The brutal sting came on December 8. For four days I knew the sting might come, but I fought with prayer and bedrest. Chad fought with prayer and fasting. “Please, please, please Jesus help our child survive this pregnancy.”
But on December 8, the call came. “Leslie, it is confirmed. You have had a miscarriage.” I felt pierced. Hope disappeared. A wail erupted from somewhere so deep within that I didn’t even recognize my own voice. The sting of death struck – hard.
My baby was tiny; a miscarriage early in the pregnancy, but still life is life. Size and age do not determine value. Due to her age, we did not know scientifically if the child was a boy or girl, but God revealed it later (a story for another time). She was my daughter; she is my daughter. I lost a child. To miscarriage.
The grief of a miscarriage is strange and so often misunderstood – even by those who experience one.
- “Well, you can try again.”
- “That’s science’s way of saying the baby was not viable.”
- “At least you know you can get pregnant.”
Statements like these hit me hard and, to be honest, angered me. I knew people were trying to encourage me, so I tried to be kind in response. But I knew I would have loved my child if the child came with problems. I believed I would have been a good mom to a child with difficulties (heaven knows I had great teachers/mentors as I watched my parents for years and continue to watch my parents provide care for my sister) if I had only had a chance with this one I so desperately wanted. Would you say any of these words to a parent who had lost a child at 2, or 12, or 22? “Well you can try again… That’s science’s way… At least you had a child.”
For me the sting of death of my daughter involved so much loss, so many “I nevers.” I never heard this child’s laugh or cry. I never felt this child’s touch or hand. I never tickled this child. I would never know this child’s favorite color or food or sport. So many things I cannot know. I have a journal for each child and record letters to them on their birthdays. I wanted to do one for Joy too, but again stinging pain met me on the journal aisle. I called my friend from the bookstore and cried into her ear, “Amy, I will never know this child’s favorite color!”
If you’ve had a miscarriage, you know what I mean.
Right after our miscarriage, I was on the floor on my back with my then 11 month old. I was bringing her down to my nose and we were rubbing noses. She was laughing hysterically. All of a sudden, it hit me. I would never rub noses with my second child. And stinging pain gripped my heart even as I smiled into the eyes of my first child and dodged her drool.
Again, if you’ve miscarried you know what I mean. You can’t go back to picture albums or memories. All I had were the five days I knew I was pregnant before the miscarriage began. Those were my memories.
The sting of death has hit me over and over during the past six years. It hits me unexpectedly. It blindsides me. It hurts.
I remember driving over a bridge in Hixson and it hit me so hard all of a sudden. I remember screaming to God how much (yes, I mean screaming) it hurt to know I’d never know this child. And you know what? God watched me scream, He heard me scream, and He understood.
How do I know? Because the God I know, the God I worship, and the God I adore felt the sting of death before I ever did. He felt the sting, thus relating to the depths of humanity’s brokenness. And that’s why I knew it was perfectly good, right, and safe to allow God inside of my intense pain and questions. He could handle it. He could handle my being an authentic human, and from that place there is such security in the hands and lap of God as His daughter.
After my December miscarriage, Good Friday approached and it hit me in deeper ways than ever before. I finally (partially) understood how blasted painful death is on a personal level. I realized more poignantly God’s love for humanity through the death of Christ. I ached for so much on that day – my child but also my Savior.
The One who gave himself to a brutal death to answer every ethnic group’s most dire need – rescue from the horrendous sin that entangles us all.
But then Sunday came. And there death was conquered.
I awoke on that first Easter after my miscarriage and felt hope spring up. Because of his terrible sting on Friday, His resurrection was all the more glorious. He won! He made all things new – not only for me who had received Christ, but also for my baby. And for the countless of other souls who had repented and surrendered to his lordship.
When I consider the hope that I have as a follower of Christ, it causes a deeper burn in my bones that all in the world will have an opportunity to hear of this brutal, horrific crucifixion that occurred because of sin – anything that misses God’s perfect standard. I want the world, all corners and reaches, to hear of the powerful defeat of death and sin by the resurrection.
Yes, some will reject this message. Some will receive it and then discard the Lordship of Christ for more convenient lifestyles. But others still will receive it and follow with abandon and passion. I want to share this Christ because someone I share with will fall into this category of giving it all for the Christ who defeated the Enemy.
My baby is now safe in the nail-scarred hands of Jesus. Someday I will be there with her. The sting still hurts, but hope lives brighter still. Because of Jesus.
If you have experienced a miscarriage, I grieve with you as I type these words. But please know, your child is alive! You can see your child if you acknowledge your sin that separates you from Christ and turn from it. Romans 10:9 states, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” I would love to pray specifically for you if you want to leave me a comment. May you experience the comfort and hope of Jesus.