Today, Taylor and I were supposed to see our baby’s heartbeat. Baby O would have been 7.5 weeks along. We would have been 33 weeks away from the due date, which was April 25th. I would have been handed my very first ultrasound picture that I would have framed. It would be the sweetest reminder of answered prayer. I would have left our infertility office crying tears of happiness this time, not tears of pain. I would be sending texts to our family and friends sharing the joy of the moment after our 9:00 appointment. My husband’s sweet dimples would be showing as he grinned his way through the entire moment. Today was supposed to be really incredible.
Writing another blog post to share the news that we have lost our second baby is really hard to do. In fact, I didn’t think I’d ever have to do this again. I really believed if we were able to get pregnant again, God would allow us to keep this one. But, He didn’t and we are grieving.
I thought about sharing how it happened, and how we told the exciting news to our families. I thought about telling you how we found out on Taylor’s birthday, and how special it was for the both of us. I thought about describing the emotions of yet another loss, but I just can’t. Not yet. It’s too soon, and the pain is too raw. It’s been two weeks since our loss and instead of things getting “easier with time,” they’ve gotten harder in ways I can’t understand.
Instead of sharing those personal details, there is something else that I’d like to share today-the day I was supposed to hear the precious sound of my baby’s heart. This is a story that I can’t stop thinking about. It’s given me a vision. It’s given me hope in something more as Taylor and I grieve.
This story belongs to Horatio Spafford. Mr. Spafford was a very successful lawyer in Chicago, and he had a beautiful wife and 5 precious children. He was a man of faith and wisdom, but his life was no stranger to pain. When Mr. Spafford’s son was two years old, he passed away from pneumonia. Shortly after his son’s death, Mr. Spafford lost a significant amount of his properties and investments due to the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. In 1873, the sliver of financial assurance he had left was hit during the economic downturn of 1873. That year he was supposed to board a ship to Europe with his wife and four daughters, but because of an issue at work, he stayed home and sent them ahead, planning to meet them a few days later.
About four days into their cruise across the Atlantic, their ship, the Ville du Harve, hit another ship putting everyone on board in grave danger. Mr. Spafford’s wife Anna tried to save her four daughters, asking God to spare them if it was His will, or help them to endure whatever was to come. Moments later, Anna was found floating on wreckage from the boat. Her four daughters, Annie, Margaret Lee, Bessie and Tanetta, along with 226 other passengers, were dead.
Anna sent a telegram to her husband that read, “Saved alone, what shall I do?” A survivor of the ship also stated that Anna said, “God gave me four daughters. Now they have been taken from me. Someday I will know why.” Mr. Spafford boarded the next ship as quickly as he could to comfort his wife. On the ship, the captain took Mr. Spafford to the exact place where all of his beautiful children passed away. It was during the ride on this ship, on the way to meet his wife, that Mr. Spafford wrote the hymn “It Is Well With My Soul.”
Right where the sea billows rolled over his remaining children, Mr. Spafford sang of God’s amazing peace. He had lost most of his business and all of his children, yet he was able to say it was well with his soul. I have listened to this song a dozen times this week, and I can’t stop thinking of the faith Mr. Spafford had. His spiritual maturity is something I desperately want. When the greivest of events happen in my life, I want my immediate response to be a song of praise to my good, good Father- just like Mr. Spafford. I want to focus solely on who God is, not how bleak my circumstance may be. I can’t fathom the loss of my businesses or of 5 children, but seeing that deep faith ignites hope and determination in my spirit.
Anna’s word’s also sing loudly to me, “God gave… God takes away.. Someday I will know why.” I’m not sure if Anna ever knew that because of this tragedy, a famous hymn would be birthed. A hymn that brings hope and encourages my faith, and millions of others, like no other. Like Anna, I don’t know why we have lost two precious babies so soon. I don’t know exactly what God is doing or the plans for the future, but I DO know I have blessed assurance that Christ is my help and He has died so it may be well for my soul. No matter my lot, it is well with my soul, because I have Jesus and He will never leave me. Through my pain and tears, I can see Him.
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come
Let this blest assurance control
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate
And hath shed His own blood for my soul
My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!—
My sin, not in part but the whole
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul
But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!
Mr. and Mrs. Spafford later had 3 more children. One of those three died of pneumonia at age 4. Their story continues to bring God glory years after they have passed. What a legacy they left! Please continue to keep Taylor and I in your prayers as we grieve the loss of our second baby. We will continue to praise Him in this storm that we don’t understand.. and when sorrows like sea billows roar.
Time to listen to this hymn once again……