Red Sea 

The familiar crackle of thin paper sounded beneath me as I shifted my weight on the padded medical table in a third-floor room at Sutter Memorial Hospital. Trev stood at the window pointing at the apartment building across the way.

“It would be cool to get up on the roof over there,” he was trying to take my mind off of everything.

“It would be cool to get out of this room,” I thought.

Three days prior, I had been hit with a rogue cycle. It was only ten days after my last one and a freaky two weeks early.

At the onset, I called my mom and we drew up all possible explanations. It’s a reflex at this point. Almost 3 years of daily pain, frequent doctor visits, and four surgeries have conditioned to be very analytical when unfamiliar symptoms arise. Each time I’ve gone under the knife, I knew something was wrong. Each time I’ve been right.

This time we arrived at a rough theory.

I was charging through a downtown parking structure when I ended the call, wrapping my mind around the most likely cause in cold, dead detachment. Early miscarriage. At the time, it added up—too well. The abnormality, the pain, the blood, the timing.

Having Trev as my husband is amazing. Trying for a kid is awesome. But my health raises the stakes, makes the process feel like a race against the clock. It’s got me toeing the line between trust and practicality. It’s a tricky balance. And the thought of maybe conceiving and maybe losing… My footsteps boomed off the concrete walls as I sneered at God for the possibility.

What a sick joke. Is this fun for You?

It was a real thought. A bullet fired toward heaven in the wake of serious fear.

The wounded and trigger-happy version of me is a nasty one—I’m almost ashamed to share that. But I’ve said it before: this blog isn’t a curated collection of pretty. It’s a real-life record of what happens when Love meets dirt.

And if God’s persistence through my wishy-washy faith speaks to even one heart, you bet I’m broadcasting.

By noon that day, I had slumped fully into surrender. Surrender to all the bad stuff: negativity, defeatism, apathy. It’s an easy thing to do when you’re three-years tired, but it’s a trap and the devil’s favorite tool. It keeps your eyes shut to anything good God has done, anything crazy He’s pulled you through, and all promises He’s made good on.

It’s right where the bad guy wants you. And he’ll fight to keep you there.

 

The next day, I reached out to my friend, Ashley. A fellow member of the chronic disease club, she and I have shared many evenings and whole fruit popsicles commiserating and propping each other up.

I texted her a novel and she responded with a boatload of encouragement, including this verse:

Moses (to the people): 13 “Don’t be afraid! Stand your ground and witness how the Eternal will rescue you today. Take a good look at the Egyptians, for after today you will never see them again. 14 The Eternal will fight on your behalf while you watch in silence.” Exodus 14:13-14 (TheVoice)

Here’s another translation:

13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:13-14 (NIV) 

Her encouragement gave me a swift kick and had me jotting down notes at work about joy and gratitude and asking God for His help because I needed it badly. 

Five minutes later, my symptoms worsened by double. Like I had never experienced before.

Ironic, right?

So it goes.

I ended up on the couch in less than an hour–home early from work and dialing every OBGYN in the greater Sacramento area. I had two options: get to the ER or find a doctor who could squeeze me in (as a brand new patient) the next morning. 

 

Trev turned his attention from the window when a knock and a muffled “hello” signaled the doctor’s arrival. I shifted again and the paper crunched as Dr. Graham stepped into the small, bland space.

“Pleased to meet you, Hannah,” he smiled and turned to shake Trev’s hand too. “I’m glad you’re here.”

He rolled through some preliminary questions before I gave him the rundown: the endometriosis, the surgeries, our desire to have kids, and my current irregular symptoms. He asked to take a look at the fertility tests we had previously gone over with my surgeon. He confirmed that they didn’t look so good.

“Unfortunately it is sort of a race against time, but there are things we can do. We just need to make sure we can do them.”

He was frank and to the point which I grew to appreciate in the 15 minutes we had with him. He told me I had nothing to worry about in the moment. He didn’t think I was pregnant or having a miscarriage. The irregularity wasn’t too concerning with my history in mind.

