Friday, March 28, 2008

A Time to Mourn...

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them.”
Psalms 139:13-16 (ESV)

These were the words I read in my quiet time Monday morning. I cherished them as I pondered the life of the little one growing inside of me. Less than an hour later, these words haunted me as that same little life – lost it’s life. With monstrous cramping, I began what would be a four day turmoil of bleeding. This baby, our baby, MY baby was gone.

My immediate response was confusion. Deep down, I knew what had just happened but I couldn’t get a grasp on it yet. I was frozen. Being held by my husband, I stood, motionless in disbelief. “This is not happening,” I thought to myself. “This is just a bad dream.” Moments later, I crumbled into his arms as reality took hold of me.

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die...
...a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance”
Eccl 3:1,4 (ESV)

Monday was an incredibly difficult day. There were moments of uncontrolled crying. In my prayer journal I wrote, “To have had the thrill and excitement of pregnancy and no sooner than that, loss! God, I know that you are in control. I know that you love me. I know that while my heart screams ‘unfair!’ my soul reminds me that I must trust in you.”

Then there were moments of strange peace. Phillipians 4:5-7 says, “The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (my italics).

I couldn’t get those morning verses of Psalm 139 out of my head. Then God gently nudged me. It was as if He was telling me, “Terra. These words still hold true. I was knitting together this life and I had numbered your baby’s days. I know I took your little one before you were ready but I promise you, I’m still in control. I still love you. I have a greater purpose for this situation that you cannot yet understand.” Wow.

I have a new bond with those who have been through miscarriages. Before my own, though I knew it had to be hard, I had no idea just how hard. I don’t think it’s possible to know what it’s like without the experience. Some people will wonder if I’ll be as quick to announce our next pregnancy (assuming the Lord blesses us again) – I will. The way I see it, God calls us to community. In community, we can rejoice in new life. Even more, we can mourn with one another. First Corinthians 12:26 says, “If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” Had I kept the pregnancy secret, I would not have had a community to mourn with.

Today my doctor's office called with the results of my blood work: the miscarriage was confirmed. I lost my composure yet again.

But during this time, my husband and I have so tightly clung to Christ. We’ve also learned how to cling even tighter to one another. It’s even caused me to love and cherish my daughter Hannah Mai that much more. As hard as it is for me to say, I know that God makes no mistakes. His ways are so much higher than my own. I even more strongly yearn for the day when He returns. Revelation 21:1-4 shows us that day. “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (my italics).

This past Sunday at church, Bro. Daniel mentioned in his sermon that we need to be a people that both suffers and dies well. A day later, James and I’s abilities to do so were tested. Praise God that we do not rest on our own abilities. If we did, we’d both be in despair and misery. We are told to lean on our only solid Rock and to cast our burdens upon Christ. May He continue to lead us each day. This hope is our only hope. Please continue to pray for us during this difficult time.

I end with lyrics from Watermark’s “Glory Baby.” You can listen to it online at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wH5n5ikNgA

Glory baby you slipped away as fast as we could say baby…baby..
You were growing, what happened dear?
You disappeared on us baby…baby..
Heaven will hold you before we do
Heaven will keep you safe until we’re home with you…
Until we’re home with you…

Miss you everyday
Miss you in every way
But we know there’s a day when we will hold you
We will hold you
You’ll kiss our tears away
When we’re home to stay
Can’t wait for the day
when we will see you
We will see you
But baby let sweet
Jesus hold you
‘till mom and dad can hold you…
You’ll just have heaven before we do
You’ll just have heaven before we do

Sweet little babies, it’s hard to understand it
‘cause we’re hurting
We are hurting
But there is healing
And we know we’re stronger people through the growing
And in knowing-
That all things work together for our good
And God works His purposes
just like He said He would…
Just like He said He would…

BRIDGE:
I can’t imagine heaven’s lullabies
and what they must sound like
But I will rest in knowing,
heaven is your home
And it’s all you’ll ever know…
all you’ll ever know…
In Christ,
Terra Santos

13 comments:

Bonnie said...

Know you are an inspiration to those of us around you. You are in my prayers everyday, but especially so during this awful time. Much love to the three of you, Bonnie

Kristy said...

I love you, Terra! Know that you are in our prayers and we are trusting God with you that He will work it out for the good because you and James love Him so much and are called according to His purpose! I'm encouraged by the wisdom you express even in your sorrow! Love you so much girlie!

jennifer said...

Terra, you and James are such an encouragement and godly example to us. I'm sure God is pleased and glorified in how you are suffering the loss of the baby.

Anonymous said...

When I read the note from Gerald Rogers about your loss, I immediately wanted to send a note of encouragement as I, too, have lost a baby through miscarriage, as well as the death of a newborn daughter, and more recently the death of our 29 year old daughter. As I read through your message, I found that I was the one encouraged and blessed. Thank you for your love of the Lord and your willingness to share in your time of sorrow. I will indeed pray for you and your family at this time.

Linda Long said...

Dear Terra,
I am so sorry for your family's loss. I am praying that God will give you comfort. Thank you for sharing your precious heart with us.
Love,
Linda

Bigmammy said...

Terra, You are an inspiration to all of us. If you need to talk ........Much love and prayers to you and to James during this time.
Amy

Anonymous said...

We lost our first born, he was full term, but the cord was around his little neck.. Our hearts were broken, Our hearts go out to you and your family.. Two years later, on the same day, within the same hour our second child was born. God's grace was sufficient for us, we pray it will be for you too..

Jack

Lisa said...

Dear Terra,

I was deeply sorrowed to hear about your loss, but very encouraged to read about your trust in the Lord. I will keep you in my prayers. Hang in there.

Lisa Derhake

Kara said...

Terra, I have only met you once and really only know you through Jennifer but know I will be praying for you! Justin and I lost our first child only days after finding out. I know the feelings you are experiencing and will continue to feel as the days, weeks, months, and years pass! I feel the same way about announcing a pregnancy to our fellow brothers and sisters. We rejoice together and we weep together. Tonight my heart weeps alongside of yours as we both praise an awesome and sovereign God who is still on His throne!

Sarah Cosper said...

Santos,
I love you for so many reasons. Your writings have always been encouragement to me. You have touched me with this testimony. Mike and I are praying for you. Thank you so much for loving your community by sharing your sadness as well as your joys.

Anonymous said...

Terra,
I am sorry to hear things did turn out this way. I know you will be strong. Much love to you and your family.

Julie

amberlu said...

James & Terra,

We are so sorry for your loss, yet are encouraged to see how you've remained faithful and have clung on to Christ's promises! Joel and I recently went through a miscarriage on Feb. 5th .... it was so shocking b/c I have never had any problems with my previous
2 pregnancies. I didn't know how "common" miscarriages are, and never thought we'd have to experience that type of pain and loss. Christ gave us His peace that is so comforting! Know that we are praying for you through this time ....

Rich blessings!
Tiffany Davis (for Joel, Sophie & Eli too!)

Them Chandlers said...

Terra,

I am a complete stranger to you and your husband but am joined to you as your sister in the Lord and fellow sojourner on the path of healing from a miscarriage. My husband and I suffered a miscarriage in November and again two days ago. I must have been due around the same time you were...my due date was November 29th.

Thank you to both of you for sharing your heart...for illustrating so beautifully the reality of the pain but the greater reality of God's goodness in the midst of it.

Thank you,
Lauren Chandler