June 23rd, 2023

Psalm 3:3-5 CSB – But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, and the one who lifts up my head. I cry aloud to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. I lie down and sleep; I wake again because the Lord sustains me.

In the fall of 2019, we found out, after more than a year of trying, that Anneke was pregnant. In October 2019, we lost the baby. Not long after, Anneke got pregnant again, and in January 2020, we lost that baby as well. Both times leading up to the miscarriage, during, and in the aftermath, we were praying out asking God to deliver us from what we were going through. These were gut-wrenching, soul-crushing, hard prayers, that, at least in our eyes, went unanswered. We were both incredibly sad, angry, bitter, and ready to give up on ever having children.

After the second miscarriage though, something strange happened. When we were finally to the point where we could go out in public and attend church again, two couples that we both look up to surrounded us. Not in a spiritual sense, but in a very real, literal sense. For at least two months, every Sunday that we were in morning service, one of these couples would sit directly in front of us, and the second couple directly behind us. Both knew our situation, but both also had the decency to give us the emotional space we needed. However, they were there, acting as our shield when we felt so vulnerable. It was amazing. Just their presence was such a comfort. After a couple of months of this, and almost as if on cue, we all started sitting in different spots of the building.

Looking back on it now, that can’t be anything short of God providing provision for Anneke and me when we weren’t in a position to be able to take care of ourselves. We were shielded from a lot of people who have good intentions, but say insensitive things because they don’t know what else to say. We were shielded from people who were just nosy and wanted us to relive the trauma for their benefit so they’d be “in the know”. God shielded us from a lot of that until we were able to stand on our feet again. For me, it was a confirmation that God was with us, even though we didn’t understand why we had to endure what we had to endure. I still don’t understand why we had to go through all of that. But at least I know he was with us while we did and he provided for us in his own way.