When my husband and I were newly married. We got pregnant around month two of our marriage. For those who do not know. I was a very young bride. 19 years old. I went from high school student to bride, very fast… and entered the motherhood scene very quick. It was all without a doubt, a lot to take in. 3 months after I found out I was pregnant, that sweet baby died. I never found out if the baby was a boy or girl but I do believe he was a sweet lil boy… who I named Daniel. For me, naming him was part of the grieving process… Although I never got to hold him, I still think of him often.
I was 3 mo. along (just shy of the 12 week mark) and I remember after that loss, struggling to understand the good in it. I remember reading scriptures like this….
“Consider it a great joy, my brothers,
whenever you experience various trials,
knowing that the testing of your faith
… and when I would read verses like this, I didn’t understand. I didn’t see any joy. I didn’t see how loosing a baby could ever result in any sort of joy. I got a new study bible many months ago and it has a ton of great commentary in it. I want to share the break down of what it says this verse means by “consider it a great joy...”
1:2 – The phrase whenever you experience various trials assumes that trials are normal part of the Christian life. In fact, trials are a given for a faithful disciple. Joy suggest an eschatological (end times) hope of deliverance from trials. The joy with which a believer endures trials in the present is a sign of their hope for future relief.
1:3 – Knowing (or because you know) modifies “consider” in verse 2. Knowledge that the testing of your faith produces endurance is the basis for joy. “Endurance” is the ability to preserve through increasing levels of testing or suffering.
There is so much I do not know about the Bible. My husband spent over 8 years in Bible Seminary studying the Bible. He knows so much more than I do…. I remember when I first married him. He was finishing his last year 1/2 of his Masters Degree in Seminary and I remember when he took his first full time Pastoring job, that I felt so unqualified to be called a Pastors wife. I knew so little! I still don’t know much. I am learning though that over time, we do and can learn more… it just takes effort and time.
I couldn’t find joy in the loss of a baby…
I remember when I lost him, we had just told our church about the pregnancy. At the time we attended Travis’ home church in a small town in NC. The church was so excited for the upcoming baby… and I was so excited to share the news. We waited until I was 11 weeks (just about) in hopes that we would avoid having to deal with a miscarriage openly (more on that later). We let everyone know we were pregnant… hugs, kind words, excitement happened. A few days later, he was gone. I remember the next time I went to church, people not knowing what happened would come up to me and say “I am so excited for you two! When are you due again?” or someone would say “I hope its a boy!” At the time, I didn’t know how to respond. I was 19 and so confused why something so horrible had to happen to me… and why after just announcing something so special, did it have to end. When these people who didn’t know the reality of the situation would say these things, I just walked away. I couldn’t answer them… I’m not sure what they thought of me at that moment but all I could feel was saddness and wasn’t sure how to handle it.
It wasn’t until my Sister in Law (Travis’ oldest sister) came up to me, embraced me upstairs at the small church and said “Mama’s got two sweet grand babies up there with her now.” that I was able to just melt and feel peace. I remember those words giving me a comfort like nothing else. I don’t think I even ever told her what that meant to me… but the fact she was open with me about the loss of one of her own babies… and the reminder that this life is not our final home… The mental image of Travis’ mom who died at age 53 from Breast Cancer, up there with those two sweet grand babes, just comforted my soul.
I never met Travis’ mom but I just could see her in heaven beaming at the sight of one of her sons children.
Full of trial…
We are faced with moments that do not make sense.
Days we may become angry with God.
Mourn and struggle.
I will never ever be perfected in my reactions.
… and you know, there is Grace for that.
I am so thankful for the hope I have as a believer. When life here is over, I get to hug that baby. I get to see Travis’ mom for the first time. We have the means to endure trial because we know that the testing of our faith produces endurance. Endurance in a further work for the purpose of making us mature and complete, lacking nothing. (James 1:4)
I don’t write often about miscarriage and loss.
I remember when I miscarried feeling almost a shame. I’m not even sure why. Its one reason I wanted to wait so long to tell anyone about the pregnancy in the first place. I never wanted to experience open hurt in front of those I knew. I always wanted to appear strong… and put together (I have no doubt its a pride brokenness I carried for years). I don’t like to show weakness or emotion. I always use to shut people out and learn to deal alone.
My struggles I dealt with then were always bottled. Never poured out… We all have an emotional cup… it can only be filled up so far… and eventually it will spill. Sadly in my case when that happened, it was never dealt with properly. Which led to depression… a crippled marriage and broken friendships.
No one should ever have to suffer loss alone.
Loosing a baby shouldn’t be shameful.
We shouldn’t have to struggle in silence.
We should be able to talk about that baby lost, just like any baby.
So to the moms struggling through miscarriage right now. Know you are not alone. You may not want to talk about it today. Or any day soon. It may be something you have to mourn quietly. You may not be able to even express how hard it was until years later.
I remember the day I went in to check for the baby’s heart beat. The OBGYN looked at me and I knew. There was no heart beat. He then took my hand and prayed with us. The Dr’s name was Joseph. I will never forget the kindness he showed during that moment… I was thankful he was a believer… while it didn’t take away the hurt, it did bring me comfort in that hard moment.
“You have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I stand up;
You understand my thoughts from far away….
You have encircled me;
You have placed Your hand on me….
You who created my inward parts;
You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You
because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made.
Your works are wonderful,
and I know this very well.
Your eyes saw me when I was formless;
all my days were written in Your book and planned
before a single one of them began.
God, how difficult your thoughts are
for me to comprehend;
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my concerns.
See if there is any offensive way in me;”
lead me in the everlasting way.