Gathered around our dining room table are three children, but my husband and I have been pregnant eleven times. We are not strangers to miscarriage. Odds are if you are married and have tried for children, you are not a stranger to miscarriage either. Why does it happen? More specifically, why does God allow it to happen? My miscarriage lessons did not solve the heart struggles of these tough questions but I did gain peace through other lessons learned.
Yet, I also know that scripture makes us a promise. In all things, God works together for His glory. How can God use my miscarriages to His glory? Let me share with you five miscarriage lessons to encourage you if you have to walk down that path.
Miscarriage Lessons #1 Life is Miraculous
Most of us are oblivious to the sufferings of others until we ourselves stare it in the face. In our naiveté, we assume we will get married and have children when we are ready. No big deal, right? For some women, pregnancy is as easy and straightforward as that fairytale. Ten months later, they have a new addition to their family. No big worries or problems.
My pregnancy stories were not fairy tales. Eventually, I learned that most of us did not have fairytale stories. We had big-time worries, struggles, and losses.
Getting pregnant is a miracle. The team players for the guy have to be strong and healthy. The team players for mom have to be ready and healthy. The timing of the meet-up has to be just right for life to spark. The environment has to be just for that new life to get cozy. The new mom’s body has to get the message that there is someone new and pump up that progesterone to keep that environment just right.
A healthy pregnancy is a wonder of miraculous timing and design. Unfortunately, sin and death are a part of our world, and our bodies don’t always perform like they were originally designed to do.
When getting pregnant is hard, the rejoicing is even sweeter when you see that positive pregnancy test. When keeping a pregnancy is hard, you appreciate the miracle of birth all the more. Conception is no longer just the natural outcome of a biological activity, but truly as a miraculous gift from God.
Miscarriage Lessons #2 Life Begins at Conception
When do you start talking to your baby? Do you wait until they are born? As soon as a mom knows she is pregnant, she starts hoping and dreaming. We calculate the due date and start thinking of baby names.
Even though we don’t know yet if the baby is a boy or a girl, we usually have picked out a nickname. Peanut. Little guy/gal. Little (your last name). Sweet Pea. Mr. Basketball. – Whatever your nickname is. Why do we name our child? Because they are more than a mass of cells to us – our heart knows that it is a child.
Science proves to us that it is a child as well. At conception, the embryo is destined to be a unique person. There is DNA is waiting to bloom into fullness. The embryo isn’t just a collection of cells with potential – a new soul is created! This child is not a child only because we believe it to be, but instead because science proves that it is.
If we lose our pregnancy, we know that we have lost a life. Miscarriage teaches us when life begins. Miscarriage breaks our heart but leaves behind the bittersweet knowledge that we will see our child in heaven one day. As awful and cruddy as miscarriage is, this heavenly knowledge is the silver-lining that I hold onto in it all.
Miscarriage Lessons #3 Life is Precious
Miscarriage teaches us how miraculous and amazing it is that life even came to be. A miscarriage helps us to recognize how early life truly begins and that we have carried another soul within in us. These two foundational ideas build upon one another helping us to realize how precious life is.
When you realize how it can be to get pregnant and to stay pregnant, you how a much stronger appreciation for how precious life is. You look around at the people walking around with greater awe. Your heart breaks as you imagine all of the people who ought to be walking around but never made it. The child that isn’t perfect according to the world’s standards ran a gauntlet of obstacles to get into this world.
I am convinced that child will be a witness to others of the value of life. I am always amazed at the testimony of Christian parents of special needs children. The repeated conviction of the gift that their differently-abled child has been in their lives. Yes, the struggle to care for them well is exhausting and lonely. Yet, in the midst of that suffering, they feel God’s presence.
“Not only so, but we also glory in our suffering produces perseverance;
perseverance, character; and character; hope.
And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love
has been poured out into our hearts through
the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5
Miscarriage Lessons #4 Hold Gifts Loosely
He gives and takes away, He gives and takes away. My heart will choose to say; Blessed be the Lord. Those are hard words to sing in the grief wake of loss. We don’t understand, and it hurts like hell.
All that we have is God’s, and nothing is ours. Our children are indeed God’s children; we are merely stewards of them in this life. We may get the privilege of stewarding them for God for a few weeks or until the end of our days. Miscarriage teaches us to hold onto our pregnancies loosely. Not as women without hope, or full of fear. Instead, as women who put our hope in Christ.
Blessings will come into our life for a season. We need to enjoy the gift for the season and hold it loosely. The gift might be our home, the town we live in, the perks of a particular job, or the health of our children.
Blessings in this world are not guaranteed to us. Neither is their removal an indication of God’s disapproval of you either. The rain falls on the evil and the good. We all suffer the consequences of living in a sinful world, believers and non-believers alike.
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing
with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18
The key difference is eternal. As believers in Jesus, we know that this world is not our home. The blessings and curses of this life are temporary. Furthermore, we know that the glories of this world pale in comparison to the glory that is to come. Ultimately, our lost children are in God’s glory. Our miscarried children never had to suffer any in this world and were birthed straight into heaven.
“At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head.
Then he fell to the ground in worship and said,
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.
The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away;
may the name of the Lord be praised.” Job 1:20-21
Miscarriage Lessons #5 A Hunger for More Children
We live in a culture that is increasingly hostile to children in obvious and hidden ways. Our busy lives lend us to believe that we don’t have time for more children. Our consumeristic lifestyle seduces us into thinking that we can’t afford more children or that children are inherently a drain on the planet.
In American, there is on average 2.5 children per household, but that number is going down. In some other well-off nations, that number is significantly lower. Our careers, our love of stuff, and our leisure have crowded out our love for children.
Clearly, Jesus’ focus was on people. He came to capture people’s hearts and turn them to God. When we are enamored with people, like Jesus was, then naturally we will rejoice when new people are created.
The primary people unit in the Bible is the family. The family is the medium through which God organized His people and through which children were taught the faith. Repeatedly, the Bible speaks of a growing family as a blessing from God.
“Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.”
“Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.”
Is this in contrast to our modern world? Absolutely. Is this in contrast to some of the attitudes in our modern churches? Sadly, yes. Miscarriage awakes an awareness and hunger to fill those empty arms. We ache to know that precious child, and we are so curious to know what other children God might create for us to steward.
Most Important Miscarriage Lesson
Finally, God loves children. He gave the command to Adam and Eve to go forth and multiply. His command has never been rescinded. Know that if you have experienced miscarriage God sees your tears. God hears your prayers. God can feel your broken heart. He is there with you.
There may not seem like there is a light at the end of the tunnel right now, but I promise you that the Light of the World (Jesus) is there for you. I pray that these lessons that I have learned might help you heal from your miscarriage and keep faith in Christ’s love for you.
Looking for more articles about miscarriage? Check out Overcoming Miscarriage Fears & Announce Early.