Rachel Heath

Intentional Living: learning to be fully present

On Expecting Goodness

A few months ago I wrote about my disappointment and grief on the day that would have been my estimated due date. I should have been anticipating the any-day-now arrival of our second child, but… I wasn’t.

We lost that baby on December 6. I said it before, and I’ll say it again: My baby was not taken by God because He has “a better plan,” No. She was stolen from me by satan, and I refuse to attribute his works to my Jesus and call it sovereignty. It’s God’s good pleasure to give me good things and He holds nothing back. So I will expect His goodness, even when my circumstances are less than good. I will not allow my experiences to define who God is.

In the days after the miscarriage, there was a deep desire of my heart that I was scared to ask the Lord for or even admit to myself. But it was there, gnawing, all the same. I want to be pregnant again on my estimated due date. That wish sat at the back of my mind over the following months as we hoped and hoped and hoped and were disappointed time and time again.

I began to think it wouldn’t happen. Maybe there’s something wrong with me. I started obsessively reading WebMD on my phone looking up obscure conditions and realizing with horror that I have one or two of the symptoms, I must have This Thing, I’m never getting pregnant again, I’ll never have the family I imagined.

Then that still small voice spoke gently to me, “Stop. Stop worrying about this. Just live.” So, that’s what we did. I enjoyed every moment of the summer doing things you can’t do when you’re pregnant. I learned to appreciate my little girl and my precious time with her. We let go of what our family was supposed to look like and embraced what our family did look like, might look like instead. I finally relaxed, stopped charting my cycle, stopped wondering if this would be The Month.

It was during this time that the due date snuck up on me, and I was completely blindsided.

On the day I wrote that post… on my estimated due date… I was pregnant, though I didn’t know it. God heard the prayer I never prayed, knew the deepest, most guarded desire of my heart, and gave it to me, surprised me with it. Don’t you love when He does that?

Today, I’m 12 weeks along (in my second trimester) and due in April. Soon we’ll be finding out whether we’re having a boy or a girl (we think boy), and we’ve already received numerous words about this baby’s destiny and identity. This time, Isabella is old enough to understand what’s happening, which is wonderfully sweet. She says “baby,” she kisses my belly, she diligently carries around a baby doll.

Still, this wasn’t my plan. If things had gone right, I would be holding my newborn right now. However, I’ve determined not to let the grief of losing one baby dampen the joy of expecting another. I have to admit, the season is bittersweet, but becoming sweeter by the day as I watch my belly grow and begin to dream again.


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12 thoughts on “On Expecting Goodness

  1. So excited for y’all. W are always praying for you and Stephen. Miss you guys!

  2. “as I watch my belly grow and begin to dream again.” Such a picture of the Kingdom. So often we don’t know what is inside us, growing, ready to come out and change the world. If we believed before we could see, we would be much more attentive and foster that gift much more carefully.

    I am so excited to meet this new part of our family and watch what a team ‘he’ and Isabella will be.

  3. I love what you said and the way you said it: “My baby was not taken by God because He has “a better plan,” No. She was stolen from me by satan, and I refuse to attribute his works to my Jesus and call it sovereignty.” You gave God the glory for the restoration and the new strength in you. That is growth, paralleling the life inside you. It’s a type of growth that we, because we are alive, will face in seasons of life. Not always through tragedy, but most definitely always through new, deeper trust and intimacy with Father God.

    You know the struggles I have faced in recent months, and I see over and over how satan had me bound in un-recognized fear. It’s redemptive to be set free from the fear and let God create and move in our lives. It was painful breaking out of fear, but it’s glorious living in boldness and pure trust in Father no. matter. what.

    • I suppose we are each breaking out of that fear in our own way, through our unique experiences, but we always have to choose between freedom and fear. I’m proud of both of us for choosing freedom.

  4. I am beyond happy for you 🙂 He is good!

  5. Perhaps it’s cliche, but I can’t help but think that part of that baby you lost lives on in the baby you’ll soon have.

  6. THis resonated w/ me. I miscarried my first baby, and I happened to be pregnant with my son on my due date. It was such a weird mixture of emotions. Every year on Feb. 2 I have a mixture of emotions. Thrilled and thankful for the two wonderful children I have, yet wondering what that first baby would be like. ANd then I feel guilty for wondering.

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