I sat on the bathroom floor one night a little more than a week after Abigail's birth, and silently screamed inside my head so no one would hear me, over and over again, "I want my baby back" knowing it was an absolutely futile cry. We chose II Samuel 12:23 for Abigail's stone. For those who aren't familiar, David had a child by Bathsheba that was sick, and God told him through the prophet Nathan that the child would die. But, David fasted and prayed begging God to heal the child, but God chose not to intervene. After the child died, David cleaned up and went and worshipped God. And in that verse, David says, "I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me."
The night before our induction with Abigail, I begged God to intervene. I remembered the account of Elisha bringing back the Shunammite woman's child back from the dead. (II Kings 4) I even thought of the man who was restored back to life after touching the dead bones of Elisha years after the fact. (II Kings 13:21) But even as I begged God, James 1:6 and 5:16 came to mind. I knew that I couldn't ask without wavering, I was always aware that it might not be His will to intervene in this matter. But even then I knew that if He would intervene, it wouldn't be based on if I could ask with or without doubt. Before we agreed to start the induction, I asked for them to verify with an ultrasound the lack of a heartbeat, and while they probably felt that they were just humoring me, they obliged, and Gary looked to verify it as well.
They say that anger is one of the stages of grief, but I'm not angry. Perhaps that will come later, but I'm not angry right now. I'm not angry with the doctors, nurses, or ultrasound technicians. Though I will confess I'm a little annoyed that the nurses wouldn't just leave us alone the entire time we were there, of course I've also had that complaint every pregnancy. I like my privacy, and my alone time with Gary and my babies. I'm not angry with myself, though I can't help but wonder if I had gone in the first time I had nagging concerns, if there might have been anything that they could have done to save her.
The truth is the only one who could have changed the outcome was God himself, and He chose not too. But, I'm not angry with Him. The truth is, if Abigail is one of His she's already in Heaven (II Timothy 2:19). She's better off, it isn't her I hurt for it's me. I hurt for what might have been, for my desire to hold and rock her at night when the house is quiet, to see what spunky personality she might have contributed to our family dynamic. Oh I wish He might have intervened. I wish our testimony was one of miraculous healing not one of faith even in loss. OH, I want my baby back. But the truth remains that I'm not deserving of the least of His blessings, and if as my Daddy has often said when he prays, if I never receive another blessing or show of favor from the Lord, I still would be compelled to say, just and holy is the Lord. He doesn't owe me a thing, not one, not even an explanation, though I desperately wish to know what happened. I on the other hand owe Him everything especially all honor and praise regardless of my outward circumstances. I recognize this fact, even in this, and so I cannot be angry even though He is the only one that might have changed the outcome.
I'm not angry, I just have an intense longing, an immense emptiness, an overwhelming sadness. But you know, even though I don't see it and I don't understand it people have seen a strength in us in this in our faith. I feel as though I'm struggling to stay afloat on a rough sea, and I can't really swim. I feel like if I really had a strong faith, that I wouldn't ache like I do, I would be able to rest in the knowledge He's provided, I wouldn't randomly burst into tears with no provocation. Nevertheless, if the lesson of Abigail's life is one of faithfulness in loss, if it is one of God's continued goodness not despite hardship but even within hardship, if it is one that glorifies Him then I can be grateful for that. In my 30 years I'm not sure that I've even come close to glorifying Him in the way that she did in the short time she was with me. And no matter how painful it is, I wouldn't have given up the time I had her, to instead have lived life without her and without the loss. After all, while she can't return, I feel in my heart that one day I will see her there.