Has God ever given you a shock so big that it felt like your stomach went through your toes? Well, staring down at the pregnancy test that is exactly how I felt. Shocked. Seeing as how at that precise moment I had a ten month old on my hip staring at the two blues lines that symbolized my pregnancy, shocked is about the best word to use for that moment in my life. You see we weren't so much trying. And it isn't that I don't adore babies, because I do. I love my baby, my friends' babies and even strangers' babies. I love the little clothes, the sweet cuddles, all the adventures and especially that unique baby smell. Just at that particular time in my life I was content to have just my little Mary Harris. I felt like I had JUST gotten my feet back under me from having her and that I have just figured this whole mom thing out. And now there was a curve ball, one heck of a curve ball.

It was an emotional hurricane. I was thrilled to be having another baby, scared out of my mind to have two babies under eighteen months, sad that I wouldn't get to spend so much time focused on just MH, and nervous about the whole pregnancy thing again. Meanwhile, excitement gushed from my husband. Everything was bombarding me at once. It took a shaky phone call to my mom and actually saying it out loud for everything to settle in. After about thirty minutes, a peace finally settled over me. I knew that although this is not my plan that this was the perfect plan. I knew firmly this was what God has planned for me. Each time I told someone else it became more real. And then I began to dream.

Don't get me wrong, I was still freaking out about having two kids so close but God's peace rained down on me. I began to think about how special having two kids almost the same age would be. How fun vacations would be. How they would be in school together, in youth group together, go to college together. Of course I would force them into matching outfits for as long as possible. David and I started to dream about everything. We shopped around for a new house, started thinking about new cars. We began to completely remodel our lives to be a foursome.

Me, Mary Harris, and my husband David

Then it was all over. As quickly as our little baby came into our lives, she rushed out. It was the afternoon of December 23, two weeks after we found out. We were watching a movie with my sister just hanging out when I went to the bathroom and revealed the miscarriage. It was awful. Without being too gorrie, I took one look and knew exactly what happened. Again, the shock sent my stomach to the floor.

With my first pregnancy I thought about miscarriage some. This time it was one of the furthest things from my mind. I had just carried a baby for nine long months, why would this one be different?

Every dream that had blossomed was ruthlessly being ripped to shreds.

Some of you may be thinking, it was just two weeks. But, it was a busy two weeks. Two weeks of looking at new double strollers. Two weeks of asking God to prepare me to be a mom of two. Two weeks of dreaming of what my next little one would be like. Two weeks of seeing what a great big sister Mary Harris would be. Two weeks reorganizing every detail of my life to make room for more. Two weeks thinking of the precious life growing in me. And it was gone.

This time there was no hurricane. This time there was an eerie nothing. I felt dead inside. I can remember holding my daughter as my husband held me. I remember praying but having no clue what to say. I remember thinking "Really God, really?" I couldn't understand why as soon as I began to adjust to everything why it all changed again so drastically.

I began to assess everything I'd done in the six weeks I had been pregnant, especially before I knew I was pregnant. I kept thinking it was something I did. Like taking a bath that might have been too hot. Or playing too rough with Mary Harris. What about the deli meat I ate? And sometimes I did a lot of twisting when I rocked Mary Harris to sleep. Could one of these be why?

The devil played into each one of these. Of course I will never know the physical reason that we lost our little one but I am starting to learn why I went through this trial. This wasn't the first time that my faith has been tested. But this time, I can tell you I handled it differently.

God has put me in some situations before that have shaken my faith. But as the immature Christian I've been, my initial reaction was always to turn away from God--in anger. I'd put God back in a box and set Him on the shelf. I would try to manage my own business for a while. I would act like I could conqueror the world all on my own. Truth is I can't. I just get beat down on my own. Unhappiness flourishes and then bleeds into every aspect of my life. My relationships, my work, and my self esteem suffers. I lose all my joy and my passion.

But, luckily we can learn. So this time as I journeyed through this trial I knew I couldn't do it alone. It was a daily struggle to put my faith in the Lord's plan and timing. I now know that my God is big enough to handle my anger, my tears and my hurt. He is even big enough to take it all away. It didn't happen over night, but as I continued to rely on Him, He revealed himself to me. I am nothing without God directing my life. My plans are nothing compared to His.

Each of us will have tough times. Your hurt will feel overwhelming. The world will feel crushing. "But take heart; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

-Stephanie

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