Marriage: Year Two

Brandon and Sarah Wells

This is entry #2 leading up to celebrating 15 years of marriage.

Fall 2004: Learning about the Slowness of Grief

The first baby we conceived was a partial mole pregnancy. To make sure the cancerous cells of the embryo were discharged fully from my system and not developing further in my lungs, I went weekly for blood tests, then monthly, monitoring HCG levels until the hormone disappeared.

I stared out the passenger side window. Why did this happen? What did I do to deserve this loss? Why are others able to just get pregnant and I can’t? What penance am I paying? Why did this happen? What if we never have a baby? Why did this happen? Tree after tree after tree after tree, light pole after light pole after light pole, mailbox, mailbox.

“You know, this is hard for me too,” Brandon said, voice like lighthouse through the fog. I turned to look at the man who kept driving me forward, along the slow road.

Spring 2005: Learning about the Power of Distraction

The second baby we conceived was just a line on a pregnancy test before that failed too – too small to be seen on an ultrasound screen.

“I learned my lesson the first time!” I screamed, certain the first miscarriage was a test to learn empathy and I had passed. It felt unfair. God had promised the desires of our heart if we only delighted ourselves in him. Hadn’t we delighted? Is God a God of love? What about all that stuff about having a plan for me? What about all of that stuff about working all things for the good? How is this good? How can he begin to fulfill a promise and then retract it. What lesson is there here for me? Who are You anyway?

We worked together at a Christian high school, and in the spring we worked and worked, me planning and preparing for the school’s auction, Brandon coaching baseball and teaching full-time. I lost the romance of God’s great wooing and sought a foundation of truths I could stand on: Jesus wept. God so loved the world that he gave his only son. His only son cried Abba, Abba, why have you forsaken me? His only son waited until after his best friend died to raise him again. His only son suffered. And there was resurrection. And there was new life.

Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ, I learned, neither death nor life.

Brandon and Sarah Wells

(Photo: Nephew Braden with Brandon and Sarah)

Published by Sarah M. Wells

Sarah M. Wells is the author of The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others (2022), American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation (2021), Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.

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