“I’m miscarrying. What should I do?”
I read her message right as I was getting ready for bed. My hand absent-mindedly cupped my lips. My eyes welled with all the familiar emotions. It would be one of the first of many messages sent to me from devastated mothers grappling with the death of their child in miscarriage.
When we lost our very first child in miscarriage back in 2013 I felt so alone. As I began to share my story I found hundreds of women who knew this unique pain as well as this unique loneliness. Experiencing the loss of six babies in five years gave me the unwanted privilege of developing my own personal “template” for grieving miscarriage. I hope these 5 spiritual disciplines help you in your own journey with the Lord and miscarriage as they have helped me:
- Lament – “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why are you so far from my deliverance and from my words of groaning?” Psalm 22:1
The courage to lament does not necessarily rob us of the joy of the Lord, rather it dismantles our false perceptions of what joy in the Lord really looks like. It plunges us deeper into the fullness of supernatural joy in the midst of our heartache. The only way to go from the valley to the mountain is to admit that you’re in the valley in the first place.
Jesus Himself offered up a lament while carrying out the very thing His Father sent Him to earth to do. It’s our natural human instinct to want to bury the pain, to minimize it so we don’t have to admit that it hurts as much as it does. But grief is always buried alive. And buried grief will eat away at our faith until we are nothing more than church attendees whose Bible reading looks more like scrolling through Instagram.
- Remember – “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds. Your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God?” Psalm 77:11-13
When we remember how the Lord has provided for us in ways that we wanted, it can foster the notion that positive circumstances equal God’s goodness in our lives. But when we remember who the Lord is, our definition of what is actually “good” is challenged and we are forced to admit that He is our only good.
Remembering the Lord sets our eyes on Him so that we can praise Him forevermore.
“You turned my mourning into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, so that I can sing to you and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.” Psalm 30: 11-12
- Worship – “Who do I have in heaven but you? And I desire nothing on earth but you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart, my portion forever. Those far from you will certainly perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. But as for me, God’s presence is my good. I have made the Lord God my refuge, so I can tell about all you do.” Psalm 73:25-28
The week I learned that I would lose a third baby in miscarriage I was standing in a room full of women singing up-beat worship songs. Their legs pumping with expectation of how God was going to work in their hearts over the weekend. I had never felt so much apathy in a worship service. I stood with my friends near the front, my hands shoved deep in my pockets. Eyes resentfully scanning the room of worshippers.
My inability to worship God in my grief was a reflection of my view of God. To clarify, worshipping God is not reserved for those 30 minutes on a Sunday morning. To worship God in spirit and in truth is more than just singing, although it is very much singing, it is living in submission and awe of Almighty God.
Choosing to worship God in miscarriage communicates to my heart that God is bigger than my pain and that He will ultimately make all things new.
“And He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new’” Revelation 21:5
- Read – “Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night. He is like a tree planted beside flowing streams that bears its fruit in its season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.” Psalm 1:2-3
Specifically, read the Bible.
I have read many books as I carried death in my womb again and again and again. Some of these books have had a profound impact on me and I have recommended many of them!
But only one book is living and active.
Only one book has the power to rebuild what the enemy meant to destroy me.
Only one book was breathed by God Almighty.
That’s the book we need to be reading when we find ourselves in a world without the child we carried and never held. When we delight in God’s Word we will find ourselves planted, even in the middle of the storm, by flowing streams.
- Comfort others – “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Admittedly, this has been an unexpected but necessary component of my journey with Jesus in multiple miscarriages. But Jesus never pours outHimself on His children so that we can keep Him all to ourselves.
Before you shoot off a text to a grieving Mom, remember that Job’s friends brought the greatest comfort when they simply sat with their friend and didn’t say a word. Their well-intended speeches actually made them “worthless healers.” Extending comfort might look a lot more like sitting quietly with a friend rather than a sending a podcast or dissecting a passage of Scripture for her.
Ultimately God alone will hold us together in the unique suffering of miscarriage. I can personally testify to that. We cannot achieve more faith for ourselves apart from the sovereign keeping of the Lord. He is ever-present, I am praying that you sense His presence even now.
“He is before all things, and by him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:17