In July of 2022, we lost a baby. The term pregnancy loss is used frequently, and while there’s nothing wrong with the words themselves, they seem too cold, too void of emotion to adequately describe this valley that we’ve walked through. So if you are here, and like me, you’ve experienced miscarriage, let me speak gently to your heart and validate the suffering you’ve walked through; you didn’t just lose a pregnancy, you lost a baby, so all of the emotions that you feel, the pain, frustration, heartache, all of those feelings are valid … because your child matters, and you matter.
Each pregnancy is a uniquely intimate experience for the mother, so as I write this, in NO WAY am I pretending to be a collective voice for those who have experienced miscarriage, but as Lysa Terkeurst so beautifully states, seasons of suffering can have “life-giving purpose and meaning when you allow God to take your painful experiences and comfort others. You will be able to share a unique hope because you know exactly what it feels like to be them.”
So if you are here, and you’re reading these words, that’s exactly what I pray they bring you … comfort and hope in the midst of your suffering or the suffering of someone you love.
To explain in detail the complexity of what walking through miscarriage was like for us, it would take more words than what one short post can hold. So instead, I want to leave you with a few truths that the Lord has laid on my heart, to bring about healing not only for me, but hopefully, for others as well.
- Your emotions are VALID.
The grief I felt throughout my miscarriage was one that, initially, left me in a state of confusion, and at times, guilt. The sadness that consumed me was innate and strong, the type of emotion that rushes in the moment your eyes open before your brain even has a chance to logically process why you feel so sad. Yet my mind wrestled with the fact that this grief was the result of losing someone I had never even met before, and processing that was difficult.
Do I deserve to feel this sad? Am I overreacting or being dramatic?
These were thoughts that plagued my heart and brought about feelings of guilt as I mourned the loss of the life that would have been. But as I wrestled with these thoughts, I was reminded of the two pregnancies that led to my baby girls whom I get to hold this side of heaven, and just like those pregnancies, the moment I found out I was pregnant for the third time, I was instantly connected with that child. I found myself instinctually holding my stomach while I slept, dreaming of what life would look like for our family once that baby was here. He or she was just as real as my sweet girls are, and just as loved by the Heavenly Father who created him or her.
So if like me, you have had these feelings of confusion or guilt, let me speak to your heart and say, the moment you conceived that precious child, you became a mother. May my words rest in your soul … You matter, your child matters, your loss matters, and the grief that you feel is VALID.
- It’s ok to feel a wide range of emotions during miscarriage, and each one serves a purpose.
This was another experience where I felt guilt sneaking into my life and stealing my peace. The range of emotions that I experienced during those early weeks of miscarriage were varied and complex. Initially, it was shock, quickly followed by a deep sadness unlike anything I had ever experienced before. Then, a sort of numbness, a season where I truly felt the Lord carry me through each day. But with time and healing, the day arrived when joy appeared again, and honestly, I felt guilty for not still feeling overwhelming sadness.
But as I reflect on my experience today, I now see that each of those emotions served a purpose, whether it was to sustain me, help me process what was happening, help me heal, or bring me hope. I have learned that, sometimes, in a strange way, that innate sadness is sort of comforting. It again validated my loss in my heart, while simultaneously drawing me near to the Lord, the only one who could truly understand and comfort me in this season.
- If you are walking through miscarriage, CLING TO THE PROMISES OF GOD.
I have never felt the Lord’s presence in such a close, tangible way as I did when experiencing miscarriage. As my body changed, and my heart ached, I felt like I was walking in the Valley of the Unknown, the space between what you hope for and what’s to come, regardless of whether that final outcome is what you dream it will be.
Despite the INCREDIBLE support of my loving husband, the intimately personal nature of miscarriage made walking this valley feel like an isolating experience, but as I walked through it, I felt the Lord journey it with me. When no one else could quite understand, when my pain overwhelmed me and I walked this valley alone, I felt Him walk beside me, and at times, I felt Him carry me when I couldn’t have continued on my own. The pain still existed, but simultaneously, there was also an overwhelming peace, one that truly surpassed understanding. Even today, I can’t explain it, can’t adequately put it into words, but the Lord gave me the ability to hold heartache and peace at the same time.
I had to cling to the promises of God that He gives us in His word, and I was reminded that God didn’t promise me that everything in life will work out exactly how I want it to. But He does promise that He has a plan for my life, and that it’s one to give me hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). He promises that He will work all things for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28) and that He will be close to brokenhearted, so just as I did then, today, I still cling to those promises.
If you’re reading this, I hope you know that the peace, and hope, and joy that God’s promises bring, we can experience those long before we receive whatever it is that we hope for. So cling to His truth and let it carry you through both the valleys and the mountain tops. He is faithful through it all.