In the weeks and months following my ectopic pregnancy I was plagued with grief and sorrow and loss—but also, and unexpectedly, I was lost in confusion. Confusion in my faith and God and what I had always thought I'd known as "revelation" or "inspiration". In this state of confusion and fractured faith I also felt misguided, misled... a deep distrust settled over my shoulders and gripped me tightly. My world darkened as my trust faded. I'd always been told to trust in Christ, to trust in the Holy Spirit as it would guide me, light my mind with Heaven's view. Now I questioned those feelings I had thought had come from the Spirit, those feelings that led Jason and I down the path of a second round of IVF and ultimately nearly end my life. I went through each day numbly; the numbness a sort of protective coating for the doubt and pain that enveloped me, too poignant and fresh it was sure to draw blood. I could hear screaming in the quite of my mind. It was mine. My silent screaming. That too became numbing, like the hum of white noise.
How could something have felt so right? So good? How could we have felt so assured? How could we have trusted in a feeling so completely? How could I have believed so completely and felt life inside of me and fell in love so quickly? How could we feel as if we'd witnessed a miracle only to have it ripped from our fingers so aggressively, so harshly, so destructively?
With this nimbus cloud encircling my spirit I struggled to put one foot in front of the other and into our church building. Jason and I sat in our usual spot, surrounded by our usual church family. We were early. Our friend sat in the pew in front of us and turned around, chatted with us as we waited for the meeting to start. I don't recall how or why he started to tell his story, but it fell upon me like a rush of air, like a wave crashing onto a parched, dry shore.
He was talking about his job (emergency planning manager for Los Angeles County public health/emergency department) and where he'd gone to graduate school (New Orleans, LA). "You know it was funny, neither of us wanted to go to Louisiana. We both hate humidity, we both don't like being too hot, we don't love barbecue or southern food. We couldn't believe it when we felt the prompting to go there for school. But it was so strong we knew we had to go, even if we didn't know why." It had felt so right and so clear and so good to them. Our friend and his wife packed up their new, little family and headed for Louisiana... then August 2005 came, as did Hurricane Katrina.
"The Lord didn't need me to go to grad–school in New Orleans. The Lord needed us to go through a hurricane."
The screaming in my head ceased. Silence. Some sort of understanding dawned, then deepened.
The Lord needed us to go through a hurricane.
It's funny how we, as humans, make all sorts of plans and time–lines for ourselves and our lives and our families. We map out exactly how we believe our lives should be and we feel so proud and sure of ourselves. And aren't we silly? We're not in charge here. Not really. God is over all. And what keeps me going, what keeps me hoping and believing and trusting, is knowing that He knows me. He knows me better than I know me. He loves me, better than I love me. I don't profess to know why things happen. I don't know why when we did IVF a third time last May we lost that sweet one too. I don't know! I wish I could, but maybe I don't get to yet. I know his plan for me has to be better than anything I could dream up for myself.
I have to believe this. I have to hang on to this. I have to know this truth.
He needed me to go through a hurricane. Ok. Done. Now what does He need me to do? Because I'm in. I'm all in.