If you read my blog regularly, you know I suffered two consecutive miscarriages. The first was in November at 8 weeks along and the second in January at 11 weeks.
Thus it has been a hard season of mourning, healing, and trusting. Although hard, it has also been a season of incredible growth: in my marriage, as a mother, and in my walk with the Lord.
Since experiencing my miscarriages, I have learned of a number of other women who are currently experiencing similar losses. I want to use my heartaches for good and maybe, just maybe, something I have learned can bless another who is enduring a similar pain.
So, here is what my two miscarriages have taught me . . . so far.
1. Christ is Sufficient.
Growing up in the church I have heard this my whole life. I have KNOWN the truth of it ever since I can remember. However, knowing it, and experiencing it are two different things. My human heart still longs for things of this world and my dreamer self still likes to plan for the future. I have always coveted Paul’s declaration that he had, “learned to be content in every circumstance” (Phil 4:11).
After my first miscarriage my every waking thought was on the baby I wanted and becoming pregnant again as quickly as possible. So, I became pregnant immediately. This, I thought, would lead to my contentment. Then, we lost that baby as well. I felt upset and frustrated and defeated at first. But, I reluctantly decided to wait a bit for trying to become pregnant again and then I still didn’t get pregnant when I wanted to.
God has brought me to this point of believing and trusting that if His plan is to only give me two children, that is sufficient, “My grace is sufficient for thee; my power is made perfect in weakness,” (2 Cor. 12:9). My joy can be in him. I will not be unhappy forever if I do not have the 4-5 children I have always dreamed of.
2. God’d Ways are Best
I am a planner. A dreamer. I had it all mapped out in my head the age gaps between my children and my first miscarriage sent me into a panic. If I took too long to get pregnant with the third, then the fourth would be postponed and then soon I would be too old to have children! I tried taking matters into my own hands, getting pregnant again quickly. We miscarried again. I began obsessively looking at fertility calendars and due date calculators to determine when the next child could potentially been born. The stress of it all was intense and I was filled with anxiety all day, every day. Then, despite my perfect planning, i did not conceive again. Something clicked in my brain and I realized I had to relinquish control. I stopped checking the calendars and I stopped analyzing the next five years.
I truly understood that, “A man plans his ways, but the Lord directs his steps,” (Proverbs 16:9) and I believe that God has a specific plan and a purpose in this (Jer. 29:11). And, while I would sacrifice convenience for a child in a heartbeat, it is true that we are in a very difficult phase with our youngest and I honestly can not imagine adding another baby one month from now. Part of me feels like a traitor to say that. I feel like I am betraying the baby I lost. It’s not that I wouldn’t want that baby, but that I can see God’s grace in the midst of the loss. Grace abounds.
3. I love my Children More
Of course I always love my children, but us mothers know that they sometimes drive us bonkers. I feel as though I had entered into a pattern of impatience. I tend to always have too much on my plate and, therefore, my patience was lacking. I was not responding to or discipling in love as I truly desire to. The miscarriages woke me up to this. I thought to myself: Well, would I give myself another child? If I can’t speak with kindness to the children I already have, why should I have another one? I’m not saying my miscarriages were a punishment. I’m merely saying they revealed to me my faults as a mother and encouraged me to make a change.
4. My Marriage is Stronger
Marriage can be tough. There are always ups and downs. I find that weathering the downs together brings us closer together. My husband was a rock for me during my suffering. He was patient with my anger, encouraging in my fears, and comforting with my tears. This experience helped us to talk more about our vision for our family. It led us to be on the same page. It also reminded me to keep my husband’s needs as a priority. I don’t want my desire for more children to eclipse my care of him. My miscarriages encouraged me to work on growing closer to him and to work on making service to him a habit prior to adding another child to our brood.
5. I am more diligent
The loss of the two little lives I dearly wanted, reminded me of my dreams. I have always dreamed of being a wife and mother. Yet, at times I complained about my load of work and its difficulty. The loss of those children, reminded me that I am basically living my dream life. How dare I complain? After all, should I be blessed with more children, the work load will only increase. So, I m choosing daily to “work as though working for the Lord” (Colossians 3:23-24). Choosing that each day has led to my spirit changing and being genuinely glad to clean and cook and care for my family. It is, after all, my dearest calling.
6. I am more Confident in Helping Others
I have always been very shy. It is not easy for me to reach out to others. Something about enduring this pain has emboldened me. I have wrestled with the darkness of it and have chosen the light. This growing time, this going through the fire and coming out whole has encouraged me to share with others. Thus, when I heard of another woman suffering a miscarriage, I reached out. I usually avoid initiating conversations with people I don’t know, but I felt called to offer comfort if I could. In addition, I have had friends reach out to me with sorrows that I did not know existed. I am so thankful to have words to give these women and to be able to offer them hope and I feel as though I have been molded for, “such a time as this” (Esther 4:14).
So, while I would never have wished the death of my two babies in the womb, I am glad that the status quo has changed. I am glad that I am not still walking around enduring, and striving, and complaining. I am glad that God has brought me through the fire and has refined me in the process. I am glad that He has made himself my focus rather than allowing me to stay focused on the things of this earth. I still have much to learn and many areas in which to grow, I know.
But, be encouraged. In whatever you are walking through, there is great purpose and , “there is wonderful joy ahead” (1 Peter 1:6). Know, that I am not saying this from a place where I am pregnant again or with that longing for a third child fulfilled. Instead, I say it from a place of brokenness. The longing is still there, but is is overshadowed by a trust and a “hope for the future”.