With our oldest in preschool, my husband, Chris, and I sat in the waiting room, eager to hear and see the heartbeat of our second born. What was it going to be like to add another baby to the mix, we wondered. It was fun to think about. That first appointment began with excitement as the ultrasound technician confirmed our baby’s heartbeat but then slightly derailed us as she also reported a concerning heart rate for baby. Our doctor scheduled us to return in two weeks to make sure all was well.
This wasn’t the first time we had heard this.
Three years prior, almost verbatim, we heard those words the first time we were pregnant. We saw a faint heartbeat at the first ultrasound. We were told to return in two weeks for another check on baby’s heart rate. I asked my doctor to shoot straight with me: What did this mean? She told us to prepare for either a miscarriage or to see a healthy heart rate. Only time would tell.
Share this Post
That pregnancy ended two weeks later. There was no heartbeat when we returned, for which we began mourning the loss of the hopes and dreams we already had for that baby.
We were devastated, but the Lord, as is His custom, almost immediately started to rebuild the parts that had fallen in our lives. As we grew to accept our circumstances and grieve our loss, Chris and I found strength in the Lord, where we otherwise could have floundered. By God’s grace, almost exactly a year after our miscarriage, we were overjoyed to give birth to a healthy, beautiful baby. We were grateful to our Creator for giving us such a sweet gift: our daughter, Olive.
I didn’t know it then, but looking back, our miscarriage was a devastation that needed something greater than myself for healing. The Lord was rebuilding and the joy of the Lord was my strength. He continued to build and rebuild parts in us as we moved forward in life.
Which is why, after having Olive, when we were told a second time that the one heartbeat we were seeing would need to be monitored and checked two weeks later, I remember feeling confident in the Lord.
This time, we returned two weeks later to find out great news. The heartbeat was perfect! In fact, the heartbeat was perfect for both baby one and baby two––TWINS!!! The same ultrasound technician got goose bumps on her arms as she had seen only ONE baby the first time. Though I cannot speak for my husband (ha!), I was deeply overjoyed for the Lord’s sweet double blessing.
The Lord was being overly generous in His rebuilding in our lives.
Even now, as my healthy, twin boys, Cohen and Preston, grow and are in what some may call the “terrible twos,” I just have to smile. Each and every day I hold them for just a moment and thank the Lord for His grace and mercy over us. When people say “you have your hands full,” or “how do you do it?” I feel compelled to say “the joy of the Lord is my strength!” because we all know, it’s A LOT OF WORK that I could never manage in my own strength.
In the book of Nehemiah, we see his heartache at the devastation of Jerusalem. We see opportunity after opportunity unfold for Nehemiah to rebuild the great city. And he did so with great success. In chapter 8, the covenant is read and the people are reminded of the Lord’s presence in their lives. The weight of our sin in light of the grace of the Lord can often be too much to bear.
But we must embrace it, for He is good.
“Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).
Do you remember a time when all you ever wanted crumbled right before your very eyes? Today, as you sit here and read this, can you recall the rebuilding the Lord has done in your life? And how He got you from that point to where you are presently?
Perhaps the Lord is rebuilding right now and you don’t know how the story ends yet.
Well, today is special for all of us. “For this day is holy to our Lord.”
Whether you are in the midst of the rebuild, in need of a rebuild, or watching nervously as your twin sons tackle one another and then hug it out and then tackle each other yet again, whatever today may bring, my prayer is that you may know, with great assurance, that the joy of the Lord is your strength.