As a little girl, I was asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” My response was simple: “A mom.”
Joy. I am going to be a mommy. I wonder what gender our baby will be? I wonder who they will look like? I wonder whose personality type they will have? Lord, please let them have my husbands (ha-ha).
These were some of the many things I first felt and thought when my husband, Kellon and I first found out we were going to be parents.
What did I do wrong? What could I have done to prevent this? Why is this God’s will? I’ve always wanted to be a mom, why can’t I be? God, please, grant me peace and understanding. God, please, why?
These were some of the many thoughts I had after our first miscarriage. Eight weeks I carried that precious life, and then it was gone. In the depths of our sorrows we find how desperately we need the Lord and how deeply he loves us.
Loss: The state or feeling of grief when deprived of someone or something of value.
Our baby has value. Our baby has no less value to us than someone’s baby that they get to hold. Why? Because life is precious and that child made me a “mommy”. The reality of that life that was once growing in me? My baby is dead. And there is grief and pain.
How did I handle this grief? I disappeared, head-first into this grief that washes like an ocean, deep and seemingly unending. The endless nights of crying in my husband arms, “what is wrong with me?” The jealous and hateful thoughts, “why can she have a baby, she didn’t even want one.” The confusion for those who pretended our babies had no value, “How can they act like it never happened, how can they so easily move on?” The gut-wrenching heart-ache every time someone new shares that they are pregnant and you know, I may not ever know what it feels like to share that joy with people.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Coming up from the depths of grief is not done because you grew strong enough but because the Lord in His grace gave you comfort. For me it was through my husband. So, loving and patient with me through our loss. So many days spent holding me after spending time with a pregnant friend, coming home and falling apart. Or after another hopeless doctor’s appointment in a room full of pregnant women and little babies. So many nights spent reading me the word so I could fall asleep. Countless messages sent, full of understanding and comfort.
There is still joy to be found after a miscarriage. There is joy in knowing the Lord is not done.
After our first miscarriage, I felt helpless but hopeful. After our second miscarriage, I felt more helpless and less hopeful. After our third miscarriage, I felt defeated but peaceful. The Lord was working in our hearts. The Lord wasn’t finished with us yet.
For those who have read this far, you might be wondering why I decided to share all of this. I am sharing for all who feel the same. I want to share my story because it is a hope-filled story. Many of you have felt the same loss and no one has told you that it is okay to be broken-hearted and mourn for the loss of your child. You are a mom or dad. Losing your child doesn’t change that.
What have I learned? The Lord has used these losses in my life in extraordinary ways. My husband and I have come to know a deeper and richer relationship with each other as well as the Lord. We have seen the Lord work in our hearts in ways we never felt possible. Teaching us that there is purpose in everything. One thing we know for sure, we will be parents to children who are not from our bodies. We knew before we even met each other that we would adopt but this desire has been confirmed by our losses. Whether by adoption or fostering, we know we want to share the love and grace the Lord has shown us in choosing us. What else? I have learned (and am still learning) to show grace to those who treat others like they are less or like they don’t have value. Why learn grace for them? Because they don’t understand and desperately need grace in that area. I desperately need grace for others. I learned that God is faithful. He does not give us a desire and leave it unquenched.
Kellon and I, after so many months of short painful pregnancies, tests, and grief, were pregnant again. My eight-week appointment was coming up on my birthday and we were finally excited for a doctor’s appointment. My pregnancy had been great so far. No miscarriage symptoms! This was the longest I had carried without worrisome symptoms. We went in for our ultrasound excited and eager to see our baby. As the ultrasound started there was silence. Silence louder than screaming. “I am so sorry, but there is no heartbeat,” the nurse tells us. Broken and shocked we move into the room where the doctor will see us and he just says the same thing the nurse said. “I am so sorry, guys.” We sit there discussing our next steps and our options and silence stays with me. Nothing but screaming loud and unavoidable silence.
The next day Kellon said something to me that I have been meditating on since. “God is sovereign and good. Whatever He does is best.” Sweet and hard words to hear. But this time, I didn’t fall into depression. I didn’t forget the world. I have been getting up every morning. I have been responding to texts, I have been checking my social media, I have been thinking about people I need to send an encouraging word to or who I need to tell happy birthday to. Why? Because I realized recently that this is not happening to hurt me. This is not happening because I did something wrong. This is not happening because I am not good enough. This is not happening because I haven’t tried hard enough.
This is happening because it is supposed to. This is happening because it is good. Why is it good? Why does God say this is good? Well, I surely don’t know. Maybe because Kellon and I are supposed to only adopt. Maybe because we need to share this story to help others. Or, maybe just to comfort my friends who have gone through and are going through and will go through the same thing.
These past few months have been the most bitter of my life. Jenna and I have spent many long hours in tears and quiet. I cannot begin to think of how many times we sat down to pray and were unable to find words worth saying, and for that, we are grateful for the Holy Spirit’s intercession (Romans 8:26-27). Each time the weight would begin to lift and our hope returned, the cycle of miscarriage would restart and we would find our happiness shattered again. I do not think I can say that any one was harder than another. The first one was heartbreaking and surprising; the second left me confused and crushed; the third one was simply a sad frustration; and the fourth, in an instant, gutted me. It never became easier, but the truth remained the same. It is difficult to talk about it, but it seems equally difficult not to.
Recently I came across an article titled “Why ‘Saying Everything Happens for a Reason’ is Bad Advice”, or something similar. I believe it was written by a well-meaning woman who was annoyed with what she believed to be false optimism. However, if there is one thing that has been our constant comfort and confession in this season, it is that everything happens for a reason. “The lot is cast into the man’s lap, but every decision is from the Lord” (Proverbs 16:33). “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you” (1 Peter 5:10). Apart from trust in the perfect sovereignty of God, I do not know how we would have made it through these past few months, and I fear for people who are suffering and remain ignorant of that sovereignty. I fear for those who believe in a god who might be powerless during their pain. If someone around you is suffering from loss, preach the Gospel to them. Please do not tell someone who is suffering that not everything happens for a reason. It is a lie, it is disheartening, and for the record, it strengthens the claims of abortion advocates. Life is precious, be it of the man who lives to old age, or the baby who never sees the light of day (Job 3:16-19).
I am grateful for a wife willing to love me through all of this. Her patience and tender affection has made it possible for me to write this.
God has been so merciful and kind to us. Our marriage has been strengthened, our hope sustained, and our hearts comforted. He has made himself known to us in new ways, and we will continue to trust in his providence.
“It is from Him that the sunshine and rain come; it is He that clothes with beauty the flowers of the field, and He who feeds the birds of the air; not a sparrow falls to the ground without Him, and the very hairs on our head are numbered, and not one of them is forgotten by God… It was not simply of sparrows that our Lord was thinking when He adverted to the care of the Father for them, as it was not simply for oxen that God was caring when He forbade them to be muzzled as they trod out the corn; it was that they who are of more value than sparrows might learn with what confidence they might depend on the Father’s hand.” B.B. Warfield.
Thank you to everyone who has prayed for us, cried with us, mourned with us, comforted us, hugged us, sent encouraging texts, who have been considerate and understanding. Your words and thoughtfulness have meant more than you know.