A Story of Hope

I received this letter yesterday morning and re-read it twice with tears running down my face. It is a profound story of hope. And perhaps I love it all the more because it is so full of honesty, raw emotion, and at times, it voices such unbearable doubt. But that is where true hope is born, isn't it? In the stifling clouds of suffering and doubt.

Thank you to Michael and Lynn Erwin of Round Rock, Texas for your vulnerability and for allowing me to share your story with others. I pray that it would comfort many.

September 3, 2008

"I wanted to share this story with you as encouragement for your ministry, and to share with you how God has used your music to confirm his speaking into our lives at a very important moment.

Yesterday was one of the most difficult, but ultimately one of the most amazing days. My wife and I have been together for 13 years. We have two amazing children and we are pregnant with our third. Our story is one of redemption and restoration. The Lord has rescued us from too many poor decisions and life choices to share in this letter, if it were appropriate to do so. Part of our story is the loss of 4 children to miscarriages. These have been particularly devastating to my wife, who still bears the scars on her heart from the pain she has endured through this loss.

On Monday night, Lynn (that’s my wife) began to bleed. Unfortunate experience has taught us that this meant she was about to miscarry for a fifth time. As she came out of the bathroom, she immediately lost it to the point she could not speak. I figured out what was going on almost instantly. I began to pray over her quietly, and I confess I even began to settle into the familiar place of knowing there was nothing I could say to comfort her, or diminish the pain. She said it wasn’t fair. She said she couldn’t go through this again. I said nothing. There was nothing to say. The next morning we awoke, got our oldest daughter off to school and headed to the doctor’s office. I continued to pray silently that if He so chose, God could prevent this from happening. I prayed that he would spare us this. I don’t blame Him for any of our losses. Sometimes we do simply get caught by life. I know he uses all things. But I also know he is not a father that brings disaster and loss without great purpose. So, that day I decided to work it out quietly, just Him and I talking.

After Lynn saw her doctor, we left with no comfort that we had been wrong. We were sent for an ultrasound as a final check, and to ensure there was nothing that could cause additional complications. The ultrasound was scheduled for one hour later. One hour is short enough to know all you can do is wait, but plenty long enough to become emotionally exhausted. We drove home so we could leave our youngest with my mother so I could be in the room with Lynn. On the drive home the Lord was really pressing in on me. He told me to stay hopeful and to not walk in defeat in this. I could not understand what he was telling me. We have been through this enough to know what comes next. I was conflicted over what I feared would be next and what He seemed to be telling me to do. He told me to tell Lynn to be hopeful too. This scared me so bad because the emotional consequences for being wrong about this for Lynn were very significant.

I spent several minutes of that drive silently arguing with him and debating with myself. Finally, I spoke aloud what God was saying and told Lynn that I seriously feared being wrong for doing so. I told her that until the doctor confirmed absolutely that there was no heartbeat on the ultrasound, we should not walk in defeat but be hopeful and stand in faith. These came out as empty words because I did not feel ready or able to walk them out. There was a long moment of silence. Lynn looked down at her feet and said nothing. I think she was trying very hard to believe me and to trust God.

Right then, your song Hope Now started playing on the radio. It was without question God’s timing. The volume seemed to increase as the chorus began. We looked at each other listening to the words and completely lost it while we drove.

Your words captured perfectly what we felt. Everything rides on hope now. Everything rides on faith somehow. I know in the depths of my heart that the Lord used this to confirm what he was speaking to us. I know wholeheartedly that he was calling us to have this courage in Him. At that moment, I felt a huge lift in my spirit. I believe in that moment he gave me a gift of faith to stand in wholehearted belief that things were going to work out just fine. My sadness was replaced with a very strange anxiousness to see His work unfold before us. It was a deep hope, and it was unconditional, undivided and completely without fear.

We made it back to the hospital and went up to the waiting room. While there for a short time, Lynn looked down and saw an article heading that read “Miscarriages: Reasons not to lose hope.” This was a second confirmation. We entered the ultrasound room and waited patiently for the tech to prep Lynn. While this took place, the thought hit me: “What if they don’t find a heartbeat? What then?” I pondered this for a short moment and immediately the Lord stirred up that faith again and I found myself ready to tell the tech to keep looking until she found it. Somehow I knew in that kind of way that people simply can’t “know” that our baby was fine, that the heartbeat was there, and that in 10 months we would see her (I even know it’s a “her.”)

Lynn is 6 weeks pregnant. Finding a heartbeat can be a little tricky and most of the time they would have to do the ultrasound internally to find it. As the tech passed the wand across Lynn’s stomach, she located the yoke sac and INSTANTLY we saw the tiny flash of valves opening and closing. I laughed out loud and Lynn began to cry. He is so good and so faithful..."

Blessings in Christ,
Mike, Lynn, Taylan, Mackenzie and (coming soon,) Hope Erwin