The second line was so faint we scarcely dared to hope. But after taking a second, and then a third test, we knew it was true. . . We are pregnant.
“How are you feeling about being here again?” I asked Christian as we walked past tiny corn leaves beginning to sprout. “A mix of emotions,” he responded, “the same well that has drawn the most pain also holds the most hope, and that makes it difficult to face.” These were some of our first, and rawest emotions that came when we found out about our rainbow baby; they were not the last.
I want to give you a glimpse into the months that led up to this new season of hope, trusting it will bring perspective into how God was working.
. . .
I remember the afternoon vividly. I stood, staring at the fields that usually have crops growing by that time, and began to cry. I kept pleading with God to allow life to grow again around me, in some way, to feel hope again. But as I looked over the brown, lifeless ground, I found myself questioning if He was listening. It felt as though the simplest, most mundane of things such as crops growing, in which we could expect year after year, were taken from us. The rain didn’t stop for months; the fields remained unplanted. Then COVID came. Slowly, and reluctantly, I realized this “unusual world” that we’d found ourselves in wasn’t going away anytime soon.
God gave me the book of Job in that season of early March. I found myself grieving along with Job and questioning with him too. Why was God allowing the enemy to attack him this way? And why did He allow it to go on for so long?
At last, the final chapters came – God answers. When He spoke, everything seemed to tremble. I trembled as I read:
“Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge?” (38:2) . . .“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?” (38:4)
Suddenly, the questioning I had, right along with Job, was put into perspective when reading the words of almighty Christ. Who am I to question the author of the universe, who possesses all knowledge and wisdom of eternity? I resonated right along with Job, put in my rightful place, and mournfully expressing:
“I am unworthy – how can I reply to You?” (40:4) . . . “Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.” (42:3b) . . . “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore, I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” (42:5-6)
This I have learned and am greatly convicted: clarity about God always leads to humility before Him.
The months leading up to our conception of this little one was, indeed, humbling. Looking back now, I realize how much I was trying to take control back into my own hands after a long season of God teaching me surrender. But because of the compassionate, merciful Father that He is, He didn’t allow me to go back into motherhood without surrender being my final resting place — even if it meant a season that looked lifeless and harsh on the outside. God was teaching me that hope is about trusting His perfect plan, and not about seeing my own play out.
. . .
Our first time back into our OBGYN’S office being pregnant again came with anticipation and anxieties. We expected to hear a heartbeat that day, but instead, we only got to see a growing uterus with no sign of a baby. Our doctor assured us everything was as it should be that early, but our disappointment remained.
Two weeks followed before our next appointment. Those weeks I experienced some of the greatest spiritual warfare I have ever faced in my life; the enemy threw every possible fear and doubt into my mind until it sank into my heart. By the end of those two weeks, I was exhausted from fighting.
One day, Christian finally said, “Laura, if we do not learn to combat these fears now, they will not disappear upon hearing the heartbeat. And, they won’t go away after we have a healthy baby in our arms. They will eventually take root until they have robbed us of our hope and turn us into anxious, controlling parents who lack trust in the sovereignty of God and the peace of surrender.” He was right, and we both knew where victory lied.
The day before our second appointment, I sat on the couch with my Bible in my lap, pouring over every verse I could find on fear. I prayed as I read, asking Holy Spirit to write them on my heart to use as an anchor when the lies came.
The very same evening, I received a call from Christian. “Go look outside right now!” he exclaimed. I ran out the front door and was stopped in my tracks at the sight — one of the most beautiful, radiant rainbows that I had ever seen spread over the sky and landed right into our nursery! I felt Holy Spirit immediately say, “I remember you, My child.” From that moment, I knew that I had nothing to fear.
The following day, we heard the beautiful sound that we so easily took for granted before – a healthy heartbeat. Christian squeezed my hand, glancing over with a knowing look. . . God had given us new hope.
Hope is the word I would use for this new season; redeeming is another. The first trimester did not come without challenges, and what I have shared are just pieces. I could go on about details such as the extra nausea and discomfort I experienced with this one, but truly, those minor sufferings are only a page in the numerous chapters of the book God has written for our lives. What I want to impart to anyone who reads this is not the details of our earthly suffering, but the depth of how God works through it. This has, and continues to be, our journey with Jesus.
I want to close with a story that Holy Spirit put on my heart:
. . .
For months, the fields lay bare and the rain kept coming while the farmers watched in sorrow. .
But God said, “be patient.” (Revelation 12:12)
The farmers longed to break up the ground that seemed worthless without crops growing again. . .
But God said, “in due season.” (Galatians 6:9)
A difficult year? An understatement! “Could we not have this one part of our life as planned?” the farmers questioned.
But God said, “I know the plans I have for you.” (Jeremiah 20:11)
Finally, the sun began to shine again; the fields lay willing for seeds to be planted. . .
And God said, “it is time.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
The farmers planted and the fields burst forth with life again; if planted just a week sooner, they would have drowned. . .
And God reminded them, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
. . .
This is our story – we are the farmers.
We have been the ones who watched the storm continue, with no end in sight, mourning what our eyes conceived as lost. We were the ones who were longing for purpose that, at times, felt lacking in a season that seemed lifeless. We, too, questioned God’s mercy in our agony.
But, sharing in the same story, we experienced God’s plan unfolding before us in His time.
We have looked back on our own “fields that lay bare” and have come to grasp what would have drowned had we not abided in His way.
So, here’s to the second trimester with our rainbow baby – to continue growing in trust, surrender, and submission to God’s way to the harvest.