Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Before I Formed You in the Womb, I Knew You

I realize the subject matter of this, my twin miscarriage, might put a person off...for the first while. The really good part is at the end, but it takes going through the crucible of the story with me to get there and really understand where I'm coming from, and in spite of a seemingly hopeless beginning, it actually has a message of incredible hope. This is so often what God will do through our great pain, is end up giving us hope and a better knowledge of His great faithfulness and unfathomable love. I do hope you'll read on after all, and receive a blessing from it.
I was pregnant for the first time in seven years, since the birth of our daughter. At a grocery store, I ran into a friend I hadn't seen for a while, and showed her my expanding middle. I was just at the 12-week point, but very much showing. I told her, "I'm beginning to wonder whether it's twins, don't you think?" She said, "No kidding." Like it was obvious.
Late the next day, though, I started to miscarry. I was glad that at the time we lived within a block of the hospital. It was surely God's provision for this whole period of our lives--we were there often for one thing or another. I'd never been through miscarriage before; the pain was intense and I thought surely they'd do something to help me in the emergency room. When we got there, it was the worst emergency room visit we ever had. We were ushered into a room and though it seemed like a quiet night there, we were left alone. We had my daughter in tow--unfortunately not much we could do but bring her along. I kept buzzing the button, hoping someone would come with pain medicine, and maybe some evaluation, advice, assurance, or something. No one came. The door was locked to the adjacent bathroom, too. My husband ran around the other side to unlock it. I miscarried one at that time; finally a bunch of medical personnel came along and evaluated the outcome. Yes, I'd miscarried, but the doctor thought I was probably not through yet. He sent me home, and said he might be seeing me again.
We went home and all seemed fine for a short while, but then it became worse than the first time around. We thought we might as well stay home considering the first time, but it wasn't the same. I was writhing in pain and eventually gave up to go back in.
At least in my more obvious agony they couldn't ignore me. After evaluating the situation, they said that the only solution was a D&C, that is, an operation called dilation and curettage. So I lost my second that night. I'd never realized before how much a woman goes through when she loses a pregnancy. The emotional pain is overwhelming.
But the amazing part is coming. I was in a recovery bed, pondering to myself how I'd only been aware of these two tiny human beings at most a few weeks--and one only a day. I'd never seen them, talked to them, named them--didn't even know if they were girls or boys. But the pain of loss was more than I could contain; I'd developed such a love for them in that short time it was beyond what my being could hold.
I wasn't thinking in the slightest of God, of faith, of Scriptures. But in the midst of my self-absorbed thoughts, God pierced through with an instantaneous set of five scriptures that had to do with His eternal love for His people. "I have loved you with an everlasting love,"(Jer 31:3 nasb); "I have engraved you on the palms of My hands,"(Isa 49:16 niv); "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,"(Jer 1:5 nasb); "I will never leave you nor forsake you,"(Heb 13:5b, nkjv); "He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world." (Eph. 1:4 nasb).
I truly had five stunning verses that day all having to do with God's eternal love and knowledge of us. Frankly, often when I try listing them from memory I come up with a slightly different assortment of five, so it's to the point that I don't remember perfectly the original set. However, I know that He tells us in many places throughout the Scriptures of how long He's known us and how much He loves us. Just as He knew that John the Baptist would be a boy, what his name would be, what his purpose was, and his effect on those around him, God also knows what we are to be. He knows every word on our tongues before one of them comes to be said (Ps 139:4). Isn't it marvelous?
So in case I'm not making my point clear, at any rate, we can be overcome with love for another, and with grief over the loss of another, who we have known, or hardly known, for such an infinitesimal fraction of time compared to how God intimately knows us. And He not only knows us well, but loves us anyway--and not humanly but in a "God is love" sense: perfectly, infinitely, completely. It exploded my previous, vague, "a lot bigger than human" picture of who God is and how He graciously loves us.
Ephesians 3:14-19 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

2 comments:

J.OTIS MERSTER said...

This post caught my eye because this is just a radical and life-changing truth, and my favorite Psalm. I have a neurological condition, and that really separates the wheat from the chaff-those who believe God made them and those who don't. I know God made me, and whatever may be wrong with my brain, He made that, too. It really is very amazing to me that the Creator of the universe, seas and stars created me too.

Ruth said...

Absolutely beautiful! I have also suffered loss, and consider my self very blessed as the Lord chose ME to conceive those children. Those scriptures are so close to heart. Thank you for sharing, and congrats on your conception of your perfect twins. I am so sorry for your loss (I lost one of my twins also, and another pregnancy) I am also elated that you are able to find some form of comfort and love with the grace of God. May He bless you xx