There is No Easy Way to Say This
Elizabeth Eno, Guest Writer
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.
Today was the day! I was nearly 22 weeks pregnant with our second child and my husband, Jason, and I couldn’t wait to find out the gender of our baby. The ultrasound tech took a few quick pictures and then said she needed to check something and would be right back.
We waited and waited. Where was she?
Something must be wrong. Just as Jason opened the door to see what was taking so long, he saw her coming down the hallway, with a man in a white coat behind her. They both entered the room. I sat up stiffly on the bed, aware that something wasn’t right. Still, nothing could have prepared us for the words we heard next.
The doctor quickly and calmly said: “There is no easy way for me to say this, but we did not find a heartbeat on your ultrasound.”
I immediately crumbled in tears, my body tensing and crunching up, in shock and disbelief. Jason came over and just held me. He stood in front of me, almost physically blocking me from the stabbing words of the doctor, even though the doctor was as kind as he could possibly be. I peered over Jason’s shoulder to barely make eye contact with the doctor, my arms and legs trembling.
After a few moments of silence and “I’m so sorry” from the doctor, we asked if he could look at the ultrasound again. He showed us how the heart was completely still when it should have been obviously pumping. He showed us the flat line that should have revealed those jagged mountains and valleys to indicate life.
I cried and between gasps for air, asked, “Why?”
He said it looked like the baby was measuring around 18 or 19 weeks, so our child had likely died between one to two weeks earlier.
We asked a few more questions through physically painful, gut-wrenching tears. We asked if they could tell us the gender since that was what we had been looking forward to finding out at the appointment. Our baby was a girl.
Jason and I left the ultrasound building and went to a nearby park. We sat in the car for a while trying to figure out what to do, and how, and when.
I said, “Why are the words ‘no heartbeat’ so final? There must be something we can do…how can we fix this?”
I also told Jason that this may be the end of one thing (our baby’s life), but it is only the very beginning of something else. I knew from friends who had experienced something similar that there was a hard road ahead of us, but what did that mean for us? I felt like I was drowning. Where could I find a hand to keep my head above the raging waves?
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers,
they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
This verse does not say when you pass through the waters, you won’t get wet. It does not say that when you walk through fire, you won’t feel the heat. This verse does not focus on the circumstances. It draws our attention to the One walking with us and reminds us that no matter how hard life is, we are not alone.
The next couple of days, we will go deeper into the water and further into the fire of Jason’s and my particular journey. Hopefully, as we do so, we will see how God is with us through it all, and the promise of His presence can be yours as well.
Lord, when we receive news that is not only different from what we expected but altogether crushing, may we immediately think of You. May we know that when tsunami size waves threaten to drown us, and hot coals of fire begin to singe our hearts, You are not absent. Remind us that You are close and You will lead us through whatever comes. In Your name, Amen.
Elizabeth Eno has worked for Wycliffe Bible Translators since 2004. She initially lived in South Asia facilitating Chronological Bible storytelling projects for more than 18 Bibleless people groups. Today, Elizabeth serves as Wycliffe's Volunteer & Intern Placement Team Leader. Elizabeth currently lives in Florida with her husband, Jason, and their 18 month old daughter, Lily. In her free time, Elizabeth enjoys being with her family and especially likes watching Lily learn and experience the world for the first time! Elizabeth writes periodically at www.elizabethstories.blogspot.com. Elizabeth's writings about her infertility and miscarriage journey can be found here: www.itisaprocess.wordpress.com.
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