“I don't see a heartbeat, Mrs. Estrada ... let me keep searching ... (silent, awkward pause).
I am so sorry; I am afraid that you have miscarried (again).”
This is what my doctor said to me in the summer of 2017 after I miscarried my baby of two months. I instantly perked up my eyes and said, “It's okay--it happens!” to the doctor, quickly filling my facing with a half-crooked smile like everything was okay. My husband, Rudy, looked at me with a shocked face. I looked at the doctor and said, “I guess I will have better luck next time.” What the doctor and Rudy did not know at that moment is that my heart had broken into a billion pieces on the inside. After I walked out of that hospital room, Rudy held my hand and asked if I was okay. I told him I didn't want to talk about it--I was just trying to make it to the door.
My mind flooded with memories of telling my mother I was expecting on Mother’s Day and how excited my family was. I was utterly broken as I walked through the hospital and my next thought was, “Where the heck is the freakin’ door to get out of this place!?” No one ever taught me how to deal with my emotions when I encountered devastating news like this. (I guess no one can ever really prepare you.) I had no time to think, no time to feel, and certainly no time to cry when I was finally walking outside the hospital. I just wanted to keep going on with life and forget what I had just heard. I didn't want it to be true and I wished with all of my heart that I would wake up from this horrible nightmare! But, that was not a dream … it was my story … my reality … my journey which has led me down a path of infertility, several miscarriages, a roller coaster experience, and compelling encounters with God, the creator of life.
When I got into the car with Rudy after the doctor had shared with me the news of my miscarriage and the emergency surgery I had to undergo, I panicked. As Rudy drove on the 210 Freeway I couldn't help but cry with great anguish. I probably asked God why I had to go through this struggle. I once heard someone say that when you have reached the bottom of the dirt pit there is no place to look and go but up. There were days when I said to God that I give up on everything but something inside my soul never let me quit. Something inside kept moving forward--even if I was barely moving. You see, we might find our back against the wall but God, in His ever-loving mercy, helps us continue our journeys. It is these journeys that define who we are and allow us to become the perfect design God has created us to be.
Have you ever experienced anything in your life that has devastated you but you didn't know how to deal with it? Trust me, I have been in that boat, and it is not easy. There are days when I feel so angry with God, and there are days when I humble myself before him, pleading for His grace and mercy. If I can share one thing that I am confident in it is that God has never left my side, regardless of how mad or sad I am inside my heart. In fact, it has been in the moments of my great loss that I have encountered His great comfort and resounding peace. It is what has propelled me to continue moving forward in the journey. I love that scripture even reminds us that nothing can take God's loves away from us: “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow… nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 (AMEN!)
What have I learned from this? I have learned that God has made me a fighter. God has instilled in me the will to never quit seeking Him regardless of how messy my life might be. God has taught me that I can do everything through Him if I just believe. It has showed me that I am not alone in this battle but stand with many women who struggle to conceive--and that’s okay. It has forced me to realize that I am worthy and adequate regardless of my shortcomings. And … so are you. Whatever you are going through, know that God made you into a powerful person, worthy and full of dignity and grace. Keep pressing on through whatever you are facing and remember that no matter what may come … God is right there with you--every step of the way! So, my sisters & brothers, I write these words to encourage that whatever you do … keep the faith and keep moving forward!