Conditioning For Seasons To Come
My husband, Tyler, and I had been trying for a baby for a while. I’m not going to share how long we had been trying because I’ve discovered that it doesn’t matter if a couple has been trying for 2 months or 5 years. The wait for a baby feels like an eternity and the amount of time waiting is equally as painful for all. However, that beautiful day in May when we found out our moment had finally come made every second of the wait worth it. I had all of these sweet and creative ideas stored up for how to tell Ty, but the second I saw that positive line appear I lost my mind and immediately showed him! We were on cloud nine all day and my face had a permanent smile.
On June 9th we had our first appointment. Your first appointment is supposed to be an exciting one, right? You’re supposed to have a wonderful ultrasound and see your sweet little bean and maybe even hear its precious heartbeat. That was not part of our story. Our first appointment was filled with conversation about how my levels were concerning and there was a chance for a miscarriage. We heard no heartbeat but my sweet doctor gave us hope, encouraged us to pray, and asked to see me back in a couple of weeks. That car ride home was filled with a lot of silence and a lot of tears.
We prayed. We prayed hard. Then, at one point during a long prayer, I stopped praying for my desires. I sat in silence for a moment, letting the millions of voices of fear slowly quiet, and I started praying for God’s will instead. I prayed that if He needed to take my baby, if that was part of my story, then He could. All I asked is that He would please stay with me and guide me through it. I knew I couldn’t do it without Him. I knew my heart would hurt. I knew I needed Him. I also knew at that moment that I needed to let Him do His will and write my story. God doesn’t need my permission to do His will, but there is power and a feeling of peace and freedom when you completely submit to his plans and let Him show you the beauty in His will.
On July 1st we lost our baby. We knew this moment could come and the Lord guided me through those tough few days just as I had asked Him to. He gave me peace and relieved my heart from a pain that only one who has lost a child can understand. I found a new hope in Jesus during that time, that though I wasn’t aware of then, prepared me for later in my story.
In April of 2016, God blessed us with our beautiful baby girl, Gracelynn. I will never forget how it felt to hold her close to me when she arrived into this world. Everything about her was perfect. Her tiny toes, pink skin and her sweet cry were all enough to make my heart melt into a puddle. Though she seemed perfect to me, something wasn’t right. She was having trouble breathing and was taken to the nursery while I was taken to a room. After a while, the doctor came in and let me know that they were still struggling to get her breathing regulated and she needed to be taken to the NICU. So my husband, who had not even had a chance to hold her yet, walked down with her while I sat in a blur of emotions.
Gracelynn was in the NICU 8 days. Babies in the NICU need as much rest as possible. That means minimal touching and if you do get permission from the nurses to hold them, it can only be for a short time. On day 3 of Gracelynn’s NICU stay her nurse told us that she wasn’t making improvements and we really needed to let her rest. As we left the hospital that evening and got in our car I lost it. Up until that point I had been strong and confident that God had our situation completely in His hands. But that night all of the fear and doubt swarmed through my mind and I questioned everything. I could not comprehend how my baby girl needed to get better without me. In order for her to heal and get stronger, I needed to not hold her or touch her. How does that make sense? How is the comfort of her mama’s arms hindering her? While I sat and cried the song “You Make Me Brave” came on and I immediately had a rush of peace and remembered all of the things He promised me and was faithful to when we lost our first baby. He wanted to walk with me. He wanted to hold my heart and give me peace and contentment. But he needed me to let him, just like I needed to trust, let go of control, and let him comfort and heal my baby girl. I apologized to God for taking a break from Him and asked to start over again in trusting Him. Though it was hard to do, we made the decision that evening to not go to her 10:00 pm care hour and just let her rest. I didn’t sleep at all that night and 7:00 am couldn’t come quick enough.
As we arrived for her morning care hour the nurse had a huge smile on her face and said, “Well mom and dad, she had a great night last night!” Her numbers looked great and they were able to lower her oxygen levels, meaning she was breathing on her own significantly better than the night before.
Gracelynn continued to make huge strides forward and eventually, we were able to take our now sweet, hilarious, life-loving girl home.
I love how God puts us in seasons of life to condition us for other seasons to come. I am beyond grateful for a Father that cares so deeply about my heart that He allows me to experience hard times knowing that I am going to need those moments. What I am more grateful for though, is that He never allows me to experience difficult times without being completely present and ready to take care of my heart during them.