This is what it looks like to crave God’s grace.
When I hear stories of miscarriages at 10 weeks, even though at 7 weeks I’m just barely starting to feel hopeful that this might be real, that this baby might stick, that he really might grow into a little human. I’m terrified that the second I start to hope, those hopes will be dashed; that the moment I start to dream, my dreams will be crushed. I don’t want to try again another child in a few months; I want this one, this child, this gift.
When I see spotting when I wake up each morning. The doctor says it’s perfectly normal, but when you’re pregnant and see you blood, your heart sinks into your stomach and your minds lurches and grasps at all kinds of terrible thoughts. Is it ectopic? Am I miscarrying? Did I do something wrong?
When I think about how far off the first scan is — not until 10 weeks. What if I get all the way there and there’s just an empty sac? What if there’s a baby and no heartbeat? What if I’m growing attached just to be wrenched apart from my already-beloved child? How can I make it another three weeks with patience and peace? My emotions are taut wires, ready to snap and curl and cut whatever flesh is closest. If I lose this baby, I fear a snapped wire will recoil and slice my heart clean in half.
Yet I make it through each day, feeling hopeful again by the end. I mark the days one by one in my head, breathing a sigh of relief each day I wake up still pregnant, tallying the weeks, moving ahead slowly, one step at a time. It’s all I can do.
God has met me every single day in His grace as He listens to me recite the same prayer of health, safety, and growth each morning and as I beg for peace and signs that everything is okay. Nausea. Sore boobs. Cramping (the good kind). Anything. I just need to be reminded that there’s a little life inside me and that everything is going according to plan.
But what if His plan is not good the way I define it? His plan is always good, I know, but if everything goes according to plan and I miscarry, then was that His good plan for me? It’s a downward spiral to think this way, so I try to run away from this thought and pretend it can’t happen. I tell myself that if it does happen, it’s not God’s fault, and certainly not His intent. But on the rough days, I believe it. I beg Him to keep me safe, to keep the baby inside, to not rip her from me. And I need God’s continued grace in order to keep believing, keep trusting, keep looking forward in hope.
I make excuse after excuse for why I’m allowed to live in fear during these first weeks of pregnancy. There’s so much that’s unknown. I have no window into my womb. My belly isn’t growing. I can’t feel the baby moving. I don’t even feel pregnant. I could miscarry and not bleed and not know for weeks. The risk of miscarriage feels so high. Everything feels fragile, as if I could do just one thing wrong, and like a swiftly pulled thread, this whole tapestry could unravel. I’ll be peaceful, joyful, confident as soon as I hit week 13. Then all the fear will stop.
But it won’t. Being a mom — whether it’s to the 6-week-old human fetus inside you or the 6-week-old infant in your arms or the 16-year-old teenager taking off in his car for the first time — invites constant temptation to worry, to fear, to worst-case-scenario nightmares. If I think the worries will end at 13 weeks, I have a lot to learn.
No matter how many times I crumble under the weight of the worry and spiral into the fear and lose my grip on what’s true, He reminds me of this one thing: His grace is enough. It’s enough for every fear, for every gasp, for every time my mind wanders and my heart sinks. His grace is enough to sustain a pregnancy, and should it happen, it’s enough to get me through a miscarriage.
His grace is a lavish gift, and so is this tiny life. Each moment I have with this little human inside me is a reason to rejoice. Each moment is ordained, and if this is the last one, then it’s still a gift, and it’s still to be treasured.
Want more pregnancy and postpartum reflections?
My book Expecting Wonder explores the spiritual, emotional, and identity-level transformation women experience as they become mothers. You can order the book from Amazon or from your favorite retailer.