Today’s post is for my friends and readers who have experienced infertility, pregnancy loss, or infant loss. If you haven’t experienced these things, you may not understand. But if you have, I hope you will feel encouraged in the fact that you are not alone. You are not crazy. What you are going through is normal.
Grief is a strange thing. Just when I think I understand my grief and how it works it takes a turn and does something different. I am learning that it comes in waves. It has been three years since my first ectopic pregnancy. It has been three months since my second. It has been one month since my third loss, which was by miscarriage. I have been hoping for a successful pregnancy for over 18 months now and it feels farther away than ever.
Some days I am optimistic. Some days I feel strong. Most days I feel like I am healing. Yesterday was not one of those days. It was as if the tide of my grief was rolling in unexpectedly. I had no idea it would come. I had been dealing with things so well and felt like I was making so much progress - however one makes progress in a situation like this. But all of a sudden the grief was strong and heavy. It was so thick I could barely breathe. I wanted to stop it, to push it away, to come out from under it. I tried so hard to ignore it. I begged God to take it away. I counted my blessings and praised the Lord for the good He has done in my life. But the waves of grief just kept rolling over me.
Finally, in the quiet of the evening the tears found their way to my eyes. I cried tears of a new, fresh grief that I hadn’t known to expect. I felt foolish for behaving this way. What has happened is in the past, I tried to tell myself. There’s no use in crying over it anymore. But the reality of what I have lost has only now begun to really sink in. I have three babies in heaven. I should be in my second trimester of pregnancy right now. I didn’t just lose babies, I lost the experiences I should be having, the chance to see their faces and make memories with them. Turns out you really can lose what you never had - and it’s a very painful loss.
I tossed and turned all night. Sleep came and went. I prayed at various times throughout the night just asking God to hold me and comfort me. I asked Him to show me what I was supposed to learn through all of this.
And then this morning I learned, as I have over and over again, how very powerful prayer can be. The grief was still heavy when I woke up. But I had hopes that a new day, a new week, would be what I needed to move past it again. And then I received a text message from my sister-in-law. “Just want you to know I am praying for you today.” Never has a simple text message brought so much comfort to my heart! And moments later I received another message from an old friend who I haven’t even seen in years. “The Lord has put you on my heart today. I am praying for you.”
I was amazed. Not really amazed that God would meet my needs. But amazed at how He chose to do it. And encouraged by these friends that would listen to God’s leading and spend any amount of time in prayer for me. And with that God gave me my lesson for the day: You never know what someone is going through privately. But you should always listen to the Lord’s voice and make it a point to pray for those He lays on your heart. Prayer is extremely powerful. God wants to work in our lives, but He wants us to acknowledge Him and His power - and that’s what prayer does. It says, “I can’t fix this, but I know You can. Please show your power in this person’s life.” And this morning, within half an hour of receiving those messages I felt the burden leave me. It was as if God simply bent down and removed it Himself. The fog had lifted, the waves were gone, and I was able to function like a normal human being again.
I don’t want to sound like a depressing person, or like that girl who doesn’t ever think about anything but her fertility and pregnancy problems. I’m certainly not consumed with these thoughts all day every day. The Lord has blessed me with such a full and rich life! But these issues are the reason I started this blog. I wanted to be an encouragement to other women who might be experiencing similar things. And very often, what has encouraged me has just been the validation of what I am feeling - knowing that what I’m going through is completely normal and that I’m not the first person who has felt this way or had these struggles. So maybe, just maybe, God wanted to use me today to be “a better blessing” to someone else who is privately struggling too. And if you are, I hope you’ll reach out to God in prayer. He promise is this:
I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.
-- John 14:18