I decided a while back that I want to be the same person everywhere I go. I don’t want to hide or change who I am. I want to be me. The good, the bad, and the ugly. I believe when we put on masks there is real damage that is done. We say we are okay, pretend we don’t sin, and watch what we say because we are afraid people will be offended by what is going on in our lives. That to me is about as far from Jesus as you can get. And I believe that until you show your ugly side the healing process cannot begin. That’s why I want to write about my struggle of trusting God after miscarriage.
It’s one thing to say that, but it’s much harder to actually live that way. It sounds so easy, but to express your doubts, fears, and struggles can be hard. But I think it’s worth the risk.
In our culture we place far too much value on looking the part. Saying the right words, avoiding the wrong ones. But I don’t think that’s healthy. There are thousands of people that have dealt with this. And PC answers just do not suffice. So here it is, here’s my story and the lessons I have learned from having a miscarriage and trusting God.
I doubt I’ll ever forget the first night after we miscarried… It’s one of those things that you just can’t prepare for. It was always someone else’s problem, somebody else’s story. Until it became mine. And I had no idea how to live it out. So there I am lying in bed trying to process these feelings. I wouldn’t say I was talking with God, in all honesty I was more talking at God.
I’ll spare the details, but I was angry, hurt, and unsure sure of why things had to happen the way that they did.
After what seemed like a lifetime of laying in bed, crying, staring blankly at the wall and praying what felt like empty prayers that became increasingly desperate, my focus shifted. I don’t know why but the story of Job came into my head. Job experienced more loss than I will experience in a lifetime. I wonder what he felt and the thoughts he had.
And I started thinking about God’s response to Job when he asked why he was allowed to suffer so much. If you are familiar with the story you know God doesn’t give an answer but rather for pages goes on and on about how He is God and Job is not.
I gotta be honest, I think that sounds like bull to me. I want an answer. I want to know why this happened. I want a reason for this chaos. I want to know why God decided not to let me hold my baby.
I think what I was really searching for was comfort. I wanted to know that God was there and He cared. I started praying asking God to show me that he cared about what I was going through. I asked Him to show up to me in a physical way. I wanted to feel him with me; I wanted to feel comfort of some kind. I wanted to know that despite the fact of how I felt, that somehow, in some way, He was still in control and things would work out.
I fell asleep alone that night, with no comfort and no answer to my prayer.
Trusting God After Miscarriage
It’s been a strange journey to process this loss. It’s a hard thing to wrap your head around. Some days it just seems like it wasn’t real. Other days it seems all too real. Some nights all I want is to pour another drink and forget, to not face reality for a few moments. Other nights I’m angry and still yet some nights seem totally normal. It’s a strange mix of emotions that I wasn’t prepared for.
I wish I had something more comforting to say, but I don’t. I’ve preached and taught for years that God is close to the brokenhearted (and I still believe that). But that night I didn’t feel it. And if I’m honest I still haven’t felt that in the months preceding. At other times in my life I’ve had profound experiences and I’ve known beyond a shadow of a doubt that God was with me. I know in my head that God is with me, but I sure haven’t felt it.
Throughout this journey I’ve known in my head that God is good. But I can’t bring myself to say that, and I sure don’t feel it. I’ve accepted what’s happened and it doesn’t affect my day to day. However I still don’t have peace, I don’t have an answer, and I still haven’t felt any comfort.
It’s one of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with. Breaking the news to friends and family was some of the hardest conversations I’ve had. Bringing this into the open hasn’t been easy. At every turn I want to isolate myself and withdraw from community. But I know I shouldn’t. I know because I’ve preached for years in the most difficult seasons you shouldn’t run from people, but rather run towards people. But knowledge doesn’t make doing what you know is right easier.
I’ll keep pushing forward. In this life I doubt I will ever understand, I doubt I will ever have peace. But what I do have is faith. I trust that God is working in ways I cannot see or understand. I trust that the best hands my baby can be in is God’s, even if that means they are not my hands. I trust that all my affliction is temporary. I trust that every millisecond of my misery is producing a peculiar eternal glory. I trust that this is not meaningless.
My faith isn’t based on my feelings. Because I certainly don’t feel this way most days. Daily I have to remind myself of the truth of the Gospel. Daily I have to preach to myself. I trust that God is good, not because of my circumstance, but because that’s all He can be.
Therefore, do not lose heart. But take these truths and day by day focus on them. Preach them to yourself every morning. Get alone with God and preach his word into your mind until your heart sings with confidence that you are new and cared for. John Piper
Maybe you’ve been through this. Maybe you’ve been through something different but still hurt. I can’t promise things will get better. But I do believe you can get through whatever it is you are facing.
During this season I had many doubts. I wrote another article specifically on doubt, you can read it here: Faith and Doubt (and how they coexist)
Share Your Story
The last thing I wanted to do was talk about my experience. I wanted to bottle it up and not tell anyone. But what I needed to do was tell someone. Life isn’t meant to be lived alone, especially in hard times. You need to tell others. Don’t keep it in.
I’m terrible at telling this kind of news so I just kinda vomit it out there. That’s the only way I know how. It’s not pretty, but it gets it out there. Find a friend or family member you can tell. Don’t worry about the words, just say it.
Take a risk and tell someone what’s going on in your life. Don’t bottle it up and hold it in. Not only is it better for you to share, but you never know the impact your story will make.
Express What You are Feeling to God
Whether you are angry, sad, depressed, numb, or whatever else give it to God. Exactly how you feel, don’t censor yourself. Just give it to him. For me I journal my prayers. I found this helpful because I get a little distracted and writing helps me focus. It’s the way I’ve found that I can best describe what I’m feeling to God.
Another thing that helps me is listening to some music that expresses what I’m feeling. I’m not really a worship music guy. I don’t connect with most of the songs out there, but there are a few. So make a playlist and use that as an expression to God.
Find your way, whatever it is, to get what’s in your mind and on your heart to God.
Don’t Stop Trusting God
My first reaction is well if you aren’t going to do this for me, why should I trust you again? But I’m not God and there are plenty of things in this world I just will not understand this side of eternity. It comes down to where your faith it. Is it in your circumstances? Or is it in the promise of the Gospel?
That’s a tough question to ask yourself. But faith based in circumstances will always fall apart. Faith built on the promises of God will stand firm. Don’t let your difficult circumstances dictate your faith. Get alone with God and preach the Gospel to yourself daily.
I don’t have answers… I wish I did, but I don’t. I have far more questions than anything else. But what I do know is there are people out there with a similar story. I know I’m not alone. I wanted to put this struggle to words for those that have experienced it; maybe you can get some comfort that your thoughts and questions are normal and others have been there too. I get it, I’ve been there.
I also want people that have not experienced this loss to have a small idea of what it is like. If that’s you maybe when you have a friend or family member go through this you can be there for them. You don’t have to have any words. Just your presence, just a phone call, can be comforting.
And if nothing else I can share my story which is part of the healing process.
If you’ve experienced this I would love to hear your story. Comment your experience below.