I’ve been thinking a lot about this verse lately, meditating on it’s truth and how this “overcoming” is accomplished by action: telling our testimonies. It seems that the Lord has built in a natural healing process for us, as believers, when we choose to tell our hard stories and rejoice in the work that the Lord has done through painful times, and the ways that he has redeemed them.
This week marks 2 years since Matthew and I lost our first baby. I wish there was a specific date that I could set aside specifically to mourn this little one each year, but the way that it happened, it’s kind of hard to pinpoint. Was it the fateful doctor’s appointment that showed us a life not fully formed? Or sometime before that? Or perhaps the date of the surgery, which gave the miscarriage finality? No, I believe the Lord left some ambiguity in this season for me for a reason- to give me time to reflect, to meditate, to ponder what might have been and yet rejoice in the truth of what is- the work that the Lord has done.
Losing our baby was the darkest, most painful time in my entire life. We had been trying to get pregnant for what seemed like ages, and when it finally happened, we were filled with so much joy- only to have it shattered all too soon. We were very blessed to have faithful friends walk through this time in our lives, though I can’t say that I had anyone particularly close to me (that I could lean on on a daily basis whenever needed) that really, truly understood- which was very difficult. It was through that pain, that loneliness, that the Lord spoke and gave me hope- that He would use this loss of life to let me be a voice of truth in the life of other women experiencing loss. I won’t say that it made our loss easier- not at all- but knowing that the Lord was going to redeem this time of sorrow allowed me to more easily process the loss as something that would build the Kingdom at some point. I rejoice in His faithfulness to fulfill that promise.
I first spoke out publicly about our loss the following Mother’s Day- partly to voice my own struggles with the day as a whole, but mostly to let other women know that they weren’t alone. Since that time, I have spoken and written for several different venues about our miscarriage, as well as simply being a listening ear for many women enduring loss.
Why am I telling you all this?
Because I want you to know:
The Lord is faithful to redeem the deep and enveloping pain of the loss of a child.
As women, we are not promised biological children. When we were struggling through that first year or so, wondering if I would ever get pregnant, there was no promise that we would. After our miscarriage, there was no promise that I would conceive again. Even still, after having Hallelujah, there is no promise of another biological child.
But our Father, who is the author and the giver of life, who gives and takes away as He sees fit to build his Kingdom, promises us that if we abide in Him, He will fill us with peace that surpasses understanding, joy in the midst of sorrow, and that He will take our painful moments and redeem them back into times of praise.
Do I praise the Lord for the loss of that sweet life? Of course not. I grieve that sweet baby daily. But I praise the Lord for the many lives that have been ministered to through that loss. I praise the Lord for the women who know that they aren’t alone anymore, because of the testimony that has come through our loss. For the families who no longer feel isolated. For the mothers who know that it’s okay to be angry, hurt, confused, or frustrated on Mother’s Day. I praise the Lord for the privilege of this ministry, for the privilege of being a mother to that sweet baby: if only for a few short weeks physically, but forever in my heart.
If you are enduring the pain of a loss, please know that you are not alone. I am praying strength and peace over you, and that someday, you too may enter into the ministry of “overcoming”, by the words of your testimony. For all of my sisters in the battle of infertility, waiting for your first Mother’s Day, I am praying trust in the Lord over you. Our Father is good, my friends, and He loves you! You’re in my thoughts and prayers today.
I’ve put together a list of resources for families who have experienced loss, and for their family and friends. Please be encouraged and know that there is healing. You can view that list here.