 8:18, "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."

BETHANY CRAIG
Benton, Maine, USA

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