Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Father Who Weeps

December 1986 had started with such promise and joy.  After a number of fertility treatments, scheduled sex and dozens of supplements, finally the test read positive.  I had to take a second one because never before had a test read positive.  I was so excited for my sailor husband to come home .   I was 6 weeks pregnant and had the tests to prove it.  He had been gone for a month and I couldn’t wait to tell him.  How I rejoiced, God had given us the desire of our heart.

He came home a day early and surprised me coming in the door.  I had such an overwhelming emotional response that I burst into tears and threw myself into his arms.  He was alarmed until I blurted out, “We’re pregnant!”  He held me and we sobbed together.

Five hours later, a pain ripped across my belly and something warm spilled onto my legs.  Confused, I went to the rest room to discover copious amounts of bright red blood running down my legs.  A spontaneous abortion, the doctors called it.  A miscarriage, the nurse called it.  The death of our child, we called it.  Unable to ease my physical and emotional pain, my husband held me tight and sang, “There’s no way, I could make it without you.  There’s no way, that I’d even try.  If I had to survive without you in my life, I know I wouldn't last a day, Oh babe, there’s just no way.”   The sobs grew longer before they silenced.  I  was cold inside.  God had taken away the desire of my heart.

Twelve days later, my husband bundled me into the car.  It was Christmas Eve and he wanted me to get out of the house, viewing Christmas lights.   Just a few miles down the road, the engine light flashed on and smoke began pouring in through the vents.  “Get out of the car!  Get out of the car!”  My husband yelled.  I couldn’t get the door open! He grabbed the handle and wretched it open as the hood of our car billowed in flames.  I ran to the door of the home we coasted in front of.  “Help us, our car has caught fire.”  An older man, ran out of the house in his boxer shorts, grabbed a hose and ran toward my husband.  Together they beat the flames out with an old woolen blanket and doused flames with water.  He apologized for his state of dress and offered to drive us back home.  We weren’t feeling it when he called out a Merry Christmas and drove away.

Two weeks later, my husband decided I needed to visit my family in Missouri.  It did my heart much good to spend time with my family.  But time marched on and it was time to drive back to Mayport Florida.  We were over halfway home when a general sense of unease came over me.  The closer we got, the more anxious I felt.  Something’is wrong, I told my husband.  He patted my leg and told me I was fretting over nothing.  Images started flashing through my mind, and I felt sick for the rest of the drive.  I just knew our home had been broken into.

That moment of opening the door told us I had not been fretting for nothing.  The home was in shambles.  Appliances were missing, electronics gone.  They had taken jewelry with no intrinsic value that was priceless to me.  They took drugs from the medicine cabinet.  They rummaged through our undergarments and tossed every drawer’s contents into the floor.  Even cleaning supplies were gone.  We were a young couple barely making it.  We did not have renter’s insurance.  The police shook their heads and told us there was little to go on.  Not much chance of recovering that, they told us.  But my bigger loss was that the sanctuary of my home had been violated.  I felt unsafe.  I was no longer comfortable in my shelter.  Two months later, we moved into Base Housing behind Marines who stood at the gates.  The marines made me feel safe.

It was to God that I turned my rage and fears.  Shaking in my shoes, I told him “If this is how you treat your children, I DON’T want to be your kid anymore!”  I had lost my trust in the Mercy of the Father. He promised never to give me more than I could handle.  But there I was broken.  He promised all things worked together for my good.  There was nothing good in this.   I found living in that void was nearly as debilitating as the actual losses were.   

At the time, through my pain I could not see God.  I felt totally rejected, ignored and discounted.  I did not feel I mattered to God.  Even worse, I felt He had singled me out to oppress.  That he had looked and seen that I was happy.  And his reaction was “Oh no, I can’t have her happy.  She must pay for that.”

Six years later, I was working a job that I liked.  We had moved back to Missouri when my husband developed a medical condition that interfered with military service.  We owned a modest little home.  We had insurance.  We had a five year old son, who was the darling of our hearts.  My husband had a job that provided good benefits and security.  But I was miserable.  I lived in fear of what would happen next.

God drew me back in a very real, supernatural way that would detract from what I want to share.  But he did bring me back to full fellowship with him.  In one of our quiet times together, I told him I knew that in the valley there is no light.  But I sure wish I could have seen Him while I was going through those wretched six weeks of pain and disappointment.  As I remembered back, God pointed out those things I had overlooked.

  • My husband came home a day early and surprised me.   Five hours later...He held me tight and sang to me.  Now I saw that God brought him home a day early so I would not suffer alone through the experience.  But I did not see God at the time.
  • I ran to the door of the home we coasted in front of…He offered to drive us back home.  He called out a Merry Christmas and drove away.  Looking back now I saw that God coasted that car to a house where a compassionate soul lived.  One who would minister to us in our need.  But I did not see God at the time.
  • The closer we got, the more anxious I felt.  Something is wrong, I told my husband.  Months later, we moved into base housing.  But I did not see God at the time.

Then Father God told me something important for me to remember.

Not everything happens because He orchestrated it.

There is another force at work.  God could have stopped some of it, I suppose.  He could not violate our free will.  I also would not have grown through this experience.  I would not have grown the compassion that I have for hurting people.  I found that in my darkest of hours, God wept with me in my distress and pain.  This is not what he wants for me so he will try to teach something through it.  I learned that in the valley, I cannot always identify that hand of God.  You need the next mountain top to raise above and look back to see where He was.  Like the watcher in a maze, God knows where I am in that valley.  

Even when I do not.

Assignment #7   

  • Write about a point in your life when you have experienced the “bird’s eye view”. It can be a time you were flying, or a time when you looked back on your life and have seen how the pieces fit together. You have already proven your creativity, so I know you aren’t lacking in that department.


  1. Found you! I'm a persistent little bugger! :)

  2. So so so good! I felt all warm and fuzzy while reading the last part where you listed the goodness that did come from God in the middle of the terrible. I have had 2 miscarriages and I know God has used those for His good. Thank you for the reminder that God is most definitly In the tough stuff!