I should be holding my newborn baby today. This was the due date for my first child. And yet, it will come and go without me holding my child at all. I lost my first baby on August 6th, 2017. I soon got pregnant again, with a due date of August 8th, 2018. I lost that child on January 24th. My husband and I are struggling now with questions of why: Why our babies? Why us? Why now? Why again? Why, God, why?
It’s so hard to turn to God when we can’t understand Him. I can’t see what He sees, and right now, His plan has left me feeling abandoned and alone. I don’t want any part of that.
I’m hurting, I’m heartbroken, I’m angry, and I’m afraid of what this means. I don’t understand what God’s plan is in this at all. I don’t understand why I’m going through these horrible losses. I’m in the darkest time of my life, and for a long time (and even still today) I struggled with where and how my faith fits in this dark place.
A pastor, when I shared with him my feelings of abandonment and despair, encouraged me to look at the Psalms. At first, I couldn’t bring myself to do so. I’d studied the Psalms before, and I knew what was in them. I didn’t want to go through them because I figured they would just make me feel more alone and sad.
But one Sunday, I was sitting in church, and I decided to open the Bible in front of me. I was reading through, wondering why I was doing this, and I got to Psalm 22. Right from the very lines, I felt companionship in my despair which helped ease the burden of sorrow. David writes
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
2 O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,
and by night, but I find no rest.
I felt exactly as David felt here. I felt like God was gone from my life. Where was He when my babies died in my womb? Why wasn’t He there to help and save? I cried out to Him night after night, asking Him for protection and security for my children. But I felt like He heard none of it. I didn’t get an answer for my prayers. At least, not the answer I wanted.
And then right away, David turns. He says,
Yet You are holy,
enthroned on the praises of Israel.
4 In You our fathers trusted;
they trusted, and You delivered them.
5 To You they cried and were rescued;
in You they trusted and were not put to shame.
They were not put to shame. They trusted in God, and He recused them in their suffering. Their trust and pleas to God were not in vain. He answered them and gave them rescue and comfort.
David almost hesitates in the next lines, saying he is nothing but a worm, and all of mankind despises him and mocks him for trusting God (Psalm 22:6-8). But it doesn’t matter:
Yet You are He who took me from the womb;
You made me trust You at my mother’s breasts.
10 On You was I cast from my birth,
and from my mother’s womb You have been my God.
11 Be not far from me,
for trouble is near,
and there is none to help.
God has been with him since the very beginning, even his time in the womb. God will never be far from him, especially when trouble is near. Whatever the enemies say cannot destroy that. Nothing can happen that will separate God from him.
Even though I can’t see it, I still have to believe that God is near me, working in and through me to give me peace and comfort during this dark time. I’ve still got a hill to climb, I’m not fully healed, and I’m still confused and mad at God. But I know He hasn’t abandoned me. He is with me always.
Soon after my first miscarriage, I stumbled upon this quote in a very moving article by Marie Macpherson:
A truly successful pregnancy is that in which I and my baby faithfully carry out the vocation of mother and child that God has put before us, until He ends that vocation, in whatever way or timing He has planned for His eternal glory.
While hard to hear, and even harder to believe and understand, this gave me peace. My pregnancy wasn’t a failure. It ended so much sooner than I wanted and not in the way I desired, but in God’s eyes, it was successful. The vocation to which God has called me and my children during that time was fulfilled in the way He wanted. And that’s so hard. That alone breaks my heart every time. Because how can it be that through these deaths, my children fulfilled their vocation? I never held them. I never kissed their cheeks or told them how much I love them. And yet, they fulfilled their vocation perfectly.
I now have an even stronger longing for the end of the world. I can’t wait even more for Heaven. Because when I get there, I’ll finally hold both of my precious children. I’ll kiss them and love them and cry over them, tears of the happiest of joys. And for that, the waiting feels unbearable. But until that day, I will continue reading the Psalms and praying for Christ’s return.
Macpherson, Marie. “The Story of Baby Shalom,” The Hausvater Project. October, 2017. Web. http://www.hausvater.org/articles/390-the-story-of-baby-shalom.html.