Everybody encounters that moment in their life when the worst thing happens, the worst news is received, when things go south fast. If you haven't had that experience yet, you will. I don't know of anyone who reaches 60 or so and doesn't have some tragedy or deep hurt in their lives. And if you think that it is you, take a tour of your mind and I bet you will find something that you are refusing to think about, something that hurts so much, you never bring it to mind.
For me it was years of infertility treatment. Years when several different docs refused to check my tubes because I wasn't ovulating, so that was my problem. I left the infertility clinic at Tripler hospital in Hawaii or it left me when I refused pergonol. A couple of months later I knew that I ovulated and I rejoiced because I soon felt that I was pregnant. This was going to be my miracle prayed for baby. And then, I knew something was wrong.
Hubby was in Australia. I called someone to watch my son and take me to the hospital. They suspected a tubal pregnancy, but couldn't find it in the tubes. There was endless delay and I came home from the hospital. Hubby made it back from Australia. Our planned Christmas trip to the mainland was cancelled. I went into the hospital again on Christmas Day. I had surgery on Holy Innocents, December 28, which seemed fitting.
There was a whole lot of other stuff like the way I was treated in the hospital, as though I was worthless and a waste of time. And I was told over and over again that I didn't lose a baby, it was just tissue. When I came home, I was told to take 6 weeks off my job teaching 3 year olds, and to use birth control. I took 4 weeks off and didn't do the other. When I went to the final visit, I didn't even get to see the doctor who operated on me. The one I saw read me the surgery info and advised me to go to counseling and to come back if I had problems because the tissue (pregnancy) had grown around my gut and might cause me to have a lot of pain.
The thing I remember was--I had lost part of the right ovary and the right tube, but the left ovary and tube was intact. I was still in my 30s and I still longed for and hoped that another pregnancy might be possible. No other pregnancy ever happened and I have reconciled myself to that. I have a grown son and still hope for grandchildren someday.
When I went for several tests recently related to my fibroid that I am planning to have "shaved" on the day after Thanksgiving, the sonogram tech said that she couldn't find the left ovary. She looked and looked and concluded that I must have been given the wrong information or remembered wrong about the ectopic pregnancy surgery. She concluded I had no left ovary. And it all came back, all those sad, terrified, mournful feelings of losing that baby. I had either remembered wrong or had been given wrong information. I felt cheated and punched in the gut all over again. Later another doctor said that the ovary could have been there and acting like a menopausal ovary and therefore was not able to be found, so there is that.
But, the part that amazes me is how fast I was right back there in the middle of the mess emotionally. I wanted answers. I was angry and sad. Tears from deep sadness that I hadn't finished with came without warning. I thought I had prayed through that tragedy from every angle. I thought I was over it. But obviously I was able to be thrown right back there, given the right circumstances.
And as I prayed, the mystery of it was revealed a little more in that I could see and accept that all that bad stuff that happened to me wasn't outside of God's will. God wasn't punishing me or forgetting me. He was right there loving me through it. This thing that happened, losing that baby (not that tissue) is part of my life and not part that I am supposed to stuff down and deny and forget. It happened. It was part tragedy and part mystery and part glory. God revealed Himself to me in that circumstance. I knew He was with me, even though I couldn't understand it and maybe still can't.
God is there in the darkest days. God is love. God is good. All the time. If I have eyes to see and a heart to love, I will know that. And the mystery in the suffering I can unite with the suffering of Jesus. I can draw closer to God in the tears.
If I have learned one thing from spiritual direction it is this--When this sort of situation pops up, I need to take it to prayer. I need to let Jesus heal me. I need to know that what happened was not a suspension of natural law or punishment. I live in a fallen world and things happen. But, those sad dark days between Thanksgiving and the end of the year in 1988 are not evidence that God's love is limited or absent. God was loving me through all of that. He was always there. And I am meditating on that and letting the rest of it go with God's help.