Thy Will Be Done {Because Then Nothing is Wasted}

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I should be happy, right?

We have answers now.

We know “why.”

It has been almost six weeks since our daughter passed away. My doctor called to share the results of her genetic tests:

She had a rare chromosome abnormality called Triploidy. This means that she had three sets of chromosomes (69 total chromosomes) instead of two sets (46 total chromosomes).

Google says that Triploidy is caused by one of two things: either two sperm fertilizing one normal egg, or one sperm fertilizing an egg that has an extra set of chromosomes.

Chances of reoccurrence are the same as when it happened the first time: it occurs in 1-2% of all pregnancies.

No baby with Triploidy has ever lived long, if at all. It's amazing that our daughter lived for thirty-three weeks in my womb.

And I should be happy, right? We have answers now. We know "why." But we also know that definitive test results won't bring our daughter back.

If I’m being truly honest with myself, I would say I am feeling a new emotion that I hadn't felt until now. It's called anger. It's an emotion I am not very comfortable feeling or admitting to. But it’s like a burning in my chest that won’t go away.

Maybe because sometimes these answers make it all feel like a waste.

I think about the countless hours spent in prayer for healing for our unborn daughter. Was it all a waste, Lord?

I think about the weekly doctor appointments and monthly ultrasounds. Was it all a waste, Lord?

I think about all the emotions, waiting and wondering if she was going to live or die. Was it all a waste, Lord?

We could have known. I mean, the doctors told us they didn't think she was going to live. But we could have gotten the amniocentesis test that would have told us this official diagnosis right away. We chose not to because there was a risk of miscarriage. Was it all a waste, Lord?

I keep this prayer request up on my prayer wall always:

“Remind us to always pray that Your will is done…and that our desires will align with Your will.”

Thy will be done.

That phrase has been following me around a lot in the past year. So many lessons learned in praying "God's will be done," as well as pursuing contentment and joy in whatever His will might be.

I reflected last Thanksgiving:

Would I still be thankful? What if I don’t get everything I want in life? What if my future dreams and wishes (as a mom, as a wife, as a professional) don’t pan out? What if? Can I honestly say that all else aside, Christ is the only real “reason” I have to be thankful?

I reflected in February about my writing and the beginning of my pregnancy with our second daughter:

Am I enough for you? Even if your dreams don't come true? Even if your life doesn't always turn out the way you hoped? Will you still be satisfied in Me?

I reflected after one of Aliza’s many ultrasounds:

It's easy to have conditional faith where we want to believe yet also want to call the shots about what our lives will look like, about where God calls us to go. Conditional loyalty to a Savior who promised we would face trials in this world. A Savior who said that following Him and taking up our cross daily would be tough.

It’s not easy to think: “Your will be done, Lord. If You can use us in this way, and if through this painful journey we can bring glory to Your name, then we will consider it pure joy.”

Thy will be done. 

This phrase is a challenge for me to let go. A giving up of control. It's an opportunity to recognize that nothing in life is a waste when I let God use it for His purposes.

An acceptance that while brokenness and death and pain and sorrow and grief and sadness were never a part of God’s original plan for this world, that His will is to use those things for good. If I am willing to let Him.

{My granddaughter} has told me about you for quite some time, and since that time I have prayed often for you. I prayed that you would not be afraid. I prayed for peace of mind and for restful slumber. I prayed that by some miracle the baby would become a healthy one. But as in all of life, I also had to pray, "Thy will be done." This is our gift, our blessing, Collin and Kendra. We do not understand. We ask "Why, O Lord?" We are in pain. Yet we know that we are in our Father's care, and He loves us. - Marilyn S 

It didn't all click until a completely unrelated conversation with Husband:

He asked, "Do you feel like it was a waste to pay for a liberal arts college if you aren't using your degree right now? If you are a stay-at-home mom?"

