This friend, she calls me all excited because after so many numbing months of negative tests and prayerful pleas, she’s finally pregnant and this babe is a full 8 weeks strong and there’s a heartbeat right there on the screen beating loud for me to hear.
I’m rejoicing with her, all while quietly smiling because we too are expecting another babe to the Hyatt clan. But this is her moment and I know there will be time for me to share.
It’s not two weeks later that the text comes through and you can hear her trying to hold back the tears in the way it’s short and clipped. That answered prayer of a baby is now a baby home with Jesus. Something inside me collapses a little and I cry for her, reminding myself to be grateful for the lay-me-out-flat nausea that I’m crawling through daily. It’s the only time I’m grateful for feeling like death, because that means things are growing and life is forming. So I keep going through my days while lifting up the agony of friends with dreams that miscarried.
The first spots of blood come a few nights later and my heart quickens but surely, all is fine? Like all of us looking for some shred of hope, I google frenzy every day and play doctor until the whisper of fear starts to form a knot in my stomach.
Who wants to face the jarring and unexpected end of a dream until you have to? Wouldn’t we rather convince ourselves that all the signs are pointing to something, anything, different than the end we see coming? That maybe this is just the dark night before a glorious dawn of rejoicing and not a dead end?
We want to believe that Abba, the miracle-maker and life giver, will come through at that 11th hour and in a beautiful display of power, will save the dream and give us what our heart wants. After all, doesn’t He want people to want to follow Him? What better way then to show off through answered prayer and unbelievable last minute miracles?
And sometimes He does. Sometimes we pull through cancer, or the roof stays over our head just when we face foreclosure, or the job promotion plays out just like we imagined and the pieces all drop into place.
And sometimes He doesn’t. Sometimes you can pray until the sweat runs bloody and your heart is breaking and the answer comes back, “Will you trust me? Will you keep following?” It’s not yes, it’s not an explanation, it’s just questions to our questions.
And you find yourself sitting in a Doctors office, trying not to crumple to the floor as they confirm what your heart already knew. The searing grief comes ripping through and your body can’t do anything but give way while the world. just. stops.
There are dreams dying on the vine and babes dying in the womb and the whole world seems to reek of death as we go through our days in a numb haze.
Yeah, I know that’s not all true but when you miscarry a dream and hope goes unfulfilled, it can be hard to see the world in anything but shades of gray.
And maybe those dreams will come back in a new way in a month or in a few years. Or maybe never. Who is to know? And it’s the not knowing that makes me want to scream almost as much as the searing pain in my chest.
Don’t we all want certainty that at some point, this all turns out just like we imagined? That our deepest desires come true and we wake up greating the sun with happiness?
Here’s the honest answer that doesn’t seem to fit with the present reality: it will. All those desires will one day find their fulfillment. It just might happen on the other side of the veil, in our waking to greet the Son.
See, here’s the thing they don’t tell you too often, the truth you really only get by walking it out: you might spend your one life picking up bruises and heartbreaks and cuts and wounds and go along putting one dream after another on the altar.
Actually, you WILL. Because we’re following a bruised and scarred Carpenter Man and he flat out promised we’d start to look like him if we were brave enough to follow.
He promised that we would never be alone.
He promised that He would always give us His best for our good.
He promised that if we kept our eyes on Him, we would never lose our way.
But He for sure did not promise to make all our dreams come true or give us a happy life. Joyful, yes. Abundant, yes. But happy? No.
That can be a hard pill to swallow when you’re fresh in the shadow of miscarrying a dream and the wound is raw. Who wants to walk through hurt and heartache when we’re steeped in a world that tells us “happiness” can easily be bought or found or created?
But there are some wounds, some scars that cut so deep that no amount of Amazon buys or trips to exotic places will ever fully heal them.
How many other women are breaking under the weight of their grief? Of children lost in and out of the womb, of hopes of motherhood left unfulfilled? How many arms are aching this day, every day, and how many dreams seem dead, without any hope of resurrection?
How many men and women are wandering around feeling as though they might wander this whole world and never find a place to call home? How many are maimed and mutilated in soul, stumbling along carrying the ashes of dreams that never saw the light of day?
A second friend, she’s raging at the dreams slipping away and she smacks me hard in the heart with her question, “What if the child you lost is the son you’ve wanted? How do you hold on to hope then?”
I sit quietly and sift through my own thoughts, looking not for what I’m feeling but for what I know to be true:
My hope does not, cannot, rest on the answer to the prayer or the fulfillment of the dream. It can only ever rest on the One who gives the answers. All the sickness, brokenness and ugly of this world is put right at the Cross. To look anywhere else is merely to set myself up for disappointment. I’ve walked too many valleys of shadowy death to know that the only way through is to keep your eyes fixed firmly on the Truth.
I’m preaching again to myself and maybe to you too?
“So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.”
Those of us with miscarried dreams, we grieve and we weep and we know that some days will be harder than others but dear friend, as long as we stay rooted in the blood poured down from Calvary, we will be sheltered in the wings of the Almighty. We will find strength to meet the day. And we will not lose hope.