This story comes from Zac Hess, young adults pastor at Grace Polaris in Columbus, Ohio (Mike Yoder, lead pastor).
During the week of January 10, 2016, my wife Sarah was experiencing some unexplainable discomfort and bleeding. She called her doctor and was asked if she was pregnant. We were surprised to discover the pregnancy test to be positive, and an appointment was scheduled for the next day. We went to bed with confusion in our minds and our hearts, praying that a healthy baby was inside her womb.
Once we arrived at the doctor’s office, Sarah was given an ultrasound. The ultrasound tech found nothing in the womb and immediately became alarmed. She shared with us that an ectopic pregnancy was likely the case and the baby was in the tube, not the uterus, which was a huge risk for Sarah.
We then met with the on-call doctor who, by God’s providence, is an expert in these cases. Surgically removing one of Sarah’s fallopian tubes was the only option. We immediately called several medical professionals in our family and church and were assured this was not an abortive since the baby couldn’t survive in the tube. We needed this assurance.
Sarah was eventually taken to have the surgery.The doctor confirmed that the pregnancy was indeed ectopic and that Sarah had a pint of blood in her abdomen.
I finally let out all the emotion that had been welling up inside of me. Pastor Mike and Letitia came and waited with me. Their encouragement, prayers, and presence were a lifeline. Finally, I could see Sarah. We held one another and cried together and went home that evening sad, relieved, puzzled, and tired.
When we arrived home at night I laid awake in bed, and this is some of what I wrote to process:
What words are there to describe such a day? A mix of grief, joy, thankfulness, and disappointment. On one hand, I’m broken that we will never know, in this life, our son or daughter. On the other hand, I’m overjoyed my wife and best friend is alive and beside me in bed. This is what the vows are for.
Why did this happen? I don’t know. Many people suffer miscarriage. And we, like others, found it difficult to process it all. We didn’t even know Sarah was pregnant until we knew something was wrong, but we still felt the loss.
As much as it saddens us to recount the story, there is also much that God taught us through it. We now have a glimpse of what others go through in miscarriage. We can “mourn with those who mourn.” We realized how much we need God’s people. When we had questions, there were certain people in our church I had to talk to. I needed their advice, their wisdom, and their comfort.
By God’s grace, Sarah is pregnant again, and we await the birth of a little girl this month. The reality is we would not have this baby if God had not ended the other.
When we suffer, we cling to anything that will give us hope. Where is our hope? God. His love. His character. His sovereignty: He was in control over every detail of this and if He willed He could have saved the pregnancy. But in His will, love, power, and sovereignty He didn’t. I don’t have to understand why.
But we don’t only trust in a God who is sovereign; we also trust in a God who has suffered. Jesus’ death on the cross was no accident. We now know Jesus better because of this and our love for Him has grown. Yes, we have unanswered questions, but we also have a sovereign Savior. And in Him, we place our hope.
This story first appeared in GraceConnect eNews. To subscribe to the weekly e-newsletter that includes news and information from congregations in the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, click here.