One of my favorite hyms is called City of God, and it begins as follows:
Awake from your slumber! Arise from your sleep!
A new day is dawning for all those who weep.
The people in darkness have seen a great light.
The Lord of our longing has conquered the night.
Let us build the city of God.
May our tears be turned into dancing.
For the Lord our light and our love has turned the night into day.
Lately, I've been meditating quite a bit on the nights and days of life, our periods of darkness and light. Staying home with twins is exhausting--sometimes I literally want to collapse by the time Andrew gets home in the evening. But this is my day...not just any day, but the brightest, sunniest day imaginable. What a difference a year can make.
On this weekend last year, I was in the midst of a gravely dark night. I had travelled with Andrew to Death Valley, California for a cycling event to raise money for juvenile diabetes research, and I found myself in the desert miscarrying our second child. Soon thereafter we had our third miscarriage and had to make hard decisions regarding our path to parenthood.
Later, despite being overjoyed with our pregnancy, I was still not basking in the daylight. Life was more like a foggy dawn...I knew that our children were on the horizon, yet I also knew the risks of multiples and that too many stories do not have happy endings. Then came the NICU, and even though I could gaze at our little ones, the sun seemed to be slipping away. I was more afraid than I ever let myself admit, and I became acquainted with the indescribable fear a parent has for a sick child. But now here I am, with two beautiful, healthy children. Sometimes I cannot believe this is my life.
Today, I was reminded of just how real a different ending to this story could have been. I am part of an infertility community online, and though I don't know these women in real life, I love them. They have been my cheerleaders and my confidantes, and they stuck with me even when I achieved the pregnancy that many of them had not. On Thursday, one of these women lost her twins at 20 weeks. One died during birth, the other lived for around 15 minutes. I feel so connected to this woman...she did IVF, she was having a boy and a girl, she was elated at the thought of raising these children. And now they are gone. I cannot imagine the night that she is in now. What separates us? Why did I get the happy ending, while she is living through hell? Why can't she make it to her day? Please join me in sending her our thoughts and prayers, lifting her up as she struggles through this night.