Lettered Hope

H O P E

Miscarriage, FaithJessica ScheksComment

But I will hope continually,and will yet praise thee more and more.

| psalm seventy-one fourteen |

Picking out verses and words of the year has always seemed kind of lame to me.  A slew of bloggers that I follow always have a word of the year, and up until a couple days ago I just rolled my eyes. I'm not sure what exactly it was that annoyed me. Maybe that people are obsessed with their words for the first month or two and use it as a hashtag for everything and then it slowly fades away like most resolutions do. Or maybe it's just that, in general, I'm not into that kind of stuff. So I was already getting kind of annoyed as people were bombarding Instagram with their words of the year before the new year even began.

I posted this picture on Instagram a day or two before the new year with the caption, "One of my favorite gifts this year from Lauren 💕 and one of my favorite passages in the Bible lately.#AlwaysInMyHeart #Psalm34"

Lauren is my sister-in-law and that ornament means so much to me; more than words could describe. Even though it's oddly shaped and impractical to do so, I keep it in my Bible.

The day after I posted that picture I was making tea and getting ready to sit down to read my Bible. I felt really inspired recently while reading Psalm 34, however I had already read it and studied it several days in a row and was feeling like I needed something fresh. So as my tea was steeping I was thinking how much I hoped someone would say something to inspire me before I sat down to read.

Ever since we lost our baby on November 15th, there have been so many times the Lord answered the littlest of prayers for me. Things that don't really seem to matter, but are such a big deal to me right now in my time of need and sorrow. It has truly overwhelmed me and opened my eyes to how amazing God is and that He is a BIG God, yet He works in the smallest ways sometimes.

So as I was walking over to my Bible with tea in hand, I received a notification on Instagram that my second cousin, Kathy, commented on my picture. All she said was, "34:1 sounds a lot like Psalm 71:8"

I knew right away that the Lord had answered my prayer. So I flipped open to Psalm 71 and began reading. I was so impressed that Kathy made that connection, it seems like such a random correlation. Psalm 71:8 is not a well-known scripture and I was so thankful the Lord put that specific scripture on her mind to share with me.

As I began reading Psalm 71, the first verse that made really touched me and made me think was the sixth verse:

By thee have I been holden up from the womb: thou art he that took me out of my mother's bowels: my praise shall be continually of thee.

The idea of getting pregnant again stirs up so many emotions. More than anything I want to be pregnant but there is also a lot of fear. Fear that it will take a long time to get pregnant and fear that when I do, we'll have another loss. In an effort to avoid anxiety, I can't let my mind go there very often. But reading this scripture reminded me that when I do get pregnant again, it is up to the Lord when our baby is born, whether it's at six weeks or 41 weeks. He is the only one who can sustain life, and I have a feeling this will be a scripture I cling to if He blesses us with another pregnancy.

I kept reading and got down to verse 14 and hope just jumped out at me. The whole verse did. As soon as I read it I knew that the Lord had led me to that exact scripture:

But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more.

I feel like I'm in such a busy season in my life because it consists of so many things: Sorrow, grief, mourning, joy, fear, love, peace, hope, waiting, and resting. And on any given day I could experience all of those things, or just one or two of them.

Entering 2016 was and still is scary and sad for me. I left behind the year I was pregnant; the only time I got to hold my first child. The thought constantly goes through my mind that I could get pregnant again and have a child before 2016 is even over. But there are many other thoughts I have about 2016: I could have another miscarriage, I could have more than one miscarriage, I could not get pregnant at all.

I hate having those thoughts, and I try to control them and not let myself get all worked up over "what-if's," but I think questions like that are in the back of the mind of every woman who's just had a miscarriage. It's unknown, uncharted territory, especially if your miscarriage was your very first pregnancy. I can't tell you how badly I wish I already had a successful pregnancy and a beautiful child to show for it!

So going into 2016, I am choosing to hope. Just like how love is a choice, and having joy is a choice, I am choosing to have hope. I could choose to be depressed, or to give into the fears I have. But I am choosing hope and I know so many good things will be a result of that regardless of circumstances in life.

After I read Psalm 71:14, it was like my mind was shouting, "HOPE!" the rest of the day. I couldn't stop thinking about it. And I laughed as I realized that the Lord had given me a word and a verse of the year without me even asking Him to.