If you’ve ever heard someone share publicly on social media about their miscarriage, they usually will include a line like “women don’t talk about this enough.”
I agree – the pain of a miscarriage and the experience of it can be so incredibly shocking and private and sensitive, that a woman would much rather experience it alone. When the courage strikes a woman to share her experience, it is sometimes coupled with that courageous line “women don’t talk about this enough.”
They mean well. And what I think they mean is “there is nothing to be ashamed of; many, many, many women go through this. You are not alone. Here’s my story.”
When women share this line of encouragement, I also believe their heart is in a place where they are fully surrendered to what happened, and they are ready to accept the plan, as painful as it is.
Because if you are still dealing with shock and the indescribable pain of the loss, I don’t think the heart is ready to be an encouragement to others. You must grieve and then through that healing, you become available to encourage, if you choose. It looks different for everybody. Some women are more vocal about their experience, while others never share their pain, but the scars create an empathy for others that can only be traced back to the pain of their own loss. They have compassion in almost every scenario. Both types of women are warriors in my eyes.
In October 2016, we miscarried our first baby. The details and circumstances are still hard to think about, but it’s definitely not something my mind goes to on a daily basis.
However, in September, October and June, I find it impossible to not think about our sweet baby June. September is when we got pregnant, October is when we miscarried and June is when we would have met our baby. Today, June 12, to be exact.
With my miscarriage, I mourned what could have been. It felt like God was withholding or taking away something He had for us. We had it, and then we didn’t have it. The shock is sharp. I mean, I hate to admit this, but I was straight up angry. Why did God let us be so happy and filled with so much excitement and joy, just to take it away? What kind of relationship do we really have, God?
But almost two years later, I’m thankful. I’m so thankful and I know that can sound so incredibly insensitive and crazy – that I’m thankful for my miscarriage. For many reasons actually. The first reason, and most important reason I believe I even have the capacity to be thankful is because I will be reunited with our baby in heaven. That hope is constant and true for us, and therefore the grief is overshadowed by a hope that I don’t deserve but I understand and believe. I’m so thankful for heaven.
Secondly, going through that pain was preparing me for a deeper availability. My husband and I were refined in the fire. We were purified in the fire. And ultimately, Jesus is able to shine through me in a way He wasn’t able to before. I was available for a new level of compassion. I can walk through loss with other people in a way I could never do before. I can embrace a mourning mother who has recently been through her own miscarriage and empathize with her deep sorrow. I can give some hope to the friend who isn’t sure when to start trying again after they lose their baby. I can listen and understand. I can pray fervently for the new mom who just found out she’s pregnant, because I know the fear in those first couple of months can be crippling at times. I couldn’t do that before. Before my own miscarriage, I didn’t even comprehend what encompassed a loss like that. But now I know and I believe God used it for His glory. I’m so thankful for perspective.
And then there’s our blessing – our 6 month old baby boy Stone. We wouldn’t have Stone had we not experienced our loss. It’s surreal to think about. And I know you can’t really miss something you never had, but I think about having our first baby and never being able to meet Stone and love Stone and be Stone’s mother and it’s just a lot to wrap my head around. So instead, I sit here with so much gratitude that I do know him, that I do get to be his mother, and that we went through unspeakable pain to be able to meet our son.
There is redemption through Christ. The word and idea of redemption is quite the main stream christian lingo. It’s a pretty common word and although very popular, I had really lost the meaning of it until recently. When I looked it up, the first definition is based on being saved from our sin. But I really liked the second definition: the action of regaining or gaining possession of something in exchange for payment, or clearing a debt.
So when I say there is redemption through Christ, what I’m essentially saying is there is GAIN through LOSS. all because of Christ. In every situation, when we lose, we gain.
In the moment, it would be much easier to skip pain, to skip uncomfortableness, to skip loss and get right to the good stuff. I sang all the songs — “Lord, have YOUR way.” But not with this. With this, have MY way. Come on God, just give me the easy stuff. We’ve been through enough. Give me the blessings, I deserve it. I’ve worked really hard for it. We aren’t bad people. We love you. Now love us back.
Thank God for grace. grace, grace, grace. And for learning that God’s love is not conditional. We never did ANYTHING to deserve our miscarriage OR to deserve Stone. We don’t do things to get reactions out of God or to change His will for our lives. He doesn’t work on some reward/punishment system with His children. He’s gracious. He’s kind. And He’s sovereign.
I can’t look into the eyes of Stone or smell his baby breath and not remember how sovereign God is. I don’t expect to have an easy life or to be able to hold tight to everything and everyone I love in this life. As deeply tragic as it is for my heart to even think of loss, my head can help me remember eternity and a sovereign God. A God who sees beyond time and knows the ending. The ending where He wins. and when God wins, we win.
and now I will insert a picture of our blessing. our boy. our baby. He helps me understand so much more about life and grace, every single day.
If you are walking through the pain of a miscarriage, there is literally nothing anyone can say to ease your pain. Allow yourself space to cry and be angry and be sad. Tell your safe friends what you feel comfortable telling them. And grieve. Because although one day you may have space in your heart to be thankful – right now, that can seem absolutely impossible.
And if you have never experienced this kind of loss, but you have a friend that has and you’re like, what do I say? What can I do to help? Start with just listening. It was always so comforting when my safe friends would ask me how I was doing months after the loss. They remembered and that helped me process. It’s easy to get uncomfortable and think people never want to talk about it again. And for some people, that’s 100% true. Other people find solace in remembering their baby. It’s comforting to talk about it every now and then. Each circumstance is different, but I would say don’t let fear guide your compassion. Let Christ give you the courage to have compassion in the way He guides you.
disclaimer: this blog has always been a safe place for me, and I pray that the thoughts I shared today were encouraging. It was important for me to remember today in an appropriate way as the due date of our baby June. I know the loss of a child is unfathomable and can stir up feelings – really deep feelings. Actually, I don’t even think “stir up” is the right term. You have a hole in your heart every second of every hour of every day. And I never want to take it lightly. ever. I come from little experience and (in my eyes) very little loss. Please hear my heart and know the place I come from and I do not pretend to understand much about anything. I think of so many people and their experiences and my story feels like nothing in comparison. However, we can’t compare, because then nobody would ever share anything and our human capacity to connect would be gone. I truly rely on God’s unending grace and love in every situation – and I never ever ever want to diminish a pain someone else has experienced. I’m not sure if I’m making much sense with this, but my heart hurts for those that have lost much more than us. We pray for you and we love you.