In early 2019, before I had a positive pregnancy test, before the ultrasounds and the doctor’s visits and the fluttering of little feet– there was a question.
Is it possible that after more than a decade of infertility, I might actually be pregnant?
And the day after that question finished formulating in my mind, I started bleeding.
I was the only one in my family awake that morning, and the breath was so thoroughly knocked out from my lungs, I could barely tiptoe up to the couch. I sat, at five in the morning, and stared at the dark windows until light filtered in.
Finally, after the silence, my shaking hands pressed to my still-flat (and still nauseated) stomach, I whispered into the quiet, “With or without, Lord, You are good.”
I wanted to rail at Him, at myself, at the very idea that maybe my years of infertility had ended. Perhaps in truth, that was what my hour of silence was–my own form of brokenhearted protest.
How could I face again the mistaken hope of a baby?
But in the end, I wanted to be surrendered to the Father more than anything else.
I’ve lived in the non-surrendered place, you know. And it’s not an area of my life that I want to return. I have a healthy fear of that place, of that anger, of that agony that produces a bitterness of soul that consumes.
When my husband came upstairs, I whispered the truth to him– that all the sickness and the questions were for nothing– it was probably just a rough cycle or maybe another early miscarriage to add to our sad memories.
He didn’t say anything, just wrapped me tight in his arms and kissed my forehead.
If you’ve read With or Without: A Love Story to the God Who is Always Good, if you’ve watched my social media or read my newsletters– you know the truth that went deeper than what I understood that morning: God had a baby for me after all. One that joined our family last autumn.
But the baby isn’t the point of the story this time.
The point of the story is that before the tests and the knowledge of Mary Katherine’s tiny life–there was peace in surrendering.
There is such freedom in trusting. Not blindly thinking, “Oh, it’ll all be good,” but genuinely trusting that He’s got this and no matter what happens, it’s on Him.
I could stand up, face my day, face my life and the sorrow I thought I would have to carry again– and truly be okay. At peace. Whole.
The outcome didn’t matter.
A year later I am writing you this story with a five-month old rolling around at my feet, because in this instance, God gave us a miracle.
But I’ve told this story before and then spent years in the “without”. No babies. No miracles. Just hope that bled away.
And I can promise you that surrendering to God’s sovereignty brings peace no matter what the outcome.
Right now the world is struggling. There is so much loss, so much fear, so many questions.
And I have no idea how this will turn out. No idea of how this pandemic will scar my family, my home, my life.
I do know that it’s hard. For all of us. In so many different ways, and yet in the same way across the whole world.
And I do know that I am sticking close to the source of peace. I’m hanging tight to the One who is good, with or without.
Because every storm is safer with Him.
Every trial is calmer with Him.
Every sorrow, every fear, every uncertainty– can be surrendered to His hands, and we can taste peace from the middle of all the questions.
Right when we’re afraid we’re bleeding away another baby.
Right when we’re afraid a virus might be sliding into our communities.
Right when sorrow is tightening our throat and fear is chasing our thoughts.
Right there, peace.
Peace, I leave with you. My peace I give to you. That’s what Jesus said.
And I can tell you from experience, it’s true.
So just like I did that morning after cleaning up the blood that I thought was my lost baby, and surrendering to the Father by acknowledging His goodness, with or without the baby I dreamed of–
I do it again, today, with my family all sheltered at home, unsure of when or how severely we will feel the effects of this storm.
With or without our health, our wealth, our safety, our jobs, our home, our freedom– You are good, Jesus.
And in this surrender, we grab tight to the peace You give us.