Guest-Writers

{Time to Mourn} Receiving God’s Blanket of Grace

Written By: Vicki Johnson

Motherhood had always been a part of my story. After welcoming 4 sons and 1 daughter into this world without a hitch I felt that I had done my part to keep the Johnson name alive and well. Then we moved into full time ministry and I started thinking about new chapters opening up in my life.

But what happens when life throws a surprise party and you wish you hadn’t been invited?

I found myself unexpectedly expecting. Sure, this would only be number 6 for a girl who had at one time chosen 12 names for future children. The book, Cheaper by the dozen, offered a myriad of possibilities for raising a large family.  All for the glory of God, of course.

Soon it would start: doctor’s visits, weight gain, physical adjustments to a growing baby in utero. My life and sleep times would not be my own for who knows how long. Sigh. Inward groan.

My hubby was excited to welcome another player to the team and seemed unaffected by the alterations this little addition would make. But day after day, I grew to resent the fact that God, who is the one who opens and closes wombs, had allowed this to happen. Especially since I had developed an issue with blood pressure and residual weight gain from previous pregnancies. Truth be told, I didn’t want to be pregnant.  But I certainly couldn’t tell my pastor/hubby that. I think he could tell, anyway.

Near the end of my second month I noticed the faintest pink on the toilet paper. My stomach lurched at the thought that something could be wrong with me or the baby. I prayed, “Lord, please keep the baby safe. Help me to know what to do.” I didn’t see it again for a few days. And then it reappeared. I went to the doctor who did some tests to see if the pregnancy was progressing properly. Each day I prayed for God to help me as I struggled with the potential problems it indicated. Each day I reminded God that He got me into this mess in the first place.

I would not have chosen to get pregnant now.

I would have done things differently.  I’m sure God got a few chuckles out of that.

The miscarriage happened at the worst possible time. My husband and our two oldest were ready to travel an hour and a half away for a monthly regional youth gathering where my husband was in charge of the music. I was experiencing heavy bleeding and intense contractions but tried to be strong and self-sufficient when it came time to say good-bye. He asked me twice if I wanted him to stay. At first I said no. Then fear got the better of me and I finally said that I needed him with me.

Pregnant five times before this, I went through labor, delivered healthy babies, and everything had been fine. This time, my laboring resulted in loss. Death makes life real.

In Ecclesiastes 7:2 we read, “It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to heart.” I lost a child that day. One for whom I hadn’t even prepared its first receiving blanket or newborn sleeper to wear because it was too hard to embrace the inevitable.

I also lost my fight against God. In mourning that tiny life I began to mourn the demise of my own conceptions of what my life should look like. I was challenged as to how far I was willing to trust God. He who opens and closes the womb also knows my blood pressure at this very moment. He knows my sitting down and my rising up; my struggles and my hopes and dreams. He holds it all in His hands.

A year later I lived in a different state but relived the same circumstance. But this time I had begun my condition with joy for what God would accomplish in me, receiving with the help of God’s Grace the developing life within my womb. I could look at baby clothes in the store and muse about the little one who might wear them. My husband entered a drawing for new baby stuff and I did too! Hopeful anticipation had made its home in my heart. I had even pulled out my collection of receiving blankets and newborn clothing and started preparing for the baby.

But it was not to be. My seventh and last pregnancy ended at 11 weeks gestation. It was just as messy and terrifying as the first miscarriage. But this time I had a greater appreciation for life and the One who created it and a deeper sense of mourning and loss for the child I would never mother here on earth.

“Blessed {and} enviably happy [with a happiness produced by the experience of God’s favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His matchless grace] are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted!” (Matthew 5:4 – Amplified Version)

Even in mourning there is a receiving that is done, wrapped in the matchless, varicolored Grace of God.

vicki-johnson-picVicki Johnson creates a lot of drama in southeastern Pennsylvania where she lives with her pastor hubby, David, and her daughter, Esther.

She has written a Bible study entitled, “Following Christ – A Disciple’s Walk of Faith,” enjoys speaking, singing, working at 1075Alive/WBYNFM as a part time announcer, writing her blog at Gracefilledgirl.com, and generally encouraging fellow Christians to walk in a way that pleases God.

Her sign-off on the radio comes from 1 Thessalonians 5:24, “Faithful is He who calls you and He will bring it to pass.”

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