You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep my faith will stand
And I will call upon Your Name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now
We used to go the beach when I was younger. One year I misjudged a wave in my attempt to be a wave rider, and got flipped end over end under water. For a brief period of time, I was stuck under water, eating sand and swallowing water. Those seconds felt like minutes, I was sure I was going to die.
Spoiler alert: I didn’t.
When I first heard this song, I was going through a painful season. Feeling rejected by many I had considered friends. Sleepless from nightmares, reliving trauma, and in a season of absolute pain.
Pain lasts for a season, and then suddenly it ends. I was able to see the blessing in the friend turnover, and developed other friendships. I sought help and am (mostly) nightmare free again. It was gradual, but yet one day I was able to look back and say: “Oh! That season has ended!”
When a painful season begins, you don’t get a warning. You don’t get a text message, or a heads-up nudge. It just arrives, bluntly. And there you are, with the water closing over you, stuck in a place of pain. A choice needs to be made in those beginning moments, fight or flight.
“Your baby has Potter’s Syndrome. We cannot find a majority of organs. We are sending you to _________ for a better ultrasound. But your baby will not live. I am so sorry, Joy.”
And so began my painful season. Again.
October 24. We had just lost a dear family friend. We were anticipating the arrival of another baby in our home, and everyone was hoping that the ultrasound would tell us to go buy alllllllllll the pink things. I sat alone in the ultrasound room, the weight of what had just been said laying squarely on me.
I think my first phone call was to Lamar, then to my Mom. A nurse called my friend who was watching my son.
I walked out of the room, pictures of babies on the walls. I stopped at the reception desk. I don’t remember the words, I just know I was to be at another appointment. I texted my best friend, I called my pastor.
My mind was spinning, yet blank. I drove to a near-by fast food place, and went inside to use the bathroom. I ordered a fruit cup, killing time until my next appointment. I went to the car and talked to Lamar. I had no idea where I was going, no desire to even get there.
My best friends dropped their responsibilities and met me at the next doctor appointment. Another ultrasound, a few more organs were found, but zero hope. A bit more information, but short of a miracle, this baby would not live. The doctor was kind, compassionate, and so sorry. He was a Christian man, I believe, and his heart was so kind. My friends walked me out, and I got to my car, at the top of the parking garage.
Briefly, the thought crossed my mind that if I were to drive off the building, the pain would stop. At this point, the dullness had worn off, the pain was sharp and excruciating. It was overwhelming. As I navigated through the city, destination home, I sobbed. I cried. I got home, because God. And collapsed. Lamar met me there, and together we went for Callan. It was now supper time, if I remember correctly. My head was pounding, light of any type hurt my eyes. I took a dish towel and ice pack, covering my eyes.
When we finally got to my mom’s house, I needed to steel myself. I couldn’t let Alex know. We knew we would need to tell him, but in that moment I needed him to be free of the pain I felt.
And that was the hardest part of this entire journey, Alex. Often my grief was put on a back burner, waiting for me to process it and feel it until after my boys were asleep. And I have no regrets, I am simply being honest.
We went for testing. Most came back inconclusive, and a part of me just knew this pregnancy wouldn’t go much longer.
Abortion was brought up, once. Never again.
Our lives were forever changed on this day one year ago. And so many emotions have been felt since.
I have used this blog to speak my heart, reveal the pain but also the beauty in these moments. I have appreciated the support, from family and church family, friends.
If I could go back, would I do it again?
There are life lessons, I do wish I hadn’t learned.
But my pregnancy with Liam? I wouldn’t undo that. As hard as this season has been, pain-filled, and life-changing, I would do it again.
A few days before this life changing appointment, I was headed to church. I was on worship team that morning and as usual, running a bit late. It was a cool morning, so I opted to take the route with less deer. As I was pulling out, I dropped something and bent over to pick it up, and Liam kicked. A sharp, hard little kick. I was so excited. And as I said, I was running late so I was speeding. And suddenly, as I came around a turn, there before me stood a big deer. I had no time, I simply prayed. And that quick, he was gone. Disappeared into the brush from where he had come out of. It seemed to be a sign, I am here and I got you. We were deep in mourning Kevin, and my fears were running a bit rampant at the time.
I have no regrets, I fought the best way I could. I prayed constantly, begging God for a miracle. I spent days in tears, days trying to keep life normal for Alex and Callan. I spent nights crying, praying. Begging for a miracle. I finally needed to start a sleep aid, it was the only way to sleep. I withdrew from many people, finding public outings harder and harder. I wanted so badly to hide my pregnancy, I did not want anyone to see my little belly and ask details. No stranger wants to be saddled with: “yes, I am pregnant but the baby will die.”
I have no regrets. The prayers we prayed were answered, just not all of them the way we wanted.
In all things, He is good. It’s taken me about a year to say it and believe it.
He is good.
And He hasn’t let me down.
Through the most challenging parts of my life, He has been there. He has carried me on the days I couldn’t do it. He has forgiven me the days I have been angry, resentful. He has given me grace to extend to the people who say things… He has given me strength, for today. He has given wisdom, and in the moments when life seemed too much, strength to go on and showed me His love.
In all things, He is good.
And today, while I mourn. I can also rejoice. Because my Liam is in the best possible place, Heaven.
With love and tears,