And he had a plan:

  1. Retake the fertility test in case my levels have improved
  2. Take an HSG test.

There’s a chance the medley of endometriosis, four surgeries, and rampant adhesions may have done damage to my fallopian tube–even scarred it shut. The HSG test is a time-efficient sure-fire way to find out.

A scar-blocked fallopian tube means natural conception is off the table for good.

An open fallopian is all systems go. (And it reads like freakin poetry.) 

Our plan in place, Dr. Graham shook my hand before heading for the door.

“You have been through a lot,” he said. It hit home the way only true empathy can. “We’re going to get this figured out.”

Like lightning. Another nudge from Jesus. In the form of a good doctor.

 
That verse Ashley sent me–I’d heard it before, but in piecing this all together, I finally read it in context.

Moses’ words were in response to a people wrecked with panic – the Egyptians were closing in and the Israelites had met a dead-end. Their biggest fear was hot on their heels and an entire ocean lay ahead. 

They had their backs against the Red Sea. 

And God was about to part it.
 

You need only to be still. 

22 thoughts on “Red Sea 

  1. You are so strong! I love your raw authenticity. It truly shows your trust in a loving God that you can be you — because you know He loves you in your weakest moments, you have the freedom to be and say what’s in your heart or mind or emotions or whatever you want to call it. Keep processing through this blog because it’s fantastic and I can’t wait to see how God sustains you through this journey. YOU ARE LOVED! Praying for you and yours!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for sharing the pretty and not so pretty when it comes to wrestling with God at times. Your writing is captivating and a blessing to read !

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  3. There’s nothing like raw honesty! The cool thing is God can handle it! Yes, he still parts the Red Sea and asks us to be still. Being still is hard. I love reading your posts Hannah. All in God’s timing, you and Trev can simply rest. Blessing and Favor,
    Rebecca

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  4. I so feel your struggle and heartache. My husband and I struggled with infertility for 9 years and it wasn’t until a random surgery that the doctors discovered I had endometriosis. 5 surgeries after and countless painkillers, scar tissue build up and seeing every doctor imaginable we started to lose hope in ever having a baby. But when God places that desire to be parents in your heart….HE will ANSWER! I ended up with no option but to have a full hysterectomy at 30 years old because life was unbearable living with endometriosis. I thought that was it but God called us to be foster parents and 6 months after my last surgery I’m a mommy to a little 3 month old baby girl. I don’t know what Gods plan is for you two but His will and plan for your life is perfectly designed just for you and your hubby – even if it’s not the way you expected it…God is GOOD! Praying for you! Your not alone!

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    1. Wow, Lauren thank you so much for sharing. Really – I can’t thank you enough. I am so sorry for the battle you faced with endometriosis, but so so so thrilled that you’re a mommy now. What a beautiful story ☺ I’m seriously tearing up over here. I so admire your faith through the dismantling of your plans and the unveiling of God’s amazing ones. You’re a great example to me and I’m really thankful you reached out with this. I know if that’s God’s plan for our family it’s going to be incredible – it’s the inbetween / the not knowing yet that I’m squirmy in and terrible at. Haha I’m working on it.

      But really thank you x a million. I really needed to hear this. God bless you and have an amazing day with your sweet baby girl! ❤

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  5. Keep putting your trust in Jesus and I will pray for success in your desire to be parents. Praying that God grants you peace. Keep posting as honesty can touch lives for the kingdom.

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  6. Hey Hannah, Just wanted to let you know I’m still keeping up with you via this blog. First, congratulations on your marriage- so awesome! Secondly, I feel ya just a little when you write about that “crunchy paper” underneath you. That paper under and over me has made me feel less than human too many times. But God is there, too. Just want you to know I’m praying and rooting for both of you. If you ever have questions about our journey, you are welcome to ask. Love you!

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    1. Hi Lydia – this warms my heart so much! Thank you for your continued support & prayers. I will absolutely be reaching out after my next test. One way or another I know I’ll have something to ask 😊 love you!

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