Tuesday nights have always seemed special to me. As a kid, the only hour of the week that our family had "appointment TV" was Tuesday night when Red Skelton came on. For the past three years, Tuesday nights have meant working as a counselor in the Pre-Trial Diversion program for the District Attorney's office. The work is very rewarding and seems like part of what I was meant to do. Tuesday night, March 10, seemed normal until 9 p.m. when we are usually finished "debriefing" among the counselors. That night I had a lengthy conversation outside the building with one of my fellow counselors. I got home around 10--about an hour late. LaWanna goes to bed at 9 like clockwork so when she was still up in the den, I knew something was not right. She said she had some bad news. Possibilities quickly flashed in my mind. The news she had was not something I had considered. At Laura's check-up that day, the doctor could not find the baby's heartbeat. After praying and trying so many things, after deciding on adoption and sending in a down payment, after finding out she was pregnant, after passing 13 weeks, after thinking about job changes and how a baby was going to impact their lives and ours--their baby was no longer alive. I was hit with a wave of concern for Laura and guilt that I was not immediately there to hug her. Since they left the doctor's office late and called after arriving home, I had left the house for the evening. Not knowing, I stood and talked--which kept LaWanna up waiting to share bad news. I felt bad for LaWanna. I felt bad for myself. I felt bad for Baron. Mostly, I felt bad for Laura. Why, God? I had just left dozens of unmarried, unprepared, unfit mothers who had baby after baby that they could not parent properly. And this strong, Godly man who has spent his life encouraging young people, and this pure, smart, funny woman of God who wanted to raise a child to know and love God lost a baby that was precious to them. Why? I want to know. I NEED to know. So for two months I have been processing this as I watch my amazing daughter think, pray, and write about what it has meant to her. I have watched sweet, loving friends encourage her and wrap arms around her literally and figuratively. Then last night several thoughts converged that may explain why I can't sleep and am writing at 4 a.m. After Bible class, I walked up the hall to visit with Laura and Baron as they stood with a circle of close friends; Brett, Judy, and Ashley--Jamin had just left to chase kids. Judy is "great with child"--her first. And Ashley is expecting her third. Laura is very happy for them and I am very happy for them. They, of course, hurt for Laura. Still, it is difficult to go through the months with your pregnant friends and all the anticipation when you have had to "drop out". I still hurt for Laura. I re-read her original post about the doctor visit tonight and cried again. And again. Not for me. Not for the unborn baby. Just for Baron and Laura. It is not the same for Baron or any expectant dad as it is for the mother. But I know he hurts for Laura and loves her enough that he would do whatever he could to take away her pain. Baron is a good, strong, Christian man and I am thankful that he is Laura's husband. I could not ask for a better person to help her through a difficult time.
The other thoughts from last night originated in our study of I Samuel and later from a conversation I had with LaWanna as she was hoping to go to sleep. I will not re-tell the story of Saul as the first king of the Jews and God's decision to replace him with David. As that story slowly moves toward the inevitable conclusion, Saul eventually becomes angry with his son Jonathan for defending David. In I Samuel 20:30 Saul expresses his anger by calling Jonathan's mother unflattering names. Then in verse 31 he says "For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, you shall not be established, nor your kingdom." That was it. That is why Saul clung to the crown and refused for so long to accept what God had decreed. He had planned the rest of his life and his son's life with the assurance that they would always be the kings. God had promised that--if Saul obeyed and in Saul's mind he had. It did not seem fair and it was not what he had planned.
That is where I have been. It does not seem fair for Baron and Laura, of all people, to loose their baby. It is not what we had all planned. This was going to be the most fun pregnancy ever. Laura was going to be 5 months pregnant at the extended family vacation at Vogel. She would quit her job in late summer. She had already told them. Baron and Laura would incorporate the baby into their elaborate halloween costumes. We would have a baby to spoil at Christmas. It was all planned out. But for whatever reason, that was not God's plan. God's plan is better. I wish I knew what it is. I feel like I NEED to know. But I don't really. What I really need is to realize that 20% of pregnancies ending in a miscarriage means that an amazing 80% result in live births. The fact that God provides that and we take it for granted is what is not fair. The fact that I make ANY plans for June, November, and December and assume that God owes me that time and all things continuing is not fair.
I love you, Laura. I love you, Baron. You are both doing great. I am extremely proud of you both. I don't know how well I have said these things to you personally, but I should have written it here sooner. Now maybe I will feel more like writing about the fun things and silly observations of the day.