Read: Psalm 91
My panic attack wasn’t the only event that occurred on October 21. In 1987, I miscarried my first pregnancy on that day. I remember the day was cold and gray with a little skiff of snow on the ground as we drove to the hospital. We were taken to the surgery floor rather than the OB floor so I wouldn’t have to see and hear joyful baby sounds.
As I laid in the bed waiting for my surgery, I recited scripture. I was terrified of general anesthesia so I recited Psalm 4:8, “I will lie down and sleep in peace for you alone, oh Lord, …..” and then I couldn’t remember the last phrase. So I improvised and added one like “care for me.”
After a couple of hours, the nurse came to get me. As she wheeled me out of the room, down the hall and into the elevator, I felt obligated to let her know I was concerned about being mistakenly pronounced dead. I told her that if my toes felt cold, I wasn’t dead. They were always cold. She thanked me and acknowledged the information. Inside she was probably laughing. After all, that generally isn’t how death is determined. “Her toes are cold. She’s a goner. Take her to the morgue.” I would blame it on the medicine they gave me to relax, but I was genuinely afraid of being put under.
As I lay waiting for the doctor to come and the surgery to begin, I continued reciting my verse. And just like that the Lord gave me the last phrase. “I will lie down and sleep in peace for you alone, oh Lord, make me dwell in safety.” The sweetest calm came over me as I relaxed into him even in this disappointing moment.
The surgery progressed without incident and I returned to my room to wait to be discharged. Dave and I left around 5 pm with very empty arms. My whole body felt empty. Only a few hours before I held onto the hope this wasn’t happening. But, indeed, we left without a baby.
The next few days were filled with tears and well-meaning visitors. My heart was broken and my arms empty, but my faith was in the one who holds me in the shelter of his wings. I reflected on some verses from the book of Job, affirmed God’s presence in my life, and rested.
I wanted to understand the miscarriage. I wanted it to have meaning beyond that moment. I don’t know that I have ever been able to say “Oh I see now! That’s why that happened.” Some things we can’t attach meaning to. But I know that my trust in a loving Father increased as I wept in his presence for a child I would not know this side of heaven.
October became a month I dreaded. For many years, I found myself on high alert the whole month and so relieved when November 1 finally arrived. That has all changed. I rarely think about those terrifying times anymore. God has completely healed and redeemed those events so I can enjoy the brilliance of fall color, the spicy scent of all things pumpkin, and the crisp air while wrapped in cozy sweaters.
Psalm 91 is a favorite of mine. This week we are going to take the opportunity to look at it bit by bit and pull out the treasures found there. Perhaps your dreams have been dashed on the rocks or you are living in your worst nightmare. Take heart, friend! Look around. It might be that you are sheltered by his wings, hidden in the rocky caves of his presence. The winds swirl and howl but they aren’t actually coming near. Or you might find he is inviting you into his presence, to take shelter from the storm.
Come on inside and enjoy the safety of his presence! Sit awhile and rest. There’s plenty of room in here.
Until next time…
May the Lord bless you and protect you.
May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you his favor and give you is peace.