Miscarriage: Those Little Lives Matter
Warning: There are some short and somewhat graphic descriptions in this article.
The world still spins. People continue to laugh together. They eat dinner with their family. Friends go get coffee. Children keep playing. But my world is tearing at the seams as the evidence of the death of my baby takes over my body and my heart shatters.
The cramping almost works as a distraction from the pain in my heart. A distraction which simultaneously works as a reminder of reality. The heartbeat I rejoiced over has faded. And only God knows his/her name. The blood is like a thorn, pricking my heart with every sight of it. “You lost your baby!” it screams. No one talks about how bad it is. No one prepares you for what it’s like to see parts of the child you longed for in the toilet or on a pad. It’s frigid and wrong, and yet there’s nothing you can do. Seeing that does something to you. It wrecks you. The pain is as treacherous as labor pain. Those labor pains which were meant to produce joy at the end. Instead, they act as swift kicks to your bruised heart, reminders of that baby you had already grown so attached to. The one you’ll never meet on earth.
I am amazed at the amount of dear women who have told me their stories these last couple days. Women I knew personally and yet never knew they had such grief in their life. It’s common, but that doesn’t make it less painful. That doesn’t make it okay.
I can see why they don’t talk about it. The pain is too deep and the memories are horrific. Mix that in with the culture of death in America, which creates a stigma that causes women to hush.
The world would say I’m mourning a clump of cells. They would say I’m insane for being so attached. No, I’m mourning a baby whom God knows. One who had a strong heartbeat. A little life that for a short time grew in my body. Don’t tell me my pain is meaningless! Don’t you dare tell me to keep quiet because that life doesn’t matter! That life changed me. God used our child to change me from within my womb.
These little lives matter. They had purpose.
Sweet friend, if you’ve lost a baby from the womb, your baby’s life matters. You don’t have to grieve in secret.
We have found so much comfort during this time through the prayers of the saints. We know that there are people in our corner bearing our burden with us. Friends have cried with me, prayed with me and held me. If you are part of a local church, let them know and watch God work through the people there. The Body of Christ is meant to bear burdens (Galatians 6:2), but they can’t do so if they don’t know. Be brave, and God will use fellow believers to comfort, provide and bear your burden with you. Don’t rob them of the joy of being the hands and feet of Jesus.
This pain is like no pain I’ve ever felt. I’m confused, heartbroken and feel like I’m living a nightmare. I fear the sting that is most certainly to come when a friend gets pregnant or when I see a baby bump at Target or those cute onesies I was waiting to buy. I fear starting over and can’t even think about trying again right now. But I know God is good. And just as he met me in this fear and has walked us through it, he will do so time and time again.
Our gracious Father has orchestrated things so perfectly, like only he can do. I look back and I see his sovereign hand. From causing friends to stay in town a little longer so that I had a friend to walk with me who has been where I stand to providing drivers to camp who took my husbands place so that we could be together. Little graces like gift cards, sunshine, offered meals, baby bunnies, cute little foxes and puppy cuddles all point me to the truth that he is with us and he is good.
I must cling to that truth. It’s all I have. After all, am I to accept Gods goodness in the form of gifts and not in the form of suffering when Christ so suffered on my behalf? Am I to accept only joy in this life and not sorrow when Jesus experienced the depths of sorrow for the joy set before him? Am I to believe the lie that I mourn without hope?
No, in all things, even miscarriage, I have reason to rejoice. Because of Jesus.
When God’s Calling is to Wait
This article was originally written for Broken Beautiful Bold Ministries here.
“What is God’s calling on my life?”
Oh, the question every Christian seems to have been asking since the day they were converted. And to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of it.
We tend to view a “calling” as a passion God has placed in our heart. And while this is something God certainly does sometimes, he also calls us to hard things. Things we never wanted to do and possibly still don’t.
Some are called to singleness.
Some are called to infertility.
Some may be called to ongoing health issues.
And somehow, in his sovereignty, God uses both for the growth of his Kingdom. He uses the passion and the trial for his glory and our good. Neither have a bigger impact than the other.
