In April 2005 I hated God. I had not hated him all month. It had actually been an exciting month because I was 42 and sixteen weeks pregnant.
Having suffered 5 miscarriages and an infant death leading up to this pregnancy, it seemed like a miracle to be so far along. I had begun to show and received maternity clothes for my birthday.
Yeah, I was middle aged. And yeah, we already had seven kids. But many women can relate to that last ditch desire to have another child in a final burst of youthful fertility.
The burst I got was just the bubble kind.
First, there was no heartbeat at the midwife’s office.
Then there was no heartbeat at the hospital.
Then the words you don’t want any ultrasound technician to utter, “I’m sorry.”
Joe doesn’t cry. He cried.
I cried too. It was a sad, godawful day.
But it wasn’t as bad as the day I had my D & C. The anesthetisologist couldn’t find the bull’s eye and I felt every inch of his wicked needle. He made so many attempts I lost count, and he even had the nerve to joke about my “strong back. ”
Baby gone and then I bled too much.
And then they started talking hysterectomy.
That remained in tact, but my faith fell away and I hated God for leading me on. I plummeted into depression, grieving the loss of my youth and all the children I would not see this side of heaven.
Hating God after already having seven healthy children sure seems lame, immature and selfish. But my identity had been wrapped in childbearing for twenty years. It was the only life I knew. Maybe I was just a pouty spoiled brat. How dare God deny me the “and counting” family I had always wanted before I was ready to stop counting.
On the other hand, I was sincere in my desire to raise a family that would honor God. A great big family with room for more if he willed. It made sense for my heart to hurt.
Grieving this loss took months of counseling and Lexapro, beginning in May with this journal entry:
I am reluctant to use this new journal for what seems to be such a dark purpose. I am depressed over the death of our baby and the many years of pain and loss I have endured. So I’m seeing a counselor to walk through the grief and the other painful mid-life issues that have me down.
Fast forward to December 2005 and this journal entry speaks of progress:
I know that part of the trauma I’ve felt working through the changes in life is just a lack of preparedness. Without preparation, tests in life only shock and shudder us. I have always yearned for mentors, for Titus 2 women. I have always longed to be this for others. The vast scope of my life experience is equipping me for the ministry that I know is in my future.
It’s April 2016…eleven years later… and “the future” is now. I will be opening a teaching center for mothers next month in Charlottesville. Here’s a photo of the stairwell leading to my office:
Isn’t it gorgeous?! I’m spending my birthday week decorating and preparing to open next month with small group classes that offer practical tips and spiritual encouragement.
I have been dreaming for years of creating a hang-out space for moms. We work hard and we deserve to be refreshed in God and we need to be mentored. I want to do my part to minimize the “shock and shudder” of life’s inevitable trials. I want to reassure fellow moms and grand moms that tests do come, including tests of mid-life loss and confusion. But through Christ we conquer all things and eventually we find joy.
I feel a lot of joy today on my 53rd birthday! I feel loved by God and I love him like never before.
From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb…and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, til I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.