The bleeding continued. My body was crying for the brokenness of it all. Weeping to the point of blood. We wait a day more, try to be present and joyful, but the weight is too heavy to ignore. We decide to head to Albuquerque, where our two girls are being watched by family. Head there, go to the emergency room. “It’s probably nothing, but we need to see what’s going on” our Doctor says. So we drive. Three long hours. The longest hours of my life, it seems. Through the beauty of the mountains, awaiting the news: do we get to keep her? 16 weeks along, too far to write it off as being a “scientific mishap”. She had fingers and toes, even eyelashes and eyebrows. Trapped in the car, surrounded by beauty, trapped in the horror of our circumstances, there’s nothing left to do: we worship. Because what else is there? Many would denounce God, walk away from faith, disappointed and hurt, put their walls up to ‘protect’ their hearts. But when you’re truly desperate, where else can we turn? Is God still faithful, even when it all seems to fall apart? Our souls cried yes, even when we didn’t understand. We placed her on the altar of our hearts. We made the choice: if you take her, she is Yours. You are worthy of our praise, even still.
You, God, are worthy of our praise. You, God, do not need to give us good gifts for us to praise you. You, God, created the heavens and the earth and the mountains and the seas and the lion and the lamb and who am I to do anything but praise you? How dare the pot say to the claymaker “Why have you made me for this purpose?” We trust and hope, and He is faithful.
We pull into the ER and the husband drops me off. Busy. So busy. Not a parking spot available. I walk in and am overwhelmed. Almost every seat is full. How long? And then a thought: what if? What if God walked in here. What would his heart be? I’m walking into a room full of broken and hurting people, if God did the same, what would He do? I feel courage bubbling up within me. I politely give the lady my information and sit down. I’m next to a man who reeks of alcohol. He’s middle aged, darker skinned, covered with tattoos. I turn to him and I see with eyes that are not my own: beloved. I ask him why he is here.
“Well, to be honest, I am an alcoholic. I was in remission for four years but this New Years I thought I could handle myself and have been drunk since. I drank too much last night and slipped on some ice and twisted my ankle, and I think I may have broken something.”
Before I knew what I was doing I asked if I could pray for him. He conceded. Words flowed through my mouth that were not my own, and the Spirit dwelt heavily. The physical presence of an electric energy that flowed through my body through the tips of my fingers wrapped around his ankle. I didn’t know what I was doing. The amen came and I opened my eyes. I was stunned. What just happened? Did that really happen? I know he’s healed. Do I ask? Of course he is. I knew it within me. We sat quietly for a minute. He turned his ankle round and round, his face disfigured with confusion. He looks at me, baffled. “How’s it feel?” I asked meekly. “Better! It feels great! I don’t have any pain!” he says, still in bewilderment. I find myself just as shocked, but not surprised.
During our pregnancy someone prophesied over this baby in the womb. She would have an Esther-like spirit. Full of faith and courage. Courage and faith. Evident in me through her. Miraculous, powerful, and sweet.
We talked to and prayed over that man in the emergency room for 3 hours. His name is Bryson. He opened up to us about his struggle with faith, the constant calling of God, and his desire to know Him more. We loved. We served. We prayed. We cried. And there was a moment in which I realized: For such a time as this. What if we were here, for such a time as this? Will we be faithful to be the hands and feet of God, whatever our circumstances? Will you let God use you in a place where you could be consumed by your own worries? What would have happened if we hadn’t been faithful to pray? God is big, and He would have brought about His purposes through someone else, no doubt. But we said yes. In our hurting place, we chose to glorify Him. And in doing so we got to come alongside God and His purposes. What an honor.
We are called back into our own room. A pelvic exam is done. Bleeding, they say. There’s bleeding, and we don’t know from where. An ultrasound is ordered. More waiting. 3 more hours of waiting in the silence, unsure of the outcome. Finally, the ultrasound. We see the sweet little girl that we’ve sowed tears over. But there’s something missing: a heartbeat. Shock. Confusion. Is this real? God, we literally just healed a man in your name, brought freedom in your name, spoke truth in your name, where are You now? Entitlement. It’s so deep within the marrow of our souls. We deserve this baby. We did the right thing. We honored You. Where are you? Honest, heart-wrenching prayers. Heads hung low, we go home to our family with this news.
But even in our sorrow, there was this comfort. In the moment of the news I saw Jesus at the foot of my bed, wretched and scarred on my behalf. Pain. Sorrow to the point of bloodshed. He knows this pain. He’s lived it. And He is here. Comfort. Peace, surpassing understanding.
The next day we drive home to Texas, an 8 hour drive with two littles in the back. Tears and tears flow. Our hearts are hung low, despair that grips us to the core. Grief comes in waves, but underlying is the peace. God sees. God knows. God is near. So very near.