He Gives…and He Takes Away

I’m not sure how to write these words. I don’t really want to, either…the past few days feel like they haven’t been real. But He keeps reminding me that the journey isn’t always an easy one, and some days there is heartache. The kind that physically hurts.

And so I share it because, now, this heartache is part of our story, too.

I’m no stranger to one line.

One single line, the kind on a test designed to show you two. Or a plus sign. Or something more than just one line.

And it’s not a secret that pregnancy has been a struggle for us. Years of trying, failing, and loss finally gave us the most precious gift in the world. A daughter. My sweet, heart-forever girl, Mae.

And we wanted more. We knew it would be hard, and it was.

So on that morning a few weeks ago, the one when the all-too-familiar, one-line was actually a plus sign, the tears of joy dripped.

Mae was going to be a big sister.

We were cautious. We knew the risks. I told a small handful of people because, well because I honestly am a horrible secret-keeper. But there’s also power when there are people praying.

In the waiting, I tried to live life well. In between the headaches and tiredness, life was good. I kept up with running and (mostly) kept up with Mae.

We were excited.

And that’s why I didn’t see Monday night coming at all.

I noticed a couple of spots, but they were light brown and small. And? I felt fine. So I went for my evening run with some friends, came home, and…oh. A few more spots. Still brown.

I said a prayer and went to bed. Everything seemed fine on Tuesday morning. I took it easy, skipped my run, caught up on a few things.

And then I went to the bathroom, and I screamed for Mae to grab my phone. T was home from work in 40 minutes, and we were on our way to the ER with a quick stop to leave Mae with a friend. I barely got through the door before the tears started to fall, and in broken sobs, I told the woman at the desk what was happening.

She got me in to see a doctor, but by then it was too late. We knew. Four hours of pokes and prods and tests only revealed what our hearts already knew.

Our baby was gone.

We held each other and cried. And then we went home and tried to breathe.

And breathing is where we are now.

There are moments when the pain is intense and there’s no way the tears can be stopped.

Other moments, I can laugh. It feels almost wrong…but maybe that’s God’s gift in the form of a four year-old girl who walks the line of silly and sweet. She doesn’t understand, and maybe we need that right now.

Sometimes I feel numb…that this isn’t me. Us. That we’re not walking this road again.

But for whatever reason…one that I may never understand…we are here.

Heartbroken but not without Hope. Devastated but clinging to Him. Trying to take the next step forward without crumbling.

The Lord gave…

He did. And though the tears slip, I still find a little smile when I look at the one pregnant belly picture I took. Really, it looks like I ate too much cake the night before (and I probably did) but that picture is a cherished memory of our sweet one. A sweet, sad smile comes when I remember whispered celebrations and squeals and hugs with a few close friends, even a few hush-hush conversations when no one else was around. I’m thankful I got to celebrate this precious life.

and He also took away.

We will miss this sweet one for the rest of our lives. The ache for Heaven seems so much more intense today than it did a few days ago. I keep wishing we could go back and that there was something we could do to change things, but there isn’t. And so we go on.

And we choose to bless His Name anyway.

We love you, sweet baby S…we couldn’t wait to meet you. And now, instead, our hearts ache for the day when we will hold you. We’ll have a lifetime of cuddles to make up for.

Photo Credit: Lennart Tange



  1. Oh sweet Mel. I am so sorry for your loss, your heartache, your pain. I am so grateful that you can see God in all of it. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. Prayers abound my friend.

  2. I am so heart-broken for you. I will be keeping you in my prayers today. Love you, dream-sister.

  3. Oh Mel! I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. I have walked this path myself and the pain is indescribable. It is no accident that you quoted “Blessed Be Your Name” in the title of this post, because that is the song that seemed to be the soundtrack to those years in our lives. Praising Him in the midst of my agony was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. Know that He is still God, He is still on the throne, and He is still FOR you, even though it may not feel that way right now. If you want to talk, please don’t hesitate to email me. I am praying for you, hard.

  4. I’m praying for you, friend. I understand your pain, and I’m praying peace to flood you. He is faithful… Still.

  5. I suspected, and now I know. I am so sorry for your loss. I pray the peace of God will cover you and T. Many of us will have happy reunions in heaven one day. Don’t give up (I know you won’t!!) Praying.

  6. Sweet Mel,
    Know that I love you desperately, and as much as possible, hurt with you. I know that piercing pain of hope planted and hope lost, and also know that we serve a Healing God. It will get better in time. What a blessing you have in Mae, silly, happy, and in need of her mommy. Let her and your husband provide the hugs you need. Let them love you, let them care for you. Rest. Rest. REST.
    As Julian of Norwich wisely said, and well I know, “All shall be well, all shall be well, and every manner of things shall be well.
    Peace and good to you, T, and Miss Mae in Jesus’ name,
    Selah and Amen

  7. This post made the tears flow as I remember well the feeling. May our God come & wrap His arms around you & your husband at this time of sadness. Praying for you today!

  8. My heart is breaking with you, Mel. Praying for you and Tobin today. May God fill your pain with peace, in his time.

  9. Oh Mel, I am so sorry for your loss. I personally have never been through this heartache but I know way too many who have! Angie Smith comes to mind. She wrote a book about going through her pregnancy with her daughter Audrey knowing from a very early stage in the pregnancy that Audrey would not live much past birth. It might be helpful. Or it might be a little too close to home right now. I will keep you in my prayers and even though I don’t *know* you but I’m going to tell you that I love you and l love your heart nonetheless!

