When the answer is “No, Not Now”
We learned a valuable lesson of God’s faithfulness as we began the journey of becoming parents. We had been married a few years and decided we wanted to start a family. Both of us were used to working hard, accomplishing goals, and getting the results we wanted and expected. We assumed that becoming parents would be no different. We had so much to learn... It didn’t take too long before Heather was pregnant and it seemed like our plan was right on track. She began reading every book on expecting a baby. We knew at our first doctor’s visit that we should be able to see a little peanut-sized baby and to hear his or her heartbeat. When the ultrasound technician moved the wand, she found the tiny birth sack, but no sign of a baby. We learned later that this is called a “blighted ovum”. To us, it just meant heartbreak, fear and confusion. We were shocked! So much hope and anticipation immediately melted into a heap of mixed up feelings. We went through many stages of grief, and not always at the same time. Initially, Heather was just angry at God for allowing such a thing to happen. How could He not give her the desire of her heart? I was numb, but still trying to be hopeful and take comfort in the fact that many couples experience miscarriages with their first pregnancy. The fact that we weren’t experiencing the same reactions at the same time allowed us to hold one another up and grow deeper through this trial. Unfortunately, the lesson that ‘we are not in control’ didn’t end there. The next two years brought two more early term miscarriages and waves of discouragement rolling in like the tide. By this time, I was feeling mad at God, but Heather was beginning to experience God’s presence and comfort in new and deeper ways. On one particularly difficult day, Heather was thinking “God just doesn’t know what it's like to be a mother and lose a child.” Then, of course, she remembered Jesus. God knows so much more about the loss of a child! We realized that God could use these circumstance to show himself more deeply to us. Even if we are not in control, He is! Heather found Psalm 71 to be a great source of hope. Verses 20 and 21 jumped off the page and into her heart, renewing her with hope and reminding her that God would not leave us in despair.
Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once more.”
Psalm 71:20-21 (NIV)
The Larsons have been married 22 years, and have 3 children (17,15, and 14). Peter is a licensed Clinical Psychologist, working on the team building the Gloo growth platform, and Heather is a certified Marriage Coach with Focus on the Family’s Hope Restored program. Together, they have co-authored four books on marriage and parenting with the Arps. To learn more about their, see www.Gloo.us, www.hoperestored.focusonthefamily.com, or www.bridewellcoaching.com
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