It’s been a year of keeping God’s cadence.
It was early January when I found out I was pregnant. Early into a new year full of promise and now, a new life growing within me. I was full of hope, keeping cadence with my great God.
The hope of keeping cadence radiated within me. Cadence was the word God had whispered over me as the year began. It felt like such a sweet invitation, God was whispering that he wanted me to keep close to him. A promise that I belonged with him. Just as I had known cadence was the word for my new year I knew that Cadence was the name of this new life.
About a week later I opened my pregnancy app, eager to learn more about the stages of life growing within me. I discovered my baby’s heart would start beating within a few days. Very soon Cadence would be keeping heartbeat cadence within me. It was magical to think about it.
The next afternoon, as I sat in the quiet, an unfamiliar rhythmic sound caught my ear. I walked around the room, trying to find the source of the soft ticking. I couldn’t believe it! It was my old family clock, passed down to me from my mom, that had started ticking. Unbelievable! No one had heard the ticking cadence of that old clock in at least three generations, and now, here it was ticking, likely on the very day my baby’s heart started. It felt like too much of a promise and my heart soared on the wings of hope. I excitedly called my grandmother to let her know that the old clock was ticking again. My interest peaked, I quickly jotted down the history of the clock as told by my grandmother over the phone.
A week later, on my birthday, the old clock stopped ticking. I didn’t have the key to wind it. I brushed off the concern about the connection the clock had with Cadence, it was such a ridiculous idea anyway, to think my baby’s heart had started and stopped with that old clock. Can you just imagine anything more ridiculous!?!
I squeezed my eyes tight to hide from the foreshadowed reality and put my hope in facts, doctors, and my previous 4 healthy pregnancies.
Sometimes keeping God’s cadence is hard.
Just days after Valentine’s Day, a tense hush fell over the ultrasound room as my husband and I realized the tech had stopped laughing at our jokes. Our smiles faded as the palpable tension rose.
“Could you be wrong about the date of your pregnancy?” the tech asked.
I held my breath and shook my head, squeezing my eyes tight agains the tears that threatened. I knew my dates were accurate. Still, I tried to cling to hope. Maybe it was nothing. Maybe somehow I had miscalculated…
I couldn’t stop thinking about the cadence of that clock, rhythmic, like a tiny heartbeat. As sure as the cadence of that old clock I knew there had been a tiny heart beating inside the life within me just a few weeks before. It echoed in every tick of that clock, like a promise. I know I heard it.
Why? Why had that old clock and that tiny heart stopped? What was the purpose of any of this? What magic makes a clock suddenly start ticking? What power makes a tiny heart start beating? What is the point of the hope and promise of a life that I’ll never get to hold in my arms?
My spirit cried out within me, “God, where are you?”
Two weeks later the news of my impending miscarriage was confirmed. It was March and just as the new life of spring began to bloom outside my window the evidence of a life within me was fading away. The truth of it was just as gut wrenching emotionally as it was physically.
I was broken in every way. Physically. Emotionally. Spiritually. Broken.
Friends, I’m still broken. I know, it’s December now and maybe I should be over it, but I’m just not. I’m not in the same place I was last year this time. I haven’t recovered. Not physically. Not emotionally. Not Spiritually.
BUT, there is hope in God’s cadence.
Even as I have sat here, recounting this story for you, I have heard God answer me. Over and over. Throughout the year I have heard Him in the cadence we’ve been keeping, answering the question I asked that February day in the doctor’s office.
“I AM HERE.”
And I’m realizing now, for the first time, that I’m not broken, not really. I am like that silly old clock. I have become unwound. Completely unwound. I don’t have the key to wind myself back up so that I can keep ticking away. But I know who does. I know God holds that key. And I know He’s at work, winding slowly so as not to break any of the fragile parts. I know that, better than any old clock, God’s timing is perfect.
And suddenly I realize this year of cadence… It was never about me keeping up with God. Rather it was his promise to me to keep perfect cadence for me in the moments that when I couldn’t. You see, somehow despite my brokenness, life still went on. My family still feels loved and cared for. We moved. My husband started a new job. The kids started new schools. Friends came over. Seasons were celebrated. Every time I thought I couldn’t do today I leaned into God and he kept me in step with my life. Through him I have been able to do what was impossible for me to do on my own.
Every time I felt like I couldn’t take the next step, God kept the cadence for me.
Here’s what I’ve learned this year, when you don’t know how to hope anymore depend on what you know. Lean on God’s love and faithfulness by reading Genesis and Psalms. Use your voice to call out to Him. Pray prayers of desperation. Accept the help God sends you. Remember what God has given you by writing down three things you’re thankful for every day. Receive the grace that’s meant for you. Embrace the difference between being broken and being unwound.
The key to renewed hope is in the knowing of who holds the key to wind you back up again.
There is hope. There is a plan. There is a future.
Here’s to 2016!