The Valley of the Shadow of Death

HG has thrust me into the deepest, darkest valley thus far in my faith journey. During my darkest moments – when I was on IV treatment during my first and second trimester – I became angry with the Lord for allowing me to suffer HG for the 2nd time. I was beyond furious that the vomiting was lasting much longer this time. I was enraged about being robbed of my relationship with my daughter for the two, long months I underwent IV treatment. Bitterness and resentment festered in my heart.

I found myself asking the question that probably every HG sufferer demands to know the answer to – “Why?” and “Why me, Lord?” Why is it that out of all the women out there in the world, only 1-2 percent of pregnant women suffer from HG and why did that 1 percent have to include me? I was jealous of “fluffy” pregnancies – women who sailed through their pregnancies without one bout of nausea!

I could understand going through HG once (maybe!) but twice?! And it being even worse the second time?! I didn’t understand the purpose of all this torment. It made no sense to me. Why suffer for eight months? My suffering seemed to be more of a curse than anything. It caused so much upheaval not only in my own life – but it negatively impacted my marriage, my daughter, and my parents who ended up taking on the burden of caring for Annelise.

I knew that the ultimate purpose of my life was to love God and to love others but how do you expect that from someone who’s in bed all day, throwing up around the clock, starving, dehydrated and nauseous 24/7? I could barely get out of bed some days – loving God and loving others seemed like the most impossible and onerous task to me. I often wanted to simply die because I did not understand what the purpose of living was if I couldn’t even eat normally! I’m not sure how many sleepless nights I stayed up due to the nagging nausea, pondering these questions, arguing with God, and simply sobbing out of frustration and deep disappointment.

Somehow, the Lord kept me semi-sane through the thick of it and I was able to stop the IV treatment and began to keep liquids down on my own and I eventually started the lengthy process of training my body to eat again. I’m thankful that the Lord kept the baby safe and that the Lord protected me from Satan’s beckoning to terminate the pregnancy to escape the nausea. Numerous women who have suffered HG have terminated their pregnancies and lived to bitterly regret it. It truly is a spiritual battle.

I began to read the book of Job for inspiration. I could easily identify with Job and his suffering. He questioned God many, many times throughout his suffering and I could relate to that as well. It seems that the purpose of Job’s suffering was to test his faith in the Lord. Satan teased God and said that the only reason Job was so faithful to God was because he was prosperous and doing well in life. Yet God was confident that even if Job lost his family, his wealth, his friends, and even his own health, that Job would stand firm in his faith!

Perhaps this is a test of faith for me? It’s easy to praise God when you feel good and when you’re experiencing success in the world. It’s not so easy and sometimes feels impossible to praise God when you’re suffering. And yet, this is what the Lord is calling me to do. I don’t think I’m quite out of the valley yet but my good Shepherd has been slowly leading me out of the darkness into His marvelous light. I know He wants me to heal from the emotional trauma of HG and that He wants me to lie in green pastures and be restored in Him.

Our health is something we easily take for granted. But my body is not my own. It is the Lord’s. He gives and He takes away. Danny said that perhaps the Lord wants me to learn to fully depend on Him regarding my health.

Despite all the emotional battle scars I have, I cannot deny the goodness of the Lord. I still do not quite understand the “why” of it all, but I can say with confidence that in my darkest moments, He lifted me up with His word, with many people’s prayers, and many people of faith encouraging me to not give up. I long for heaven with a new-found hunger.

And lastly, I believe that the Lord allowed me to go through HG in order to mold me into Christlikeness which is our greatest purpose in life.

James1_2_4

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5 thoughts on “The Valley of the Shadow of Death

  1. I so know what you mean, even though my HG was mild in comparison. I simply could not comprehend why God would do this to me – and when nausea hits me even now, I still question God immediately. But the spiritual fruit that HG has borne in my life has been all positive – compassion, humility, understanding, patience, faithfulness, deeper understanding of God’s word and God’s ways – it has all been positive. Sometime I shall write it up on my blog! Thanks for writing this out!

    • Hi Diana,
      Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. You are right – I am sure that without going through the HG, we would not have learned the depth of God’s love and His ways. I look forward to your post about this topic!

  2. Pingback: The Light at the End of the Tunnel | prisoner in my own body

  3. Thank you so much for writing this. I felt like I was reading my own thoughts during/after my 1st HG pregnancy. I am currently 14 weeks into my 2nd. It really is walking through the valley. I remember turning to Job as well because I felt I could relate to him. Thank you for your honesty, openness, and showing me that I’m not alone.

    • Hi Erin,
      Thank you so much for your kind comments. I am so sorry to hear that you are suffering from HG again! It is such a dark period to go through but yes, you are not alone! God loves you and your precious baby. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

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