*Author - Heather Falk*
On a sunny Friday, I excitedly went to the drug store and picked up a pregnancy test. I was late and extremely excited about it! There were glitter explosions all in my heart when I saw that positive pregnancy test symbol! Yet, admittedly part of my heart felt like it was too good to be true and I was a little scared. We had only been trying a short while to get pregnant. And I knew, due to my hormone imbalances, it was challenging for me to get pregnant. But there it was, those two beautiful pink lines. I told my husband that night and we immediately began to celebrate! We bought our almost two year old son the cutest “big brother” shirt, planned how we would tell our parents, and for three days, everything was beautiful and exciting. We felt so sneaky being around our friends, holding in the news until the perfect moment. I still hold these days so close in my heart, because I was pregnant.
My son and I were on a play date the following Tuesday, when grief knocked on our door. I began bleeding, and called my doctor right away. They sounded concerned and wanted to get blood work to check the pregnancy hormone levels in my body. There was a hellish amount of back and forth between the doctor’s office while trying to hold onto any hope of this baby surviving in my body through the amount of blood I was losing.
We went in for an ultrasound, confirming my empty uterus and our hearts broke into a million tiny pieces like a beautiful chandelier falling in an empty ballroom. It was confirmed that my pregnancy was ectopic, in my fallopian tube. The egg was not healthy and could prove to be life threatening to me if we did not take rapid action. We had an appointment the next morning that would give us the answer for what the next step would be.
I knew that night was the last night with my baby. That night I imagined what his or her little face might have looked like, what their little laugh might have sounded like. I took time to play with them in my mind and in my heart. I believe Jesus allowed me to see those things to bring my heart comfort and to prepare me for the days ahead. I spent the night, trying my hardest to fall asleep, talking to my baby. I told my baby how much I loved them, how both mommy and daddy loved them. Then I told them, if they need to go be with Jesus, it's okay. He would take such good care of them and they would not have to suffer. I wrote this letter:
"My baby, I take such comfort in Jesus knowing that the only thing you ever felt was love. Your daddy and I know that you will never have to feel pain and now you are in the presence of Love Himself. That is the best place for you to be. Thank you for the time we had together; for listening to your big brother giggle as he jumped all over us. Thank you for helping me see that having another baby wouldn't be so scary, but instead, it would be amazing. Jesus has taught your daddy and I so much through the five weeks we had with you, you made more of an impact than anyone I've ever known for such a short time. My baby, I trust your heart is growing bigger every day as you worship our King. It could not grow down here with us. Jesus needed you to be with Him. He is so pleased with your little life and all you were on this planet. You touched so many people, and you will continue to make an impact as your parents do their best to be brave and speak about you and how important you are. You are perfect and just how God intended you to be. He had a plan, it was not the plan we all wanted, but the plan you needed. Now you are free! You are free of pain, free of fear and free to just receive love and praise Jesus. Your life will be remembered, we will honor you, we will share the love of Jesus on your behalf, we will be brave for you and we will celebrate you. My baby, so loved, so special, always in my heart. You are a legacy; you are my tiny treasure, thank you for everything. I can't wait to see you in heaven."
The next morning, I was sent to the hospital to be given methotrexate shots, a type of chemotherapy that is the least invasive way to treat an ectopic pregnancy without surgery. This was it, the hope was over; the fight was finished. We were going to lose this baby. All I could do was surrender and receive Jesus’ love.
In the hospital, I was sent to the infusion room on the oncology floor. I sat in that cold, sterile room with six cancer patients each hooked up, receiving their chemo. I was there for three hours. During that time, I’m not sure I was supposed to, but I overheard each of their names, their type of cancer, and how long they had been fighting. It hit my heart like a ton of bricks. Jesus allowed me to be in that room, with those special heroes, and I felt privilege. I sat with tears streaming down my face begging Jesus to heal each of them. Even in that time, Jesus assured my heart, “I am good even in this. I am using even this moment.”
Jesus ministered greatly to me in these moments of waiting to receive this medication. He spoke His love over me, reminding me that He had a plan in this and I wasn’t alone. He knew my pain and He had a purpose for this little soul. He assured me that He knew our baby by name and they were created to worship Him. With that assurance, He invited me to praise Him. I've never felt so hallow and so whole at once. My uterus was empty, yet my heart and my mind were full; full of the promises of Jesus, full of His peace, and full of His love.
Grief is important. The way that we can use it to our advantage is to let Jesus invite us into praise; directly into heaven’s gates! We have the amazing advantage of tapping into heaven when we know Jesus. That is the advantage of grief, WE SEE JESUS! Jesus, the man of many sorrows, who is acquainted with our grief.
Isaiah 53:3-5 tells us,
“He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.”
Jesus wants to use our grief to make us whole in Him and this is the message the world needs. We all need this hope! I cannot fathom the terror of facing any pain without Jesus. This world needs His hope.
I recently spoke with a friend who had lost her husband to cancer two years ago. She said, “I am not mad at God for taking my husband because I feel so connected to Heaven now, in a way like I would never be able to. Half of my heart and my soul is in heaven.” How beautiful! This woman took that invitation seriously and it has brought her to a place of wholeness even in the midst of horrific grief and pain.
Grief is an invitation from heaven to draw closer to Jesus.