Monday, March 26, 2007

A broken clay pot

That’s me today. I think I cried during the whole church service—and of course, I was out of tissues. But God has not abandoned or forsaken me.

Last night I was searching for a Bible verse to put in a baby shower gift—the verse for all new parents: “I tell you a mystery: we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.” I knew it was in Corinthians or Thessalonians somewhere, but couldn’t quite remember exactly where. So I started flipping through those chapters, and this verse caught my eye:

We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 2 Corinthians 4:20

That’s been me for the last month. On February 23, we went in for a routine ultrasound to determine a due date for my pregnancy. We were surprised to discover that not only were there two, but that they measured much smaller than we expected—6 weeks instead of 9 or 10 weeks, and no heart beat (which isn’t surprising in fetuses that young—it usually shows up between 6 and 7 weeks). Those dates meant that I had a positive home pregnancy test before I was pregnant. Well, with God all things are possible, so we prayed for a miracle, and scheduled another ultrasound for 9 days later. At the second US, there was no change…the fetuses hadn’t grown, the placenta was mis-shapen, and there was evidence of bleeding between the placenta and uterus. A classic missed miscarriage.

The doctor gave us two options—expectant management, where we waited for my body to expel everything on its own, or a D&C to remove it surgically. We opted for expectant management. But what that meant was that I knew I was carrying around two dead babies—I felt like a graveyard. My womb is not supposed to be for death! After 2.5 weeks, still nothing had happened, so we scheduled a D&C.

But now I know what it feels like to “carry around death”. While I know that passage refers to death to self, I have a physical, tangible object lesson of what carrying around death feels like.

I’m not sure how this reveals Christ, but I am trying to use this experience as an opportunity to testify of his goodness and glory, especially to my biochemistry students. Although it was very hard, I told my students what was going on. I began class by showing a chromosome undergoing recombination, an essential part of forming sperm and eggs. I talked about the miracle of birth, and that it’s amazing that this biochemistry ever works…and that sometimes it doesn’t. I know my voice was shaking, but somehow I made it through, and managed to compose myself to give a lecture on the topic for the day. I’m definitely just a clay pot, formed by the master Potter, but I hope, somehow, in my interaction with those students, I’ve encouraged them to contemplate the miracle of life and the Creator that made them.

God, I feel really broken right now—shine your light through all my cracks, so that you may be revealed through me.


Jen Henze said...

Well, God has been shining through you! I was just thinking the other day how willing you have been to let God have this opportunity. When others might have crawled into bed and tried to forget themselves in sorrow, you have gotten up each day, praised the Lord, played with your kids, loved your husband and ministered to others (myself included!). I can't even imagine the sorrow but there is joy in the morning and I know God is there...holding you, helping you walk this road. I also know He does all things well. Thanks for letting His light shine!

Kathy said...

Hi Ann, I'm here from Lysa' blog (I'm #47 & 48.) Anyway, your link caught my eye because I've been through miscarriage myself and can somewhat share your pain. But your spirititual application is tremendous, as was your willingness to share the story with your students. May God bless you and continue using you to touch others.

Anonymous said...

I don't even know you but after I read this entry I had to write something. I am actually looking for a picture of a broken pot with the water spilling out, because that is how I have been feeling lately and I stmbled onto the title of this blog. I know God has so much more for both you and me because Jesus came that we might have life abundant! I wish you well and my prayers are with you. God bless.