I Still Choose Faith

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He will give you the desires of your heart, says the Bible. But what if my desires haven’t been fulfilled?

By Kerstin Knaack | Twitter: @KerstinKnaack

On February 15th of this year I stepped out of my comfort zone and told the SheLoves community of readers I was pregnant. I felt afraid, having experienced the loss of three babies, including one full-term. It took great courage to tell the world about my pregnancy, but I also knew that the people around me would be there to hold me should anything bad happen.

It did.

Soon after I wrote that article my husband Rainer and I went for our first ultrasound appointment, an event that has become quite the challenge for me. I have seen too many dead babies and too many uncomfortable looks on doctors’ faces.

Lifeless

I hoped to see a baby, but instead saw two empty amniotic sacs. No child, no heartbeat.

The doctor offered words of hope, “It may just be too early to see anything,” but he also had to deliver the more likely truth, “It is probably another miscarriage.”

I left the clinic with tears falling down my cheeks, crying out to God:

“Why can’t I have an uncomplicated pregnancy like so many other women?”

The next step was to check my pregnancy hormone levels. I would take three blood tests; one every 48 hours. If my hormone levels increased, the pregnancy was viable; if they declined, I would have to face the reality of another miscarriage.

For a week my emotions were all over the place, then finally we received the results: my hormone levels had dropped. I couldn’t accept it. Everything inside me told me I was still pregnant: I regularly threw up and my breasts and belly were growing.

My midwife transferred me to a gynecologist. The day I went, I couldn’t even button up my pants. But the appointment was sobering. The doctor had a look at the ultrasound and the results of my hormone test. He confirmed a miscarriage and offered two possibilities: either I start the miscarriage by taking medication or I go to the hospital for a D&C.

As long as I felt pregnant, I wasn’t able to give up and accept a fourth miscarriage, and neither was my husband Rainer. God is a miracle worker; why not through me?

We explained to the doctor that we still had hope, that as long as my body continued to show signs of pregnancy, we would be praying for a miracle. The doctor was kind but we could tell from his body language he thought we were crazy.

Holding on

For the next few weeks I was carried by my husband and the amazing women from my church. They stood with me and prayed for a miracle. Some days I was convinced that God would fulfill my desires for a baby—other days I doubted God.

Throughout it all I held onto this scripture:

“Do not, therefore, fling away your fearless confidence, for it carries a great and glorious compensation of reward. For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance, so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God, and thus receive and carry away what is promised.” -Hebrews 10: 35-36

My faith was put to the test once more and my relationship with God hung by a thread.

On March 16th, we had another ultrasound appointment. We clung to blind faith, but the result was shattering. No baby.

This kind of miscarriage is called a blighted ovum. I had never heard of it before. The body continues to believe there is a pregnancy, but the baby doesn’t grow. This often lasts for a few weeks until the body realizes the fetus is no longer alive. My body seemed to need months for this process.

I will never forget that week. In the space of seven days my mother in law passed away, we lost our fourth child and we discovered a flood in our new apartment when we came home from the ultrasound appointment.

Why does God allow so many heartbreaking situations in my life? What lesson do I to learn? Why doesn’t God fulfill the desires of my heart? These questions battered my mind until I was no longer willing to pray to such a “bad father in Heaven.”

But the more I wasn’t in relationship with God, the worse things became. I searched for something to help and found this passage from Deuteronomy 30:19-20:

“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life.”

This scripture was my wake-up call. The key to life is actually a choice and not a feeling. Yes, I was hurt and angry, but I realized I couldn’t base my life, and moreover my faith, on my feelings.

It took several more weeks for me to be in a place where I could make the choice to turn back to God in faith. And as soon I began to pray again, He was able to heal my heart and carry me through the pain.

It is a choice to trust God. I still have no child but God knows all the plans for my life and God’s plans are still good. In a world full of suffering, I need to make the choice to trust God in every situation.

________________________

Dear SheLoves sisters, I’d love to know:

  • Have you ever felt like you were holding on to your relationship with God by a thread?
  • Were you able to trust God again?

