This post was originally written in June 2011, after our third miscarriage. For an explanation of this section of the site, click here.
“For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison…” (2 Corinthians 4:17)
It’s been just over a month since our miscarriage. It sounds like a lot of time, but it feels like it just happened a couple of weeks ago. What I can say about this third miscarriage, one month out, is that it is harder than all the rest of my baby and miscarriage experiences, including the post-partum anxiety I had with my first child. I’m not sure why I feel compelled to write about it, other than that it helps me process it a little, and I hope that there will be some good to come of it among believers as a result… because I know that we all suffer.
The mourning this time has been made more difficult by a bout of post-partum anxiety. And the anxiety feels harder than the last time because I am mourning and not caring for a new baby. (I had to ask the doctor for medication for the anxiety, and I would encourage any mom suffering through hormonal problems to do the same.) It has been really hard to have confidence that God is at work. But I guess the way I feel does not change what is true.
Despite how abstract the idea of God seems during a mental disturbance like anxiety, the fact IS that He is with me and loves me with an incredible, steadfast love. I just can’t feel it sometimes. However, I can point to the physical persons who have comforted us, prayed for us, hugged us, said kind words to us, sent us cards, made us meals, watched our kids for us, who are all real humans created in the image of God… and I can say, “Look, the Lord is there.” I can keep asking my husband and friends to remind me that the wacky hormones will not last and that the way they make me feel is not based in reality. I can keep asking God to deliver me and read His promises to do so in the Bible.
It has been really hard, and mostly I don’t have words to describe the pain. But I wait. I wait for the Lord to turn to me and restore my joy. I wait for the mourning to turn to joy. “I waited patiently for the Lord; He inclined to me and heard my cry.” (Psalm 40:1) (Thank you, Cynthia.)
Mostly, I am glad that I do not uphold myself by some awesome feat of faith. I know that my faith is so weak. So often, my thoughts turn to wondering why God gave us this trial again. I often fear the future and meditate on the fallenness of the world. So if I am still hanging on to the Lord, I know it is truly God who upholds me. I take comfort in Jesus’ words: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:27-28)
I haven’t had any anxiety for a few days, even without medicine, and for the first time in a while, I am starting to feel happy again. I hope this lasts. I hope things get brighter. I will keep waiting… and I hope that one day I can encourage someone else that their days will get better, too.
Whatever my God ordains is right In His love I am abiding I will be still in all He does And follow where He is guiding He is my God Though dark my route He holds me that I shall not fall And so to Him I leave it all Whatever my God ordains is right He never will deceive me He leads me by the proper path I know He will not leave me I take content What He has sent His hand can turn my griefs away And patiently I wait His day. Whatever my God ordains is right Here shall my stand be taken Though sorrow or need or death be mine Yet I am not forsaken My Father’s care Circles me there He holds me that I shall not fall And so to Him I leave it all.
(The above lyrics are from a comforting rendition of a 17th century hymn, “Whatever my God Ordains is Right.” You can hear a minute-long clip or purchase the full song here. Just listening to it stills my soul.)