July 25, 2009, is a day etched in my memory for eternity. On that day, we lost the desire of our heart, the baby for whom I had prayed for 9 years. In the time following, we lost two more sweet babies (Angelica May and Gabriella Hope) and two dear grand-babies (Our Baby J’s). But God has now blessed us with a smiling son Joel who loves Jesus, and our beautiful granddaughter Kennedy Grace. We are so thankful for these children and look forward to the day we’ll all meet up again in heaven. So today, in memory of Gloria Anne, I share a post I wrote one year after Gloria Anne passed from this world into the arms of Jesus.
…Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5 (NKJV)
Bump. Bump. Bump. Our old Suburban found every rock and pothole in the road as we made our way to church yesterday. The jostling vehicle reminded me of the ride I took exactly one year ago. At least this year I could look out the windows and enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery. Last year, if I had been conscious enough to look around, I would have seen the sterile insides of an ambulance.
I remember the EMTs bravely combating the bumpy road, taping IV bottles, securing cupboards, keeping their balance as they moved around the ambulance. Then they gave me something for the pain and I was able to sleep through all the bumps after that. Finally, a relief from the intense sadness and aches that had engulfed me for the nine days since the doctor told me our baby had no heartbeat.
I had awakened that morning at 4:15 a.m. with profuse bleeding. I grabbed my Bible and prayer journal and headed to the restroom as the doctor said I would bleed for an hour. There I was in our tiny purple bathroom, having My TEA CUPP time with Jesus, trusting Him for a good outcome.
At almost 7 a.m. Kent knocked on the door to see how I was doing. I decided to take a shower because I was so tired of sitting. After the shower I was very dizzy, then sick to my stomach, and then the painful contractions began. I no longer could sit in the bathroom, but had to lie on the bedroom floor. I had been bleeding for almost 4 hours at this point and was very light-headed. Soon I couldn’t feel my contractions as I was slipping from this world. Kent called 911 and invited our older three kids to say good-bye to me.
The ambulance arrived at 10 a.m. It took them a while to get me loaded and out to the ambulance. Our 9-year old son Kevin had to watch his Mommy be carted away on a stretcher, he even helped carry the oxygen tank. My brother George who was visiting took care of Kevin, while Kent rode the ambulance with me. Our daughter Kallie was cooking for the campers and our son Jacob was mowing lawns.
When the EMTs brought me out of our dark bedroom into the glorious sunlight of our front yard, I thought “This is it. Jesus is coming, this is the bright light!” The sky was so blue with the mountains and pine trees shaped so clearly against it, an upside-down view of the world I don’t often see. I was thinking, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.“ 2 Timothy 4:7 (NKJV).
That glorious moment soon ended as God said, “I’m not finished with you yet.” I was whisked into the ambulance and poked with an IV, and endured the very long ride to the hospital in Big Timber. A nurse met us part-way down the road, and she put some pain killer in the IV, which let me rest the remainder of the trip. In the emergency room, the doctor made certain I had delivered everything and sent me with an IV and medicine to rest in one of the hospital rooms.
I remember how the stretcher felt as they carried me to the ambulance. It hugged me closely, swaddling me like a blanket around a newborn baby. Perhaps because our prayer friends were already praying, perhaps because the Sweet Grass County Ambulance, doctors, and nurses all took good care of me, or perhaps because our camp ministry team kept the camp running while we were gone…I sure felt like those were God’s arms wrapped tightly around me, a sensation that continued for weeks after our miscarriage.
The eternal God is your refuge,
And underneath are the everlasting arms… Deuteronomy 33:27 (NKJV)
In my partially-conscious state in the ambulance, still wondering if I would make it, I prayed for everyone I could think of…my family, our ministry team, our campers, our prayer friends, the EMTs, and everyone on my salvation list that they would come to know Jesus. Because if I leave this world to be in heaven with Jesus, I want others to be there, too! Yes, I had My TEA with Jesus, even in the ambulance, and I didn’t spill a drop on that bumpy road!
Still, a year later, we do not understand God’s plan in all this. We don’t know why God would give us this hope of 9 years, begin knitting this baby together inside of me, only to stop knitting. We thought He had given us the desire of our hearts, yet now she is in heaven. In all our grief, we still pray for God’s name to be glorified, so we named our sweet baby, Gloria Anne. Thank you, dear Jesus, for Gloria Anne. We love you, dear Gloria Anne! Hug your sisters for us. We’ll be with you as soon as we finish God’s work here. xoxoxox
Today’s TEA CUPP: My dear TEA friend, perhaps you have lost a baby or know someone who has lost a baby. It hurts. Keep praying, keep believing, keep trusting Jesus to turn your sadness into dancing, and your tears to joy. He will, my friend, He will.
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness. Psalm 30:11