This morning I put on the Praise Baby dvd for Carter so I could clean up dishes and make my coffee.  The words of a familiar praise song floated into the kitchen: "He gives and takes away. He gives and takes away. My heart will choose to say, Lord blessed be Your Name." 

Those few lyrics gripped my heart.  Whenever I have sung that song before, it never seemed difficult to bless God's name.  It seemed hard to fathom that a decision would ever need to be involved.  But this morning, I realized I had to make a choice.  You see, I am angry and disappointed, and though God's ways are above our ways, though I know His plan is best and His lovingkindness and faithfulness are everlasting, I am finding it hard to praise Him.  My head knows truth, but my heart feels jaded.  

Yesterday, our doctor confirmed that we have miscarried twins.  After weeks of constant monitoring by a specialist, giving myself three shots a day, and taking precautionary measures to achieve a successful pregnancy, we've experienced loss again.  I have wanted twins since I was a kid, so this loss was even more devastating than I could imagine. After all, what are the chances that I will conceive twins again?  It's also been quite an emotional roller coaster. Last week, we were told that we might lose both babies. One sac was even empty, signaling a potential case of the vanishing twin syndrome.  By Friday, after family and friends lifted us up in prayer, the smaller sac miraculously revealed growth inside. Against all odds and expectations, the Lord seemed to be answering our prayers!  Our doctor was very encouraged and felt that at least the larger baby was doing well.

Yesterday's results were quite a shock to say the least.  I had believed God was demonstrating the power of prayer, and all glory would have been given to Him since our babies were defying medical odds. I was suddenly faced with a question of monumental importance: Is God really good?

Carolyn Custis James wrote an amazing book entitled "When Life and Beliefs Collide."  She wrote of the importance of women having a solid theology, a true understanding of God and His nature.  Because when life throws us sadness, disappointments, and in worst cases, tragedies, it becomes so easy to throw our hands up and doubt everything we've ever claimed about God and who He is.  Yet when we read God's Word, which we know to be steadfast and true, we are reminded of His promises.  

As I've read Scripture that speaks of His lovingkindness, faithfulness, compassion, mercy, and power, my anger has slowly begun to dissolve. The ice around my heart has begun to melt.  Reading Psalm 111, a psalm which I read every night since last Friday in praise of God and His deeds, I am reminded of the truths I so readily believed when circumstances matched up with my desires.  The real test comes when outcomes do not end up as we expect or desire, when situations don't make sense in our human understanding.  In those moments, we really do have a choice. A choice to believe God's Word and to allow Him to lead me forward. Or a choice to turn my back and remain angry. I know God is big enough to handle my anger, but staying in a place of frustration will only make my path of grief and healing nearly impassible.

I continually stare at our numerous ultrasound pictures, trying to grasp the reality that these sweet babies (whom we nicknamed Peanut and Lil' Bit) are no longer with us.  They have joined their siblings in heaven.  Five children in heaven. Wow. What a joyous reunion we'll one day have. But how bittersweet everything seems now.

As I await that glorious day, I choose to follow my Lord and Savior.  It's not necessarily an easy choice.  It's not what I "feel" like doing.  But the more I allow God to be my refuge and my comforter, the more I find peace and rest amidst this unbearable sadness.  Perhaps my faith untested is not real faith at all.   

If you feel led at all to pray for us, please pray that I will, moment by moment, choose to bless God's name. This struggle within me is real and painful. As I read God' Word, I am praying that it will work on my inner being to transform and renew my mind.  Thank you for allowing me to share my heart. 

"The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him." Nahum 1:7

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kristen elaine said...

Kelley, I've been praying for you today ever since I saw you getting on that elevator. Something seemed "not right" even just in our exchange of "hello." Anyway, please know that I am lifting you up & praying that you will feel the comfort only He can supply, and that your faith will be replenished minute by minute. God was faithful before & He will be faithful again. My heart breaks for you & I am committing myself to praying for you daily.

Sarah Armstrong said...

