As many know, but some do not, I lost a baby almost two months ago. Only six weeks pregnant, I begrudgingly visited the emergency room, where a doctor informed me the excruciating pain I felt came from an ectopic, tubal pregnancy. I underwent emergency surgery within the hour. (For an account of what happened, click here to read my post about it on a friend’s blog.)
I would like to say that day was a blur, but the reality of it was so intense, I can easily and vividly recount every minute, except for those when I was under anesthesia. During the weeks following this unexpected event, I spent hours replaying that day–from my waking moment to my going to sleep–not because I enjoyed the pain with each new reeling, but I refused to believe my God had abandoned me in those hours of tragedy, leaving me to experience grave pain and suffering alone.
As I awoke each new day, I asked God for an equally new and fresh word to carry me through the day, help me heal, and find hope in the midst of darkness. As I had already been going over and over the events of that day, He suggested I replay them once more, this time in slow motion. He desired to fulfill my wondering just where exactly He was in every minute of that sad day, and as I began another review, in slow motion as He suggested, His desire did not disappoint.
• It happened on a Thursday, this crazy sad thing of losing our baby… My husband usually works on Thursdays, but for no reason other than spending time with me, he had decided two days before to stay home on Thursday. Had he not been home, I never would have taken myself to the ER or called 911. I would have been in a much worse situation.
• My youngest daughter (15 months old) has had major difficulty self-entertaining for even a tiny amount of time since she was born. On this particular morning, she awoke out of character, joyful and playing happily by herself, while I was on the couch with the pain growing worrisome.
• We were pulled over as my husband was speeding me to the hospital. When the officer approached our car, he greeted my husband with a genuine, friendly, “Kyle Fox! How are you buddy?!” And he hurried us on our way to the ER within seconds. Kyle does not just know police officers, but he knew this one.
In these first instances I recalled of that day, God revealed His presence among the moments of my chaos. He showed me not only how He walked with me as it happened, but carefully and intentionally ordered these occurrences most people would have labeled mere “coincidences.”
I continued this retracing of events, searching for God in each moment, and about the time I reached the emergency room in my mind, His presence was glaringly less visible. I pressed into the memory, as I yearned to know if He had dropped me at the door and sped away from the hospital in his God-mobile.
Lord, what about in the first hospital room I was checked into, where were you there?
An image consumed my mind of my Jesus sitting between my husband and the hospital bed, stroking my hair, while resting His strong, comforting hand on Kyle’s back.
Okay, so what about when the nurses wheeled me away from Kyle, all alone, to take hundreds of sonogram pictures… And the nurse was not allowed to tell me anything she saw on the screen? Where were you?
I was the compassion and love you saw in that nurse’s sea glass green eyes, as she assured, “You’re going to be okay. You did great.”
My heart welled with awe. As I moved in my questioning from the sonogram room back to the assigned hospital room, when the ER doctor entered to tell us the inevitable fate of the child within my body, He soaked up the tears pouring down my cheeks.
I reached the only hours of that day I had no recollection of: the hours of surgery, when I was under a general anesthetic…
And where were you during the surgery, when my doctor operated to stop the internal bleeding, when he removed my fallopian tube and the tiniest life trapped within?
The sweetest tears streamed from my tightly closed eyes, as I saw my Jesus kneeling at my head, again stroking my hair with his hand, singing angelic songs over me; my Father supernaturally operating through the hands of my doctor, who’s arms looked to be glowing from the surgical perfection radiating through them. Smiling with joy my Father scooped up the littlest life, coddling it in His mighty hand. He whispered to the delicate baby, “you get to come home with me today,” smiling with warm eyes toward Jesus, overflowing with love for the sweet, precious life.
The rest of the evening, from my waking after surgery to my broken nights sleep at the hospital, I asked Him to show me where He was. And with each moment I presented, He revealed His presence.
“…And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20 (NLT)
In a day so full of unexpected tragedy and sadness, God never clocked out early for a coffee break, or bailed when emotions were high and circumstances intense. His word does not say, “sometimes” He is with us, when the mood is right and He’s feeling up to it. He says He is “always” with us. He is always present and active in our time of need; moment-to-moment; day in and day out; every week, month, and year. When wondering, we can “be sure” He was, is, and will be with us. And He is more than willing to show us exactly where, if only we ask.
by Jacqueline Fox