as a noun:
1. supreme excellence or an example of it
2. supreme power especially over a body politic; freedom from external control; controlling influence
3. one that is sovereign (one possessing sovereignty); one that exercises supreme authority
as an adjective:
1. excellent 2. of the most exalted kind 3. having undisputed ascendancy
God is Sovereign.
Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to go on the heights.
I have to remind myself of this often – especially during the times of life that I just don’t understand. The commentary from christnotes.com explains that these verses come from a time when the prophet looked back upon the history of the church, what God had done, and was filled with holy joy. “He resolved to delight and triumph in the Lord; for when all is gone, his God is not gone.” He goes on to say that, “Joy in the Lord is especially seasonable when we meet with losses and crosses in the world,” and we can be comforted by the Spirit through grace.
It’s a significant passage to me. Combine it with Jer. 29:11-13 and Ps. 139: 13-16.
See, the story I’m about to share with you doesn’t have a happy ending. It leaves me scratching my head and wondering, “why?” But, I can rest with full confidence that my God is a Sovereign God. He knows me and has known me since I was in my mother’s womb. His plans for me are for my own good. I know He’s drawn me close to my husband, children, and most importantly, Him, in the last 11 days.
See, a little over 5 years ago, I have birth to a bouncing baby boy. Around month 4 of pregnancy, before we even knew we were having a little boy, a complement to our little girl, we knew and had a peace that this would be our final addition to the family. After I had a chance to greet my little boy, nurse, and check to see he was healthy, I was wheeled in for a tubal ligation. Cut, sew, cauterize. Done.
Sitting at Kobeya Hibachi in Southlake 12 days ago with delightful church planter’s wives, I found myself beside a woman who is in her 7th month of pregnancy. She asked if we would have any other children, and I gave my whole logical spill about why two were perfect for us and how my tubes had been tied shortly after the birth of our son. In the back of my mind I knew I was probably a little late, but it had been a very stressful, busy week as we finished the final touches of moving into the new church building.
The chef brought out the raw meat to be cooked and the moment I saw the chicken and smelled the chicken, my stomach did that wave, and I knew. It wasn’t stress. I put it to the back of my mind, but 1 (sore boobage) + 1 (excessive tiredness) + 1 (when did I have a period last?) + 1 (nausea off and on for a few days) = 4 (pregnant). It was fairly easy to dismiss, after all, the other factor in this mathematical, logical equation was + 1 (tubal ligation) = 5, not 4!
Sunday morning, I woke and my stomach just rolled. I had one test up in the bathroom cabinet from a “scare” back in September/October. I did the thing you do, and, to my astonishment/panic saw the wetness glide across the window and with the wetness glistened a line. It was one of those tests that didn’t make a +, so I took it to Jeremy (who was studying for his message that day – not the best timing on my part – but I was in shock). As I presented him with the box and the test, “Am I reading this right?”
Then, I went into, “There’s a logical explanation for this, right?” “I mean, how? I mean, I know how, but HOW?” The sweet man just hugged me and reassured me that it was all going to be okay, and we went on with our day. I know our first Sunday at the new building was amazing for StoneWater, but I don’t remember much more than that line from 6:15 in the morning.
I mean, one could have come up negative! All I could think was: post partum depression again, midnight feedings, where do we put him/her, I can’t possibly add one more thing to my life – so what’s going to go?, can I do this again? God, what is this? I don’t wanna. Please, no.
Monday at precisely 8:01am, I phoned the drs. office. “Um, I have my tubes tied but I’ve had 4 positive pregnancy tests.” The reply, “since when?” “Since yesterday morning. I just keep taking them. What do I do?” The answer was a 1:55 appointment.
“Tubals fail 1% of the time. You’re one in 100! We just need to figure out how far along you are.” I had to ask, “so the test was positive?” All we could do was giggle. I mean, this wasn’t our plan, so it had to be God’s. What are you going to do? Laugh and love. Now it was just time to figure out where this little peanut was in there.
Meanwhile, I’m given the instructions, “if you feel any pain in your pelvis, call us immediately and go to the ER. An ectopic pregnancy can rupture.” (of course, I’ve been all over the internet and already know all of this) Can I tell you how many odd pangs I had in my pelvis?!
Tuesday morning, after a good 12 hours of sleep – because after you know the facts, why try to push yourself through the tiredness, I drag myself out of bed. After showering, I look myself in the mirror and repeat, out loud I think, “You’re pregnant. You’re having a baby,” because I had to convince myself this was happening. This is also the day I shared with some of my friends the need for prayer – for shock, for excitement, for health.
Wednesday, again, good sleep, drag out of bed – “You are pregnant” in the mirror. Repeat blood work (oh, how I love needles).
Thursday, drag out of bed, repeat my mantra (which has become a multiple-times-a-day thing). At some point I realized I was beginning to bleed. It was a strange rush of emotions, almost as powerful as seeing the positive test (all 4 times I might add). There was relief. There was sadness. There was guilt. I phoned the doctor, again inarticulate with my words, but they got the idea. A few hours later, comparing the hcg levels from Monday to Wednesday, a miscarriage was confirmed.
I know my God is Sovereign. He has a plan and this is part of it. I don’t understand it. Why bring me to pregnancy (with my TUBES TIED) to take the baby? I know there are a hundred answers to that question, and I don’t really want or need an answer. I know it wasn’t anything I did, but the guilt has still been there. The loss is still there, even after a few short days of knowing.
The plan, for those of you who might be wondering, is for the other half (that would be the Mr.) to take his turn at a try of sterilization. Obviously, I have wonder tubes (or floozies, as I’ve called them) who have a mind of their own.
God is Almighty, and He is Sovereign. He is in control.