Our music minister came to pray with us after the first miscarriage and quoted those exact words from that song in his prayer. I will never hear it the same way again - I hear it frequently on Praise Baby and I always remember that it's a choice to believe those words and find joy in the Lord.

Whitney said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Please know I will be praying for you and Scott and Carter too. I am praying peace that passes ALL understanding.

Darby said...

Kelley, I am soooo very sorry for your loss. I cannot even imagine. Please know that I am praying for you and that you will have a peace that passes all understanding that only the Lord can give. Have you checked out or heard of Nancy Guthrie's book "Holding onto Hope"? They will be doing a conf at our church this weekend and she has lost 2 babies. I've heard it is an incredible read. My prayers are with you!

Anonymous said...

You are in Emily and my prayers. We weep with you.

Danny & Emily

By God's Design said...

Kelley, I have been listening to this same PraiseBaby DVD for the past week. It was the only one we took with us on our trip, so we listened to it alot. The same lines have been a refrain going round and round my head for the past several days. Continuing to pray for you & Scott, and learning myself to praise & trust God even when He takes.

Ashley Matteo said...

i am so encouraged to see that you are truly using this loss and this time of trial to draw closer to God and to search and stay in the Scriptures. we will continue to pray for peace and that Jesus will seem close and tangible to you during this hard season of life.

Lindsey said...

I read this for the first time late last night and immediately hit my knees in prayer for you and your precious family.

Praying that as you go through this trying time that the Lord will grow your faith in ways that you never thought possible.

As I was doing my morning quiet time, this verse popped out..."Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts." Isaiah 26:8

Praying continually for His peace that passes all understanding. Thanks for sharing your heart!

Amy said...

thinking of you again today....

Kristy said...

Love and prayers continue to overflow from my heart to yours.

Brittany said...

Kelley, your words are so beautiful and true. I pray for peace in the next few days and weeks.

Always in my prayers,

Jennie-Marie said...

Kelley, I just prayed for you and will continue. You and your beautiful family are in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing your heart.

Dana and Chris Sheheane said...

Kelley, wow. Your words are so transparent and such a gift from the Lord. You are truly a writer. God is ALREADY using you in these situations whether you feel it or not. I've directed friends to your site in similar situations. I am praying all the time and will not stop. You are an amazing woman and friend and I pray God will bless you with so many more children. Love ya friend, dana

Katie said...

Kelley, Mike and I were thinking of you and Scott tonight, so I logged onto your blog and read your recent update. I was stunned at the news because no one had told us. I am deeply sorry for your loss. We will be praying for you and Scott.

Jess said...

Kelley - All I can say for you, Scott, and Baby Carter is how sad and sorry I am for your loss. I can only imagine your hurt. If comfort can be found during this time, it can be found in Our God, whose love and faithfulness for us is also beyond comprehension...to the furthest depths of our pain, God's love extends further.

Your struggle has been such a testimony to me. As I have shared your story in the past with friends here in Jackson and requested their prayers for your family, you have touched unknown people's lives here too! As I read your blog this morning, it struck me that no matter where we are in life, we have to make the choice to praise God. It is a lot easier when we have proof in our lives to give Him praise but it is the true test in faith when things are falling apart. You show all of us incredible strength when you choose to praise Him in the storm.
Please know my prayers and love are with you, Scott, and Carter as you mourn this loss and pick up the pieces with faith.

B-Mama said...

Kelley, my heart goes out to you during such a heartbreaking time. You are shouldering an incredible burden, yet doing an awesome job of passing the weight to His Mighty load. Press on and know of our prayers for you and your family!

Katie said...

I am just now catching up on my blog reading and I am so truly sorry for your loss. I know it seems almost unbearable when you think of what you guys have had to go through. But I am joining others in praying you through this darkness and am praying for that precious life that God will bless you with very soon. You are a remarkable woman of faith and I admire you greatly.
Love, Katie

Natalie said...

oh kelly!! i cant even begin to have the words, so please just accept my prayers. God is great - and your faith is an inspiration

love love love