…I love you, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised…
Psalm 18:1-3 (ESV)
Oh sisters, are you holding new life in your womb?! Is it the rainbow after your storm? Is it the balm in the midst of your brokenness? Is it the hope of heartbeats in the space of stillness? What a time of hope mingled with anxiety! What a chance, not just daily or hourly but moment-by-moment, to lay burdens and fears and worries and doubts and terrors at the feet of Jesus—not to mention bringing Him all of our hopes and desires! I have carried miraculous life in my womb a dozen times—only the first time held naïve, unabashed hope for me. The next eleven have been terrifying, and it is only the grace of God that has carried me through each one, no matter how many weeks I held each baby in my womb. Three of my rainbow babies have made it full term, whole and healthy! What miracles! What joys! What months of prayers! There are so many times during pregnancy—especially particularly anxiety-filled times like sitting in doctors’ waiting rooms or staring at the phone just wondering when it will ring so I can find out blood test results—where I feel speechless, even in my prayers. The prayers found in Scripture, where I can speak or sing God’s words back to Him, asking for His mercies, repeating His glories, claiming truths that I know yet need to know deeper—those are the prayers that I cling to, often and particularly. So today, as I fall on my knees and bow my head before our heavenly Father, would you come with me? Would you join me in praying Psalms and other Scriptures for the lives of babies who are snuggling into warm wombs of mothers whose hearts have been broken, who are clinging to the hopes of expecting a baby… while fighting anxiety and doubt… while seeking God’s will and asking for His best… but honestly knowing that we do not know the outcome or what “God’s best” may be this time.
Please pray with me, personalizing this prayer as the Lord leads—and if you are one of my sisters in Christ who has suffered the particular grief of bereavement, now facing the particularly bittersweet joy of subsequent pregnancy, these prayers are for you and for your baby.
O God our Father who lives and reigns in heaven, You are holy and glorious, faithful and merciful. Please listen as we Your servants come before You to plead for Your mercy. Please shine the brightness of Yourself in our dark and desolate places! Incline Your ear to hear us! Open Your eyes toward us! Because of Your great mercy, not due to any righteousness in ourselves, we come to Your feet and seek Your attention, Your actions, Your interventions. We are Yours, God, called by the name of Your Son Jesus Christ, and we ask You not to delay but to act swiftly for the sake of Your own glory! (Daniel 9:17-19)
Our hearts rejoice in You, and You exalt us, O Lord. We rejoice in Your salvation so that we can even scoff at our doubts and anxieties. (1 Samuel 2:1) Having buried children in our past, we come to You humbled that You would give us renewed hope and the balm of another child nestling into wombs that have felt so broken and so empty. We magnify You and rejoice in You greatly, because You have indeed looked with mercy upon our place of humble grief—indeed, we are blessed, and want to proclaim to all generations how holy and faithful You are! Your mercy is great, from generation to generation who fear You: You are holy! (Luke 1:46-50) Thank You for looking upon our downtrodden faces and hearing our desperate cries, for creating life in our wombs. Thank You for fearfully and wonderfully knitting together children within us—for showing us with these tangible realities how truly wonderful and marvelous Your works are. Oh Father, how terrifying it is to feel so close to this baby yet so out of control and far away! Thank You for reassuring us that You have numbered the days of our children, have written them down, that You can see inside the dark secret chambers of our bodies that are unknown even to us. Thank You for intricately weaving the tapestry of each child—thank You for building bones, sewing sinews, commanding heartbeats, tenderly stitching flesh, carefully creating each little detail of our children’s frames, breathing souls into them. (Psalm 139:13-16) Please continue this great craft that You are fashioning—please grant continued life, growth, and faith. We cry to You, O Lord: please have mercy upon us. Please keep death and sorrow far from us. Our souls are cast down with fear and anxiety, full of turmoil. Give us hope in You: cause us to praise You, for You are our Salvation, our God! (Psalm 42:11) Be our Helper, send Your sweet mercies—we will praise You, we will tell of Your faithfulness. With the new life You knit inside us, You have turned mourning into dancing—You take our garments of sorrow and give us the clothing of gladness! God of all creation, may we glorify You in this wondrous work of new life, may we sing Your praises and never be silent, may we give thanks to You forever. (Psalm 30:8-12)
As we continue going forward each day, giving our anxieties to You and declaring our hopes to You, cause us to tell everyone of Your blessings toward us as You deliver us from the deepest anguish of grief—keep us from restraining our lips. Enable us to proclaim Your faithfulness, Your salvation, Your love, Your deliverance! Give us the hope and confidence in You that we need to tell everyone about Your great works, and give us the humility to ask others to join us in prayer. Grant that we all would rejoice and be glad in You, love Your salvation, and proclaim Your greatness. Thank You for taking thought of us in our humble place—thank You for being our Help and Deliverer! Do not delay in granting us Your peace, health, hope, and joy. (Psalm 40:9-10, 16-17) God in heaven, we are bold to ask: grant life! Grant living babies to us so that we can praise You yet again, and in new ways.
We rejoice in You, our Father, and take joy in You—You have saved our souls, and that is just one more reason for praising You amidst our current uncertainties and joys—You have power over life and death and resurrection. You are our strength, and we ask You to make our feet like the feet of deer, allow us to dance on the high mountains! (Habakkuk 3:18-19) Christ, You dwell in our hearts through faith: root us, ground us, give us comprehension—so that even when we are fearful for our future, worried for the life of our child, we would know the immensity of Your love and be filled with God’s fullness. You, indeed, are the One that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we could ask or think! To You alone, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, be all glories for all generations—including the glory of the generation in our wombs. (Ephesians 3:17-21) Your steadfast love is better than life, and we praise You with our mouths, even through this time of prayer: we will continue to bless You as long as we live, lifting our hands in Your name. (Psalm 63:3-4) For Yours is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory forever and ever. Amen.
© Melissa Joy, 2014
Written originally for Mommies With Hope, Melissa Joy seeks to grow in grace and wisdom alongside her husband Steven, while pursuing joyful domesticity by nurturing her home and family. The blessing of motherhood and the blessing of growth in Christ have intersected in a beautiful and challenging way for her, as she embraces being Mommy to twelve beloved children: 3 in her arms, 9 in the heavenly choir. The joy she finds in her family, homemaking, music, writing, ministering to those in grief, and seeking to be a pillar of loving strength in her home can be seen unveiled at Joyful Domesticity.