Miscarriage and the Road to Healing
Last summer was a crazy time in my marriage. I was finishing up a dissertation; my husband was serving as a college minister, as well as suffering from an infection that would not respond to medicine; and we were both trying to be good parents to two toddlers. In the midst of the craziness, we also found out we were pregnant. You can imagine the excitement and surprise we experienced upon hearing the good news. I was excited the baby was due in April because I would be finished with my doctorate degree. I could finally be mommy to an infant without the stress and pressure of papers, seminars, and schoolwork.
Then the unthinkable happened.
In my previous pregnancies, my husband went to all of my appointments. He was there for every sonogram, heartbeat check, and glucose test. Yet, due to his illness, his doctor put him on strict bed rest. He was admonished to limit his activity for a week, which meant he could not attend my first appointment. My mother, however, was ecstatic for the opportunity to go with me, and it was fun to share this experience with her. I went through the normal pre-check, and then it came time for the sonogram. I could not wait to hear the first sound of our little one’s heartbeat. I had Chris’ number ready to dial the moment they found the heartbeat. We waited. We looked. We waited some more. But there was nothing.
I could see our little one, but he was not moving. Surely my eyes were playing tricks on me. I must be straining too hard to see. I looked at my doctor’s face, and I saw his matter-of-fact stare. He saw a baby, but there was no heartbeat. He sent me home, and told me to come back within a week. He gave us a glimmer of hope by stating my dates may be off, but he also gave us the warning signs of a miscarriage. In less than 24 hours I would understand the pain of losing a child…MY child.
These last seven months have been difficult to navigate. Our baby was due April 10, and I have relived over and over the events of August 23rd (the day we miscarried). I have watched my two children play, loved on them as they crawled up in my lap, and cuddled them when they were sick. And, I have wondered what it would be like to have our third child in the mix.
I have been to the depths of the pit and back. It is from this painful place that I want to share who God is and what He has done.
God is love.
The Bible has countless references to God’s amazing love towards us. Jeremiah 31:3 says that God has an “everlasting love” towards His people. Romans 5:8 reminds us, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” During the difficult, dark days, it was hard to remember God’s love. In fact, taking our child felt like the most unloving act a loving Father could do to one of His own children. I did not understand His plan, and, at times, I did not want to understand it. However, through my pain, God poured out His love on me. He gave me a husband to cry with me (he too was hurting). He gave me a mother who told me of her heartache of losing a child. He gave me friends who would sit with me as I rambled on, trying to make sense of it. He just loved me. And it was His unending love that ultimately brought healing to my heart. His love overcame the bitterness that wanted to creep into my soul. His love overcame the despair that I felt. His love pulled me out the pit and set my feet back on solid ground. His love is what saved me…not just from my sin, but from myself.
God is faithful.
Psalms 145:13 says, “Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations. [The Lord is faithful in all his words and kind in all his works.]” Through the hurt and pain, God is faithful. Did I always feel like He was faithful? No. Did I always want to hear that He was faithful? No. But, over and over again, He showed me His faithfulness. On the days where I was overcome with grief and felt like I was slipping into despair, He lifted me up. Through my moments of crying out and demanding to know why, God held me. He did not turn away, and I always knew His faithful hand was guiding me through the heartache. Please know, whatever your circumstances and pain, God IS faithful. Come to Him; lay your broken heart before Him; and let Him heal you.
God is good.
This truth was probably the hardest one for me to believe. For the first time in my life I found myself asking, “How can a good God allow this to happen?” Being in ministry, I have sat with countless heartbroken women trying to explain to them the goodness of God. I never understood how someone could or would question the Almighty’s goodness. Hadn’t He sent His Son as the sin payment for mankind? Hadn’t He provided a way for us to know Him? How, then, could His goodness be in question? Yet, this is where I found myself. And, once again, He led me to His Word.
Psalm 16 was a source of truth during this season of questioning. Verse 2 says, “I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.’” The chapter goes on to explain what happens to those who do not follow God. It is also a reminder of the comfort and joy that God gives to those who do follow Him. I had a choice to make. I could believe God and His Word, and trust He would eventually bring joy back to my heart. Or, I could turn away from Him. But, where would/could I turn? Apart from God, there is NO good.
So…I chose to believe Him. His nature does not change; therefore, His goodness does not change. We live in a sin-torn world where death, disease, and despair reign. But, there is HOPE. There is a God. He is still on His throne. And, He is good!
Ladies, I do not know where you are in life or what you are experiencing. You may be experiencing the best season of your life, or you may be in a pit of despair, barely able to lift your head. My prayer is that you would hold onto these simple truths: God is love; God is faithful; and, God is good.
May these verses from God’s precious Word give you hope:
I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption.
You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Ps 16:7-11)
There is healing and hope after your difficult, dark seasons. There IS healing and hope after a miscarriage.
His name is Jesus!