Pregnancy losses and infertility felt like an eternity of unfulfilled promises for Tracy Parrish. Silence from the One who matters most. Even rainbows carried a hazy hope of life after loss. Just when Tracy was about to give up on having children, God gifted her with a son. And then a daughter.
Lately, I’ve been collecting pictures of rainbows.
I’ve taken pictures of actual rainbows I’ve seen. I’ve taken pictures of pictures of rainbows. And I even snapped photos of the word “rainbow” when I see it.
They mean that much to me.
There was a season in my life when I was lost in wide-open emptiness—forgotten by the One who matters most. Or so I thought. I had these unfulfilled promises gathered in my heart, my soul, and within my journals.
I’d continued to see rainbows but they had started to hurt instead of bringing hope.
(My love of rainbows stems back to a brief but memorable day when both me and my future husband saw the same double rainbow at the same time but were not together. Later, we both excitedly told each other about it when we saw each other. We didn’t date or marry for many years but that day and moment was one of THOSE moments, if you know what I mean).
Years later, after suffering pregnancy losses and infertility for what seemed like an eternity, rainbows had a very special significance. A rainbow baby is one born after a miscarriage: A promise of life after loss.
But the months and years dragged on—unfulfilled promises. Silence. Except for the rainbows. They started to feel like salt on a wound.
And then, when I really thought all hope was lost, we were gifted with our hard-won miracle. My son, Judah, was born 4-1/2 years ago, after two pregnancy losses and nearly a year of fertility treatment. He was the miracle I’d almost given up on.
My third pregnancy loss came when we started trying naturally (no fertility treatments this time) for another child. I found out I was pregnant on the same day of a miraculous recovery of an old acquaintance. She was essentially brain dead after a cardiac arrest days earlier. Her entire family was believing for a miracle. The day I took that pregnancy test, she woke up and started talking to her family. It was an amazing day!
Sadly our miracle was not meant for this world.
We saw our baby on ultrasound. Saw his heart beating. But weeks later I lost him. Genetic testing showed he wouldn’t have survived even if I’d carried him to term. And because of how abnormal it was there was even a risk of me contracting cancer from the pregnancy. Another devastating loss.
We returned to our last remaining embryo from when we did in vitro years before. It didn’t take. Blow after blow.
But somewhere deep inside this seed of hope had taken root. I knew another child was going to be ours. And on Father’s Day 2017, we found out about our next rainbow. Wren is now 18-months old.
Part of a Bigger Story
Right now, I am savoring Jason's book "The Whole Thing: The Story of the Bible Through Six Images" and in doing so I am reliving so much of that journey. The parallels to my own life strike me: the silence after so much promise. The long wait. The pain of feeling forgotten and feeling like you’re losing faith.
It’s not a story unique only to me—it goes back thousands of years to the most important story there is. What an honor that my life gets to mirror in some small way what God was doing in and for humanity all along.
"I think most people doubt their faith...Doubt is not dangerous. It's simply part of the range of human emotion."—Jason English, "The Whole Thing: The Story of the Bible Through Six Images"
I didn’t have the vision or insight to see it back then. Reading this now is so poignant, so relevant and so precious to me. And that is at least partly why I collect rainbows—wherever I find them.
Telling our stories is one of the most powerful ways we can illustrate how God is real and active in our lives. Sharing them can lead to real and meaningful connections with one another. At theHeart, we want to be known for the stories we share with one another. By doing so, we can grow closer as a church family. And we can inspire each other to confidently live a life that is uniquely focused on demonstrating Christ's Love. Do you love telling stories through written word, video, photography, or artwork?
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