I really love to craft. Over the years I have dabbled in a lot of different crafts. I have painted, scrap-booked, made cards, stamped, attempted to sew and so many other things. While I try a lot of different crafts, I always go back to knitting. Over the years, I have knitted countless blankets, scarfs and hats. I started knitting several years ago because I wanted to be part of a group of women who knitted “prayer shawls” at work. I thought they were so fun. After learning, I kept knitting because it was a fun way to keep my hands busy while I watched TV. Now when I knit, I pray.
Several months ago, I started knitting a baby blanket. This isn’t uncommon. It seems lately, baby blankets have been my knitting project of choice. Most times when I start a baby blanket, I have a just been told a dear friend is pregnant. Apparently I celebrate pregnancy announcements with yarn because usually, after hearing the sweet news, I go to buy yarn for a new blanket. As I knit, I pray for the pregnant Mama and the sweet miracle she is carrying. I pray for peace. I pray for health. I thank God for a full term healthy pregnancy.
However, this time was different. I had found yarn I loved and I needed to work with it. There was no pregnancy announcement, however I knew the yarn would be perfect for a baby blanket. So I bought the yarn and started knitting. As I began to knit, I asked God who the blanket would be be for. One name kept coming into my mind again and again. She wasn’t pregnant, however I started to pray for my sweet friend and the baby she would carry.
Shortly after I started knitting, I realized that this was especially sweet timing. This particular friend has been facing delayed fertility for several years. While in the natural her story looked impossible, there had been new exciting circumstances that had God’s fingerprints all over them. So, I knitted in faith that a pregnancy announcement would come. Each time I picked up my knitting needles, I prayed for my sweet friends heart.
I prayed my friend would walk through her days without fearing any bad news (Psalm 112:7). That she would be completely fearless and not be discouraged by any part of her wait. I prayed she would know that God was with her strengthening and holding her up (Isaiah 41:10). I prayed she wouldn’t worry, but would be surrounded by peace (Philippians 4:6-7). I prayed that she would sleep well every night, and that her mind wouldn’t run all night (Proverbs 3:24). Of course, I prayed for the baby I believed she would carry.
The day my friend texted me and shared that she was pregnant, I cried in my office. I thanked God for knitting together a perfect baby. A baby that was wonderfully complex. (Psalm 139:13) He knew the sweet baby before he or she was formed. I thanked him that He had set that baby apart and appointed them to do big things (Jeremiah 1:5). I thanked God that He would carry the baby from the day he or she was born until his or her hair was white with age. (Isaiah 46:3-4). A baby He had placed on my heart long before I knew he or she was coming.
However, shortly after learning she was pregnant, my friend learned she would not hold that baby this side of heaven. Angry doesn’t even begin to cover how I felt. I was so disappointed. I wanted to yell and scream and break things. This was not how this story was supposed to end.
The night my sweet friend miscarried her baby, I struggled to pick up my knitting needles. I wanted to rip out every stitch I had ever knitted and box up the yarn. No, boxing it up wasn’t enough, I wanted burn it up or throw it out. I didn’t want to see it. However, I didn’t do any of the things I wanted to do that night. Instead, I picked up my knitting needles and cried.
I told God I didn’t understand. When God created the earth, His perfect plan did not include infertility or miscarriage. In fact, God’s perfect design for all of us was to live in harmony in the Garden of Eden with Him forever. However, when Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge everything changed. Now, because of sin, we live in a broken world. Bad things happen because of sin. Due to the choice made by Adam and Eve, sickness and disease are very prevalent. My friend didn’t lose her baby because she sinned, my friend lost her baby because we live in a fallen world. While I fully believe in my mind that miscarriage happens because we live in a sin-filled fallen world, my heart is so tired of walking through loss.
That night, I didn’t knit much. I just sat holding the knitting needles asking God why. I think sometimes we forget that God can handle our emotions. We forget that He knows our innermost thoughts, and we try to hide them from him. We forget it’s okay not to be okay.
