Monday, May 20, 2013

Clinging to the Truth

Our beta was this morning. It was negative. I was expecting the call. I've been through a dozen or so of those little cheapy test strips and they all said the same thing. But how do you wait for the call confirming that your children have died? It's just absurd and surreal, like so much of this journey has been. But the words above give me great comfort.

I've been sorting through my feelings, having a hard time. The loss we endured last year was losing Matthew's siblings. The people we adopted our embryos from took the ones we had left (6) back. Their reasons are their reasons and I don't really want to elaborate more because their decision is not really the point of my story. I've really resisted putting it out there at all.

Like all of our losses, I think we shall always feel that one. It was different from our others because there is a chance that some of those children will be born to someone else and yet will never know us. To know they may be out there walking around some day, ignorant of my love for them or even my existence (or DH's and Matthew's), crushes me if I dwell on it. This pain sort of always feels unresolved, because it is.

We spent much of last year determining if we wanted to have any more children. It seemed unbearable to grow our family without the 6 we lost. I began to be ok with having only Matthew here on earth and I think we came to a place of contentment with our family of 3, or 14 minus 11 as another friend put it.

 At the end of the year, we felt like God was giving us a peace about another embryo adoption. We specifically asked to be matched to a family with only a small number of embryos. We didn't want to adopt a large amount, have many children eventually born as a result, and have Matthew be an "odd one out."

 We were matched to a lovely family in the Midwest, who chose us to adopt their two embryos. Those are the two we lost. That brings me to now.

The biggest feeling I've been having is confusion. We had come to a place of peace with just Matthew, so it's hard to understand why God moved us away from that place. Isn't contentment where we're supposed to be?

I confessed to DH that I was feeling "used." If He gave us the mind to adopt only two, and those two were bound for Heaven anyway, I was merely a vessel. A delivery mechanism to transport them from the freezer to God's presence. I didn't really understand why we went through the expense, the medical invasion, and the heartache, only to be right back where we started.

 As I'm verbalizing this to DH, I am convicted that isn't it the Christian's primary purpose in life to be "used" for whatever His purpose is? We are each called to be vessels to transport God's grace, with the ultimate goal of ushering many into God's presence.

I knew my conclusion was right, but still it felt very cold and impersonal and utilitarian to me. I felt unloved. It occurred to me that my problem was really with the pain. Why did MY purpose have to be carried out in such a wretchedly painful way? I am 32 years old. I have lost 13 children. I barely know what to do with that. And if they were Heaven-bound anyway, why were they delayed in frozen storage first? But I know I don't really have the right to ask Why, nor am I entitled to an answer.

I begged God to help me pray, to help me have faith, and to give me courage to cling to what I know is true in spite of my feelings. I begged God to help me want Him more than I wanted another child. He is gracious and He has given me all of those things, but I still struggle.

My head knows the Truth and bids the lies to depart from my heart. God's Word is full of promises and truths that refute each of these things. And He is patient while I continually try to submit the feelings to Him. I'm so not even a little bit there yet.  I am comforted by the scriptures below, and by the knowledge that my babies are with Jesus, but I still ache.

Grieving with a child is different. I am grieving for Matthew, too. He doesn't know what he has lost, but I do, and that's hard. I hurt for him. And I hurt that tonight, he had a mommy and daddy who were sad and he doesn't understand why. We spent the night having a picnic on the couch, watching a movie and snuggling. Tender mercies.

The scriptures I am clinging to are below. I'm posting them here to keep myself accountable because I tend to come back and read what I've written and I don't want to be tempted to stew in the lies my heart is struggling with right now when the Truth is before me:

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:11-13

"The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." -Lamentations 3:22-23

"Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, 'I believe; help my unbelief!'" -Mark 9:24

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." -Isaiah 55:8-9

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." -Psalm 147:3

"For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning." Psalm 30:5

"The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit." -Psalm 34:18

"You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book." -Psalm 56:8

"But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." -Romans 5:8

"And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD."
-Job 1:21
"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 was none of them." -Psalm 139:13-16

"For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love." -1 Corinthians 13:12-13

"But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed." -Isaiah 53:5

"And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen." -1 Peter 5:10-11

God's name be ever praised. Amen.

This statue is called "Memorial to Unborn Children." It takes my breath away.

I love you babies.

God, continue to give me strength for this delicate dance of joy and grief.


  1. I'm so sorry for the loss of these precious little ones. No matter how we might rejoice when our babies know only Jesus, the pain we experience here without them is too raw and debilitating for description. Praying for your family as you grieve.

  2. So sorry, Jen...praying for you! (Hugs)

  3. I am grieving with you over your negative beta. I have often wondered what had happened that led you to stop blogging, but never did I or could I have imagined something as great as your loss. I am spechless, numb at the tought of it. Praying for you and your family, for God to heal your hearts.

  4. I am so very sorry to hear about your losses (past And present). Reading how you lost Matthew's siblings about made me cry. I can't imagine the pain. We lost Keller's siblings in the fall with a miscarriage and that was hard enough. To have had them taken back seems far worse! I didn't even know that could happen. So painful. I will be praying for your hearts to heal through this week's loss as well.

  5. That statue brings tears to my eyes. I'm so sorry, Jen. I know exactly what you're feeling as I struggled with them when we lost our 8 snowbabies. I still don't understand why the Lord led us to embryo adoption and gave us such a peace about it when it wasn't His intention to grow our family through it. It's easy to question God but we have to cling to those promises and truths in Scripture and know that He does have a plan for us. Praying for you and your hubby tonight.

  6. Jen, I'm so sorry to hear of your recent negative beta and of your loss over the last year. I grieve with you. I pray for comfort, strength, and a sense of direction.