___________________________

Image copyright: ta_samaya — fotolia.com

About Kerstin:

Kerstin Knaack was born and raised in the city of Kirchheim/Teck, Germany. She and her husband Rainer are currently mentored by the senior pastors at Relate Church in Surrey, BC, where they are learning to be leaders and teachers in the areas of marriage, family and sexuality. Their vision is to teach and train on these topics and raise a large family of their own.

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Comments

  1. fiona lynne says:

    Oh Kerstin, my heart breaks for you. I had my first miscarriage earlier this year (my first pregnancy) and I cannot even comprehend having to go through it again. Your courage is beautiful to read and you inspire me by your choice to keep trusting in a God that loves, that heals, that comforts.
    Thank you for sharing with us, and I hope that you find what those women in Brazil told you to be true – that as a community we can mourn with you, journey with you.

    • Hi Fiona. I am so sorry to read about your miscarriage. The book “A common thread” by Catherine Sylvester gave me a better understanding and new hope again. Maybe it is a help to you as well. There is not a lot around about this hidden topic.

  2. Thank you so much for your beautiful words and your transparency. Our son was stillborn full term. They don’t know what happened or why but we cannot have more biological children because I almost died as a result of the trauma to my body. We are in the process of adoption, waiting on a birth mother to choose us. My husband and I and our daughter who is 5 are inexplicably closer to each other and the Lord than ever before. I completely don’t get it. I know that we miss our son desperately and our daughter is so confused sometimes. But I also know that we have reached hundreds of people with our story–friends, family, friends of friends have told us how we inspire them…and we have even reached strangers through my blog. Honestly…I’d rather have our son here than all of those things which is incredibly selfish. But, I take comfort in the fact that if this had to happen to us, that we can make his legacy one of love, hope, and the grace of God.

    Here’s my favorite verse over this last year: “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” 2 Thess 3:16. Something about the word “himself” helped me so, so much. Like Jesus was really sitting by me. Thank you for sharing the Deuteronomy verse! It is so much the choice we have made.

    • Hi Mrs. C. This comes to my mind when I read your story:

      God can turn …

      …a MESS into a MESSAGE,
      …a TEST into a TESTIMONY,
      …a TRIAL into a TRIUMPH and
      …a VICTIM into a VICTORY

  3. Kerstin,
    this is beautiful. That verse in Deuteronomy struck me in a completely new way in the context you put it in – a way I really needed to hear. I too have often struggled with my desires and God’s desires for me not matching up – it’s a very hard tension. Thank you so much for sharing your heart – your pain – your choice to choose faith.

  4. Oh my goodness this is so raw and beautiful and painful and hopeful. That truth that God wants to give us the desires of our hearts and how that really plays out in life can be so difficult. I love that you point out trust and life are a choice. Thank you for sharing your story.

  5. Stephanie says:

    Kerstin you are an amazing woman of faith! Thank you for being so open – I know God is using you beyond what you could imagine. Standing in prayer with you!

  6. Nicole Joshua says:

    Oh Kerstin,

    My heart went wept with you as I read of your pain. I too have been unable to conceive children. My diagnosis is Spontaneous Premature Ovarian Failure (technical way of saying I had gone through premature menopause at 30 years old). It was the hardest period for my faith and marriage. But both have lasted! And both have grown stronger! I have learned to see God in healthier ways, I relate with him more authentically (which means I shout, cry, laugh, sing, dance with him, I am angry, sad, mad, happy, grateful, etc with him). My marriage has grown deeper and stronger because I chose life – I have chosen to live in spite of the death of my dream to be a mother. And six years later, I am still learning to live life to the fullest. God has filled my life with other things. He blasted open my world and brought so many amazing experiences and people into my life. I chose to hold on to Him because I believe that there is no life without Him. The journey is going to be challenging, but maybe this will help: a lecturer once told me, “Even when you feel like you have nothing to hold on to, know that God is holding on to you.” May His grace and mercy carry you through challenging times.

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