The Kingdom of God Is Like This

Someone recently asked me, “How do I even know if I believe in God? What about God is worthy of believing?” Little did I know that the journey I would take the next few weeks would entail loss, and grief, and confusion. Little did I know that amidst that loss and grief and confusion I would see glimpses of God and God’s Kingdom. Little did I know that I would need those glimpses, not for the person who asked me, but for myself.

I could see the images on the screen clearly, I could see the absence of a fetus, and I saw the lack of a heartbeat when she tried to find it. But she said nothing, I imagine trying to mask the disappointment, the upsetting reality, and the bad news that she had to wait for the doctor to share. Almost robotically, she said, “Okay, you are all done. Go ahead and get dressed. Your doctor will probably give you a call and tell you what to do.” I knew it wasn’t good news, but I also needed her to say it. I walked to my car and as soon as I sat down, the tears came.

I had lost the baby.

It wasn’t until about 24 hours later that I got the call. The nurse called me in between sessions for a seminary intensive. The irony to me is that, as a woman, I have to lose my baby in the same week as I intensely study and discuss and intellectualize spiritual things to get my degree. But that’s another story, for another time.

I wiped the tears and snot from my face as I walked back into that room full of semi-local pastors and church leaders.

Five days later, I was in the ER, getting prepped for a D & C procedure to remove the remaining fetal tissue from my body. I felt like my body had simultaneously betrayed me and done what she was meant to do. On one hand, the fact that my body recognized a pregnancy that wasn’t viable, and began the process of ridding it to take care of me felt incredible. Still, as I sat in literal pools of my own blood, I grieved that I didn’t I know what was going on and I didn’t know how to care for or even be in my own body. I grieved that I had to re-explain, over and over, every time someone new walked into the room.

“So, what’s going on, honey?” they would say.

“Umm.. I’m having a miscarriage. There was so much blood, I thought I needed to come in. I didn’t know what to do,” I would get out between sobs. It felt so wrong to me to be going through this, yet here I was.

A few hours later, I was home. Groggy, exhausted, weary, I went to sleep.

I told you this was going to be a story of the ways in which I’ve seen the Kingdom of God. And I did. I have.

I hated that I would greet this upcoming Mother’s Day, not with the announcement of a pregnancy, but with the grieving of one.

But, over and over that last week, I saw and experienced and got to receive all the goodness of the Kingdom of God.

It’s crazy to me that amidst all the pain and grief and trauma of that week, I got to see that Kingdom, which testified to a God—a God I want to believe in. So, to the friend who asked, “What about God is worthy of believing?” I say that the Kingdom of God is like this:

Meeting a perfect stranger during seminary intensives who listens, receives, feasts and offers a kind of presence like a lifelong friend.

Friends who bring meals and care packages and who allow you to cry and to just be.

A toddler who is perfectly happy and goofy on a day when you need a bit of gentleness. Who touches your shoulder and looks you in the eyes and says, “Mama, it’s gonna be okay.”

Sisters who send you worship songs that have been balms to their soul, who want them to nourish yours, too.

Classmates who ask you about your calling and what it’s like to discern God’s voice.

Mailing a package to a friend because you are proud of the work she’s done to earn her degree.

Buckets of coffee and mini Bundt cakes.

Emotionally intelligent men who know their limits and invite you to take up space.

The sound of birds and wind and creation doing what it does without cease.

A good, hearty cry, with the snot and the wheezing, because you just need to be near to yourself.

Laying your head on the pillow and your hand on your heart and knowing God resides there.

The feeling of knowing that somehow, while you feel pain now and don’t understand why, God’s goodness and mercy run after you, even so.

Haley Wiggers is passionate about discovering how the messy, painful, and unexpected gifts that come with being human connect, relate to, and offer understanding of how God relates to and cares for us. She’s been married to her husband and loving partner Tyson for 7 years, and together they have a nearly 3-year-old, Theo.  Haley is learning to notice, lean in, and respond to all the invitations God offers through parenting, pastoring, mentoring, marriage, friendship, and the fullness of life. Haley is a certified Spiritual Director and has found it to truly be a gift to companion with people as they attend to God.