  10. Diana Yoshida says:

    Oh Mel,

    I’m so sorry. I prayed things would be different for you. I know this heart ache. If you need anything, please know I’m right across the street.

  11. Diana Yoshida says:

    Oh Mel,

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I was praying things would be different for you this time. I know your heartache and please know I’m here right across the street if you need anything.

  12. Oh Mel… tears of sorrow for you here. Reaching out and giving you the biggest hug and weeping with you. I am so sorry friend, so very, very sorry.

  13. Lily Tenandar says:

    Hi Mel, very sorry … My heart breaking with you…keep praying and be strong Mell.
    I’ll be praying for you and your family, I love you Mell…
    I miss you and hope to see you in 2 yrs in Indonesia.


  14. Mel, I am so sorry for your loss. I have no words. Just know that I am praying for you, asking God to hold you and your husband and little Mae close. Hugs!

  15. Oh Mel….I’m so sorry….praying for you all. Love you my friend.

  16. I am so sorry for your loss! Praying for you!

  17. Mel, I am so sorry friend. I can’t imagine your loss, and I pray that as you move through this season you feel his loving arms around you. You have such a beautiful spirit and faith. {hugs}

  18. Oh Mel. My heart is breaking for you. I hope and pray you can feel our prayers surrounding you today. Love you so much and wish we lived closer to share a tub of Nutella and hug and cry together.

  19. Oh Friend, my heart aches with and for you. I haven’t experienced this, however, I am experiencing the disappointment that comes monthly while we wait for God to bless us with the child I have longed for my whole life! I wish I could hug you tight & just love on you right now. Sometimes we don’t need words as much we just need the presence & love of friends & family. I don’t really have anything profound to say-just to let you know I’m praying with you & hoping with you, that in God’s mercy He will bless us both with the baby we are longing for. Here with you, in the “wait”. Much Love ?

  20. Sweet friend, I am so sorry for your loss. Praying that you feel God’s comfort wrapping around you. Crying with you. xoxox

  21. I am honored that you would share this soul wrenching journey with us. Your words are beautiful and have touched the deepest parts of my heart. Praying for peace and comfort for all of you. What a glorious testimony you are to Him.

  22. Oh, Mel. I am so sorry. May the Lord enfold you in His love, grace, comfort, and strength. (((HUGS)))

    Deb Weaver

  23. No good words right now of my own. Just ache. I read a quote yesterday that said something like, “Dear God, I longed to hold my child in my arms and tell him about you, but since I cannot, can you hold him in your arms and tell him about me?” And Natalie Grant’s “Held”. Prayers for you all, friend.

    • Those words meant a lot to both me and my husband…thank you for sharing. Blessings, sweet friend…so grateful for you. xo

  24. Mel, the tears are falling as I type. I can’t express how sad I am that you are experiencing this loss. Praying that you will feel God’s loving arms holding you as you grieve.

  25. Karen Rill says:

    Oh Mel, I saw the title and prayed while I clicked on it that I was wrong. I am so very sorry for your loss. I wish I had words of comfort for you. I too am glad that you can find comfort in God’s word during this painful time. I will keep you in my prayers.

  26. Praying for you, my friend! {{{Hugs}}}

  27. I read your words with a heavy heart tonight Mel…they cut close and quick and they’re all too familiar. But I also know the victory beyond our dreams and plans. So tonight I’ll pray you know His promise. He is with you, and shall forever be. May healing and restoration and peace be yours.

  28. Chris Evelo says:

    Yikesss, what a serious buzzkill. Terrible news! Sorry to hear this Mel. This God dude gets two thumbs down for this one!

  29. thank you for your honest heart, I am so sorry to hear about your loss … it brings tears to my eyes – may God grant you an extra measure of grace in the days ahead!!!

  30. Oh, Mel. My sweet sister in heartache and loss. God has every single tear you’ve cried… how precious they are to Him. You are never alone. Hope waits…

  31. Sweet Mel…I sand beside you o y heart, celebrating the small short time and commiserate the return to the Father with you. I love you friend.

  32. Tears are flowing as I read your words today Mel. I pray you feel the comfort of His presences in the days and weeks to come. He is with you surrounding you with His mighty love. May healing and peace be yours.

    I love you and just continue to lift you, T and Mae up in prayers.

  33. Oh I am so sorry Mel. Praying for Him to wrap His arms around you all and uphold you in this deep hurt.

  34. Laura Pratt says:

    Oh sweet friend. I am so sorry. It is a hard loss. I am praying for you and your family. I love you!

  35. Mel, this is so tender, beautiful, sad, and hopeful. I’ve walked this sorrowful path twice myself and then again with my daughter last year. It is so painful. But I love how you acknowledge both the giving and the taking. It’s in that affirmation of His love and wisdom that I know your heart will continue to find all the comfort and peace it needs. You’re in my prayers, friend. Much love.

  36. Mel, I had not read this and i am so sad that you are having to slog through this. your words and courage are achingly honest and beautifully faithful, but i feel devastated for you and have never met you. i want your dreams for you, too. you will be in prayers again and again. I hope that Mae will be a balm to your heart and shower you with so much sweet little girl love right now. Thank you for sharing this heart wrenching piece Mel. so sorry

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