This was not part of the plan. The evening before my admission, Tedd and I had celebrated our three year wedding anniversary with a night at the Magic Castle Club and Hotel. It was our first time leaving JP with friends overnight, and we were looking forward to seeing him that morning. Our trip to Kaiser Hospital came from some early morning contractions during breakfast. We figured that we were already in Hollywood and would just swing by Labor & Delivery to be safe. We expected to be home by lunchtime. Instead, monitoring confirmed that I was having significant contractions, cervical changes, and (to top it off) received a positive result from the fFN (fetal fibronectin) test. My admission was unexpected….and frightening.
It is disquieting to have so little control over my own body, and I prayed that the Lord would give me some sort of sign or sense of peace about what the outcome might be for our child. Tedd had brought me a Bible, and as I prayed, I opened it - looking for comfort. Highlighted on the page I just happened to turn to were the following words, “Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.’ When he had said this, he breathed his last.” (Luke 23:46) These are, of course, the final words Jesus said before he died on the cross. At first, my stomach tightened. “Oh no,” I thought, “am I going to lose this baby?” But as I continued to meditate on the verse, I found two messages of great promise.
First, I felt God’s compassion. Our God is not a god removed from our lives who mechanically orchestrates our fate from above. He is loving and merciful, compassionate and kind. He relates to our pain and fears for he’s been there and he’s with us right now.
I was reminded of the fear Jesus felt as he prayed on the Mount of Olives, shortly before his death. “Father,” he said, “if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42) Sometimes, it is impossible to imagine God’s will in the midst of difficult situations. But we can rest assured that he has a plan. Who would have thought that the death of God’s son would bring the promise of love to the world? Nobody imagined it…but it is true.
And I know that in this moment …right now… God is here.
As a hospital chaplain, I had opportunity to stand beside several moms and dads as they tearfully prayed over little ones born too soon. I could see the fear and confusion in their eyes, but I could only imagine what it would be like to be in their shoes.
I think I was okay imagining…I don’t really need to know.
I am praying that I will be teachable through this journey, wherever it leads, because there are lessons to be learned, to be sure. I think one of them is this…
God loves this baby….NOW…before he or she is born. I love the baby too and while a mother’s love is great, I believe God’s love is even greater. So it is with great confidence and relief that I sincerely say, "Father, into your hands, I commit this child’s spirit…please keep your hand on our baby."