Face-to-Face with the Hardest Question

This morning, I caught a glimpse of a newborn in the obituaries. In his photo, tiny George’s eyes were closed and he held his head in his hands. He was naked and peaceful.

I could not look away.

Years ago, I miscarried twins, one at a time. Their lifeless bodies remained inside mine for a short but surreal period of time as we waited to see if they would “leave” on their own or require surgical removal. To say that I sleepwalked through those days does not begin to capture the feeling of that time.

Our hope for a family of our own, for a future that extended beyond my husband and me, was concentrated in those babies. We loved the idea of them. And once they were conceived, we loved the knowledge of their presence. Our joy was beyond words. Our exuberance, boundless! We were having twins!!

And then… we were having just one baby. A surviving twin. Welcome and loved, but forever a reminder of loss.

And then… none. As it turned out, we were having only loss. And deep despair.

That was a dark and hopeless time. We told very few people, and none of them knew what to say. There were no words to answer our question: “Why?!” Why breathe life into them only to let them die? Why give us hope and then snatch it away? Why force us to circle back and share bad news so soon after we’ve shared joy?

“Why, God?!”

He was silent. And we were left to struggle through dark days of heartbreak, anger, resentment, and grief. God knew what had happened. He had allowed it. Or maybe, He’d willed it. He’d foreseen our celebration of good news… knowing death would follow. He’d given life to our dream… and then, watched as it died.

How were we supposed to make sense of that? of Him? And how could we ever trust such a capricious God?

That was the beginning of our journey. It was the crossroads moment that forced my husband and me to face the hardest question, “What kind of God are you?!” It would be many years before each of us found the peace that transcends circumstances and came to trust God in all things. There would be many, many more tears. More days of confusion, fear and loss.

Now, I can see in hindsight that the Lord truly has been “Emmanuel,” God with us. He has kept His promise never to leave or forsake us. He has given us joy in place of grief, and hope in lieu of fear. He has taught us the truth of who He is and of His great faithfulness.

Yes, that first loss took our breath away. It revealed our powerlessness to us. It also focused our attention and shook us out of a spiritual complacency. It compelled us to seek the God who wants to be known, and who promises…

I love those who love me, And those who seek me diligently will find me.”  [Proverbs 8:17]

Would we have wished for that experience at the time? Not a chance. But now, are we grateful for what it brought about in our lives? Absolutely.

Are you face-to-face with the question, “Why God?! What kind of God are you?!” My heart goes out to you — but I also have great hope for what’s in store. Seek Him diligently and you will find all that you need.

Welcome to the journey.

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Need wisdom and insight as you make your journey? Read Pregnant with Hope: Good News for Infertile Couples.

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2 Comments

Filed under Hope, Loss, Perspective

2 responses to “Face-to-Face with the Hardest Question

  1. Meredith

    This is beautiful. My faith and my husbands faith is what has carried us through the struggle of infertility. He is the sole source of our hope and we believe He truly knows the desires of our hearts. We press on in faith knowing God has a beautiful plan for our lives and for the beautiful life of our future child. Never losing hope and always focused on Him. God bless you

  2. Anonymous

    Emanuel !! I have been straggling to conceive for the last 4 years. Nobody knows my pain with out you. I have never been conceive before. I got married 8 years ago.I have passed through a lot of problem with my husband i though God, you have plan for us when you put us together after a lot of pain. you know my marriage life. you said love each other unconditionally. I need security…you know what i mean. i am praying day and night hoping that one day God will show me his love for me. I am a looser with out God’s love. I don’t know know what to do. sometime i have pain because my prays answer is delayed delayed and delayed…. every month i thought i am gonna be pregnant…still i am not my eyes are full of tears. hope….and again give up…even when i pray i think that really God want all this tears, why i am telling you like you do not have ears. but i keep praying again and again ….i know if he want he can give me not one child even more children. you can. sometimes i had no trust for you why would i pray. please do it for your love!!!! I am waiting for you.

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