I was a little nervous about this appointment. I just wasn't sure how Cameron and I would handle things emotionally. Last time we went in, it was for the diagnosis, and it was a very, very hard day. So this time, I wasn't sure if we'd break down seeing our baby girl on the screen, with the evidence of her condition made obvious to us. Not only that, but we were also going to be meeting with a nurse from the hospital where I will deliver Caroline, to start talking about a birth plan. This nurse specializes in deliveries with grim or fatal diagnoses, like ours. Anyway, I was just nervous.
We actually met with the nurse first, to start discussing the birth plan. She was so nice. She didn't ask us to make any decisions. She gave us some information, answered some of our questions, and reassured us that she'd be with us the whole way. She gave us things to think about and some resources to start forming our birth plan. I only shed a few tears. God was close by, holding me up.
I was also a little nervous about how I was going to handle things regarding our miracle. As I've said before, I truly believe God can heal Caroline miraculously, and if he does, it's very possible that we'll go in to a sonogram one of these times and everyone will be shocked to no longer see an anencephalic baby. However...I know that's not a guarantee, and wondering WHAT exactly I would see in the sonogram was a little nerve-wracking. Even with all my talking about wanting God's will (which I do), and about trusting his plan (which I do), and knowing that he's in control (which he is), I'm still human. And I still desperately want to see my baby healed. So I was very anxious to see if he answered my prayer the way I wanted him to. Not only that, I was nervous about how I would respond if he didn't. Would I be extremely disappointed and let down? Would I handle it well, or break down crying? Would the faith I've been clinging to waver? I wasn't sure about anything.
The office where I get my sonograms is a specialist's office, and they deal with high risk and difficult pregnancies all the time. They're amazing. They have been so compassionate, and so respectful. I truly appreciate the fact that we get to go there if we're going to have to deal with all this. Anyway...they were great once again. They were kind and compassionate, but they weren't overly somber, which helps. Pity can be discouraging and contagious. I don't need to pity myself. I have enough going on. Haha.
The sonogram went well. Everything was "normal" besides her anencephaly. I didn't have any complications developing yet. And we got pictures. :) That was something I was looking forward to. I got print outs of several sonogram pictures, and I will treasure them. This one of my favorites:
She's so precious to me. If this is all the time I have with Caroline, then I'll take what I can get, including pictures. I didn't break down, and when her anencephaly was again obvious to us through the pictures, I wasn't overcome by disappointment. In fact, all I felt was a twinge, the same thing I feel anytime I think about her condition. I was actually quite surprised that I didn't feel anything else. I was just at peace. Truly, sincerely, at peace.
Then I realized something. God is amazing. His grace has carried me through this far. Why did I doubt it would continue?
Not only that, but I also realized that all the stuff I've been talking about on this blog, all the lessons I've been learning, all the truth God has whispered to my heart...it's not a fleeting defense mechanism to deal with the uncertainty and pain. It's life-changing grace and truth that really has transformed me.
And I was shocked.
Deep down, I guess I doubted that this faith and grace would last. I doubted that I would truly be able to continue to lean on God and rely on him. I am a sinful creature that has failed many times before, and I guess I just assumed it was only a matter of time before I broke down and threw off the grace and peace.
I am an idiot.
God's bigger than that. He's giving me his grace and carrying me through this. His peace has overwhelmed me. Did I really believe I'd be able to get rid of God, even if I wanted to?
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."- Joshua 1:9
"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”" -Deuteronomy 31:8
"Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you;
therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. " -Isaiah 30:18
"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." -Romans 8:37-39
"He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds. " - Psalm 147:3
"Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
my hope comes from him." - Psalm 62:5
"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will." -Romans 8:26-27
"The LORD is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cry and saves them. " Psalm 145:18-19
"For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone." -Psalm 91:11-12
Seriously. How many times does he have to tell me? He's not ever going to leave me. When I can't pray, he does it for me. He sends angels to watch over me. He heals the broken-hearted. Nothing can separate me from his love. He longs to show me compassion. Nothing I do is going to get him to leave me alone.
Why WOULDN'T I want that? Why would I even question his faithfulness to me? Why would I let myself think that I could possibly do something that would result in his abandonment or lack of concern?
He is evident in everything in my life right now. He shows his power in pictures of Caroline. He shows up when I'm weak and need him. He shows his concern by sending people to care for me. He reminds me of his goodness through Scripture, often given to me through other people. He sends songs to me to communicate a message I need to hear. He encourages me when I feel lost and alone in this quagmire of emotion and faith.
And He shows up in a big way when I'm in a doctor's office and can feel nothing but peace as I look at my child on a sonogram screen, knowing her condition is fatal unless he intervenes.
Oh, yes. My God is a big God. He is all powerful, all knowing, everywhere at once. And yet he is with me, little ol' me, always. He knows the depths of my heart, and every hair on my head. He created the entire universe, and he also individually knit me together before I was born. And he's doing the same for Caroline. He knows me intimately, and desires for me to know him. He walks with me as I'm struggling, and he smiles when I'm rejoicing. He is so big. He is so awesome. And he is so CLOSE. He is so concerned for me. He is so compassionate and loving and gracious, to ME.
Sometimes, I just can't fathom it. I feel so humbled and unworthy of his amazing love and grace; probably because I am unworthy of it. But he gives it to me anyway. He has adopted me into his family, and he loves me and will be with me forever, no matter what.
"Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul!"