They say that grief comes in waves. I have written that before here, the day we found no heartbeat.
And weeks have passed and the waves have lessened in altitude and frequency. There has in fact been a sweet calm for some time now.
Until tonight. Marsh and I were just finishing a movie and I was just finishing the bills, and I tore into an envelope that unexpectedly tore into my heart.
It was from our insurance company for the D&C that happened one month ago. $570 payable for this lucky winner.
Let me first say, I am so thankful for doctors, for our amazing insurance, for the care that I have received throughout this pregnancy and miscarriage.
But can I just say that I was immediately mad. It felt cruel and I was angry. Angry that I have to pay $570 to not have a baby. For one hour in a hospital to have my uterus scraped out. I was angry that the memory of that evening that felt oddly hollow though covered with the peace that surpasses understanding from a God who is so gracious to his beloved daughter was suddenly attached to a price tag. I was angry that I was forced to remember it at all.
“UNFAIR!” My heart screamed as the tears began to fall. And I crumbled a little to realize that there were still tears left in me. I wept and Marshall asked if there was anything he could do. He told me he loved me and I responded through sobs that I just didn’t realize I wasn’t finished. It wasn’t about the bill, but that it unearthed this still-broken part in me. Of course. How could I be so naive?
The bill was just a cruel reminder, you know? And I imagine all of my friends who have paid bills to fight virus and cancer and things they did not invite, that were not consequences of missteps or poor choices, feel cheated too…If the Lord weren’t working on my language, I would use different words, but it is a cesspool of a situation, this paying for crap we didn’t want.
I am honest when I say that I am thankful, so thankful, for what has come from this whole process… the pregnancy and the loss and the gift of people’s presence and empathy and gifts and stories, and the perspective that comes from all of it. Truly, the last few months have been oddly life-giving despite no life to be held. And I feel I have already paid dearly for such perspective. But clearly my wallet must bleed too.
I want to fight trials with joy. Sounds odd right? But I think this crazy prescription that James, Jesus’ brother, gives in the bible is really the antidote: “Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds…” I have been reading it for years and praying the Lord would make it true of me. And today it hit me again… I read it in the message and like the Word of God does, it came alive and gave me hope.
“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” James 1:2-4
The tears have dried. The check will be written. And I am trusting the cost was worth it. My emotions are valid, indeed, but raw as they are, they aren’t always true.
I am learning to take God at is word, even if it doesn’t feel good or easy. I so want to trust Him more than I trust me.
And when the waves come, I hope to not fight them.