Have you ever studied, or at least been told, the stages of grief?
1. Denial - shock, numbness
2. Anger - coupled with pain, and directed everywhere
3. Bargaining - What if, If only, sometimes with tinges of guilt
4. Depression - Emptiness, sorrow, the loss settling into your soul
5. Acceptance - this is the new normal
Sometimes I go through the stages in a hurry, like when we lost house #1, with it's oasis back yard. It was less than 24 hours, but I went through it all.
"No way! God wants us to have this house!"
"I can't believe God let us spend $425 on a house He had no intention of giving us!"
"It can still work out. We just have to have more faith, be willing to invest more, and then we'll get the house."
"It's over. I'm sad. I don't want another house. I'll just rent. Forever."
"Wow. It's really over. Someone else will sit in my oasis."
But when my baby girl told me she was pregnant, the grief stages were much, much longer. Days. Weeks. People are telling me now they are "impressed" with how I am handling this, but you have to know, she was only 5 weeks pregnant when she told me. She was 20 weeks when we told anyone. I had 15 weeks of the grief process, and I didn't talk about it much.
I denied it. Maybe it was a mistake. Maybe she just has the flu.
I got angry. At my daughter for having sex. At the young man who fathered this child. At myself for only teaching her abstinance and nothing about birth control. At Dr. Ezzo and the church for teaching us "how to tell your children about sex" without ever telling them about sex. At God for not preventing the pregnancy.
I bargained. I begged God to fix the situation. Not to cause a miscarriage, but to save the baby daddy so they could get married.
And then I cried. And cried. And cried. Work was difficult that week, because anyone asking, "How are you?" and wanting anything more than, "Fine," made me cry. I ate. I didn't eat. I exercised. I stopped exercising. Nothing made the pain deep inside me go away. Disappointment, fear, doubt, and sadness ruled me.
And then one day, the cloud lifted. I watched the ultrasound, and that was a real baby in there. He waved and opened his mouth and kicked his little legs. And suddenly, it's a baby. There is a little guy in there who needs a family and love and education. He needs hugs and playing and walks in the park. He needs a grandma. He needs me.
I forgave my daughter, the baby daddy, myself. I realized that God was in all of it, and He made this little life. This little guy has a hope, a future. And for a little while, I get to be a part of raising him. He won't be raised perfectly, any more than I was, any more than my kids were. But God will be in it all.
We're having a baby!