I had the perfect pregnancy — no complications, no untoward outside effects, not even morning sickness. Then it happened without reason or cause known to man; my baby boy died inside of me. I was 8 months pregnant and had just gone to my baby shower two days before. He just stopped moving. I repositioned myself, I prodded and poked my belly, I drank sugar and caffeine, I even jumped up and down…nothing. We rushed to hospital all the while hoping and praying he was just in a deep sleep. After a Doppler (the device used to detect fetal heartbeat) and an ultrasound the doctor confirmed our worst fear. Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression (stages of grief) came all at once. Devastating doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt, but somewhere inside of me I held on to the faith and hope that our son would live, that God was going to do a “Lazarus miracle” upon me delivering him. My family and friends prayed and believed the same.
Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with grave clothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.” (John 11: 38-44 NKJV)
Due to the circumstances the doctor explained that he would induce labor so that I could give birth and that’s what I did. A day and a half later on February 8, 2006 I gave birth to Walter Eron Collins. He was stillborn. The “Lazarus miracle” didn’t happen for our baby and to this day I don’t truly know why God allowed us to have this horrific and life changing experience. Five days later, after a short service, we buried our beautiful, precious son. Coping and dealing with this was such an earth shattering experience for us. I felt like God had failed me. I was angry with Him. I felt like I was being punished. I felt so much pain, more than I can describe.
Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted. (Matthew 5:4 NIV)
But God restores…
It took some time (5 years) and a whole lot of “stuff” had to happen but the Lord saw fit for us to try again. We finally had the courage to try. It was a struggle not to be ruled by fear and not to question every single thing. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV) I was then in the high risk pregnancy category and had more issues to deal with that I didn’t have with my prior pregnancy such as high blood pressure. It was the longest 38 weeks of my life but endless doctor visits and countless tests later on April 28, 2011 the Lord blessed us with another son, Floyd Eron Collins, II. A bouncing, crying, happy and healthy baby boy! We were overcome with indescribable joy and relief! God is faithful!
Then God did it again…
Not wanting to lose momentum (lol) we conceived again and on December 13, 2012 we were blessed with another living son, Charleston Jaron Collins. The Lord had given us double for our trouble.
We are not going to have all the answers to the “whys” of life and as Christians we are not exempt from suffering and pain. Through my experience I was reminded that God is sovereign. “How great you are, O Sovereign LORD! There is no one like you. We have never even heard of another God like you! (2 Samuel 7:22 NLT) Though I may not always like it, what He says goes. I also had to remember that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 KJV) Now this doesn’t mean I think it was good that He saw fit for little Walter to join Him in heaven so soon, but I do know “good” has come of the situation not only for my husband and I but for countless others who were touched and ministered to due to our situation. And finally, I’ve learned truly what Jeremiah meant by, “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord…” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV). As long as He knows, I don’t have to know but just go with His flow. Having had this experience has shown me more of Him and more about myself and for that I do thank and praise Him.
Thank You for allowing us to see the light at the end of the tunnel in our valley experiences. Thank You for being the strong tower for us. Help us to know that even in the toughest times You have not forsaken us. Teach us to seek and trust You more when faced with adversity and to not let fear and anger totally consume us. Help us to truly understand that our trials come to make us stronger. Build us up, Lord, in the areas in which we are weak and help us to stand on Your word in the midst of our trials. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Ladies, I EMPOWER you to not give up on God when things in life have devastated and traumatically affected you. I EMPOWER you not to withdraw from God when perilous times come. I EMPOWER you to remain steadfast in your devotion to Him despite the circumstances. I EMPOWER you to seek help when you find yourself wavering. I EMPOWER you not to be overcome with grief. I EMPOWER you not be ruled by fear, doubt, frustration and unbelief as these are tools of the enemy. I EMPOWER you to know that though weeping may endure for the night (no matter how long of a night) that eventually joy will come in the morning. Lastly, I EMPOWER you to remember that God does know the desire of your heart and He cares about you even in the midst of what you are going through. In due season and in due time He will open up the window and pour you out blessings you won’t have room enough to receive…He’ll give you double for your trouble!
Below is a short poem written during my season of grief:
Have You Ever Seen an Angel?
Have you ever seen an angel?
There once was one who came for a while
And all who knew him, hearts did smile
But back to heaven he had to go
For a reason that only God knows
Even though I’m sad and angry, I understand too
If I was God, I’d chosen him too…
Mrs. Coretta Collins is a wife and mother who enjoys reading, writing, movies and spending time with family and friends. She is avid about health, healing and helping which serves her well as a registered nurse and recent Family Nurse Practitioner graduate. Striving to be led by the Lord throughout life and having overcome significant challenges, her favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Coretta is a member of St. John A.M.E. Church in Birmingham, Alabama. She resides in Calera, Alabama with her awesome husband and two wonderful sons.
Congratulations to our Naughty Girl Trivia winners: Karen Robs, Geri Brown & D. McBride! Having answered all questions correctly, their entries were randomly selected. Each will receive a copy of either Bad Girls of the Bible, Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible or Really Bad Girls of the Bible. Thanks for playing and be on the lookout for our next giveaway!