With clenched jaw and furrowed brow, I waited in the hospital ultrasound room on Monday morning. Heather lay before me on the exam table and though the technician said things looked fine, she went out of the room and got the supervising doctor to speak to us. “Uh oh” I thought. “This can’t be good.”
In rooms like these, in moments like this, lives are forever altered.. every single day. The routine doctors exam that turns up the lump. The notice from the lawyer that the situation is going to be more complicated. The talk with your boss that the company needs to lay people off. Every single day, in small moments like these, our worlds that we have built come shattering down. How do I know? Because in an ultrasound room like this, in 2008, we found out our son Fisher had died. In rooms like these entire futures are changed.
And when futures change and hearts are broken, we have to ask ourselves, ‘can I still believe?’ Can I still trust in God when my heart is broken? This life is a journey, and learning to trust God despite the bumps and bruises along the way is sometimes difficult, but it is the only choice that continues to give us hope. When we cling to God, we can handle the challenges of life and celebrate the victories. We have a hope beyond ourselves to give us that thing we need: hope. Hope for that which we cannot do on our own. One of my favorite verses speaks to this:
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
–2 Corinthians 4:16-18
So there in Ultrasound Room 5 of Swedish Hospital, I had the lump in my throat as the doctor came back into the room. What if something is wrong with this baby? How will I respond? Can I handle another huge heartbreak?
And then in my heart a still small voice: “We will trust…and we’ll continue to follow God no matter what happens.” See, we had to face this same decision before when we lost our son Fisher Samuel Sund. And the decision to hope in the midst of our devastation and heartache saved our faiths, it saved our marriage, it saved our very lives.
Back in room 5, the doctor silently looked over the ultrasound machine. Stone faced and resolved, she did a few measurements with her mouse on the computer, and then looked up, smiled, and said, “You are having a boy. And he is healthy.”
Writing this now, a few days later, I pause from the computer and wipe tears away. I stop and collect my thoughts. I’m so thankful…but my heart also hurts because I know there are some of you out there that are in different situations. You have heartaches and challenges or you are facing something very difficult, and some of you have lost pregnancies or are facing the prospect of bringing a disabled child into the world. I hurt because I know your stories. You got the bad news in that same room.
All I can say is that I’m sorry. Though you are currently in the storm and nursing an aching heart, things will get better. You can believe again and you can hope again. Loss changes things and you’ll never be the same, but the new you after this difficult time will learn to hope again and learn to love again. I can promise you that.
So now for Heather and I, we wait and pray. We’re due to have a baby boy in late September. Though we still worry at times during pregnancy, we believe that things will turn out okay. And however things turn out, we are hoping in the Lord. It’s the only way we can get by.