Oftentimes, we think of a calling as something that will exalt us rather than the Kingdom. This is why we tend to view a call to go overseas as better than a call to witness to the lost at the local food pantry. Or a call to be a speaker as more important than a gal who mentors younger women. But God doesn’t cherish one person more than the other. He uses each one of us.
Our callings are not about us. They are about him.
Called To Be Holy
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:14-16 ESV)
Every Christian has one specific call that we can know for certain: Holiness.
When you look at scripture, you won’t find much about God’s secret will. What we do know is he wants us to become more like his Son.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2 ESV)
God has called us to no longer follow the paths we once followed and instead to renew our minds with his truth so that we will be changed into the likeness of Christ. This truth is echoed in 1 Thessalonians 4:3 where Paul says, “For this is the will of God; your sanctification.”
Seems pretty clear to me. But within our hearts is a longing to know what’s next in his secret will. What does he have for us in the future?
A Calling is a Season
Our lives consist of a series of “callings” rather than one over-arching call. (Other than the call to be holy and make disciples.)
Each of us are called to something right now. Today, I’m called to be a wife, homemaker and a writer. You may be called to motherhood or college. Look around you, what are your responsibilities? Those are what you’re called to. The desires of your heart may be callings today or in the future but we must focus on the ones found in our current season.
Many people spend years trying to figure out what this specific “calling” is and they cause themselves to worry and wonder so much that they steal their own peace.
A calling is a season. We must be open to change and hopeful for the future knowing that as long as we follow where Jesus leads, (even if that means letting go of what we thought was his calling), we will have joy and peace.
As seasons change, callings shift. And he is there to guide us in each step.
Called To Wait
Before the Lord graciously paved the path for me to stay home and write, he placed me in a season of waiting. Day after day I would sit at my desk restless for a way out. I felt smothered by the stress of a heavy workload and a hostile coworker. And my heart ached to pursue writing. But for that time, I was right where God wanted me–working that job. So I waited for 3 years until a new season approached.
Some of you are waiting now. You’re waiting for a job, a husband, a baby, maybe even healing.
And that’s hard.
But here’s a truth I want you to cling to: God’s goodness is both displayed in the fulfillment and the withholding of our desires.
Stay with me here…We may not feel like waiting is God’s goodness but scripture reveals that only goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our life. (Psalm 23:6). This means that all things are for our good. Even the hard callings of life. (Romans 8:28).
Because of this truth, you can be sure that the thing you’re waiting for is not good for you right now. That could change tomorrow. But for today it is for your good that God has called you to wait. Remember, his ways are higher than ours. (Isaiah 55:8-9).
He Equips The Called
Whether your calling today is marriage, singleness, motherhood, missions, writing, adoption, waiting etc., you can be sure that he has equipped you for it.
He has given you all that you need to thrive in this season of life.
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, (2 Peter 1:3)
We can trust him with all of it, because he knows best.
The Hope of Sanctification
I sat at my Mamaw’s feet listening intently to her words. She told me stories from her Jackson mountain childhood and struggles as a young mom with 4 kids and a bone disease. She reminisced about things my Papaw used to say and how they fell in love.
Each recalled story, intricately laced together with grace.
Her body, mind and circumstances have changed. She’s loved and she’s lost. But one thing remained the same through the years. Her faithful Lord.
Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 ESV)
We Have This Hope
As believers, we have a hope that is sure. One that reaches far past wishful thinking. We know one glorious day, Christ will come for us and all will be made right again. We know his faithfulness will not allow him to forsake his promise.
But oftentimes, we forget that there is much hope in the waiting in between as well
Everything we experience; every heartbreak and tragedy, is not meaningless. The Lord uses all things, good or bad, to shape his children into his likeness. And friends, that is a hopeful thing!
Nothing is Wasted
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 ESV)
Your good is your sanctification. If you have been called by God, you can be sure that he will reveal his goodness in your life by molding you into who you are meant to be in Christ. What a beautiful truth for us to cling to!
The loss of a spouse, the miscarriage, the unemployment, the disease…all of it!
All will be used by your loving Father in Heaven. Nothing is wasted!
Just as he has used the life circumstances of my beautiful Mamaw to make her into the godly woman she is today, he will do the same for each one of his daughters.
Whatever you’re facing today, you can trust him. He is good and he is so very faithful.
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6 ESV)