This is the most difficult and most personal post I’ve ever written. For those who may not know, we lost our first baby at 6 weeks gestation. We had been trying to get pregnant for several months, so when I finally saw that big fat positive pregnancy test, we were absolutely thrilled. I had what is called a silent or missed miscarriage. What that means is that the baby dies and it takes a while for your body to actually miscarry. My body didn’t recognize that the baby had died, so I carried my precious baby for several weeks without knowing or even suspecting that anything was wrong. We had already told all of our family as soon as we found out we were pregnant, but the day my symptoms began we had just told our closest friends. It was devastating. I felt completely caught off guard. I had been praying for this baby for so long, and even when the emergency room doctor gave us the news… we were believing for a miracle. I was sent home from the emergency room and was told that my body would naturally expel the baby and everything else within two weeks. I went home believing for a complete miracle. I went home excepting the symptoms to stop, my belly to keep growing, and to see a perfectly healthy baby on the ultrasound that was scheduled as a miscarriage follow up appointment. I knew God could heal. I knew God was willing. I knew He was able. I knew God is not a respecter of persons – that if He did it for someone else, then He would do it for me. And I know people who’ve experienced this miracle. My brother-in-law was pronounced dead in the womb.
I don’t know why, but I lost the baby. I don’t know why.
But I do know this – God is good.
When I was grieving the loss of my first baby, I struggled with the grieving process. I struggled with all the questions, the emotions, and the pain. I have believed my entire life that God does not allow bad things to happen to us for His glory. Honestly, I didn’t understand how people could serve a God who would put sickness or struggles on them just to teach them a lesson, or strengthen them. It didn’t sound like a God I would want to serve. It didn’t sound like the God I knew. It didn’t sound like Jesus. But when I had a miscarriage, I realized it would have been much more comforting if I did believe it was God’s will for my baby to die. If I knew or believed that God had a greater purpose in that loss, I could have had hope. I could have had something to hold on to and hope for if there was a reason for it, and good would come of it. But it didn’t fit with scripture. It didn’t fit with who God says He is. Even though I would have loved for it fit and make sense, it didn’t.
I want to go down a rabbit trail here for a moment. It’s important, so please don’t tune out yet. I’m still talking about my miscarriage and how I processed the lost of my baby. When Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” I take Him at His word. I believe Him when He says that He comes to give life and give it more abundantly. I believe Him when He says that it’s the thief (Satan), not Him who steals, kills, and destroys. I believe when God says that it is not His will that anyone should perish (2 Peter 3:9). I believe God when He says that He has plans to prosper us, not to harm us (Jeremiah 2:11). I believe that God is who He says He is. I believe Jesus when He said, “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father” (John 14:9). I never saw Jesus choose not to heal someone. I never saw Jesus deny forgiven. I never saw Jesus put sickness on someone for His glory or because it was the will of God. I never saw Jesus deny someone what they came to Him for. I saw Jesus heal every time. Every. Single. Time. I saw Jesus forgive every time. I saw Jesus give more and more. Every time. So taking a few scriptures out of context to explain why people suffer, just doesn’t bear witness with me when I look at Jesus. Even Job, who is famous for saying, “the Lord gives and the Lord takes away” doesn’t fit into who God says that He is. 1. Job said it about God, not God about Himself. Job just lost everything. How many times do we foolishly say things that aren’t true because we’re upset or going through a difficult time? So we’re going to take the word of a man who just lost everything and believe what he said about God in an extremely difficult time in his life over what God says about Himself? Even Job later repents and says he was wrong and didn’t know what he was talking about. “You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. Listen, please, and let me speak; You said, ‘I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’ ‘I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” – Job 42:3-6 God then says twice in following verses “you have not spoken of me what is right.” Job repents, God confirms twice that Job’s friends (remember, Job has already repented for not speaking of God correctly) did not speak of Him of rightly, and then God forgives them all. Do you know what God does after these verses? God restored to Job all that he lost and even blessed Job with twice as much as he had before (verse 10). So even when we lack to know God’s true nature and self, He is faithful to give and restore, not take.
