But Then…

“But then, we knew God is faithful.”
“But then, it finally happened.”
“But then, we just kept believing.”
“But then, it happened like we wanted it.”

All words dripping with hope. Whether it’s through the curated grid of our social media windows, or through conversations we have with others who are glowing with their news. It’s usually about a new pregnancy, a safe pregnancy, a redeemed life.

When it comes to pregnancy loss, it’s often told through the lens of a temporary loss, a stepping stone on the way to an ultimate goal. Every step is a precious reminder to just keep believing, having faith, trusting and having hope. I know every step is earned and every step is filled with hope. I rejoice with those who rejoice.

But what if there is no “but then?”

No, “but then it happened,” “but then we just kept believing,” “but then, it was what we always dreamed.”

What happens when the “but then” is silent?
No redemption, no follow-up, no bounce back.
No return, no rainbow, no second chance. 

Just. Silence.

What about those of us whose hope is not fulfilled in our present moment?

We hear of rainbow babies through the lens that God is faithful. Photos are shared of beautiful sunsets with reminders that those we’ve lost are not forgotten–look what has come after the rain. 

I have to wonder, is there redemption in a path that is completely opposite, solely unwanted and barely accepted? Must our rainbows always be a form of what we originally dreamed? Can our rainbows and our redemption come in different forms?   

For me, my latest pregnancy loss means the end. After losing our second baby this Spring, harder than the last, more painful, more traumatic, more grounding, I don’t think there will be a “but then.”

I wanted another baby. I dreamed of another baby. When we got pregnant I knew this was it for us. This was our redemption story. But then, it wasn’t. Does that mean God is not faithful?

I could keep going, keep trying, hoping and praying for what I thought was to be, but it’s not what is, what we think, or what we believe will be. 

A small voice tells me a different story.

“…faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see…”

I had confidence in my hope for a third baby, and I am most assured I do not see where we are going. The rain has not cleared, the fog is fresh, the path unclear. It’s quiet.

But then, I remember,
I know Whom I have believed,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.”

I have faith. I am overjoyed for every rainbow baby. We have one of our own in our sweet Riley Jo! What I cling to is faith that maybe the next rainbow will look different for us? Maybe the rainbow won’t be a third baby, but a deeper connection with the two girls we have? A new adventure for our family? A happy surprise we can’t imagine?

Maybe this remnant of faith will become the redemptive cornerstone for which the rest of our life is built upon?

…and then… 

we’ll know. 

I know not how the Spirit moves,
Convincing men of sin,
Revealing Jesus through the Word,
Creating faith in Him.

I know not what of good or ill
May be reserved for me,
Of weary ways or golden days,
Before His face I see.

But I know Whom I have believed,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.”