In Awe

Elizabeth Eno, Guest Writer

 

TODAY’S TREASURE

Let us live in awe of the LORD our God, for He gives us rain each spring and fall, assuring us of a harvest when the time is right.

Jeremiah 5:24 NLT

 

After receiving the news that the baby growing inside me no longer had a heartbeat, and after confirming next steps with our doctor, Jason and I got a flight from my parents’ home in Delaware to our home in Florida that same night.

The next day, we went to the hospital. The doctor explained the process of induction as well as some other pieces of the picture we were not expecting. He said that because of the age of the baby, a funeral home would have to be involved and we needed to prepare to bury our baby.  We just sat there as the doctor’s words trailed off. My mind filled with heartache and confusion all over again.

We tried to walk through an ever deepening trench of pain. We had texted some friends who knew our pain because they had walked this way ahead of us. We made calls to funeral homes and cemeteries. All the while, I sat on the hospital bed - “pregnant.”

The whole thing felt like an out-of-body experience. It felt like soon we would wake up and none of this would have happened and in just a few months, Lily would still be getting a little sister.

We cried, we prayed, and we tried to rest.  Looking back now I realize, as hard as that period was, we were completely clueless about what was to come.

In short, my labor took place in the middle of the night and was intense and frustrating.  Looking back, I realize nothing could have prepared me for this. In those moments, perhaps my mind protected my heart from the full impact of what was happening. I knew that what was inside of me was going to come out and it would involve pain, but something kept me from mentally and emotionally acknowledging that I was actually going to labor this child into the world.

My idea of labor and giving birth, from other people’s stories, or movies, or books and the birth of our Lily, involved a crying baby at the end of it. This birth would not include that, so I never really grasped the fact that I was actually going to give birth to a baby. I somehow convinced myself I was simply in the hospital to manage the pain associated with this new term called a miscarriage. Today I think this was my way of spreading out the enormous grief that was to come.

I knew that even though this was a late term miscarriage, there was still a possibility we would not be able to see or hold our baby afterward.  Most of my friends who have had miscarriages did not have that blessing. I did not want to hope for that if something went wrong and we did not get that opportunity.

After a few hours of confusion, various forms of medication, and finally a few pushes, our baby arrived. Although she was without life, she was amazing.

I held her. Her thirteen ounce body fit in one hand. She was so small, but so complete. Her hands, her fingers, her feet, her toes, everything was there. Everything was good. Our little girl was perfect.

She was ‘sleeping’ and she was here. I don’t think I even cried at first. I was just happy to have her. I would deal with reality later.  Right then, she was ours, and she was beautiful.

I was in awe. I was in awe of our little girl.  I was in awe of my strong husband who was there through the whole labor.  I was mostly in awe of our good God - who gave this baby to us. In that moment, I was aware of the tragic truth of the situation, but also felt deeply that God was with us, as He had always been, and always would be.

Though at the time, I could not foresee any tangible fruit promised, I clung to these words:

Let us live in awe of the LORD our God, for He gives us rain each spring and fall, assuring us of a harvest when the time is right.

Jeremiah 5:24 NLT

PRAYER

Lord, even though our baby was not alive, we were given a glimpse of her - of who You made her to be.  Thank you for this gift. Even in the midst of the ‘rain’ of hard times, help us see the beauty You are creating behind the clouds, and remind us that these overwhelming floods in our lives are sometimes necessary to produce a bountiful harvest when the time is right. Help us to trust You in all seasons, knowing that Your time for everything is perfect. Amen.

 
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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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