This past Saturday towels held rubies, my treasure, as my gut wrenched. Towels that cradled cells, if we are speaking medically. To me, however, it was so much more. This was my child, a combination of two lover’s genetics. My husband and I were truly one in this little spawn. Something must have been wrong with his or her development, however. My body purged our longing, a desire that had been brewing in mine and my husband’s heart for 2.5 years.
We had engaged in unprotected pleasure for 2.5 years. Nothing came of it. We went to doctors and were diagnosed with barrenness. Both my husband and I had faulty plumbing, we can’t blame each other. The doctors said our chances of conceiving were around 5%. You can imagine our excitement and surprise when the positive sign spread across that test strip.
Immediately we rolled names off our tongues. Frank, my husband, and I discussed which features we’d like in our child (his full head of hair, my eyes, his height, and my nose). We strolled the aisles of Babies R Us imagining what the nursery would look like. I panicked about where we’d even put a nursery (we live in a one bedroom currently and I really wanted to decorate his or her room). Yet, this had been a long time coming and I trusted that God would provide financially.
Then as little as two weeks later, I was empty. I never imagined I’d have to trust God like this. Infertility, sure, I’d grown accustomed to that. This though, never. It feels like a broken promise.
When we found out we were pregnant, we told family and a few friends. You never tell the general public until 3 months, right? Those few friends we did tell placated me, saying God wouldn’t have me miscarry since we waited so long. For whatever reason, a part of me believed that. Then I had to tell them we did. God gives and God can take away. I’m to sing his praises still.
I’ve had enough bad relationships that led me to Frank (a broken road that led me to God and to this beloved husband). I know God has something great for his glory. It’s not about me. However, I can’t seem to get over this feeling of utter emptiness, this endless void. I thought that once I passed our baby the feeling of carrying deadness would dissipate. It hasn’t, yet. I know that in time this too will heal.
I may be empty, but his grace and mercy fill me up. For when I am weak, he is strong. It is in sorrow that others see what faith can really do. Faith sustains.
It’s when I feel most vacant that his Spirit can fill me to full measure. It is then that his love can pour out of me to a dry and thirsty land.
I’m an empty vessel being filled with his comfort so I can minister to others. It was our prayer for this child; a prayer that teddy graham, our nickname for our baby since we didn’t want to find out the sex until he or she was born, would share the gospel boldly with clarity. Perhaps teddy graham is doing just that, in a way I never thought could happen. Teddy graham’s death meant my physical body was now empty, but fills me with the capacity to share the gospel’s work even in grief.
Repent and believe the good news. With Christ, there is no more death. I’ll meet this child one day, like David spoke of his child.
Empty with sorrow, but full of a peace surpassing all understanding.
That is the Christian’s paradox.