I almost scoffed. "Of course it was worth it! I got to play my favorite sport and meet you. My degree led to teaching overseas, which led to staying home with our daughter, which led to my accreditation job and writing more. If we only talk about the money we spent and the debt we are in, then maybe. But we never know the future, and we can't make decisions like we know the future. And I can clearly see how God used one thing to lead to another! Of course it was all worth it!"

And then it clicked:

You see, My daughter? Of course your prayers weren't a waste. You didn't know the future and you couldn't make decisions like you knew the future. The ultrasounds, the waiting and wondering weren't a waste either. I know it hurts. But just wait and see. I always make one thing lead to another. And I will do that again. I can use this too.

Hindsight is so much clearer, but at times it can also skew our perception of the past.

A friend shared her wisdom after losing her daughter to Triploidy:

After we learned something was most likely wrong with our daughter, we spread the news around, asking for prayer. We had four congregations from different churches praying for us. Our family, friends, and coworkers were praying for us. We were praying so hard - sometimes it seemed I was in constant prayer - for her to be okay. 

But then she wasn't. Then she passed away. 

Our prayers were not answered, and we didn't get what we prayed for, what SO many people prayed for. I thought, "what is the point of prayer if He doesn't answer anyways?" 

But after awhile, after the stinging grief passed, I had to double-check myself. Really? We didn't get what WE wanted?  It's not about what WE want; it's about what HE wants. 

Our prayers WERE answered. Not in the way we wanted, but they were. I, of course, didn't see that at first. And then after she died, SO many people were praying for us - for comfort, for peace, for love.  

We felt so much peace and so much rest. Our hearts were burdened, but when it seemed like I couldn't handle it anymore, I would feel this rush of peace and comfort. I felt healing. And I knew it was all the people praying for us, and God answering those prayers.

I had to realize that I and everyone else were praying for something that wasn't God's will - that wasn't in His plan. And that's why I thought prayer didn't work. 

I was praying for the wrong thing.  I was praying for my will instead of His. God had a journey in mind for me that I had no idea I would go on, that frankly I didn't want to go on.

But now, that journey is a part of me.  It's a part of my story, and my testament.  It took awhile for me to take prayer seriously again, but I did get there. God just had to knock some sense into me first. – Hillary

Thy will be done.

That phrase has been following me around a lot in the past year. It followed me to church yesterday too as we sang "The Lord's Prayer":

Our Father, who in heaven be, all hallowed praise we sing to Thee.

And as we hail your kingdom come, we also pray your will be done.

Your will be done; Your will be done; Your will be done; Your will be done. 

(Words by Paul van der Bijl, 2012)

Thy will be done, Lord. Because then nothing is wasted.

Isn’t real faith revealed more through pursuing God and what He wants than through pursuing what we want? – Nancy Guthrie, Holding On To Hope

Grace and Peace,
Kendra

 

{If you would like to learn more about the loss of our daughter Aliza, please read these previously written articles.}

Our 20 week ultrasound {When There Are No Words, There is Emmanuel}

Going to church {I Didn't Want to Go to Church}

Waiting for genetic test results {By Faith We Walk Through the Darkness}

Finding out the gender and naming our baby {I Choose Joy}

Dealing with fear throughout the pregnancy {If It Brings You Glory, Don’t Lead Me Down Sesame Street}

Our first Fetal Echo ultrasound {Held Captive by a Cup of Pretzels}

Thinking ahead to Aliza’s birth {Teach Them How to Deal}

Feeling the Church’s support throughout our pregnancy {Dragging Our Dirty Laundry to Church}

Aliza's passing and delivery {Empty}

Expressing how my life was changed {God Used a Tiny Baby} 

Experiencing our grief differently as a mom and dad {We Both Lost Our Unborn Child {But It's Different}}

Expressing gratitude and grief {Gratitude and Grief on Father's Day}

Coming out from under my rock as a different person {I'm the Same, But I'm Different {Since Losing Our Child}}