Over the last couple of months, I have opened up about experiencing a miscarriage, struggling to overcome all of the emotions that accompany such a loss, and taking the needed steps to move forward.
For months I didn’t want to make any changes. I just wanted to live in my sadness and my anger, because it was easier to hide in the dark than fight to see the light. But at the very end of the year when I was at the halfway point of my current pregnancy, I felt this intense need to break free of the pile of bricks pinning me down. I realized that even though I was mourning the baby I had lost, I had another healthy baby living inside of me. At first I was discouraged, because I just kept thinking I was too far gone, but when I opened up my heart to God, He assured me no one was too far gone for Him.
After I opened my heart back up to God, I started to choose Him instead of my sadness, anger, confusion, and guilt. I chose to go to church every Sunday morning whether I felt like it or not. I chose to join a small group even though it is scary to meet new people. I chose to expose my deep, ugly parts to these strangers. I chose to ask for help and prayer. I chose to begin reading a chapter of my Bible every day. I chose to pray for healing, understanding, forgiveness, purpose, peace, and clarity. I chose to take little steps every day toward trust and toward light… and God showed up for me!
While doing some self-reflection, I realized what a complete 180 my heart has made in the past month. In thirty-one days, God took an angry, bitter, brokenhearted woman and turned her into a woman with a humble and hopeful heart. It wasn’t easy to be open to what God had to show and teach me regarding my loss, but I would like to share the clarity and understanding I began to see when I started to really pay attention.
He blessed my attendance.
I have been burned by church after church, so going to church is never something very high on my to-do list regardless of how convicted I feel about attending. After many lengthy discussions, Jeremiah and I made the decision to go to a church service every Sunday. Although it was emotional and difficult the first couple of visits, I felt my heart being softened every time we showed up. The second Sunday in January, we were sitting in service and it was all about moving into this new year and what that looked like for you. God made it very clear that he was calling me to not let my loss from last year dominate my focus this year.
Just because you don’t understand, doesn’t mean you can’t move forward. -John Stickl
While thinking about what would hold me back from experiencing what God has in store this year, I knew without a doubt it would be my loss and the fear, distrust, anger, and insecurities that came with it. Now that I recognized what I needed to work on, God was calling me to lift it up in prayer and ask Him for help in my healing.
He blessed my obedience.
I had known for awhile that Jeremiah and I were being called to join a small group. It had been on my mind for months before we finally showed up for the first time. I didn’t necessarily have a bad attitude about going, but I still felt insecure about the idea. I was worried that I wouldn’t fit in, be able to open up, or get anything out of it, but God laughed at my notion. That first night, we were the first couple to arrive and had a good fifteen minutes of conversation with the host couple before anyone else showed up. After that initial conversation, I knew that I couldn’t worry about not fitting in anymore, because I knew that I already did. As the evening got started, it was plain to see that this was a group centered around vulnerability and honesty, so I couldn’t worry about not being able to open up, because I knew it would be my choice not to. And at the very end, they began a couples’ prayer accountability group, where we would all share what we are praying for as a couple, pray for each other throughout the week, and give updates on how things are going. When it got to me, I knew that I couldn’t worry about not getting anything out if it, because God told me I was brave enough to share.
He blessed my courage.
After sharing during group – which was one of the hardest things I have ever chosen to do – a sweet, new friend came up to me, gave me a hug, and offered some advice that helped her through her own loss.
The baby you lost has only ever known perfect love. The baby you lost has only ever known the perfect love of its Heavenly father.
I had never thought about it that way. It felt to me that my baby didn’t get to feel love, but that’s because I was only thinking of the love that we would have provided. But as much as we would have loved on that little baby, it would have been nothing compared to the love it is experiencing in Heaven.
He blessed my perseverance.
Starting in January, I began to follow along with our church’s reading plan of reading one chapter a day. Fifteen days in, I came across this passage from the story of when Jesus healed a man who was blind from birth.
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. -John 9:1-3
This passage spoke to me in two different ways. The first being that what happens in life (being blind or losing a child) isn’t because we have sinned. After we lost our baby, I blamed myself and then I blamed God. I assumed this awful thing had happened, because of something I had done and then I blamed God for taking it out on our baby. But once I read this passage (and I have read it over and over), I realized that it had nothing to do with me at all, but that God wanted to use this situation for His will.
And I believe that will was to bring our family back to Him. Although we were going to church before our loss, we weren’t actively seeking God. We weren’t reading our Bibles, praying regularly, discussing the sermons, or building strong relationships. We were stale; going through the motions of being “good people,” not Godly people. I think God knew this was the wake up call I needed to see that we were not on the path He intended for us.
He blessed my prayers for clarity.
One of my biggest setbacks was lack of understanding. I didn’t understand how a father could take away a child, so I began to pray every day for clarity. I wanted to be able to see and understand my situation from God’s perspective. I learned that:
We were all created by God.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. -Psalm 139:13-14
Your hands made me and formed me… -Psalm 119:73
We all ultimately belong to God.
Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. -1 Peter 5:2-3
Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. -Psalm 100:3
For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. -Romans 14:8
So our baby that we lost was created by God and belonged to God first. God entrusts us – as parents – with his children to love them, raise them, and care for them, but they are His, just as we are His.
I fully believe that God worked a miracle in my heart during the month of January. I am amazed when I look back at the lies I was telling myself and the despair I was drowning in at the end of last year to the hope for the future that I have now. God humbled me to recognize where I was going wrong and gave me the push and the courage to start making changes. This is one of my life mountains that I was only able to climb by looking to God. I hope this gives you some kind of encouragement that if you choose to choose God, He will show up for you!