So here I was, broken hearted after suffering a devastating loss. I didn’t know what happened. I didn’t understand what went wrong. I knew God was good. I knew God wouldn’t have done this. I knew it wasn’t His will. But I felt lost and hopeless. I knew God didn’t take my baby. I knew that God did not allow my baby to die just to help me grow or learn some incredible life lesson. I knew the truth. I didn’t have all the answers, but I knew it wasn’t God’s fault or His doing. I had never believed for anything more in my entire life than I believed for that baby to live. While going through the actual miscarriage I was about to write out my testimony of how the symptoms stopped and our baby was born completely healthy. I thought and felt like I was walking by faith and not by sight. I thought I was doing all the right things. So I don’t know why it happened. I don’t know if I thought I was in faith and let doubt or fear creep in. I don’t know if it’s just a result of living in a fallen world and Satan, my enemy, had sucker punched me. I don’t know. I knew I had lost my baby and there was absolutely no reason for it. There was absolutely no grander purpose behind it. I knew there was no amazing lesson that would be learned through the loss and suffering. I knew somehow the enemy had won this battle. But… I knew God was for me and not against me. I knew God was good, and that this was not His will. This was not His will for my life, and it certainly was not His will for my baby’s life.
Being completely honest and vulnerable, I spent months struggling with this. I didn’t know how to process what had happened and how to find comfort. It seemed every book, blog post, and YouTube video to encourage Christian women during such a loss was filtered through the lie that God allowed it to happen. I desperately wanted something or someone to help me process this loss and grieve my precious baby with a biblical perspective. I couldn’t really find it. Well meaning people would say things out of love without realizing each word was like a dagger in my heart. Their intentions were right, but there was no comfort in their words. Things like, “miscarriages are actually very common. You’ll have more babies. God will give you double for your ‘trouble.’ You wouldn’t be able to have the next baby if you had had this one.” While all of these are true, it didn’t comfort my broken, grieving, mama heart. I was struggling to go through the grieving process knowing God was not the author of this tragedy nor was He a willing participate just sitting back allowing it. I didn’t know how this happened, but I knew it wasn’t God’s fault. I have seen miracles happen. As I mentioned previously, my own brother-in-law was dead in the womb, but now has a beautiful family with a miracle baby of his own. I knew God was a god of miracles. I was believing for a miracle. I was all prepared to write a note to the sweet ER nurse with us that day that included the miracle testimony and a picture of our newborn baby. I prayed and believed all day that our baby would live. I can’t tell you why I didn’t see a miracle that day. I can’t tell you for certain why I lost my baby. But I can tell you with certainty that God was not behind it. God wasn’t the one behind this terrible pain and suffering. I know His Word too much to think that He is the author of death. So I was having a hard time trying to navigate how to grieve knowing there was no reason for this. There was no lesson for me to learn from it to just push on and learn the lesson and be thankful someday. There was no refining of my faith that needed to take place where my devastating loss was the only way God could get it done. I was just a childless mother for absolutely no reason.
I kept wondering, “where do I go from here?”
I remember one night, sitting in our empty nursery crying out to the Lord in my pain, “Lord, I don’t understand how this happened. I would have done anything for that baby. I would have given my life for that baby.” The Lord, in His sweet, loving way replied gently, “I did give my life for that baby.” It was then I realized that God was suffering with me in this loss. He loved and wanted that baby to live a long life on earth even more than I did. It not only reinforced what I already knew to be true, but it helped me be able to find a way through the grieving. This was not His plan. This was not His will. This was even more of a loss for Him than it was for me. See, I would have given my life for that baby. I would have gladly taken his or her place. But Jesus did give His life for that baby. Jesus was sucker punched as much as I was. God, Daniel (my husband) and I could grieve together the loss of our baby. This was the turning point in my healing for me. Once I realized I was allowed to just mourn, and that God was mourning with me, I was able to let go of needing answers to why or how it happened. I could just grieve and heal and look forward to eternity in Heaven with my baby. You see – I realized that the first thing my baby ever saw was the face of God. I realized that he or she was living in Heaven for all eternity. I realized that my baby was free from pain. Free from suffering. Free from this fallen nature. I realized that the enemy could never touch my baby again. I realized that one day, when I’ve ran my race, my sweet baby will be waiting for me in Heaven and I’ll get to spend all of eternity with him or her.
