Today is just an ordinary day. So many of my previous posts have reflected on milestones we have reached – anniversaries of the happiest and saddest times of our lives. But today isn’t one of those. And yet it has been a day when, through one of the most routine daily tasks of parenthood, I have been reminded of the love and faithfulness of God.
Today I dressed Charlotte in a new outfit. It’s a simple shorts and T-shirt set, grey and white with yellow stitching. Nothing special in itself. And yet, to me it is special because I know the long and challenging journey that it represents – because I remember buying that outfit.
It was September 2017 and we were off on holiday. We were in Newcastle with hours to spare before we had to head to the airport. I popped into a Disney Store and found a children’s wear sale and, among it, this outfit. It was down to £5 – a bargain, by Disney Store standards at least – and I decided to buy it.
We were desperate to start a family and I longed for the day that our child would wear the little outfit. We were already well aware that our road to parenthood would not be as simple as it is for many. Gynaecology appointments beckoned in a bid to find out why our efforts to conceive had thus far been fruitless. But I was filled with hope that we would one day have the child we so wanted, and that was enough for me to buy the outfit.
Soon after returning from holiday it seemed like it wouldn’t be long before the outfit could be put to use as we learned that I was pregnant. But just a few weeks later that idea lay in tatters as we learned that our precious baby, our little Lentil, had died and we were back to square one, if not further back.
Throughout the course of our long path seeking to be parents, I held on to a verse from the Bible: Romans 12:12, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” And I kept up my hope that one day I would dress my little baby in those little shorts and their matching T-shirt. And today, nine and a half months after we welcomed Charlotte into the world, that hope became a reality. Nothing special in itself and yet so immensely special.
And there’s one thing about this story that only struck me this morning. When I bought that outfit I had to choose a size for this summer outfit with no idea in which month my baby might eventually be born. I had no way of knowing what age or size my baby would be by his or her first summer. And yet I bought the perfect size. And I bought the perfect size because God knew when it would be needed and, as with every stage of our journey, He was directing my steps, even if I didn’t know it at the time.
Sometimes things can seem a long way off. Sometimes we can’t imagine how we might possibly reach our intended goal. But, with the will of God, years of faith and hope truly can become a reality. And for us, they have. May we never lose faith or hope.
Sarah Moore is the author of For the Love of Lentil, A journey of longing, loss and abundant grace, which tells the story of her experience of pregnancy and miscarriage. Copies of the book, along with baby loss awareness badges which are sold in aid of Baby Lifeline, are available here.