A few years back when I began college again I was taking my first writing class and asked to share a personal event that changed my life. I would go on to receive an A on not only the paper but in the class. I told myself when I felt ready I would share, because I always feel that someone out there in the world can be helped through our experiences both good and bad. So…here I am sharing my essay with you all now 4 years later..
“My heart was racing as the Doctor gave me the news.
I’m sorry, Miss Ogle, but you’ve had a miscarriage.
And just like that, my life had changed. Whatever the rest of her speech was seemed to all be a blur. I couldn’t focus on anything other than the fact that my heart felt as if it was being torn from my chest. It wasn’t just a baby I had lost that day, but a part of myself as well.
The drive home seemed to last forever. Mom trying to make small talk with me. I could tell she didn’t know whether to give me words of encouragement or talk about something else completely. I chose to change the subject. After all how could I be this upset about someone I had never met? I wasn’t even showing yet. This was embarrassing. I walked into the house and plopped on the couch. I glanced to the corner of our living room which was already piling up with baby items. “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” lying across the coffee table. What now? Then the phone rang. Of course the downside to being in a tight knit family is no situation is ever private. I needed a minute to process this without having to describe in detail what had happened.
I kept replaying the Doctors visit over and over in my head. How could this be? I felt the tears coming, warmly falling down my cheek. And then a surge of anger came over my entire body.
“How could you do this to me, God? What have I ever done to deserve this? I would have been a great mother!”
The only way I could get my emotions out was to have something or someone to blame it on. And the easiest target was God. After all, he is in control of everything, right? At least that is what I had been raised to believe, but my faith had been tremendously shaken.
For the next few hours I laid crying on the couch and attempted to nap but couldn’t stop my mind from racing, or the annoying buzz from my phone going off in what seemed to be 10-minute intervals. I decided there was nothing left to do but pray. As I began to pray for guidance in this situation my mind went back to 7 years ago. An event that to this day gives meaning to my life.
It’s 7th Grade, and I’m wide awake on a school night. Pondering life after a deep conversation in my English class that day of where we all came from. My response:
“Well God made all of us of course!”
I became very surprised when there were a few opposing views from my classmates. My grandmother was a pastor at our local church, and I had been raised to believe in God from the time I could remember. But all of a sudden it occurred to me – is this what I really believe or is this just something I have been taught?
God, I need some answers. If you are really there listening, I need proof because I’m not so sure I believe this stuff.
My prayer was done and I headed to bed.
About a week later, I find myself walking down a busy street with my best friend Aleia. As we trotted towards the local gas station we noticed a red balloon in the middle of the busy traffic rolling around in a mud puddle. And it didn’t matter how many cars whizzed by it was not popping. Upon seeing the balloon Aleia dares me to grab it, tie it to my wrist, and walk into the gas station wearing it. Challenge accepted. I looked both ways and raced to the center of the street. I grasped the slippery balloon in my hands and noticed lumps all over. I had saved it just in time before it popped! I return to Aleia laughing hysterically.
I can’t believe you actually did it!
I was about to tie the balloon to my wrist as I was told, when I noticed a note card with a message stuck to the back of it.
“God put it in my heart to send out this balloon. To whomever finds it needs to know that you are loved by him.”
My jaw dropped and I instantly began to cry.
Okay, Okay you don’t have to do it if you don’t want to!
No it’s not that! You don’t understand!
I began to explain to Aleia the prayer I had made a few days prior and the significance this balloon actually had. This was not just some old lumpy balloon. This was my very own message from God himself! I went home excited and told the story to mother and called grandmother. God is real grandma! He is real and he sent me my very own note saying so!
I made a promise to myself that day that I would never question God again. And I would try, no matter how hard the situation, to remember the excitement I felt in that moment.
So here I am 7 years later, just losing my first pregnancy. And it’s the hardest thing I ever had to go through. It’s easy when things are going your way to have faith and to thank God for your blessings. It’s another story when you lose something so special to feel thankful at all. I realized in that moment that this situation is when my faith counts the most.
Hebrews 11:1 states “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” I could sit here and cry and wonder why this happened, or I could trust that God in fact has a plan for my life. It may not be turning out the way that I wanted at 20 years old, but there is hope for what I cannot see nor understand at this time.
I struggled with this situation for a long time. But the more I prayed and trusted God, the more peace was brought to me. As the truth behind my 8 year relationship with my high school sweetheart came to light, it eventually ended. Drugs, cheating, and lying all took a part in breaking what I once thought was something so solid, but what really shook me was the fact that he eventually ended up with one of my best friends. After I accepted the situation for what it really was I realized that if I would have had a child in that relationship, they would have been brought into the world in an abusive and toxic environment. This is not how I want to raise my future children. This whole time I had been putting all of my effort into a relationship I knew wasn’t right. I had put aside my own needs and more importantly I put my boyfriend in God’s place. When your priorities are mixed up the rest of your life becomes chaos. And It doesn’t matter how good your intentions may be, it will eventually catch up with you.
After taking time to pray and reflect on everything that happened I thought of my red balloon. I realized that if God would send a curious 7th grader a message, he surely would not leave me alone now to deal with such a traumatic event. I could feel his presence with me and a peace that no amount of kind words from family or friends could offer. Even though losing my baby was difficult, I will now be able to offer a more stable environment for when I choose to have children in the future. I may not know all of the answers as to why bad things happen. But what would be the point if I knew it all? Isn’t that the joy of life? The unknown? Having faith that in the end you will be exactly where God intended for you to be? And it will be better than anything you could have imagined.”
4 years after writing this essay I am now married and my husband and I are opening up the conversation about trying for children soon. At one point in life I thought I had lost all hope…I truly believed I was unlovable and the thought of being pregnant again terrified me because of my miscarriage. While I still feel the miscarriage looms in the back of my mind from time to time…I am so happy to finally be in a stable relationship that will allow us to create life & grow a little human that will change the world in some way. How beautiful is it that through all of our mistakes, hurts, trials, etc….God listens. He listens and he guides us to the exact place we need to be in order to fulfill our life purpose. We are about to celebrate 2 years of marriage next month and I honestly can’t wait for the day we get to say we are expecting. I will forever mourn the loss of my little one at age 20….however I know I will be that much more appreciative for the one my husband and I will bring into the world in the near future.
Healing is possible. God is good.