One reason I went into labor multiple times before having Hope was that I was pretty much convinced that she would be stillborn. Despite no logical reason, I was convinced of this. Maybe it was the previous miscarriages, maybe it was the turmoil at church, but for whatever reason, I was pretty much expecting that Hope would be dead. (Even though we didn’t know the gender, I was pretty sure it was a girl.)
But Hope wasn’t dead. She completely lives up to her name, and daily reminds me of the passage she was named from, Romans 5:3-5:
Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
It totally hit me this weekend how perfect God’s timing is. I definitely had my plans – “wouldn’t the fall of 2007 be nice? I’ll be on leave!” was cancelled via miscarriage. My plan for my grandmother’s birthday on Nov 11 didn’t work either, despite my attempts to “walk” the baby out.
In both cases, God needed me to be broken so I could fully appreciate the gift I was getting. I don’t think I would have treasured the third (or my first or second) baby had I not had the miscarriages. I wouldn’t have gotten the “pre-requisites” for hope—perseverance and character—had I not had all the prior labor. And her birth in the midst of turmoil and stress over church drama reminds me that really, God IS in all of the messiness of life. His timing IS perfect, even when it’s not mine.
So Hope was born, both literally and figuratively. And she continues to grow and bring joy daily, if not moment by moment.