Matthew and I feel that the Father has put us in a position where we live our lives rather in the public eye. Sometimes that is hard. Sometimes, though, it gives us freedom to express things in a way other people only wish they could. Maybe some of you have experienced the pain of miscarriage, and not been able to share it. I write this especially for you.
Disclaimer. This is a LOOOOOOONG and emotional post. But I am not forcing you to read it so don’t whine about it, ok?!!!
For clarity, I am going to refer to the baby as “he”, despite not actually knowing the gender for fact!
Matt and I shared the news of my pregnancy early, when I was about 4 weeks into it. We had “planned” this baby, and felt that the Lord had spoken to us about when and where he would join our family. Of course, we never imagined that we would never know this baby on earth.
I miscarried at 9 weeks. So the baby was only about 1 inch long. It was a fast, whole miscarriage and I held him in my palm, oh-so-perfect, this little one. Fingers, toes, perfect little cord that had given him life while he was inside my womb. Matt and I had watched him swimming and playing on a huge screen just that morning. We feel so honored to have had the chance to see him while he was alive.
My initial response was GRIEF. Sadness that ripped my body apart.
I did not feel anger toward God. I had fully expected I would. Instead, I was angry at China, angry at the incompetent doctors I had seen. I wondered if environmental conditions, or the water I drink had contributed to this miscarriage.
I was afraid, because I knew I had this giant LUMP inside me, and had no idea what it was.
I felt guilty, because I had been such a cranky, sick, first trimester mama. I wondered if I was going through this because I wasn’t “worthy” to be a mom again.
As my body became suddenly not pregnant, I felt guilty, because I was really enjoying being able to eat food again, without feeling sick. And I was really enjoying the taste of coffee after 2 months of it making me puke!
Two weeks after the surgery, when we were home in Kunming, Matt decided I needed to get away for a few days. I wanted to get away as well. I wanted to confront my feelings and emotions head-on. I wanted to wrestle with God, I wanted to ask Him my questions, and get some answers, or even just some peace.
While at the hotel, I read the word. I listened to sermons from Bethel and IHOP. I listened to my playlist of “feel good songs” and my playlist of “Jesus” songs. I yelled and cried and told Him everything.
The two big breakthroughs I had were these.
First. There was a specific image in my mind that was setting me off into a vortex of grief and pain every time it came to mind. I described it to my Father, and asked Him to help me find a way to handle that memory.
These are the things He reminded me of… but in such a way, it was as though I was being told for the first time.
“My Son died in a flood of blood, just like yours”
“My Son was in me, and a part of me, and ‘supposed’ to be safe, just like yours”
“I loved my Son, I knew Him for eternity. I knew Him for 30 years on earth. If you loved your child so much after only 9 weeks, imagine how much I loved mine! I know exactly how you feel”
Those three things sound so elementary, so fundamental to my faith, it is hard for me to fully explain how profound they are to me right now. And how completely they healed me. Every time I recall that image, that memory, I smile with joy for knowing that He knows how I feel.
He understands. And that makes it ok.
Second. One of my dominate emotions was of feeling totally ungrounded. Like I was riding a roller coaster with no end in sight. I feared I would end up like that forever, and “wimp out” on the whole living and working overseas thing.
I listened to a sermon from Jason Ma. In it he used an analogy of being on a ship in the ocean. He spoke of the consuming, and mind-numbing seasickness he experienced his first time on the ocean.
He described how his uncle put his arm around him, and suggested he focus his eyes on a mountain that hung over the horizon. As he focused on the mountain, the seasickness gradually faded away. As long as he kept his eyes on the mountain, he didn’t feel like he was going crazy. He didn’t throw up. Everything was ok.
In the same way, Jesus is my mountain. He is my constant. When I focus on Him, the crazy lady in my head fades away. My fears seem oh-so-much-less consuming. China isn’t so scary, and my life seems manageable.
Oh my GOD. My constant. The One Who really Understands me.
The smile on my face when you see me around town is real. The pain that still occasionally stabs me is real. The joy that grows out of my thankfulness and Father-given peace is real. Who HE is, and how HE loves, is real.