Faith Personal

Praising God in the Midst of Pain and Loss

Praising God in the Midst of Loss | Aiane Karla

Job is one of my favorite Bible characters. Over the years, I have found hope and strength in his life story and the testimony of his faith. He endured and lost much, but in the end, Job gained so much more than he lost. His faith in God’s perfect will led him to keep praising God even in the midst of tremendous suffering and loss. In the end, his faith was not only renewed but strengthened.

For most of my life, Job’s story has been a reminder to keep trusting and praising God in the thick of life’s fog. Some days, the fog is thick — some days, you barely notice it’s there. Though they don’t happen every day, I’m grateful for days when I have a pretty good sense of what is and what’s yet to come. God sometimes allows what may seem like zero visibility days in order to purify and strengthen our faith in Him.

Travel back in time with me as I share what has become the most painful, yet sweetest and most praise-filled experience of my entire life.

Oh, Happy Day

On January 24, my husband Kerwin and I found out we were pregnant. We were in tears — happy tears — as we hugged each other tightly. I was inconsolably happy-crying. We couldn’t believe our eyes! All five pregnancy tests were very positive. There they were, right in front of us.

Two solid lines…and this: “Pregnant. 1-2 weeks.”

Pregnant.

We held each other for a long time and said a prayer of thanks to God for the gift of new life. We enjoy experiencing many ‘firsts’ together, and this moment was definitely an unforgettable ‘first’ for us. Over and over again, I asked my sweet Kerwin, “Honey, is this really happening? Is this really happening to us?”

My first doctors’ appointment and blood tests confirmed that I was, indeed, pregnant! We arranged our schedules so Kerwin could go to my prenatal appointments with me. Though I didn’t experience nausea and vomiting, I was undeniably very exhausted throughout the day. But I didn’t care. I welcomed the exhaustion and hot flashes because I knew it meant our little baby was growing each day.

Eager Anticipation

A few weeks later, it was time for our first ultrasound. Our pregnancy app had told us that morning that the baby was the size of a kiwi seed. That made me giggle. This was going to be our first time seeing our very little one. I remember that morning as though it had just happened a second ago. It was impossible to wipe the ear-to-ear smiles off our faces as we walked into the exam room. Our pregnancy was our little secret and nobody knew but us. We went over a few important questions with our nurse midwife. And then…it was time for the ultrasound. Kerwin’s eyes were glued to the ultrasound monitor as we squeezed each other’s hands in anticipation. Not knowing what to expect, I looked at my nurse midwife.

She looked concerned.

Silence.

…and then, she broke the silence. Her words all seem like a blur to me now, but I remember her looking into our eyes and very gently telling us that she could not find the embryo. My gestational sac was present, but there was no embryo. Her words began to fade from my hearing, and it was as if the only audible thing I could hear was the throbbing pain in my heart. My vision seemed to dim. My mind was shutting out everything. Everything but the thick, dark, and heavy fog.

Praising God in the Midst of Loss | Aiane Karla

My mind was flooded with questions, and just like a boomerang, I found myself thinking the same questions I asked Kerwin the night we found out we were pregnant. “Is this really happening? Is this really happening to us?” The weight of Kerwin’s hand gently rubbing my shoulders brought me back to reality. I felt like sobbing and curling up in a ball. I felt like disappearing and forgetting we ever went to our ultrasound appointment.

Still, the verdict was not final. Our nurse midwife printed pictures of our ultrasound and said, “Let me check with our on-call OB-GYN and get a second opinion.” The minutes dragged on like hours. Finally, the door opened. Our midwife explained to us that these things sometimes take time, and she would follow up with us in two weeks. “We’re headed to Hawaii this week,” I thought. “This will give us a chance to rest, relax, and surrender this to God. He will see us through this.” And with that, our nurse midwife wished us the best and sent us on our way.

The ride home was eerily silent. What could we say? What could anyone say at a time like this? Only silence seemed appropriate. We prayed when we arrived home, seeking God’s will and asking for answers that only He can provide. This was out of our control, but it was in His hands. We were in His hands.

Off to Hawaii

We plopped into our seats as the sweet aloha music played over the airplane speakers. The sound of the ukulele was the perfect prelude to our anniversary island getaway in Hawaii. When we landed in the serenely quiet island of Molokai, it was like a load vanished from our shoulders. Our hearts were filled with so much peace after surrendering our situation to God. The lush, green landscapes and the fresh ocean breeze was the prescription our hearts needed. The Molokai scene was straight out of the 1950s. The island was untouched by modern conveniences, and everyone was extremely friendly. The best way to get around the island was in a 4 x 4 Jeep.

Praising God in the Midst of Loss | Aiane Karla

Unplugged

Our annual tradition is to spend our anniversary together unplugged from the rest of the world, and this year was no exception. At first, it took a while to get used to the pace of the island, where a 45-mph speed limit was the norm. There was not a single traffic light on the entire island. As we headed east toward our cottage home, the road curved along the beach, getting narrower as we drove along.

The next day, we discovered that the road ended in a one-lane road along the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean, ending in a quiet valley with a waterfall towering above. It was the perfect place to get lost, unwind, and relax. The next few days, we decided to stop wearing our watches altogether and take countless spontaneous drives around the island, from the lush, eastern side, to the arid western beaches, and the mountains in between.

