Wednesday, July 20, 2011

How a Miscarriage Changed My Prayer Life

I originally wrote this post a week ago-before my doctor suspected a third miscarriage. I have an appointment this morning for an ultrasound, to find out for sure what's going on. I'll post again soon once I know more. That being said, I thought about not publishing this post until I knew what was going on with this pregnancy. Then I read the post again. And it fits with what I'm going through today. I had to leave it-unchanged. As is. This was my mindset an hour before my doctor called with bad news. . .

My miscarriage changed my prayer life. Before our second loss, I prayed for what I wanted. When my doctor suspected another miscarriage, I prayed for a miracle, and a large part of me expected to see one. I was confident my God would prove my doctor's suspicions wrong.

Imagine my surprise (or, more accurately, my anger) when God didn't answer my prayer. I read verses like "Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you" (Matthew 7:7) and "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart" (Psalm 37:4). Even though I knew these verses weren't exactly referring to my desire to have children, I nonetheless read them through eyes of hope. I convinced myself God was going to grant my desire.

I guess my thinking ran something like this: If God is the maker of my desires, surely he wouldn't give me a desire without intending to fulfill it? If God didn't want me to have any more babies, he wouldn't allow me to want them so much? 

What I failed to consider, though, was that maybe God wasn't going to give me what I wanted. Maybe it's not his job to grant my every request. Sure, God wants me to be happy. But what if more than that, he wants me to be His? Fully and completely His?

God isn't a genie in a bottle. Rub his belly just right and he'll grant your wish. Before our miscarriages, I think I treated him that way. I assumed that if I prayed enough and believed enough, he would grant my prayer requests.

My prayer life is different now. To be honest, I'm still trying to figure out how to pray. You'd think after going to Bible College, I'd have it figured out. But I don't. I still want to pray for God to fulfill my desires. I want to trust that he'll grant me the babies I long to hold. But now, instead of only praying about my desires, I've added another prayer-that God will carry me through whatever happens.

There's no guarantee we'll have another healthy baby. Regardless of how much or how hard I pray. But I'm trying to rest in something that is a guarantee. The guarantee that even if we don't, I still have a friend (not a genie) in Jesus.

. . . I want so much for my appointment to go well today. I want my doctor to be wrong. I want to see a healthy baby with a strong heartbeat on the screen. Please pray for this. But also pray that if I don't, I'll get through a third loss.

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