Be Still My Soul

Yesterday was a rough day for me.

Let’s flash back about 6 years.

February of 2014. I had a doctor’s appointment (on my birthday) with my new PCP hoping to gain some insight on my unidentified chronic illness. Instead of listening to my complaints, taking into account my personal history, or treating me like an individual human being, she tested for STIs and would not let me leave the office without the shot for gonorrhea. In spite of the fact that I neither had gonorrhea, nor did the heavy, broad spectrum antibiotics in any way help my situation, and despite neither my husband or myself engaging in risky sexual behavior, I had to drive home and answer my husband when he asked me, “Well, how did it go?”

I told him what they treated me for. He didn’t speak to me for two days. I didn’t know what to think, but I have never felt so isolated, alone, and unloveable in my life. I was utterly broken.

After that appointment, I went to a Chiropractor who specialized in alternative medicine and getting to the root cause of my symptoms. My initial bloodwork showed signs of malnutrition and my estrogen levels were that of a post-menopausal woman, while my testosterone levels were elevated. The likelihood of conceiving a child was very slim.

I grieved that news, set about regaining my health with proper restorative nutrition and supplementation, and threw myself into work, and future schooling plans.

To add insult to that injury, 4 months later, I found out I was pregnant. Not really knowing what to think about that, I was in denial, but also excited that my fertility seemed to be on the mend. After taking 8 home pregnancy tests, I concluded I was almost 7 weeks along, when I started spotting. The cramping grew worse, and not knowing what else to do I went to the ER.

There was another woman there, about 20 weeks along, also spotting. They were able to help her and save her baby.

I, on the other hand, was triaged, a had an ultrasound I wasn’t allowed to view. Following the ultrasound, I was given a maxi pad as I started bleeding more profusely. No one cared. I remember being in the bathroom, weeping in hurt, confusion, and just feeling lost. The HCG levels in my bloodwork showed that either there was no baby, or I had lost it shortly after conception. I was told the pregnancy test(s) I had taken must have been faulty to produce positive results… All 8 of them…

I stayed most of the night in the emergency room, with my husband who didn’t know what to say…that was on his birthday.

I don’t know how, but after I vented my rage and anger and confusion to God, I felt His peace. I can’t explain it. But the pain, anger, and confusion faded and I heard the comfort of the Holy Spirit speaking hope into my life.

A month later, I had more positive pregnancy tests. I kept thinking, “God, not again. I can’t do this again.”

So I lived in anxiety and denial and with each passing week of my absent period, I decided to go back to my PCP for confirmation. She came into the room after my test and asked which hospital I planned to deliver at… That’s how I found out about my baby. She didn’t speak a congratulatory word, or apologize for her false/incorrect previous diagnosis. I never stepped foot back in her office.

I found myself constantly living on the brink of fear of miscarriage and disbelief of the pregnancy. Then, I felt my son move for the first time at about 13 weeks. I constantly returned to 1 Samuel and prayed Hannah’s prayer. “God if you decide to grant me this child, I will dedicate myself to raising him in Your Word. If not, I will still praise You. Your will be done.”

God was merciful and gracious, and my husband and I welcomed our first son in April of 2015.

After a difficult pregnancy, an out of state move, 2 months of unemployment, a failed attempt to purchase a home, another last minute move, 32 hours of labor, a 4th degree tear, and an 8 month recovery, and a year of postpartum anxiety, I found out I was pregnant again.

This time with a baby girl. Pretty much every aspect of her pregnancy redeemed that of my first. But still, we again faced two months of homelessness due to the sale of the property we had been renting and the time it took to close on our current home. But not once did my faith waver. God had already proven Himself so faithful. I knew He held all things.

Not 6 months after our daughter was born, I found out I was pregnant again. I wasn’t ready to do that all over again. But God worked through that and we welcomed our third child, another son.

Through those trials, God spoke conviction to my heart about my attitude toward marriage, sex, children… And my husband and I decided to try for another baby.

This pregnancy, my fourth, a baby girl, has been the most emotionally draining. Torn between the weight of parenting and educating my other children, and the conviction that this is God’s desire for me, I’ve been struggling with anxiety of my husband’s absence due to work and school and already feeling like I’m drowning in responsibility I can barely manage– what’s going to happen when this baby comes?

I feel an immense amount of guilt; this is what I prayed for, isn’t it? For God to heal my body and restore my fertility? And yet more and more, I find myself resenting my responsibility as a mother, and considering sterilization.

How can I want to break what God so mercifully healed? How can I look at the beautiful faces of my children and only feel overwhelmed, when I have the blessing of having gotten to bring them home?

I know my God is able to do all things and that He holds all things. And yet it is still a moment by moment battle.

About two weeks ago, my husband mentioned the presumed miscarriage for the first time since that night in the emergency room. And I grieved again. I’d never heard him say anything about it; I never realized he still thought about it, or cared. It came up again in my weekly Bible study, and I sat quietly, grieving that baby and thanking God for allowing me to bring 3 healthy children home.

I know that this is a season; that life won’t be like this forever. That doesn’t change my circumstances, but it is slowly helping me to cope and to seek God’s peace.

Be still my soul the Lord is on thy side
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain
Leave to thy God to order and provide
In every change He faithful will remain
Be still my soul thy best, thy heavenly friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end

Be still my soul when dearest friends depart
And all is darkened in the vale of tears
Then shalt thou better know His love His heart
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears
Be still my soul the waves and winds shall know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below

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