Canaan

When we were pregnant with our first child, I learned that ClearBlue pregnancy tests have enough battery in them to read “pregnant” for exactly nine months – kind of amusing, really. I put her pregnancy test up in my bathroom mirror cupboard, so every time I opened the cupboard (which was about once every other day) I was greeted by the word “PREGNANT,” just in case I found myself in disbelief of what was really happening. But when we came home from the hospital with her, I noticed that the little digital window was blank.

Flash forward to today.

As a belated fifth anniversary gift to ourselves, Jack and I got a new set of furniture for our bedroom which is arriving next week. In anticipation of this, I cleaned off the dressers this afternoon and as I did this, I stumbled across a blank pregnancy test, gathering dust on my dresser. I stared at it for a long time.

It was the pregnancy test from my miscarried pregnancy.

The miscarriage happened the week before Thanksgiving. I was barely a month along, so what I suffered is technically called a “chemical pregnancy.” The nurse who saw me tried to reassure me that I might not have been pregnant — but when you’ve been pregnant twice before, you tend to know what it feels like even that early. I was certainly pregnant. And then I certainly was not.

The miscarriage started on a Sunday evening. In the first few hours, I remember thinking a lot about an old worship song we used to sing in college. I remember thinking it was a weird thing to have rolling through my head because it’s an awfully jubilant song. But the words are pulled from the book of Job:

“The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” (Job 1:21)

So I thought about those words often that night. I wasn’t quite praying, but rather, reminding myself. I did pray that God’s will would be done, and if it was His will, that the child would be saved.

The next morning, it was obvious that I was miscarrying. I threw myself down in bed and cried like I have never cried. But even in those first moments knowing that the baby was gone, we had the joy, comfort, and peace of knowing that the first person our baby saw was Jesus. We will spend our lives teaching our living children about Jesus, but when we get to meet him face to face, our little one will be there with Him, ready to teach us more than we ever could have taught any child. I am so excited for that day.

But back to today, and that test.

Today, I am EXCESSIVELY pregnant with our third (living) child (and I say EXCESSIVELY because he is YUUUUGE). He’s kicking away happily at my bladder as I type this — and yet, I have this blank pregnancy test from before Thanksgiving. It’s blank, which tells me that the child who died would have been born by now. Instead of the little boy we are eager to meet in a couple months, we would have someone else – now, here, demanding food and snuggles and diaper changes.

I am so curious about who we will meet one day in Heaven. Sometimes in my head I call the baby Canaan, after the song “On Jordan’s Stormy Banks” (On Jordan’s stormy banks I stand and cast a wishful eye to Canaan’s fair and happy land where my possessions lie…). Is that person a boy or a girl? Would he or she have had red hair like me (I am still waiting on my 25% chance ginger baby!)? What would it be like to have had that child? I miss who that person is, and would have been. I wish we could know him or her.

But I am so excited to meet this little boy and find out who he is. I am so excited to see my husband be a boy dad for the first time. I am so excited to see this little boy get loved on (and picked on) by his older sisters. I have arrived at this place where I am content with what God has granted, and am glad and thankful for what we have now.

But mostly, I am so in awe of how God does bring all things together for the good of His people, and how He is always near to the broken-hearted, and how the Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord!

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