Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A Heart that Hurts

I would like to tell you what God is up to in my life, but sometimes I really don't know. I just trust that the pain He's walked me through will be redeemed somehow.

I'm not really sure why I feel compelled to right this right now, but I just need to express some things that have been on my heart for years but haven't known how to get out. I guess they are like broken shards of glass in my soul, and they need to be shared.

The worst moment of my life happened about this week, 5 years ago. After dealing with infertility for years, we now had 2 beautiful kids and a 3rd on the way. I was finally getting into the groove of being excited with Trisha about our pregnancy. I had made a 40 week calendar with pictures & details of what the child looked like and key facts about its development each week. That calendar had taken a lot of time to create, and I was so proud to give it to Trisha for her birthday. We were so happy looking forward to meeting this baby!

After 14 weeks of being sick all day, Trisha finally turned a corner and felt great. On this particular day, 18 weeks along, it was Friday, my day off and so I stayed home with Alex & Katy and let them sleep in. It was the first doctor's s appointment that I skipped, and I regret not going with Trisha to this day. I still remember her phone call to me after the first ultrasound (which is done with a simple, crude almost device) begging me to pray--they couldn't find a heartbeat and were moving her into a room with a high powered ultrasound machine. Her voice trembled. My heart sank. My stomach recoiled. I prayed. I cried. I gathered Alex & Katy around me and we prayed. We began getting our stuff together--I knew I had to get up to the doctor's office immediately! A few minutes later she called back, weeping. My heart couldn't bear it. My wife was crushed and I wasn't even with her!! How alone she must have felt!! What kind of lame husband doesn't go to the doctor with his wife, my internal voice screamed!

So I threw the kids in the car and rushed like a madman to get her. I will never forget seeing her weeping out in front of that building. I ran to her and just wept with her. I had no idea what to do--but my heart was so hurt, so crushed about this new reality that was smashing my heart and Trisha's! We were powerless in its wake. And the sorrow came in like waves. But it was different for me than it was for Trisha. I was sad, but she had been bonding with this baby for several months and now held her unborn child in her body.

I still have no real way to know what a pregnant mother feels in those moments. I know what it's like to hold the woman I love in my arms as she weeps. Trying to say something and then feeling like an idiot when I'm foolish enough to do that (which seems to often it seems--sorry, sweetheart!). Trisha, for what it's worth, I love you and am sorry for that great loss that we've shared together. I'm sorry for not remembering this week more consistently--and I hope that my calendering is accurate.

I love you, and I guess that's all I'm trying to say. What you feel matters to me, even if I don't know how to say it or show it. I'm so glad we're in this together, heart and soul. I'm praying for you today--that God will continue to heal our hurting hearts.

P.S.--A few weeks later they had to take the baby. We were told that the procedure would be such that we wouldn't be able to identify the gender. However, our doctor was able to find out that we were expecting a baby girl. We named her Hope Victoria Wall, because someday we'll get to see her when our hope in God is a crowning victory over sin and death. Until then sweetheart, snuggle-buggle Jesus for a few years--He's the best there is at comforting the broken hearted!

5 comments:

Jana said...

Oh, Ben.

I'm still so very sorry for the loss you and Trisha experienced on that specific day, and I'm sorry for the pain of that loss that continues on even to this day.

There is nothing at all like the loss of a child. I haven't experienced it; I wouldn't pretend to know how utterly soul-shattering it is.

I remember coming to your house in the hours after you learned about your baby; I struggled to be relevant in that moment and to be anything but in the way, which is how I felt. So completely useless.

Thank you for pouring out your heart in this public space. There is so much value in sharing pain. I struggle to know what specific "redemption" is found in suffering--in yours, in my own, in the pain I see around the room in which I sit.

All I know for sure is this: God is present. God is present.

Sometimes that knowledge isn't enough.

I am praying that for today, that knowledge will be. We cry out, "Lord, I trust you."

You and your family are loved.
Jana Anderson

Jana Anderson

Trisha said...

Thank you for your thoughtfulness, Sweetheart. I don't like remembering that day, but I am thankful for the mercies of God that I felt then and in the days following. (Including the way you sat and cried with me, Jana.) I guess I will always long to hold our baby Hope, and that makes heaven that much sweeter to me.

Cathy said...

I am praying with you and remember well the sorrow. I also remember well the comfort and prayers that you gave Shelly & Tommy when they lost their baby. I am so happy that we have the comfort of knowing our Lord is there with all those little ones just waiting for us when it's time.

Cheryl said...

Just like that day, years ago, I sit here looking at a silly computer, longing to hug your necks. The tears fall now, just like then.
I love you guys so much.
Maranatha.

Ben said...

Jana, Cathy & Cheryl, thanks for your friendship and your prayers. That means a lot! bw