The bible tells the story of a woman who desperately wanted a baby in 1 Samuel. Hannah had a good life. She was loved by her husband and had much to be thankful for, however Hannah wanted a baby. The bible tells us that she had been waiting years for a baby. At one point, her wait became too much and in 1 Samuel 1:10 the bible tells us Hannah was “deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly” (ESV Translation). She asked the Lord to remember her. What I love about this story is that God didn’t ignore her. He didn’t write her off. In fact, Eli happened to see Hannah (nothing is coincidental here friends) and after asking her a few questions he said this in verse 17 “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him.” So Hannah worshiped the Lord and then went home. The bible tells us that “in due time” Hannah conceived (1 Samuel 1:20).
We don’t know how long “in due time” was, but Hannah was able to walk in peace because she had been given a promise. Hannah may have had hard days, but she also carried hope. Banning Liebscher explains this passage beautifully in his book “Rooted”. He explains that the world cannot heal our grief, however a word from God changes everything. I know my friend is going to be a mother. Over and over again in the Bible, God commands His people to be fruitful and multiply, and He blesses us with that ability. I can grieve with hope because I know this isn’t the end of her story.
The next night, I was still heartbroken. I still didn’t understand, however I pulled out my knitting needles and continued to knit. Night after night I did the same thing. I pulled out my needles and I prayed. I continued to tell God I was heartbroken. I prayed for my friends heart. I prayed for her body as it healed. Then I prayed for the babies that will come. I chose to continue to hope. In my mind there was no other choice.
My disappointment didn’t go away right away, in fact if I am being honest I am still sad that my sweet friend won’t hold that precious baby. However I know what God’s word says. The only way to process this disappointment is to remember what God has done in the past, and trust that He is who He says He is.
I finished the blanket a several weeks ago, and intended to send it to my friend immediately. Even though she hasn’t conceived again yet, I trust she will someday soon. Even though I had so many good intentions, I kept forgetting the blanket. It sat folded in my house for many weeks until I finally remembered to pack it up.
My friend received the blanket a few days later and texted to tell me it was exactly the reminder she needed. A reminder that babies are coming. A reminder that God hasn’t forgotten her. The blanket that meant so much to me is now something she can cling to in hope.
This isn’t a story about how amazing my faith is, this is a story about how we will never regret a day if we choose to live in big faith. Yes, we live in a broken world that is filled with disappointment but we will never regret praying the big prayers and living boldly.
I am sharing this story for several reasons. First, I want to encourage you not to try to hide your emotions from the Father. He already knows, and He desires intimacy with you. He longs for you to bring your disappointed heart to Him. He wants to hold you while you cry. He wants to be close to you.
Second, because we live in a broken world, we will face disappointment at some point in our lives. If you are feeling disappointed, I want to tell you I am sorry. I am sorry for your loss and your pain. I want to remind you that God sees you, He hears you and He cares for you. I want to encourage you that He has a word for you – a promise for you to cling to in this season. I encourage you to open your Bible and ask Him to share His heart with you. If you don’t know how to hear Him, I encourage you to ask someone for help.
If you are disappointed, I also want to caution you. If we don’t deal with disappointment it hardens our hearts. The only way to deal with disappointment is to actively renew our minds. Open your Bible and read about who the Bible says you are. Surround yourself with truth. Remember what God has done in the past. Talk to others about what God has done in their lives. Most importantly, take one day at a time.
Finally, I want to encourage you to step out in bold faith. We are all waiting on God for something. Maybe it’s a baby, a spouse, a new house, or a new job. We are all waiting and believing. Today, I want to encourage you to do the thing that doesn’t make sense. Knit the blanket. Buy the crib, start dreaming about the wedding, start a Pinterest board about house projects or go buy the suit for the interview. Do the thing that pushes you out of your comfort zone. I promise, you will never regret a day you stepped out in big bold faith.