Dealing with Hurt and Unanswered Prayer - Part One - My Personal Pain

It was January, 2003, a deep, cold winter. All was still. My wife was pregnant with twins and was going to the doctor for a checkup. I received a call at work telling me to meet my wife at the hospital. That was all the information I received. My mind figured that one of our babies had died. I walked out to the car and started to cry as I put my key in the ignition. I asked God, "Why? Why does this have to happen?" That was the first of many times that I repeated that question in the following days.

All I remember from the hospital that night is the ultrasound. That was the saddest moment of my life. All of the dreams we had of the future came crashing down. The death of a baby that isn't born isn't just a death of a life that hasn't taken its first breath of air; it's the death of every dream you have of the future. Each dream had to be thrown away and rebuilt. I was still clinging to hope at this point.

I sat in the corner of the semi-lit room. The floor was cold. The metal on my chair was cold. Everything seemed cold. Lindsay laid on her back. The ultrasound was out of her view, so she looked at me for confirmation that they might still be alive. At times I would just weep, more inside than out because I felt that I had to be strong. For about an hour the ultrasound technician took photos of the babies. She measured their heads, their hearts, everything. I kept praying in my dark, cold corner that God would heal them. I wanted to see them start moving. I wanted to see the heartbeats on the monitor. I wanted them to live so badly. I told God, "I will tell the whole world of this miracle if you would just give life back to them." They didn't move. Lindsay and I left that room broken and filled with more sadness than either of us have ever encountered in our lives.

The hospital gave my wife a prescription for sleep medicine and we headed home. I'm sure we held each other in bed and wept. The sleeping pill didn't work on Lindsay. I can't imagine what it is like to lay there in bed knowing that two lifeless babies rest inside of you, two babies you had dreams for and already loved. At some point during the night I awoke and joined Lindsay who couldn't sleep. We decided, out of desperation, to go get some oil and anoint Lindsay with it. We wanted a healing so desperately. We read Scriptures of healing and Jesus bringing back the dead. We prayed. It gave us hope that when we would go to the hospital the next day, the babies would be alive. They weren’t.

It’s stories like this that can define our prayer life if we let them. We all have our tragic stories of disappointment and unanswered prayer. Some probably more heartbreaking than mine. These are all part of life.