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Against All Expectations

29 July 2013

Warning: there is graphic material in this post.

I learned something this week that I thought I already knew: miscarrying is hard.

Growing up, I watched my mom miscarry three times and then experience the loss of a child born too soon. That is four losses of children she nurtured and grew in her womb. It was hard on us kids, too. We had grown accustomed to leaning in close to her belly and saying things like “when you get big, I am going to teach you how to play soccer” or “if you need any help with your schoolwork, I’ll help you” or we would read stories to the baby in mama’s belly. And then… one day, she would come and tell us that baby went home to Jesus. It was hard then, too.

But now I know what it is like to enjoy the excitement of preparing “house” for a baby. I would to talk to him throughout the day, tell him what I was thinking or feeling. I would tell him how much his daddy and I love him.

But in what now feels like an instant, he went home to Jesus. I went from this (maternity shorts)

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the afternoon of the night I miscarried to this (skinny jeans that haven’t fit for weeks)

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today. Miscarriage is hard for a few reasons. The first reason is the most obvious: the loss of a precious child. I went from pregnant mama to … not. It brings an emptiness with it. David described the feeling best when he said it is a profound loneliness. There was the presence of a baby and now there is not. We went from three to two in a matter of hours. We grieve not getting to know our precious baby or what he would have gotten to accomplish. I personally grieve not getting to see him smile and laugh for the first time. All those precious firsts.

The other reason is less obvious unless you have been through it yourself. When you miscarry, you essentially go into “mini” labor. And you give birth to a lifeless child and then bleed and are in pain for a week or more. That first night, I didn’t know I miscarried until I held my baby in my hand. And then every day since then, I have had to endure cramps and pains and my body pushing out chunks of placenta. Not only is it emotionally hard to lose a baby, it is hardwork. There is no escape from the reminder: there will be no baby born in February.

Having seen my mother miscarry time and time again, I knew it was hard. But now I know. And most women miscarry at least once. There are many women in my life who have miscarried. And I didn’t know until this week. And many women endure some sort of depression after miscarrying. My mama lost her last baby when I was sixteen and she is still suffering emotionally. It is hard.

That being said, people haven’t known what to do when I say I am okay. Yes, I go through moments of sadness or pregnancy envy. Some moments are more intense than others. But God has been so gracious to me. He has given me the ability to recognize that He is in control and that He has a plan. And, most importantly, whatever happens, He has not abandoned or forsaken me. He didn’t just steal my baby away, baby Peter wasn’t mine to be stolen. I was just the keeper and protector until God called him home. It just happened before I expected or desired.

Something that God showed me this past week while talking to my new friend Janice, the wife of the head pastor of the church where I am working, is that we are to trust Him despite all circumstances. Psalm 46 says “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way…” look at that closely. “We will not fear, though the earth give way….” It doesn’t say “if for some reason the earth gives way I guess we shouldn’t be afraid.” It says that even though this is happening now, we won’t be afraid. Whatever may come, God is our refuge and strength. The psalm comes to a conclusion with this strong, yet comforting command: “Be still and know that I am God….” Or as I like to look at it sometimes: “Stand back and let me be God.” And then again in 2 Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Bad things happen. But that is the perfect opportunity to lean back into God and let Him carry you, providing you the strength you need moment by moment. Those moments of trusting despite the circumstances are life defining.

When I was almost two, I broke my right leg in three places. Anyone who has broke a bone, especially like that, knows that as it heals, the bone gets longer due to the way the healing process occurs. By the time all was said and done, my right leg was an inch longer than my left. God has shown me throughout my life, through loss and other painful experiences, that similarly when we experience hardship but allow Jesus to enter the situation, He will grow our hearts as He heals them, giving us greater capacity to love and be loved. To have compassion, which literally means “to feel with”. And he showed me that the more pain we endure, the more we look like God. Jesus endured indescribable pain on the cross in our stead. If He trusts me with this pain, I will take it in stride because I know I now have a greater capacity to show compassion, to be Jesus to someone in need.

Miscarriage is hard and I have shed more tears than I knew my body could produce. I hope to never endure it again. But God makes all things good in His love and His mercies are new every morning.

Now because of this immeasurable grace I have been shown, I can stand here before you today and say it is well. It is well with my soul.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. 29 July 2013 11:22

    Beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing your heart.

  2. 29 July 2013 11:26

    I am very sad to read this. It’s really hard, and I can’t imagine. But yes, God does bring good out of every circumstance, even if we don’t quite understand at the time.

  3. Sue permalink
    29 July 2013 19:09

    Continuing to hold you and David in my prayers for healing and peace of mind and heart when hard moments come. Love, sue

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