This is one of those "as I was thinking, I typed" kind of posts, which might make some sense, or it might not. I've written about a million of these, and usually keep them as drafts or delete them, but I wanted to post one, since I've gotten one or two comments on the topic recently.
I haven't shared about this specifically here, because I haven't really known how to do it, but since I've already begun, here we go. I lost a baby in June of 2012, which you probably recall. And if you read this blog but we haven't spoken about it in person, you've possibly wondered what's been happening in the last two years and four months in that regard. And the answer is... well, that wasn't my last loss. The most recent one is weighing heavy on my heart especially hard lately. He or she was to be due the 1st of November and a few of my friends are also due around this time, so I think the combination of it's been HOW long? and seeing their swollen bellies and thinking about what could have been is more real, because I have that physical reminder. Not that I'm upset by them, just reminded. If that makes sense.
Miscarriage is a strange, strange thing. I haven't been through enough in life to know what to compare it to, so I'm going to do my best. It's a loss, for sure. But not in the sense that you'd feel if your best friend died. Because honestly, you didn't know the little one. You never saw their face in real life, possibly never even heard their heartbeat. It doesn't really make sense that you would miss someone desperately without ever meeting them, but that's the paradox of miscarriage, in my experience. You aren't grieving what was, but what wasn't. And that's a strange thing because there's not a lot to compare it to to make it make sense in your head. It's difficult to talk to someone who's gone through that because you aren't sure how to approach it or if you should. And sometimes you just forget, because not having a tangible thing to talk to someone about or comfort them in is really, really difficult!
The things you miss the most are the things you can't actually miss:
You have no idea what they looked like, and you wish you knew.
You don't know if they were a girl or boy, although you may have felt one way or the other.
You don't know their real birthday, if you would have stuck with that original name choice once you saw them, how you would have reacted when they gasped their first breath of air.
You don't know who they might have become, or what they might have taught you.
You don't know first words, favorite colors, or if they would have loved books like you.
The whole thing is a mystery, and that's one thing that makes it so sad. There is nothing tangible but a pregnancy test I threw away long ago because that's gross. I long for tangible. I long to KNOW. Not only to know WHY, but to know who the child I've lost would be today. They would be nearly two years old at this point, which is crazy because my life is quite far removed from life would be as the mother of a one year old, and that makes me sad too.
A fear of mine in struggling with this is that I would lose my faith. That may sound strange, but I've heard of lots of people who have gone through something traumatizing (and we're talking serious stuff here) and then given up on God.
I see the reasoning. God is loving. God is good. God takes away (or doesn't prevent some outside source taking away) something good. ..God must not be good.
But actually that's not true. God doesn't arbitrarily hand out good things and bad things.
We live in a world that is broken. Death, disease, infertility, natural disasters, pain, hardship... these are all part of the collective human experience. Good has been broken by the bad. It's imperfect, this world. They aren't good.
But (I feel like this illustration has been done before), have you ever walked on a broken sidewalk before? The answer is likely yes. It's frustrating, because you have to look where you're going or risk breaking your leg, but sometimes there are little flowers growing out from the cracks. They don't fix the cracks. They can't make them go away, but it is such a neat contrast to me to see that little life springing up from the brokenness of the sidewalk.
This is when we bring Jesus into the picture, bet you saw it coming.
Jesus lived in this broken world. That's astonishing, if you sit down and ponder it. He's the Son of God and yet he entered earth the way we all do and lived almost like we all do. I say almost because he went through the same experience without sin. He was tempted, and didn't sin. And He died on a cross in His sinless state, giving the broken world hope. Why is this hope? Because a broken world can't be fixed with Elmer's Glue. All the green grass and flowers in the world can't cover up the fact that there are murderers and that there is pain and that things happen that shouldn't. They almost make it seem more hopeless, because they fail and show us what a dump we live in.
When Jesus died on the cross, He brought hope. The lives we were living before were hurtling toward a very bleak future. Brokenness that would end and become eternal brokenness with no chance of escape. Jesus' death doesn't offer to fix the broken sidewalk, per se, but a future hope of being able to live and breathe freely in a way we cannot understand. His death has given life to us, because although we only have a small glimpse of what lies ahead, we have something truly -- and in its fullest sense -- GOOD to look forward to - a world that is whole and perfect.
I cling to that hope because I feel that I have to. It's really all I have to go on in life, because without the hope that Jesus brought and that Jesus IS, I would be left in brokenness. I would be left not knowing, without the slightest hope that maybe one day all would be reconciled.
I hate brokenness. I hate that I experience pain, that I've lost a baby. I hate that you go through it too and that there are not only sad things, but terrible ones going on in this world. I despise what could happen in this world.
And yet I am not worried. I am not fearful for the future as a whole because I believe that Jesus is real. I believe that He is who He said He was and that He will bring reconciliation. There are temporary things we can hope in that bring comfort, but ultimately, I see putting my faith in Him alone as the safest thing I can hope to look forward to.
Whether I do have children of my own one day or not -- as much as I don't like to think about that -- God is good. I can't deny that. I would need to deny everything I've ever said about Him