In observance of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month...
By Michelle Paris
Friend, let me share something that I have learned--God always prepares us because He knows before we do.
Remember the verse?
“For I know the plans I have for you,“ declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
No matter what we go through in our time on this earth, I can promise you this, God already knows. This is my comfort. Because, if God knows, then He already has it, even if we end up in a ball of mess and tears. And if that isn’t enough of a promise, God somehow, supernaturally, turns it into something beautiful.
It was just a feeling in my spirit that day, a whisper telling me that I’d never meet him or her. I believe the word “hold” was actually whispered. I can’t explain it other than a peaceful preparation.
We had announced my third pregnancy on Mother’s Day 2015 and all of the family was gathered around rejoicing for another baby. We took a picture. One that now has a whole new meaning. It now represents a loss, a hurt for our family, yet a reminder of God’s faithfulness and the supernatural.
Another day, and I found myself praying before our appointment just as I always had, except this time the Holy Spirit spoke through me. My prayer that I thought was going to be something like, “God, please help everything be ok,” turned into “God, please prepare me for whatever you have.”
A dear friend had shared with me years prior that before God called her youngest brother back home, He had prepared her and her family. She just knew. Maybe for this purpose, maybe not, but that nugget of wisdom – God always prepares us – has stuck in my heart and has proved not only to be true, but also a comfort.
We went to the appointment and my worst fear was confirmed; God had called our child home before we ever got to meet him or her. I would never have the chance to hold that precious baby. I don’t think I will ever fully be able to convey the depth of the loss that we felt. All the doctor could say was “I’m sorry, we don’t know why.”
It was a different kind of pain, anger, and distance than I had ever felt before. Over the course of a week or so I struggled with the reality and all of the pain that accompanies this type of loss. I clung to my family, friends, and the church.
As I’m writing this now, however, one situation specifically sticks out in my mind. Since 2011, my husband has worked at Christian Care Ministry and after hearing about our loss and my upcoming surgery, his co-workers asked me to come in to the chapel so they could pray over us.
There I was, surrounded by brothers and sisters in Christ, physically holding me, letting me cry and calling on Jesus to be our peace and comfort during a time that only He could be. To someone who has been through this or is going through this, this is the biggest blessing imaginable.
I thought I had all the peace I needed and naively thought I was in the clear, until the day of the surgery.
I still remember driving and calling into Medi-Share since we were members. It wasn’t your typical pre-notification phone call, though, because this time I was letting the person on the other line know that I was about to have a surgery that would remove a child I never got to meet.
Even through all of the healing that God has completed in me, that sentence still pains me. It stings. These feelings a parent goes through in this situation are real and, years later, still hurt. This is why I’m sharing my story. Because, it is real.
Thinking back, the single thing that has always stuck out in my mind from that morning’s phone call is the prayer that was offered at the end. As I was hanging on by a fingernail, that prayer gave me a fingertip. I wish I had written down that precious woman’s name, because she was used by God in that very moment in a very BIG way.
We arrived, I had the surgery, and then something supernatural happened; something I could not explain, and neither could anyone else who was there. As I was coming out of surgery, I apparently led the medical staff in prayer. I have no recollection of this whatsoever, but the nurse told me.
What I do recall is that shortly after, God told me to raise my hands and to start singing “Oceans” by Hillsong United.
You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand…
I remember in my hazy state seeing the medical staff walking by and stopping to witness what probably seemed crazy.
I have no idea why God told me to do that and probably never will; BUT, the point is that God prepared me for this loss and I am confident that God was preparing or ministering to someone at the time through my obedient singing and supernatural prayer.
I always knew my loss wouldn’t be the end of my story and that somehow God would use my pain for good. I knew it, but I certainly didn’t feel it. I have cried, I have been angry, I have questioned why. I have personally walked where you are now, or maybe have been. Or, even scarier, where God may take you in the future.
So, friend, if this message is for you, please know that the prayers that I prayed then and the ones I’ve been praying through tear-stained keystrokes are for you. It isn’t going to happen overnight and it isn’t going to be easy.
But, God does bring healing, even if it’s in the form of writing a blog.