The Tuesday Twelve: 12 Blessings I Experienced in the Midst of Recurring Miscarriage
|I bought this Willow Tree figurine when we lost our first baby, Corbin Jae. I wanted a reminder that although I was hurting, my sweet baby was in the arms of Jesus.|
This post has been in the works for over a year now. It's been difficult to put these things into words, so bear with me. :) This month we remembered the two-year anniversary of the day we lost our first baby.
In June 2015, we found out we were expecting our first child. We were elated! My heart thrilled at the thought of fulfilling my lifelong dream of becoming a mother. One week later, I started to feel excruciating physical pain, but it was nothing compared to the emotional anguish I felt when I realized I was losing the baby. The pain and anger hit me hard. I couldn't understand why God would allow us to experience this when we wanted a baby so badly. How could He give me a baby and then take it away? Why give us that hope in the first place?
I was depressed for months. I alternated between being overwhelmed by the pain and feeling absolutely nothing. Some days I cried incessantly; others I didn't care about anything. Slowly, as I poured my heart out before God, He started to heal my heart. One thing that helped in my healing process was choosing a name for the baby; it identified the loss as something tangible. We chose the name Corbin, which means "gift devoted to God." My heart's desire was to trust God although I couldn't understand why.
In the next sixteen months, we lost 4 more babies-- Jayden ("God has heard"), Eden ("Paradise," a reminder of Heaven), Zion ("monument, Heaven"), and Teagan ("beautiful child").
After the fifth miscarriage, I started to accept the fact that maybe my lifelong dream of becoming a mother would not come to be. I finally stopped telling God what He needed to do for me and allowed Him to decide what He already knows is best.
It is arguable that the pain of losing a child is the deepest grief someone can experience. Statistics say that 80-90% of marriages in which the couple lost a child end in divorce. After 5 losses, I can confidently say that it is only through the grace of God that our marriage has survived, and even deepened and strengthened. Although miscarriage is probably the most profound pain I have experienced in life, I am thankful for it.
How can I be thankful for something so painful? Becuase of the lessons and blessings God has given me in the midst of (and at times even because of) my recurring miscarriages.
I wanted to share some of these blessings I have experienced. Hopefully, this helps you know how to respond if someone you know lost a baby, or helps you to work through the grief process if you have lost a baby yourself.
1. I felt what the Body of Christ is.
As we endured the pain of losing our babies, there were so many people that came alongside us and encouraged us. Many women shared their experiences of miscarriage with me, and I formed deep bonds with many women who I may never have really talked to otherwise.
We truly felt the love of Jesus as many cried, prayed, and loved us through the pain. I have never felt so strongly the way the Body of Christ should operate to mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those who rejoice. I am so thankful for so many people who loved us despite our pain.
2. It renewed my hope in heaven.
I was glad before the miscarriages that I had the assurance of going to heaven someday when I die. But now, the knowledge that I will be in heaven with my precious babies someday is a huge comfort. Now when I sing about heaven it means so much more to me. It's not just some intangible place that is up there. It is my hope and my comfort.
3. It makes me more compassionate toward those in pain.
Because of the pain that I have experienced, I now have a much deeper compassion for those who are enduring hardships, even if they are not going through the same things that I did. My heart can identify with their pain, and I have a better idea of what to say (and what not to say!) to comfort someone. 2 Corinthians 1:4 reminds us that when we endure trials, God comforts us so that we can comfort others who are later going through a hard time.
4. It allows me to reach out to others.
Not only can I identify better with anyone going through any hardship, but now I know intimately the pain of losing a child. I have had opportunities to talk with and comfort those who have lost babies of their own. I would never have had these opportunities to be the hands and feet of Jesus if I hadn't suffered the miscarriages.
5. I experienced God's peace through waiting.
It took me a long time to get to the place where I was willing to accept that God might not have children in our future. The waiting was agony. But I have become a better "wait"er, and as other difficulties and periods of waiting come, I am better equipped to handle them. As I waited on God during that difficult time, He gave me His peace in a way I have never experienced it before. A peace that sustained me and brought me joy even though I was enduring the most difficult thing I had ever faced before.
6. I felt a new closeness to God.
I spent many hours immersed in my Bible and journal during those dark days. The pain served to bring me closer to the One who understands. As I had to rely on Him just to get through every moment, He showered upon me His joy, peace, and love. It caused me to pray constantly, and I felt His presence in my heart so deeply.
7. It made my faith more real.
One day as I was talking to God, I told Him, God, it hurts. So much. And I was astounded as He whispered into my heart, I know, Child. I know what it feels like.
I sobbed as I realized that God had willingly given up His only Son-- for me. He knows the pain of losing a child, yet He chose to do it. For me.
I truly began to understand in a new way just how much salvation is worth. How much He gave up so that I can have a relationship with Him. It brought a whole new meaning to my faith.
8. It allowed me to let go of my perfectionism.
This was a BIG one for me. For many years, I struggled with the sin of perfectionism (really a form or pride). I expected myself to do everything right the first time I tried it. If I didn't, I was a failure. I put so much pressure on myself to do things perfectly that I left little room for God to work through me. I forgot that His strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
The harder I tried not to try, the harder I tried. It was a vicious cycle of and obsession with myself, with trying to make everyone believe the image of perfection I was striving to portray.
The miscarriages finally broke me of this. I realized that there is so much in life that I cannot control.
I am not perfect. I cannot be. God does not expect perfection of me. He expects obedience, holiness, righteousness. But not perfection. Only He is perfect.
9. It reminded me what really matters in life.
I am thankful for the reminder that the things that matter in life are people. Possessions don't matter. Jobs and positions don't matter. The things that will matter in eternity are people.
It reminded me that my priority needs to be people. Not programs and my ever-growing "to-do" list. Not all the places I need to go and activities I need to do. PEOPLE. Is the way I spend my time reflecting that people are what really matter?
10. It makes my worship deeper.
I now understand Bible passages in a new light. I know what it means to suffer (not as much as some of the believers that biblical authors wrote to in the New Testament). I know the pain and I know God's peace in a new way.
Hymns and songs that were just nice words to me before are now a reality in my life.
"On Christ, the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand."I enjoyed these songs before, but now I truly understand them and they mean so much more to me now.
"Blessed be the name of the Lord, blessed be Your glorious name... You give and take away, You give and take away. My heart will choose to say, 'Lord, blessed be Your name.' "
"When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be!"
11. It taught me not to take blessings for granted.
We don't know how long we have to experience God's blessings. Our marriages, our children, our jobs, our homes, even our very lives-- only God knows how long each of these things will last. I was encouraged to remember to be thankful for each of the blessings God has given me now because I don't know how long I will have to enjoy them.
12. It reminded me that God is still good. No matter what.
In the midst of something like the repeated loss of babies, the longing for a child, and the uncertainty of ever becoming a mother, I was reminded that God is still good.
He is good not because of what He gives me, but because of who He is. He IS good.
He is good because He does what is best for me, even when it seems like the worst. He is good because He does not give up on me or let me stay in the same place. No matter what is happening, He is good.
Thank you for taking the time to read about 12 blessings I experienced in the midst of recurring miscarriage. What are some of the blessings that God has taught you through hardship?