When I was a kid, my mom became pregnant with a little girl. I was 6 years old and I can’t explain how excited I was to get a baby sister. For so long, it had just been me and my little brother. A house full of guys. Having a girl around the house was going to be a big change, but a really exciting one. My parents ended up naming her Bethany Faith Baggott. I just couldn’t wait to hold her in my arms.
I remember the baby was due in two weeks. I was so excited, I couldn’t contain myself. However, one day, I came home and I saw my dad. It was the first time that I ever saw him cry. I knew that something had to be wrong. My parents told me that something unexpected had happened to Bethany. They had to look me in the eye and tell me that she had died in my mom’s tummy. I wasn’t going to have a little sister anymore. At eight and a half months, my mom had a miscarriage.
I was six, so I didn’t know the extent of it. However, I knew that my sister had died. I knew that she wasn’t going to be brought into this world. We went to the hospital for them to take her out of my mom. They placed her pale, lifeless body in my arms. I had anticipating holding her in my arms… but not like that. Everything that I had been taught in Sunday School about Jesus coming to give us life came into question. If Jesus wants us to live, then why did my baby sister die? All I knew is that it didn’t make any sense to me. And I knew that I was really sad.
However, I was blessed to have such strong parents. I don’t know what it would have been like if they hadn’t have fought that battle so maturely. They assured me that even though Bethany had died, God is still good. They said that even though I didn’t have a baby sister, I would always have a heavenly Father that loved me. I may have been disappointed, but God never fails us.
Later on that year, my parents got some great news. My mom was pregnant again. And it just so happened that it was a baby girl too, as we later found out. We were finally going to have a baby sister after all. To me, that was God telling me that he is faithful.
I know that not every miscarriage story turns out like that, and it doesn’t have to in order for God’s faithfulness to remain. But it did work out like this for us. And I heard God’s whisper in it too.
On July 27, 1999, my mother gave birth to Breanna Hope Baggott. First, God gave us Faith and the sting of death took her away from us. It almost took away our faith. Having faith can do that to you, because it requires a trust, a type of vulnerability, that can lead to pain.
But, then God gave us Hope. God gave us hope. He reminded me that in the worst situations, God remains faithful still. In the bleakest of moments, he is good. In the darkest of events, he is light. God was there, and he had always been there.
There’s a verse in 1 Corinthians 13 that I’ve always held dear, maybe for different reasons than others do. Of course, that’s the famous “love” passage. It’s often said at weddings. However, the last verse of that chapter is the most powerful to me. It says:
“And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.”
God gave me my sister, Bethany Faith. One day, I’ll be reunited with her in the resurrection. God gave me my sister, Breanna Hope. She’s the most beautiful little girl in world. I can’t imagine what life would be without her. And in both of my sisters, in both the high and low, God gave me himself. He gave me Love.
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
God has been all of these things and more for me. I know that, by God’s grace, my little sisters abide. I found God both in the pain and the rejoicing. Both the sorrow and the celebration. Love was found in Faith, and in Hope. Maybe this is what makes Love the greatest of them all.
(Breanna “BB” and I, April 2016)
This is an excerpt from my book, “Church Kid: Restoring Your Faith After Being Raised in Church,” now available for purchase here.