give and take // 11 years


(Jasmine blooming will always signal the sweet memory of my first baby)

On this day, eleven years ago, Sean and I found out that we lost our first baby. I was into my second trimester, but I knew something was different. I vividly remember wearing a camouflage hoodie and sweats. I was walking to our dining room table, in our first home, to join our friends Mary and Jason for dessert. Jason and Sean had made a fruit tart for my friend Mary’s birthday and I sat down and knew the baby was gone. It was especially bizarre to me (and still is) that I would know the difference between having a baby alive in me, and one that was no longer. I had never been pregnant before and this was before I had felt a child kick from within me. After miscarrying a baby and giving birth to our three daughters, I’ll never, ever question the existence of a creator. It’s all too magnificent to be chance.  Only a gracious God grants us the gift of knowing the depths of joy and pain, from within our very body and soul.

I remember white-knuckling it through that dessert with my dear friends, knowing something was off, and then finding out the next day that we lost the baby…..the same day that my best friend found out she was pregnant for the first time, as well. We both cried and laughed on that day. We felt joy and pain. She went on to miscarry that child, just a week later.

We both clearly saw that the Lord, in His sovereign and divine plan, gives and takes.

The first few years after we lost that baby, I didn’t understand why. I have been known to question a God that allows so many things to occur. Look around the world. It’s wholly unjust, depraved, dark. How could a loving God choose to allow these things? It angers me. It has entangled me in doubt. Why, oh God, do you let these things continue?

Thousands of theologians have asked and answer this query. It’s nothing new and I will not offer anything more than my simple mind has come to understand. What I have finally (prayerfully) reconciled has given me solace…..both from events 11 years ago and in the years since – life certainly has been filled with darkness and anger and unfair consequences and frustrating platitudes. Loss and general heartache. What I have come to believe and hold so dear is this…..

God is Sovereign and I am not. If I choose to believe this is true (and I do) I must accept that I will not understand any part of His plan fully. All that happens is in His perfect purpose and for His glory.

This means I must accept the things He gives AND the things He takes.


My now-10 year old daughter just came downstairs and asked if she could cut up some bell peppers and watch Andy Griffith. Had my pregnancy been a healthy one, I would not have met Kensington Jane. It’s hard to grieve and rejoice something like that. Truly bizarre, but here I am.

The Lord allowed the loss of my first baby.

Three months later I was pregnant with my sweet first born. And four years later, my second. And two years after that….Polly.

He gives and He takes, and as always….

It is well with my soul (even when I don’t understand.)


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