"You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever. " -Psalm 30:11-12
"There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance," -Ecclesiastes 3:1-4
As we've walked this journey, there have been a lot of ups and downs. We've dealt with way more than I ever thought possible. God's grace has been with us throughout.
Recently, I've shared a little bit about our healing journey after Caroline was born. I've talked about the future a bit, about how we've thought about future children, the questions people have asked us. I've talked a good bit about the attitude Cameron and I have in regard to future children. I've also talked about where I felt like we needed to be emotionally and spiritually before we even thought about other children.
We have to be ready to lose the next one too.
We have to trust not only in medicine, but in God's sovereignty.
We can't "replace" Caroline with another child.
We have to allow God's grace to get us through the anxiety and fear that may come with another pregnancy.
Not only have I mentioned all that, but I've also mentioned what I feel it will be like to love any children God blesses us with. What will be required of us as parents. What I desire my parenting to look like. I want to glorify God with our other children as much as I tried to with Caroline. I'm looking forward to future children because I'm excited about the opportunity to raise them with God.
Well, barring any complications, and if it's God's will, I'll get my chance in February.
Cameron and I are expecting our next little one in February. We are extremely excited, but both of us will admit that we're slightly guarded in our excitement. We know that anything could happen. We know that God is sovereign and that His will is going to be done regardless. We definitely want this child with a passion, but we are also doing our best to reside in God's grace. If the worst were to happen again, then we have a loving Savior who will carry us through again. He's done it before, so we can have amazing faith that He will do it again.
We are hoping and praying that all will go well this time. I'm not living in constant dread, but I would be lying if I said I never thought about it. Any time those thoughts come in, I try to surrender them to the Savior who's in control anyway. And He is gracious to me and gets me through it all. I have been to my OB once, and in a couple weeks I'll go to my specialist. At that point, we'll be doing a nuchal transparency screening sonogram to check for neural tube defects, including anencephaly. I will breathe a huge sigh of relief after that appointment, if all goes well. Either way, God is good, and His mercy endures forever, so we will be ok.
Obviously being pregnant again brings up some interesting emotions and thoughts. I really am mostly at peace. It's amazing what God can do in crazy situations. While I am slightly more paranoid about stuff this time around, it's not ruling me. I am definitely grateful for the modern medicine God has allowed us to discover. It's amazing to me that at 12 weeks gestation, they can screen for all these disorders. It's quite reassuring to have visual proof that the child inside me is ok. Seeing his or her heartbeat at my first OB appointment on that sonogram screen was incredible. Seeing the miracle of life after living through the pain of death is just something incredibly special.
I have to be careful not to place my faith in doctors and medicine above God. I know He gave us those tools, so I will be grateful for them and take advantage of them, but God is still the one on control. So while there are some nerves involved in waiting for the appointment with my specialist, I'm doing my best to rely on God while I wait. He's been good to me, and so far He's given me the grace to do that.
While the loss of Caroline is not diminished by our news, we do feel incredibly blessed to have this little gift from God. We'll always love and miss Caroline, but we'll also love and (if it's God's will) get to raise this little one that's on its way. It reminds me a bit of what was said about Job. "The LORD blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first." Job 42:12. Job lost everything. All his children, all his wealth, his home, his health. His wife and friends just nagged him forever. And he was a very wealthy man with a lot of children. I can't imagine that Job ever forgot or stopped loving and missing the children he lost. But Scripture says that God blessed him more after he got through all that pain, than when he had it all to begin with, before it was taken from him. That's kind of how I feel. Nothing will change the painful experiences we had with Caroline. We had some good experiences, too. Nothing will erase her from our lives and hearts. But we can appreciate the blessings God gives us afterward too. Like this little one coming in February.
Goodness, the emotions going on in me are a little nutso. They're so hard to describe. Hopefully I've made some semblance of sense. Haha.
Anyway, we are grateful for this little blessing. We are grateful for the blessing of Caroline. We are grateful that God is sovereign and powerful and loving and gracious. We look forward to what God will do with us all, no matter what happens with this pregnancy. Thank you for sharing in this journey with us.