Miscarried Messages

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Miscarried Messages

What did I learn through my miscarriage?

1.  I needed to talk about it.  I have always been a talker, so it was only natural that in trying to process the depths of my grief, I needed to talk.  However, when my dear friend (Judy) lost her triplets, I saw that she needed to pull away and grieve in private.  I was able to see that very early on, and I granted her that space.  I still continued to call, realizing that I would most likely get the answering machine, but felt the need to let her know that I was thinking of her and praying for her.  I also continued to send her cards.

2.  I learned what NOT to say.  One of the first people who knew of my miscarriage said, “Well, you can always have another one.”  I didn’t want ‘another’ one.  I wanted the baby I just lost! 

For some people, they don’t want to hear, “Well, there was probably something wrong with the baby, so it’s for the better that you miscarried.”  Knowing my temperament, I couldn’t picture myself dealing with a special needs child, so that comment actually helped me.  (A lot of my attitude on that issue could stem from the immaturity in my Christian walk at that point.) However, for most people, those kinds of comments are far more hurtful than helpful.

After several months have passed, if a friend is still grieving over her loss, please do not say to her, “Oh!  You’re still grieving?”  I can guarantee you that she would be very hurt by such an insensitive comment.  I heard one lady tell a story about a “friend” who said, “Are you done with that grieving stuff?”  None of us need those kinds of “friends.”

Another hurtful thing for me was when I would refer to my baby as Tiffany.  People who insensitively say, “How did you know that it was a girl?”  I found that comment very rude, and would try to gracefully walk away before my flesh rose up and told them a thing or two!  Granted, I miscarried at eight weeks, so there was no scientific way of knowing.  I just know that years before, Dean and I had prayed that we would have a girl when we did start trying to conceive. 

3.  I learned what TO say to someone.  Simply saying, “I’m so sorry,”  is often enough.  Another thing that helped was when people would say, “I’m praying for you.”  If someone would call to check on me in the months after the miscarriage, that meant so much to me.

4.  What to do to help.  I received numerous cards, which I still have to this day.  Some were thinking of you cards and some were actually sympathy cards.  The sympathy cards meant the most because I knew the people who sent them recognized that I’m not just having a hard trial, but rather, I lost my baby.  They recognized the miscarriage for what it was: a death.

I received an email from a lady who trying to minister to a friend who delivered a stillborn at seven months.  She wanted to know how to help.  One of the best things we can do besides pray for someone who is dealing with a loss of this kind is to mail them a card, to be received on the actual due date.  I promise you that she will be thinking of her baby on the due date.  She will be touched to know that you are thinking of her and the baby on that date. 

Another thing is to write down the date of when a friend miscarries.  The following year, be sure to send her a card on that date.  She will  remember it, and again, she’ll be touched that you took the time to remember her pain.

If someone miscarries her first baby, send her a card or flowers on Mother’s Day.  Acknowledge that she is still a mother. 

5.  As I stated in a prior message, I felt the need to name my child.  I also realized that I would never have any pictures of her to hang in the house, but I wanted to have something special with which to acknowledge her.  I went to the Christian bookstore and found the wallet sized cards with her first and middle name on them, along with a Bible verse that goes with her name.  I then put them in a small frame to display at home.  Somehow, that made me feel better.  Looking back on that time, it dawned on me that the cards I bought had a rainbow through them.  I felt like I was drowning in my grief and tears, but God was showing me His promise that this ‘flood’ would not overtake me.

6.  One thing that I was totally unprepared for:

Just a few weeks after having lost my baby, I went to play back a message on my answering machine.  It was from a portrait studio, congratulating me on the birth of my baby.  I called them back and I proceeded to give them some very strong words! 

7.  What one thing did I need to hear?

I had never been one to suffer from depression or prolonged grief.  Being that I lost my precious baby, and was experiencing the most painful moment in my life, I thought that I would live the rest of my life feeling this way.  I just wanted to die.  I couldn’t imagine living the rest of my life in that frame of mind.  If someone would have simply told me, “It will get better.  You will learn to laugh again.  You will move on to live a happy and productive life,” it would have given me some hope.  As it was, I felt absolutely hopeless.  I needed to hear Job 8:21 where it says that God will again fill my mouth with laughter, and that one day, I would again speak shouts of joy.

8.  I learned that even though I couldn’t feel God’s presence or sense Him moving in my life, He was still there.  Job 23:8-10 talks of looking for God and not finding Him, but Job was confident that God still knew the way that Job took.  Job found comfort in knowing that even if he didn’t know where God was, God certainly knew where Job was. 

9.  I learned that it was OK to talk to God about my anger, even anger that was directed at Him.  He knew exactly what was in my heart, so it wasn’t like I could hide it from Him.  Acknowledging it was a major breakthrough for me because He didn’t turn away from me when I unleashed my anger on Him.  Heb. 4:16 tells us that He was touched with the feelings of our infirmities, so He not only knew that I would miscarry, He understood everything I would feel as I went through the process of grieving.  Another scripture that gave me comfort was Ps. 103:14 where it tells us that God knows our frame, that we are dust.  That let me know that He still accepted me, anger and all because He created me, and knew every single thing about me.

10.  What I needed most from God was for my baby’s short life to have a purpose.  Here is what I have seen over the years:

— God showed me through the loss that deep down, I really was ready to become a mommy.

— Father softened my heart to the pain that others face in life.  No other situation could have softened my hard heart the way that my miscarriage did.

— I can now cry with others as they face trials and loss.  I can also rejoice much easier with those who rejoice.

— I can be comfortable telling someone, “I don’t know what to say, but I will be praying for you.”  It’s OK to not have all the answers!

— I have learned to acknowledge those special days.  Ex:  A friend’s son died, so I made sure that I sent her a card on his birthday.  Another lady lost her mother earlier this year.  I made sure that she got a ‘thinking of you’ card from me on the Saturday before Mother’s Day.  One lady lost her husband very early this year.  Valentine’s Day was the first ‘holiday’ after his death, so I sent her a card just to let her know that I remembered her loss.  When my friend Judy lost her triplets, I took her two blue carnations and a pink one on the following Mother’s Day, and I hugged her and cried again over her loss.

My pastor always says that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.  God can show you ways to minister to the hurting people in your life.

11.  What I’m still learning:

There will still be times of grieving, and I must allow myself those times.

The grieving won’t be completely gone until my body is transformed from mortal to immortal. 

My grieving usually hits me in the spring, which is the time when I was pregnant for Tiffany.  My grieving usually will come out through anger or feelings of hopelessness.  I have learned to ask the Lord to help me be sensitive to my emotions during those months.  One year when I was feeling exceptionally hopeless, I got before the Lord and asked Him what was wrong with me.  He gently said, “Do you remember what time of year it is?”  I wasn’t even consciously grieving.  Once I allowed myself the time to cry, I was fine. 

This year, I was dealing with a lot of anger, not realizing why, until I drove past the cemetery where any remains were buried.  (They did a D&C on me because there were still some remains inside of me, and that is what was buried at the cemetery.)  I began to cry, and it dawned on me the date was April 28th, the day I miscarried.

In closing, I must tell you that while I once believed my miscarriage was “Mission: Aborted,”  I now see it as “Mission: Accomplished.”  You see, my Father works ALL things together for good for those who are called according to HIS purpose.  (Rom. 8:28)  No, He certainly didn’t cause my miscarriage, but He did choose to use it for His glory.  I can honestly say that while it was the hardest thing I have ever gone through, it was also one of the BEST things I’ve ever gone through, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world!  Bless His Name!  He is so faithful, even when we are faithless.

© 2003, Stacy R. Miller

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