There are so many aspects to spiritual journeys that it’s hard to even put it all together after thinking about it for years. When someone asks, “How did you end up Catholic?” it’s very hard to give a pin-pointed answer. However, I can pinpoint when I actually began to study the Catholic faith. It began with another miscarriage.
By now you all know my history: Lose a baby, have a baby. John had been born in September 1998 and in the summer of 1999 I was pregnant again. By now I had learned to be cautiously glad, but not too excited. I believe in the first appointment the doctor had detected a heartbeat, but at the second one he couldn’t find it. As a precaution he decided to do a quick ultrasound using the portable one in the office.
As his nurse scanned over my abdomen, she found the baby floating quietly in the fluid. All was peaceful and quiet. I’d had enough ultrasounds by now to be able to instantly tell that the heart was not beating any more. The doctor tried to find something to say, but I smiled at him and said, “It’s okay. I’ve been here before. Thanks.” He and his nurse had tears in their eyes, but looked relieved to not have to say what was obvious. My baby had died. We were going through it again.
It was a beautiful, sunny day outside. I got into the van and drove a little ways out of the parking lot, then pulled over into a dead end at the top of the hill. I broke down and cried.
“Lord, I know You love this baby more than Nolan and I ever could. And I knowYou love all of us more than we could ever love each other. Thank You for the short time I’ve had with this little one. I love You, God. Please help me through the rest of this.”
Where did such a grace-filled response come from? From the painful journey of losing more children than I given birth to. From realizing that a child is a gift, not a right. By this time I had also realized that all the worrying in the world would never save one of my babies. All I could do was pray and ask, trusting God to do what was best for all of us. I wish I could say that I’ve got that lesson down cold even now, but I don’t. But the progress that has been made in my life toward absolute trust in God has, in great part, come from the loss of those seven babies.
No one should ever think that a miscarried child had no purpose in the world. God doesn’t waste any life.