Imagine going into the checkup that should be the highlight of your pregnancy, the 20-week ultrasound, to find out what gender your baby will be.
Excitement fills the room as you wait for the announcement.
But the doctor’s words are not anything like what you were expecting.
“So this is your baby’s heart (pointing to the ultrasound screen). I don’t hear a heartbeat or see any movement.”
Well, this is exactly what happened to Joy-Anna and Austin Forsyth from TLC’s Counting On.
But the strength and grace that God has given them to deal with this heart-wrenching situation is truly an inspiration for anyone seeking healing from heartbreak.
Joy-Anna Duggar Forsyth is used to being in the spotlight. Her family has been on reality TV for years, first on TLC’s ‘19 Kids and Counting’ and now on the same network’s ‘Counting On’.
But last month, she and her husband Austin were under focus for something neither of them were expecting.
You see, Joy-Anna was pregnant with their second child and both parents went in for their 20-week ultrasound appointment, hoping to find out the gender of the sweet baby they would soon be adding to their growing family.
For any of you who have had the privilege of going to one of these appointments, you know how exciting they are. Many times, this appointment is the decision maker for what couples are going to name their babies.
However, this is also a crucial appointment regarding the health of your baby.
This is when the doctor gets to see how the organs are growing and working and if your baby has any major conditions that will require medical attention.
Many times, couples walk out of this appointment elated and excited about what the next chapter of their lives has in store.
This is not what happened for the Forsyth couple.
Instead of excitement, the doctor had to deliver devastation. He told the couple what so many parents before them have dreaded to hear.
He told them that their baby girl had no heartbeat. She was gone and the Forsyths now had to deal with the gaping hole she would leave in their lives.
But, miraculously, God did something for them that many would not have expected: He gave them peace.
On Instagram, the couple wrote, “Although we don’t understand why, God has given us unexplainable peace and comfort during this very difficult time. Yes, it still hurts and we have cried countless tears, but we know that we can trust the Lord. In the words of King David after the loss of his baby, ‘I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me’ (2 Sam 12:23). We don’t grieve as those who have no hope because we trust that we will see this little one again.”
God has given this couple such strength in the face of this tragedy. They trust completely in Him and that trust, the trust that comes with knowing God has a plan to benefit everyone who believes in Him, gives those that trust in God such an incredible peace.
Whatever happens is not in any of our hands, but in His.
Joy-Anna and Austin went on to write, “We named her Annabell Elise. Annabell means “God has favored me”, and Elise means “God satisfies”. What a precious thing to know that when our daughter opened her eyes, the first thing she saw was the face of Jesus.”
What a precious thought indeed. To hurt and ache for someone you will never get to hold again in this lifetime, but to still rejoice in the knowledge that they have eternal peace with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
And the last thing the couple wrote? Words to the Fanny Crosby hymn, “All the Way my Savior Leads Me.”
“All the way my Savior leads me; What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy, Who through life has been my Guide?
Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort, Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate’er befall me, Jesus doeth all things well,
For I know, whate’er befall me, Jesus doeth all things well.”
What a beautiful picture of trust in our Heavenly Father. They trust in Him because He is always True. He has always led them to where they needed to be and He will not falter now, no matter what they are going through.
Never forget to pray for those going through the unimaginable heartbreak of losing a child or having to watch their child go through pain. It is a pain like none other, but God is always there with us and He knows what He is doing.
We must trust Him to take our lives and use them for His good will. We must let this give us peace and comfort, for if we did not have Him, grief would surely destroy us.
And keep the Forsyth and Duggar families in your prayers that they continue to find strength, healing, and peace through the immovable Rock that is our God.