I know a lot of this is repetitive, but it’s so important we don’t allow the enemy to steal the Word of God from us. God did not allow it to happen. It was not His will. God is almighty, but His will is not automatic. Unfortunately, there are many factors that hinder the will of God from coming to pass. I don’t have time to get into all of this, but if we looked at what God says His will is, and then look at what is happening in the world, we’d realize God doesn’t get His way 100% of the time. We all sin, but it isn’t God’s will for us to sin (Romans 6:12-14, 1 Corinthians 15:34, Galatians 5:16 to name a few references that show sin isn’t God’s will for us). God does not want anyone to perish and yet people are perishing (2 Peter 3:9, John 3:16, Romans 6:23). As I mentioned before, Jesus Himself said in John 10:10 that it is the thief, Satan, who comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but that He comes to give abundant life. If there is any death, stealing, killing, or destroying going on, it is coming from the thief, not God. God does not need to use sickness, death, and poverty to teach us things, to speak to us, and it’s not His heart to punish us. In fact, God has no reason to punish us anymore. Jesus took our punishment on the cross (1 Peter 2:24, Galatians 3:13, 1 John 2:2, Matthew 20:28). The enemy may win a battle here and there, but he can never win the war. The war has been won and through Jesus, we have the victory. Our babies are never truly lost. Even though we’d give anything to have them here, too. And that’s okay. It’s okay to be sad or even angry that our earthly time with our children has been stolen from us. But we serve a just God. Satan will get what he deserves one day. Satan will pay for these crimes. And we will have eternity with our babies.
After realizing God was grieving with me, I was able to start processing my grief. I was able to start clinging to the Word of God and have hope for the future. God was going through the loss with me. It wasn’t just that he empathized with me, but He was going through the whole process with me. He understood the loss. He understood my pain. He was feeling it with me. He had plans for that baby and my baby had a calling from Him. “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15 (KJV)
I was honest with God. I wasn’t afraid to just be raw and real with Him. God is not scared or offended by our honesty. We can run bolding to His throne of grace in our time of need and obtain mercy and grace (Hebrews 4:16). And for anyone who’s gone through the loss of a child, you know what a time of need that is and how much mercy and grace you need. God is good. He is not a liar. He is faithful. He is loving. He will grieve with you if you let Him. He will let you weep those bitter tears. He will not judge you. He will not condemn you. There were times I could almost feel His arms wrap around me and His love would just surround me. You can’t let the enemy continue to steal from you. You have to move on. Hear my heart. As I write this post, it’s been a little over 5 years since my miscarriage and not a day goes by that I don’t think about my baby. I think about my baby every single day. Especially now that I have two other children (and another arriving early next year). I watch them grow and I wonder who my first baby was. I wonder what kind of personality my first baby would have had. I wonder in what ways he or she would have made me laugh. I haven’t forgotten my baby. I’ll never forgot him or her. They will always be with me. They will always be a part of me. So when I say you have to move on, I don’t mean forget your baby and live life as though they never existed. What I mean is, don’t allow Satan the right to steal even more of God’s promises from you. Don’t miss out on what God has in store for you because the enemy got a jab in. Remember your baby. Cry over your baby. But don’t let the enemy steal the Word of God from your heart and make you start believing the lies that God isn’t good or that He allowed it to happen. Look forward to eternity with your baby, but keep running the race set before you. Don’t let the enemy steal anymore from you. Fight the good fight of faith. Be strong, and when you’re weak, look to God because in your weakness He is made strong. He will fight for you. He will hold you and He will not let you fall.
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”Hebrews 6:19 NIV