Samuel’s story

“The harder the battle the sweeter the victory.”


Little did I know when I chose that quote as my senior quote (oh so many moons ago) how spot on  it would be regarding my life.

My first real faith test: infertility.  The questions for God:

Am I not praying right?

What have I done wrong?

What have I done to deserve this?”

The lies I believed:

I must be broken.

My body doesn’t work right.

Daily I beseeched God with Hannah’s prayer.


Word for word I journaled my prayers believing if I prayed exactly as she had, God would grant my request for a child as He had so graciously granted hers.

Four l-o-n-g years of begging God for a baby when AT LAST we were expecting.

If there were a cloud above cloud nine, that is where you would have found me.

God had heard and answered our prayers! We were overjoyed! ELATED!

It was a blissful seventeen weeks until the morning I was awakened by a strange unnerving pressure.

Moments later, after chatting with the nurse she calmly suggested that we see the doctor.  Without hesitation, we loaded the car, anxious but hopeful.

Forty-five minutes or so into our drive I broke the silence with, “this isn’t going to end well.”

It didn’t.

The doctor began his exam, attempting to assure us with his soothing tones, “Take a few deep breaths.  Try and relax.”

My husband and momma were at my side when I began to exhale and my water broke.

No words were spoken.

None were necessary.

All our hopes and dreams for the child we had implored God for drowned in the shock and disbelief that surrounded us.

Immediately, I was rushed to a room at the end of the labor and delivery hall.

I distinctly remember the darkness of the hallway, the coolness of the air, the smallness of the room; but mostly the eerie calm.

I saw the tears of our loved ones, the sad eyes of those tending to me. But more than any of that, I remember the peace that engulfed me.

The peace that prepared me for my doctor’s words, “I’m so sorry.  There is no fluid around your baby.  He’s just too small.  You’re bittersweet prayer needs to be that his heart will stop beating so we can induce.”

…..”heart to stop beating..”

His words pierced me.

Wait? You don’t understand! We’ve waited so long…we’ve prayed and begged and pleaded with God…this can’t be true? Please don’t let this be true.

I knew my doctor was speaking.  I noticed his sympathetic, side-tilt as he continued but all I could hear,

…..pray for his heart to stop beating.  Your baby is too small.”

My heart contested, please wait. Please. Are you sure?

My aching soul whispered the words I had claimed as my own through our years of infertility,

“Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me.” Psalm 50:15 (NASB)

In moments of anguish and crossroads of grave uncertainty I have found it most helpful to focus on what I know.

God is faithful.

God is love.

He will not leave or forsake us.

In that moment as the doctor asked me to pray I didn’t know if that was right or wrong or mean or unfair.  I didn’t know if I should be mad or sad, so I began to weep and pray:

“Father you tell us in your word to not worry about anything but instead to pray about everything and with thanksgiving make our requests known to You.  Lord, I’m doing that as humbly as I know how.  This hurts SO badly!  Help me Lord.  Help me to know what is right, help me to know what you want.  I need You Lord.  I don’t know what to do but I know You are good.  Amen.”

Within a few short hours of praying that prayer our baby’s heart ceased.

Our tiny baby boy, Samuel, was born late that July day.  Perfect and still.

In the moment of his passing, God granted me the peace that surpasses all understanding.  Truly.  I am forever grateful.

In Samuel’s death, God birthed a new passion in me: to share Christ with the hurting.  To share His faithfulness, His peace, and His love with those who have suffered.  Encouraging those who have been afflicted to journal their unprocessed emotions to a Holy God.  He is able.

It’s true, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted…”

I wasn’t and am still not sure of what greater things God has in store following our loss, but I know I trust Him enough to go with Him wherever He leads.

“Use me Lord.  Let not the pain have been in vain.  I am yours.”

On days I feel defeated, depleted, distracted, I can look back and remember His faithfulness.

He is good, friends.  He is able and He is ready for you:

  • Call upon Him
  • Pray about everything
  • Trust Him
  • And give Him glory

How do you work through heart wrenching disappointments?  Do you journal?  Has your affliction made you fruitful?  Bitter or better?



About the Author

IMG_5242Karmen Smith

As a wife, mother, teacher, blogger, and speaker she is passionate about encouraging, exhorting, and exciting others with REAL stories about REAL life. Her heartbeat is to challenge others, particularly women, to look for the activity of God amidst life’s struggles. Her hope is to dare them to establish holy habits, get to know God through His word, encouraging them to journal their prayers and in doing so find Him faithful. Empowering them to live “BOLD!”

Karmen has an MA in Elementary Education. She taught first grade for 12 years before resigning to come home and home-school her and her husband’s two boys. Karmen is an enthusiastic speaker and teacher with a growing platform. She has spoken to a number of women’s groups over the last year and has guest posted on a variety of blogs on topics near and dear to her: infertility, loss and the purpose behind the pain. You can read more about Karmen and her passion for life on her personal blog, Blessings Beyond the Barnyard.

  • a sister in christ

    Thank you for sharing your story of hope in the midst of pain!!