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Numbers, Security, and Faith

Numbers, Security, and Faith

I really just always want definitive answers in my life. I want to just know, one way or the other, so I can move in a direction.

Time and time again the Lord keeps me in the great shade of grey, so I have to take one tiny, agonizing step at a time, holding His hand.

 

Numbers

I went back to the doctor for my second blood work. The first hcg number – the amount of pregnancy hormone in the blood – they got was around 1600. That number, in and of itself, is not particularly helpful because there is a tremendously wide range for what “normal” hcg level is at any given week of pregnancy. What is most important is that, in a normal pregnancy, the hcg number should double in about 48 hours. So I went in and did blood work 48 hours later and just got my results – 2063.

My hcg didn’t double.

It’s not good news. It’s not, however, definitively bad news, either, because apparently in many normal pregnancies it takes longer than 48 hours for hcg levels to double.  Basically, the numbers are going up, but just not quickly enough, so that means either I could be having a miscarriage (and my body just hasn’t figured it out yet), or I could be having a completely normal pregnancy with hcg levels taking a little longer to rise.

Two very different outcomes, those.

So here we are, in the no man’s land of waiting. There is really not much else to do but let time pass, in order to know which direction this is going. Taking more hcg levels will still not likely give us any more definitive information. If this pregnancy makes it until then, in about two weeks I will get another ultrasound (the first one was too early to see anything), at which point we would expect to see a heartbeat and a growing baby.  If the pregnancy doesn’t make it until then, I will have further signs of miscarrying. So now, I simply wait, not knowing.

2 more weeks.

It is agonizing. And, as we all know, I am not a good waiter.

Security

 

Clearly, the Lord is not allowing me to have the security of definitive answers. Without a doubt, He is forcing me to not go ahead of Him, but is giving me only enough light for the step I am on. And, I have to say, it is very effectively causing me to lean on His arm. Maybe stumble and grasp His arm is a bit more like it – the way one who has a broken leg leans on His rescuer.

Except maybe it’s a bit more like one leaning with a broken heart?

“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:3)

“By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. 22 Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.” Exodus 13

“Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today…The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:13)

I thought this journey would be easy. Naively, I thought, because of the Lord’s promise, this pregnancy would be a simple, smoothly-paved road to beautiful children and that I would rejoice the entire way. Yet again, the Lord shows me that my ways are not His ways. Yet again, He shows me that my security is not in having the answers I want, but in faith in Him. Yet again, He reminds me that this journey of life is not about my comfort, but about my becoming more like Him – and that He is always working to do more in my life than even what simply and easily obtaining the desire of my heart could do.

This is excruciating. I spend the days searching for His words on my situation, feeling like I get them, being encouraged, getting bad news, falling into despair, looking into His face again, being prompted to hope, hearing some new piece of evidence that contradicts any faith in Him, chastising myself for feeling like I have heard from Him when really I’m just trying to get what I want, receiving some Word again with the same theme of trusting Him…

And then finally just taking a nap.

I’ve taken a lot of naps in the past few days.

It is a roller coaster of the worst kind – Have I, in fact, heard the Lord correctly and in spite of all of this we are going to have a healthy baby? Or am I in the midst of losing the very gift I thought He was giving me; that for which I have longed more than anything else?

I really don’t know.

I told my husband that, deep down, in the recesses of my soul, I really do believe I have heard from Him. That this pregnancy is going to be ok. But the surface of my mind and heart tell me that I am crazy, that I have simply put my own desires into God’s mouth, and that we are going to lose another child.

I am living in constant, unyielding, vicious struggle between the two.

Because the second is more logical, it wins out when I am not immediately praying or reading scripture. However, each time I am brought back into His presence, it’s like my soul centers and I feel this otherworldly peace about all of it. Truly, this is a spiritual battle within me. But it’s a battle that is coming to the surface in a very practical way…

Whether I post these articles I’ve been writing.

 

 Faith

 

That’s right, if you are reading this, it’s because the faith-part has won out.

I have been writing blog articles throughout this process, from the moment I started bleeding, but have not, as of this writing, posted them yet. Let’s call it spiritual insurance, if you will. I write them based on where I am, in the moment, without knowing what the outcome will be. But I have wanted to wait on posting them until I know how all of this turns out. You know, so if I lose this baby God doesn’t look like a complete douche bag.

Or maybe it’s more to prevent myself from looking like a spiritually blind and illiterate idiot.

Yeah, probably more the second one.

Either way, not posting my in-the-moment journey gives me the ability to do some spiritual PR; to enact a little theological damage control. After all, God’s work always looks better in hind sight than it does when you’re in the middle of the muck, doesn’t it? I’ve had my own family members suggest that it might be a more prudent course of action to not share quite so much with the world – especially when I’m right smack dab in the thick of it.

And they’re probably right, because I sure as heck am getting muddy.

I could spare myself a whole heck of a lot of embarrassment and emotional turmoil by waiting to tell this story until it has a discernible ending. Testimonies certainly are neater and tidier when you have the benefit of the passage of time to see what God has done – and to be sure your insights about what He has done are correct. I know all of that, and I realize that I might be way off base with everything I am writing right now – and may have to live with the consequences.

But I also believe the Lord wants me to write it as it happens. To post these articles when I don’t know the outcome. To put out there my trust in Him, along with my very real and looming fears, as it all occurs, without the benefit of hindsight. I believe He wants me to put myself on the line so that others can see that faith and fear can co-exist, that hearing Him is a tricky and humbling battle that requires tremendous time, energy, and resources, and that His power is manifested most clearly when the stakes are high.

The stakes here are so very, very high.

So, like I said, if you are reading this, then faith won out. The previous articles, starting with “Do You Trust That I Am the Truth?” have been posted, without edits, according to what I wrote when it happened. And, as of this writing, I have no definitive answer one way or the other about whether we are going to lose this precious baby or receive the greatest desire of my heart. But I do love my Lord. And I do know that He loves me and is always working – even in this – for my good.

Who is it that says that Christianity is a crutch?

Because I have to say, the faith I know is a bit more akin to getting in the cockpit of a racecar with a professional driver and heading straight for a brick wall at 300 miles per hour.

“God did this so that…we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf.” (Hebrews 6:18-20)

Here’s to hoping the brick wall becomes a sheer, transparent curtain by the time we reach it –

and that through it we all get all a better glimpse of His kingdom.

 

 

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