Losing our babies was the greatest shock we have ever known.
I grew up in a very happy home. I have two parents that love me greatly. I have four siblings whom I love and who love me. I had bumps and bruises along the way, of course, but very little to disrupt the settled happiness in my heart. I had the amazing privilege of living overseas. I loved all four years of college. I married the best man in the world (still can’t figure out why he picked ME). Blessings heaped on my head, one after another after another.
I will never forget that moment in the hospital room, hearing the doctor tell us that I was about to deliver our son, that they could not stop it, and that he would not survive. I have no words to describe the impact those few sentences had, no category for this pain. Never in my life had I imagined that such a tragedy would happen to me. That God would allow it. We expected those babies to be born at the right time. We expected them to live. We planned our whole lives around them.
I lived those first few days in shock, unable to process what had happened. I had never known such pain and had no room for it in my heart.
And all the while, I know there are parts of the world where women do not expect to deliver healthy babies and raise them to adulthood. Suffering for these women is a way of life. They learn it as children and live with it all their lives. It does not shock them as it shocked me. It does not catch them off guard. Life means suffering.
My dad put these thoughts in my head when he mentioned at the graveside of our babies how often Scripture promises that God’s people WILL suffer. This world is a disaster, a complete shipwreck, the opposite of what life was always meant to be.
Living a “charmed” life left me with so little appreciation for the suffering life Jesus lived, and the lives of so many suffering Christians – through the ages and around me today. God had to break into my life, sending pain and sorrow, so that I would gain a small taste of the grief of my Savior, learning to love Him more and becoming dissatisfied with this broken world. Or, as my dad says, to help me “grow taste-buds for Heaven.”
When I am most honest with myself I know that if I had the choice I would still change what happened to me. But (at least in my best moments) I am grateful that I don’t have that choice. God has made me “acquainted with grief.” I knew it so little before, and I knew so little of the Man of Sorrows.