We had waited four years for our second pregnancy and had been through numerous infertility treatments. My prayer had been that the Lord would "zachar" me. It is the Hebrew word used in the Old Testament on several occasions to indicate that God "remembered" someone and acted on their behalf. It's not that He ever forgot them, but that He acted on behalf of those on His mind. For example, when barren Hannah cried out to the Lord in 1 Samuel 1, He remembered or "zachared" her and opened her womb to birth Samuel. It seemed to us as though God had finally answered, and I was 16 weeks pregnant with the twins.
But then three short days later our only child was snatched unexpectedly from our arms, our hearts were shattered, and our vision darkened. And I could NOT name a child "my God has answered" anymore. It seemed that God was silent. Everything seemed to scream that He had not remembered me at all. In fact He had utterly turned his back on me. Even this morning before my eyes saw light, I lay in the bed missing Makiah intensely and thinking of a hundred tiny decisions that we could have made differently that day that would have prevented her death. But it is a futile path to travel... we cannot go back.
So Abigail, meaning "the father's joy," and Alena, whose name is derived from Mary Magdelene- the first to see the resurrected Christ- were born four months later. Our hearts were broken, but we set our hope on God and believed that these two tiny survivors would bring great joy and remind us of the LIFE and miraculous resurrection power of Jesus. They have not disappointed us! In fact they gave us a reason to keep breathing in and out and forced us to get out of bed in the mornings ( and, well, all through the night actually!!). God knows what we need in the darkness when we are too devastated to keep moving.
When the twins were only eleven months old and I discovered that I was pregnant by surprise, we were shocked! I had a list of diagnosis and several years of secondary infertility to say that this was impossible. But all those pregnancy tests I ran to the drugstore to buy confirmed it! Our Grace baby was on the way! The twins saved my life, but little Madelyn Grace saved my heart. It was the first time since Makiah died that I "felt" any love from God at all. He knew sending our Grace baby would speak love in a language my broken heart could understand. He knows how to speak love and blow His breath of life back into us in our brokenness.
It has been over three and a half years since Makiah died, and I would never have believed that it would be possible to live again with this measure of fullness and joy. Oh, I still cry many mornings on the way to work. I guess because its one of the few times I am alone, but I know now that God has not left me. I know that He has heard me, and He has answered. He hasn't explained to me the why's of pain and suffering, but His answer to me is strength. It is only by His supernatural strength and restoring love that I live with lightness in my heart most of the time. And "strength"is what her middle name, Bree, means. There may be weeping for a night, but joy comes in the morning!
As I type this a wide grin has captured my face. In exactly one week (unless she comes early!), I will have a repeat c-section and our fifth child will make her grand entrance! Little Eliana Bree... our "my God has answered with strength!" And this time I am ready to say it... every time we call her precious name!
Thank you Amanda for the beautiful gifts!