Hope is a word that is something we as Christians are told time and time again to hold on to. God so often talks about hope in His word. There’s that saying: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick”. Ephesians 1:18-20 talks about the hope to which He has called us to. In the last few months I’ve had to desperately cling to this hope in spite of what I see in front of me. When the angel came to Mary with the promise of the messiah, there was hope even though the circumstances made what he was saying very unlikely.
Mark Zuckerberg and his wife recently announced their pregnancy and also shared they had endured several miscarriages. When I read this I felt sorry for them, but never once did I believe or contemplate that this awful thing would become part of my story. Mark summed it up, so very well, in these words: “You feel so hopeful when you learn you’re going to have a child,” he said. “You start making plans, and then they’re gone”.
Children are something I have dreamed about ever since I can remember. Life always works out differently to your plans, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Getting married a bit later in life compared to our peers meant trusting God even more for the timing of having our own children. All while being surrounded by our family and friends who have already entered that season of life.
This year though, God spoke. His word came through various different avenues, saying we will have children. So when I finally saw that positive line of the pregnancy test – and the three I did afterwards! – I can’t begin to describe the depth of feeling and emotion I experienced. Those words were being fulfilled! I got myself booked into the doctor ASAP. My scan date came through. Everything was on track. The due date they gave was the same month as my husband’s birthday and our wedding anniversary. It couldn’t have been more perfect.
Then it all started going wrong. Not going into the gory details, I started to have symptoms I knew weren’t right. Despite spending many days convincing myself it would be ok, my husband and I praying fervently over the baby and speaking life over it, I ended up at A&E at 1am.
They confirmed the worst. I was miscarrying.
Back when we were receiving those promises about our children, we heard a talk at our church by my lovely friend Amanda. She talked about the hope she had to hold onto while having to deal with really difficult times that hers sons were going through. A journey that took 16 years. Someone asked her: “Did you ever lose hope?” She began to answer that question in her talk.
Amanda told the story of a mum waiting for her wayward daughter to come back home. Every day she would wait and pray, and every day she was disappointed. But, every night she would leave the porch light on, in case her daughter came home that night. Her daughter eventually came home, but admitted she’d thought about doing so many times before, and waited outside the house. She knew because of the light being on, that she was welcome to come home.
In the aftermath of miscarriage, I have to say this has been the most painful and difficult season of my life. Anxiety and panic started being a reality for me out of nowhere, and then the most painful waiting. Choosing to believe what He has said despite this awful thing that has happened.
But – and this is an important but – God has changed me through this experience for the better. I know Him to be a good Father whose promises will be fulfilled. He is not a man that He should lie. When my earthly Dad (who is amazing) says he will do something for me, he does it. How much more then will my heavenly Father do. I’m by no means saying it’s easy to believe this and walk in it. Sometimes it’s a daily choice – a choice to be thankful in spite of it all. So I hold onto and speak out His word- that He will never leave me or forsake me (Deuteronomy 31:6). That I will call to Him and He will answer me and deliver me from all my fears (Psalm 34:4). For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. (2 Corinthians 1:20)
The “stuff” in all our hearts – things we have cried out for, longed for and that only He knows about, is held so tenderly by the Father. So for those in any situation where you are still hoping, still waiting – I’m not going to give you platitudes and say everything will be ok. All I know is that God is good, all the time. And He is our hope. So my prayer is that you will still be able to leave the porch light on.