It was not how I expected our first few months of marriage to go. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect, but I certainly did not foresee the roller coaster on which we were about to embark, even as I sat down in the seat and lowered the safety bar into place.
Only a couple of months in, I sat in my office as the room spun around me. Lisa on the line, tearfully explaining that five positive tests couldn’t be wrong. The initial shock felt like the floor giving out beneath me. A sudden freefall where your gut is lagging a few seconds behind your body. Every possible thought stampeding through my mind, “I’m not ready to be a dad, we can’t afford this, what are we going to do?”
But the shock and fear abated and evolved into an expectant, yet apprehensive joy. Lisa, though, was glowing. The realization that she had been entrusted to carry this most precious gift radiated through her from deep within. The paradigm of her life shifted; the lens through which she saw the world became one of a mother.
The bleeding started slowly, and I wasn’t too concerned. I knew nothing of this sort of thing, so I figured it was a typical part of the process of growing a human.
Not only that but to say I had limited experience in anything involving females would have been a tremendous understatement. It was only the fourth month I had lived under the same roof with any female other than my mother. I knew nothing. I thought it would all be okay.
Then it got worse, and the cramps came. Violent and painful, a sampling of the pains of labor made worse by the absence of any impending joy, but rather looming devastation.
I heard the word “miscarriage” throughout my life and so ignorantly thought of it as nothing more than a sad happening. Two lines on a stick one day and then a single line the next. Tears and hugs and then on with life. Never could I have envisioned the process of it, the physical toll on the body, the days of pain and agony, the knowing what was happening coinciding with the utter helplessness of not being able to do anything to stop it.
And I just sat and watched. I felt useless and weak as my new wife was ripped to shreds carrying this burden for both of us. I watched her lose the one she loved.
In a matter of weeks, she had become a mother; a caretaker, lover, carrier, provider, protector. A mother is a child’s everything, and once a woman feels that, even for the briefest moment, something blossoms from deep within. An unmatched strength and beauty burst forth in the brilliant color of love. Although she loved and lost, a piece of her forever gone, it was replaced by something that could not be matched by anything she had carried before. She was now a mother, and would forever be.
I always loved her, but she carried my love for her to new heights in those few days. Heights I could not possibly ascend myself, but that could only be lifted by something so much stronger than anything man contains within; the beauty of motherhood, the intense, direct love of another that is only exceeded by Christ himself.
And now here we are. Over six years, multiple miscarriages, and three beautiful children later, I find myself again behind the screen–again watching my wife hurt, struggle, and fight. But also watching her unfurl and transform in more beautiful ways than I could ever imagine. I try to reach through the glass, to help, to do something, anything… but I can’t. The helplessness is crippling. Numbing. But as I watch her in this time, the more I understand why God made women the ones who must wage this incredible crusade for life; because man cannot muster the sacrificial love, strength, or fight that it takes to bring a life into this world. So I sit and watch and pray. Not able to fully comprehend how blessed I am to have her be the one who, in Christ, is fighting this battle for us.
The more I watch her strength, the more I fall in love, and simultaneously realize how insufficient I am. How much I do not deserve her. She carries us, all nine of us, on this earth and beyond. Her faith and steadfastness hold us together. She is a blossoming flower that has withstood the test of winter and now reaches passionately towards the sun. To give her beauty to the world, and bring glory to He who is the source of beauty.
Beauty begets beauty, and now two more tiny seeds are sprouting forth. Our little flowers have fought more in the past eight weeks than many do in a lifetime. They have lived as a testament to the Lord’s power and brought more glory to Him than most could only dream of accomplishing. But what else should I expect? They’re just taking after their momma.
Who is she that rises like the dawn,
fair as the moon,
bright as the sun,
majestic as the heavens in their procession?
-Song of Solomon 6:10