There are some parts of each of our stories that can feel too raw to share. We hold the memories tightly and care for the wound as it heals ever so slowly. One of those parts of our own story happened on December 5, 2007.
Jason and I were expecting our first child. We were convinced the baby was a boy, and we had picked out what we felt was the perfect name. We excitedly went to our ten-week appointment and couldn’t wait to check on our little Jackson Wade. I remember signing in at the receptionist’s desk, while Jason jokingly commented on the baby bump that was starting to be visible. We were beyond excited!
And then the day took an unexpected turn. Our nurse had trouble finding a heartbeat. She quickly left the room to find our doctor, as she assured us that this happens all the time. At first, we weren’t too concerned. A ten week old baby is tiny! It can take a minute to find its sweet heartbeat, right?
Our doctor came in and tried her best to find a heartbeat, but decided that we should have an ultrasound to check on our little one.
And then it happened. We saw our precious, little Jackson on the monitor, but his tiny body was too still. There was silence from the monitor and tears in our doctor’s eyes. I vividly remember my desperate prayers asking that God’s resurrection power would bring our little one back to us. Jason held my hand as we tried to process what our hearts clearly could not comprehend.
The next few weeks passed in a blur. We quietly told friends that I was no longer expecting. We put away the bibs and onesies that had already been purchased. I ran to cry in the bathroom at work when a coworker announced that she was expecting her first baby. I refused to go to church because, if I’m honest, I felt like God had let us down. It was the first time in my life that I had not been in a pew every Sunday morning or Wednesday night.
The Sunday before Christmas, Jason convinced me that we should go back to church. Our friends and family were waiting at the door with hugs that surrounded us with love, and God met us in that pew. I could take you to the exact spot in Garywood Assembly where He met us that day.
Our pastor spoke about our hope in Jesus. Can I be honest with you? I was so deep in my grief that I couldn’t see any hope. I cried through the entire service until Pastor Loper shared his last Scripture reference, Romans 15:13. In this verse, Paul says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
“The God of Hope.” When Pastor Loper said that, I felt a small flicker of hope take root in my heart.
Jason leaned over to me and confidently said, “when we have our first daughter, we’re going to name her Hope.” And if you know our family’s story, you know that we did. Our Brynlee Hope was born a little less than a year later.
God’s promise to our hearts that day in 2007 was a promise of hope. A promise that all of our tears were not unnoticed, but that He had us right in His hands.
So, I can hear some people asking the question, “But what if that wasn’t the ending of your story? Would you still believe in a God of hope?” That’s a fair question! True, we did have the beautiful baby that we prayed for, but this wasn’t our only loss. Because of additional pregnancy losses, we were eventually told that Brynlee would be our only child. Obviously, God had other plans for our family, but we didn’t know that at the time. Our story has held lots of tears, prayers, and comfort from God like we had never expected.
On our very darkest days, God met us there and showed Himself to be our peace. When I felt completely alone, He was the Friend that’s closer than a brother. As I dug into His Word, I found more promises that I held onto with all of my strength. I could see myself in the Old Testament story of Hannah crying out to God! I read the stories where the Old Testament writers wrote of God “remembering” specific people. The more I dug into God’s Word, I felt a subtle shift in my outlook, as I began to understand how the Hebrew children said, “But even if He does not...that we will not serve your gods.”
Even in the times that our prayers aren’t answered in the ways that we desire, He is still good! He is still our God of Hope. He sees the tears that we cry in private, and He promises that He has a plan for each of our lives…for those raw memories that we shield carefully; for the hurts that seem too heavy to carry; for the tears that don’t seem to stop.
God has a plan! The God of hope sees You, remembers You, and knows you by name. Today, let me lend you the Scripture that was our lifeline! “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” No matter the situation that you may be facing, know that He is a God of hope. We can trust
Him to be faithful and true! He will fill us with His joy and peace, as we trust in Him! My prayer for you today is that you can join me as we confidently claim our God as our God of Hope!
This touched my heart because I’ve been there! Love you Tab!
This really touched me!! Thank you for sharing I needed to hear I lost Doug and I wouldn’t go to Church I felt like God had let me down When truly God had kept his word he was faithful!! 🙌🏻❤️
Thank you sharing. I'm sorry for trials you've been through. God fully restored hope and joy because just meeting you and seeing your smiling face and happy and Godly Family I wouldn't have known your heart was broken during that time.
Loved your testimony.