After having been asked several times to do a message addressing the pain of dealing with a miscarriage, I feel the prompting of the Lord to move in that area. In sharing some of the feelings I experienced during that time, I hope to help those who have also experienced this kind of a loss. For those who have never experienced this type of pain, I hope that by sharing my story, it will help you learn about some of the things which you should and shouldn’t say (or do) to others who are going through the grief of having lost their precious baby through miscarriage.
On April Fool’s Day, 1995, I took a pregnancy test. My worst fears were confirmed. I was definitely pregnant! Since Dean and I weren’t wanting to have any children at that point, we walked around numbly for a few days, just trying to absorb the shock. By the end of the following week, I had adjusted quite well to the change that was taking place. After pondering on it, I came to the conclusion that God had a mission for us that would be much better than the plans that Dean and I had made.
About the time I started wearing maternity clothes, I began to have some spotting. I prayed diligently for the Lord to protect this precious child. In spite of all of my tears, my prayers, my quoting scripture over the situation, I miscarried one morning while at work. My precious baby was dead. My plans for this child were aborted by a miscarriage. In my mind, the ‘mission’ that I felt God had for us was also ‘aborted.’
My feelings that morning were rather odd. I was devastated, but at the same time, I couldn’t believe how much better I felt physically, once the miscarriage took place. Being that it was my first pregnancy, I didn’t know that the dull ache on my lower right side wasn’t normal. For several weeks, I had an awful pain with every step I took. Now, I felt like my old self again because I couldn’t feel that pain any longer. Yet, somehow, I knew that I would never really be ‘my old self’ again.
Mother’s Day was only one weekend away on the day that I miscarried. I dreaded it terribly. On the Saturday before Mother’s Day, I had left to run some errands. When I came home, I opened up the refrigerator to find a sugar-free pie from my favorite pie shop. Without speaking a word, my wonderful husband had touched my heart deeply. I knew that he bought the pie for me for Mother’s Day to show me that he recognized me as a mother, all the same. I may not be able to hold my baby in my arms while in my earthly vessel, but he still recognized that I was indeed, a mother.
One morning, while I was on the way to work, I was praying and pondering over the situation again. It became very important to name my baby. I decided on the name Tiffany Brooke. Tiffany means ‘appearance of God,’ and I saw His appearance through the many cards I received in the days following the miscarriage. Brooke is for all of the tears I have cried over losing her.
Being that I knew the exact date of conception, when that date came around every month, I was usually more emotional about the loss. I felt the need to talk about it a lot. God bless my sisters in Christ, and my family, for listening to me, and letting me talk my way through my grief!
I desperately needed a purpose for Tiffany’s life, short as it was. One day, while at work, I began to see a purpose when one of the gentlemen from our pastoral care department at the hospital approached me. I had given him a copy of the poem that I wrote to Tiffany. He asked me if he could use my poem when ministering to people who go through a miscarriage. I was thrilled by his request.
During the time of intense grieving for me, I found out that a gal from church was expecting a baby right about the same time that Tiffany was due. I was so angry. She had walked away from God and had been living with a man outside of marriage, then came back to the Lord. I had walked faithfully with God and had a stable marriage, yet she gets a baby, and I don’t. It wasn’t fair!
A few months later, we find out that a family member who had an illegitimate child with one person now has an illegitimate child with another person. We were never even told that they were expecting until the baby was here. That was not only incredibly insensitive, but I felt that it was very rude for it to be hidden from the family. Had we all been told early on, I would have known that they were expecting before I ever conceived. That evening, I remember screaming out my frustrations to my husband, as well as to God. Poor Dean. He stood there, just looking at me. He didn’t have a clue as to how to help me. I had enough sense to tell him that he couldn’t help me; he just needed to let me scream.
I was still trying to find a real sense of purpose for Tiffany’s life. I knew that there had to be more of a purpose than just letting Pastoral Care use the poem that I wrote, but in the midst of all my questions, anger, depression, and crying, I just wasn’t seeing any purpose. In my eyes, it was just an aborted mission. How depressing, and it was so unfair!
On top of all of this, I was desperate for another baby. My womb felt so empty. I remember telling Dean that it was like my womb was screaming at me, “Give me another chance! I promise that I won’t let you down!” My arms ached for a newborn baby. Yet, every month, my ‘friend’ continued to visit me.
I was overwhelmed when I thought ahead to Christmas. When I was fifteen years old, a good friend of mine died on Christmas Eve from injuries that resulted from a car wreck. Seventeen years had passed since he died, yet I still struggled with the holiday season. And now, I am having to deal with the fact that my very own baby was due right around Christmas. How would I EVER deal with that? The heaviness was overwhelming.
As I would try to read my Bible, I always seemed to read things that reminded me of my loss. I would cry just about every time I read the Word, and quite honestly, I was tired of crying. I’m not normally a depressed person, and so much crying was really beginning to wear on me. One evening, I tried again to read my Bible, only to find that I was crying within just a few minutes time. I laid my Bible aside and cried out to God in total frustration. I told Him that I knew I should be reading, but I was tired of seeing things in there that just made me cry all over again. I was just ready to give up. Father spoke to me so clearly that night. I will NEVER forget it. Here is the conversation:
Father: So, are you ready to let go of the grief?
Me: No! I can NEVER let go of my baby!
Father: Daughter, I’m not asking you to let go of your baby. I’m asking if you are ready to let go of the grief and pain.
Me: Umm, you mean there’s a difference?
Father: Oh yes, my child. Just because you let go of the pain, and allow me to heal the deep grief inside of you, doesn’t mean that you are letting go of your baby.
Me: Do you mean that I can actually live a full and joyful life again?
Father: (I think He was chuckling by this point.) You can have the memories of your pregnancy and move on to live a very joy-filled life. Your baby will always live on in your heart, but without such intense pain.
Me: Oh yes! Lord, here is my grief. I’m tired of grieving. I want to move on in my life!
Father: OK, Daughter, now I am free to heal your grieving heart.
Me: Ummm, Lord?
Father: Yes, child, what is it?
Me: Why is it that in all of these months that I haven’t been reading the Word, Satan has never come to me, condemning me for my lack of faithfulness in reading the Word?
Father: Daughter, don’t you remember? I promised to never put more on you than you could bear. I have been hiding you under the shadow of my wings this whole time. I have been protecting you from the onslaught of the enemy because I knew that you couldn’t bear his vicious attacks right now.
Me: WOW! Lord, that is awesome! All this time, you have held me safe, and I didn’t even realize it. Thank you for being so good to me.
Father: You are welcome.
Amazingly, within two days, all of the intense grief was gone. I had a heart, full of joy, and a very contented spirit. Within two weeks, I was pregnant with Rachel…. And all that dread about Christmas? Well, one thing I had prayed for was to be pregnant, and in maternity clothes before Christmas, so it wasn’t even an issue. God answered my prayer, but before He did, He made sure that I knew it was HIM alone who cure me from intense grief. I had been thinking that another baby would cure me of my grieving. That was a lot of responsibility to put upon an unborn child! God clearly showed me that HE alone was the source for taking away my grief. After all, He was the one who bore my griefs and sorrows. (Is. 53)
So, did I still view my miscarriage as “Mission: Aborted?” Not on your life! Through my miscarriage and the subsequent grieving time, I learned so much about God. No other circumstance could have taught me in the way that the miscarriage did. I quickly began to view it as “Mission: Accomplished.”
© 2003, Stacy R. Miller