It was only six weeks. Barely enough time for my body to register pregnancy, let alone for a child to develop.
The miscarriage was swift. Painful but not debilitating. I just sat at home in the bathroom and soon it was over and the blood was cleaned up. Two days later I checked, just to be sure, and the pregnancy hormones were already dropping, disappearing as if they had never existed at all.
It was just a blip in the story of my life.
In fact, it was so small and so short and so few people knew about it, I quickly fell for the lie that I had no right to mourn something that hadn’t even really been mine.
But the truth is that it was. It was part of my story, no matter how small. A part of who I was and am.
And God used that tiny life, the one that was really just a heart beating, to change and soften me. To open my eyes wider to the sorrows of those around me.
When I publicly wrote, for the first time, about the baby-who-never-came-to-be, I was amazed. Women stopped me, grabbing my hand in grocery stores and the post office and the library, women I had never met before and women I had known for decades, “I lost a baby too,” they said, “It was early, like you, and I was so scared and so hurt. Thank you for showing me that it really does matter.”
And it hit me like a ton of bricks.
Of course it matters.
It was a heart that was beating. A life that was made from a part of you. Every heart that stops beating is something to mourn. Death is shadowy and sorrowful. And it’s okay to cry.
Scripture says that the heart is the “well-spring of life”. When life is silenced, there is pain. Even Jesus wept when his friend died, even though He knew that Lazarus would rise from the dead. It was still a time of mourning.
Yet, even there we see a promise. For the best part about God is that He creates good out of sorrow. We don’t have to get lost in the sadness forever.
The key to facing heartbreaking circumstances is in the surrender. Learning to say, “God, I hurt over this.” And laying it at His feet, trusting that He will not allow this loss to rule your life.
In my life, in the miscarriage of the only child I’ve ever managed to conceive, I have found redemption in the way that God has softened me and changed me. Ezekiel 36:26 says, “I will plant a new heart and new spirit inside of you. I will take out your stubborn, stony heart and give you a willing, tender heart of flesh.” And He has done just as He promised.
If you too have lost a child, at any point, in any way, do not be afraid to mourn. Do not be afraid to weep. And do not fear tomorrow, for we serve a God who knows and understands pain. A God who walks right into the middle of our sorrow and loss and teaches us to see beauty again.