Praising God in the Midst of Loss | Aiane KarlaPraising God in the Midst of Loss | Aiane KarlaPraising God in the Midst of Loss | Aiane KarlaPraising God in the Midst of Loss | Aiane KarlaPraising God in the Midst of Loss | Aiane KarlaPraising God in the Midst of Loss | Aiane KarlaPraising God in the Midst of Loss | Aiane Karla

Our cottage rental sat on top of a hill overlooking the island of Maui, with lush treetops and the blue ocean in between. We took a few photos to capture and remember this sweet chapter of our lives. We knew that no matter what happened, we would forever be grateful for this precious time.

Praising God in the Midst of Loss | Aiane KarlaPraising God in the Midst of Loss | Aiane Karla

Back Home

Tanned, relaxed, and rejuvenated, we returned home and awaited our next prenatal visit. Our hearts were guarded as we entered the same examination room, and stared at the same pictures on the wall, listening to the same clock. Tick, tock, tick, tock. Finally, our nurse midwife arrived. The ultrasound machine came to life, but no embryo was visible on the screen.

“I’m so sorry,” she said. “I know you were hoping for different results today, but it looks like this isn’t going to be a viable pregnancy. But just in case, we’re going to send you for a formal ultrasound, in case we missed something.” We bounced from one location to another, through an endless round of tests and diagnostic imaging, but no embryo.

It was starting to sink in. Still, our faith remained strong, believing that even in this situation, God could work a miracle. When we got home, we prayed. And we praised. We praised God for what was, what is, and what will be. It was difficult to walk by faith and believe in what we could not see, yet we continued to believe that God had a hand in all of this.

The hospital staff prepared us for what was to come. Other than that, there was little we could do but wait. Wait for the miscarriage to happen. The waiting was the hardest — not knowing what would come next. But it was in the waiting that we found peace and reassurance in surrendering our pain to God in prayer. It was then that I realized that God’s ‘No’ and ‘Wait’ are as good as His ‘Yes’.

God's 'No' and 'Wait' are as good as His 'Yes'. Click To Tweet

Never had a chapter in our lives been so prayerfully saturated as this. Kerwin and I purposed in our hearts to sing hymns and Scripture songs to remind ourselves of God’s Promises. We clung to His Words for courage, strength, and hope. Minutes felt like hours. Hours felt like days. Days felt like weeks.

“Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” – Psalm 27:14

Clinging to God’s Promises

It was a peaceful Monday afternoon when all of a sudden, the excruciatingly sharp pain began. It was unlike anything I’d ever felt before. The pain soon escalated and I was unable to talk, walk, or even inhale without making it worse. I started bleeding and felt hypoglycemic. Weak. Breathless. My ears started ringing and my vision started to dim. I felt like fainting, but the thought of being unconscious and bleeding alone was out of the question. Kerwin was at work leading a meeting and wasn’t able to see my text messages right away, so I called my mom who was on the other side of the country. We talked on FaceTime and I recited Philippians 4:13 over and over again.

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

“Lord, please help me through this. Please give me strength to endure this pain. I know You don’t give us more than we can bear, and because I believe in Your Promises, I know You will help me through this. Please don’t let me faint. I can’t faint.”

As the pain grew stronger, I felt myself fading. It felt like a thick fog had arrived once again, and the only thing keeping me alive was the peace in knowing God was with me and that my husband would soon be home. A few minutes later, Kerwin arrived and found me laying on our bed…almost unconscious. God knew I needed him with me right then and there because it wasn’t long after he arrived that I miscarried. We went to the emergency room, where they took some tests and an ultrasound to confirm that I had a “complete miscarriage”.

Complete miscarriage.

Those words stung. It was a complete miscarriage. The ultrasound picture of my empty womb confirmed that. But I didn’t feel complete.

I. Felt. Empty.

We both did.

A Song in Our Hearts

Our ride home was long and mostly quiet. Tears streamed down my face as Kerwin sang what had become the theme song of our pregnancy. You see, when we first found out we were pregnant, I asked Kerwin to sing Scripture songs and hymns to me throughout the pregnancy. He promised to sing me through the happy and challenging times, and that’s exactly what he did. This time was no exception.

Pausing to gasp for air between each line, I joined my husband in singing our song. It seemed only fitting to sing the song that carried us through our period of waiting. The words began to take on a new meaning as we sang. Our pain was raw, but we were at peace. God carried us through our time of uncertainty. Now He was carrying us through the pain of grief and loss.

God Will Take Care of You

Be not dismayed whatever betide
God will take care of you
Beneath His wings of love abide
God will take care of you

God will take care of you
Through everyday o’er all the way
He will care for you
God will take care of you

Through days of toil when heart doth fail
God will take care of you
When dangers fierce your path assail
God will take care of you

God will take care of you
Through everyday o’er all the way
He will care for you
God will take care of you

Praising God

Our pregnancy and miscarriage taught me to trust God like never before. I have learned to savor each precious moment and gift – no matter how big or small. Visible or invisible. I’ve gained a new appreciation for blessings in disguise. And though it’s not always easy, I’ve learned to be thankful for pain that leads to praise. For losses that lead to testimonies gained. For peace in sweet surrender. I praise God for our pregnancy, no matter how short it was, because, as my husband lovingly reminds me (as he did the night we found out we were pregnant), “Our pregnancy was God’s pregnancy.”

Praising God in the Midst of Loss | Aiane Karla

 “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

John 14:27

SHARE THIS POST:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

    Leave a Reply

    Follow Me