Thursday, February 17, 2011

Lessons from Grieving

As you may or may not have noticed, I've taken a break from blogging for a few weeks. I needed time to let my heart heal & time to think; time to feel whole again. Honestly, I'm not there yet. But, the Lord is good & I'm learning so many things. I wanted to share because I know how much learning from others has helped me. Hopefully, this can all make sense & won't sound all jumbled up & incoherent. And, hopefully it won't be too long. It is very personal & Eric and I prayed a bit before posting this.

Almost 5 weeks ago, I miscarried our baby. Eric and I hadn't even shared the news that were expecting with anyone yet- I was just shy of being 8 weeks along. (Well, anyone beyond Devon, who always begins our phone conversations with asking me if I'm expecting.) We had actually planned a dinner with my parents so that we could share our news with them & the children but I miscarried days before that night. It's the hardest thing I've ever had to face. I still have a lot of tears. It still weighs heavy on my heart- it's always on my mind even though I appear outwardly to be doing okay.

I started bleeding late on a Saturday night 4 weeks ago. It was totally unexpected & I was shocked. Telling Eric was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. By Sunday, I knew that I was miscarrying because the bleeding was heavy. I went to the DR on Monday, when he confirmed that I had indeed miscarried. That appointment was so difficult. Not once did anyone say they were sorry for my loss. I was told that this was a common thing & the fact that I hadn't miscarried yet meant I was lucky. Time for me to pay my dues. Yep. Those were the words. I held myself together & calmly left but inwardly I wanted to scream. But I didn't have the strength to say anything back.

I decided to let my body miscarry naturally, even though I was told by the DR it could be long & painful. I knew from talking to other friends that it isn't always that way, so we prayed & cried out to the Lord to help it not be so. God answered those prayers. Eric stayed home a few days so I could rest. My parents longed to take the children to help, but it actually helped a lot to have them to care for.

As I said before, this is still very hard to bear. My heart aches for a child I'll never know on this earth. There are moments when my arms ache so much to hold our child & I just want to crumble. But, in the midst of our sorrow, the Lord is teaching me much. I have my dark moments when I can't understand the whys & grief swallows me up. I have my good moments when I see in part what the Lord is teaching me, when I have peace.

We do not grieve with despair- we know that our little one is with Jesus. Our greatest longing as parents is to see our children love the Lord & serve Him. My joy is complete for this child and though I wish I could have known this litle one, our Lord saw fit to do otherwise. It doesn't change God's goodness- His sovereignty may be hard to bear on this side of heaven, but He is still good. Even if I can't see it right now. So, the Lord is teaching me how to grieve & suffer, how to follow Him when it is difficult, how to trust Him when I can't understand. Nothing I would have chosen but He knows what is best.

The Lord is teaching me how to serve when sometimes all I want to do is withdraw. I am reminded of how David, having heard that his child died, put away his sackcloth, washed & arose. He went back to his duties & worshiped the Lord. (See 2 Samuel 12.) I need to mourn but I also need to be about the business God has called me to do. I need to love and care for my littles. Worship has been a healing balm for my soul. I've had a deep hunger to be in the Word. Hymns have been so comforting & I've also been listening often to Judy Rogers' cd "Never Be Shaken."

I'm learning to love my children. I'd been praying that my love would grow for my children, that I could learn to love them as Christ does. Caring for the children has been a soothing balm for my heart- I am so thankful to Lord for each of them! I've also been spending a lot of time thinking about my love for my children in light of my Lord- do I love them more? I know I can only truly love them when I love God first but maybe I mess that up sometimes.

I'm learning how to pray for others. I've prayed often for friends who suffered a miscarriage but now I pray in a whole new way. "Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits." (Romans 12:15-16)

I learning to put off fear. This is a hard one- lots of questions scream within to be heard. Will we have more children? Will I suffer this loss again? Could I bear the pain again? Why must I suffer? But I'm learning to put off unbelief, to trust the Lord with the future. "Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty. Neither do I concern myself with great matters, nor with things too profound for me. Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with his mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forever." (Psalm 131) This song has been an encouragement (thanks, Jeanelle!):

I'm learning to love Christ more. Before the miscarriage, I had been praying that I would truly be willing to follow my Savior, whatever the cost. I wondered if I knew what it meant to suffer & if my faith was strong. I praise God that He is faithful & strengthens His people! Christ suffered more than me so that I might have eternal life. What a gift!

"Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us." (Psalm 62:8)
- Heather

(Thank you to all of those who have been praying for us!)


Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry, Heather. I understand your loss because I have been through that also. I will be praying for you.

dawn said...

Love you and will continue praying for you. [hugs]

Casey said...

Oh, Heather, I am so, so sorry to hear this. I'm sorry you didn't receive comfort from your doctor and staff at such a painful time. I'm sorry your hearts have been broken, and I pray that the Lord will bind up those broken hearts. I thank God for Eric, who is such a good and godly man for you, and for your children, who will be a precious salve to those wounds. May you all continue to heal! I was JUST listening to this song by JJ Heller on YouTube tonight, and it's just lovely:
(hugs) to your whole family-

Tracy said...

Big hugs to you, Heather. I suffered a miscarriage before mac was born, and it was such a heart-breaking experience. Even those close to me seemed very callous and matter of fact about it. I just wanted to curl up and grieve, and everyone thought it was "no big deal". Verne and I were devastated, not only from losing our baby, but by the remarks of those around us. I pray that you find comfort in Him, and joy in being surrounded by your sweet children and husband.

Jeanelle said...

Our hearts continue to ache with yours. I understand your grief and your longing to hold and to know your little one. I still have these longings, though realize too, that they are perfect in Christ and in the presence of our savior. God will heal your hearts,in time. I do wish I were there, with my friend, to talk and cry over a cup of warm coffee. Miss you! [Huge Hug]

Anonymous said...

Hold fast to our Lord, he will guild you(Eric,children) at this time. The peace of knowing that this dear little is with Christ,will soon comfort your lost. Hold strong to prayers of others. We contitude to feel your lost and pray our Father will comfort you all. Bless you Heather and Family.

Love Mom and Dad

Mahers Hill Academy said...

Praying for comfort and healing for you all. Thank you for sharing what you've been going through - I know it must have been so hard to put it in words.

Ray Harris said...

Dear Heather and Eric,

This morning I read Heather's blog discussing her experience with the miscarriage. I am sure that even reading comments to the blog may revive some of the pain you have felt. But I commend you for the courage to say what you have. We live in a society that devalues the life of children, and I believe what you wrote stands as a beautiful witness in the face of an unbelieving world to the mercy of our God and his unending love towards us. Thank you for the courage to speak the truth in love.

May the Holy Spirit hold you close, revealing the Father's love and mercy and Christ's compassion.


ps - please save your blog in a fashion that it can be passed down to your children as perhaps part of your journals.

Wojick said...

Heather & Eric,
Thank you for sharing your hearts in this difficult post and affirming the value of all life. May you find comfort in parenting your littles, and in looking forward to a sweet reunion with the one who has gone on before you - and may our savior hold you close as you weather this season of hard providence.
The Wojicks

Anonymous said...

My heart hurts for you. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself in this post. We will have you and your family in our prayers.
Rachel Dawson

Jess said...

Oh Heather!

I am so so sorry for your loss. I can hardly even imagine how hard it must be. Hugs and sending prayers for God's arms to be close around you all.

joanne kruse tully said...

So sorry to hear about your miscarriage. I had 2 myself one before Laura was born and one after Kristine. I am sure this will not affect future pregnancies!!!