We've been looking at the overwhelming heartbreaking statistics of miscarriage (over 500,000 in the U.S. alone each year), and the great irony that we still feel so alone when we go through a miscarriage. In this previous post, I listed four reasons why I believe I felt so alone, even though millions of other moms have gone before me in miscarriage:
- Miscarriage is an intensely personal event.
- We feel we are the only one who knows our baby.
- Our husbands, family and friends grieve differently than we do, or may not grieve at all.
- Miscarriage as a subject for discussion is taboo.
I truly believe that one of the reasons we feel so alone is that our husbands, family members and friends grieve a miscarriage differently than we do as the mother, and to be honest, they may not grieve at all. In the last post, we discussed how we feel we are the only one who truly knows our baby (though we discovered there is One who knows our baby even better than we do). This feeling leads us to grieve very deeply--for the one who knows more, grieves more.
My husband did grieve, but just differently than I did. I wept constantly for several days--he wept a tear or two. Normal life was difficult for me to return to--he returned to work intstantly. Sometimes I felt that he wasn't grieving like he should, or that he wasn't grieving at all, but that was not the case. I think just the plain differences between men and women can explain the differences in grieving, but, nonetheless, I still felt isolated in my experience of miscarriage.
I'm going to go out on a limb here: I believe that God uses miscarriage specifically in the lives of us as women to call us to a deeper (or new) relationship with Him. There are other circumstances that do the same in the lives of men, family members and friends. But, if you've suffered a miscarriage, you have done so for a reason. God has allowed it for a purpose. One of those purposes is to call you to greater praise and deeper faith in Christ!
1. Because of our miscarriage, we can have greater praise as we take a look back at Jesus' work on the cross. Jesus' atoning work on the cross becomes much more real to us when we experience a death. When we lose our precious baby to miscarriage, we experience the pain and the sting of death. While we may have already trusted Christ for forgiveness from our sin and deliverance from our own death, through miscarriage we realize just how painful, how dark and how real death is. We begin to see exactly why Christ came - to destroy sin and death forever. We can see why Jesus is described in this way in Isaiah:
He was sorrowful because he had the weight of the entire world's sin on His shoulders. He grieved because of the death that sin brought into this world. When we lose a baby to miscarriage, or experience death in any way, we become that much more grateful for Jesus' atoning work on the cross, because not only do we realize the miracle of the exchange of His righteousness for our sin, but we begin to see the other benefits of the atonement. Our debt of sin was paid in full!! But just think with me for a moment of the effects of sin - just to name a few: death, sickness, tears, disease, pain, mourning, grief, sorrow and yes, miscarriage. So, when Jesus died on the cross, conquering sin, all of these effects of sin were wiped away as well.
Remember, the one who knows more, grieves more? Jesus knew our baby more than we ever did. He knows just how messed up this world is because He is perfection. Therefore, I believe He grieved more. He truly was a Man of Sorrows. Jesus actually did bear your griefs and carry your sorrows. Now, we are in an interesting era in redemptive history right now because while Jesus has conquered sin and death (and all of it's effects), He has not come back as the reigning King yet. We are awaiting the time when He will come in ALL of His glory, and death will be destroyed forever. This is the reason why we are called to live by faith and not sight!
2. Because of our miscarriage, we can have deeper faith by looking to the future coming of Christ. I mentioned we are in a unique era for this reason, our sin has been atoned for, our griefs have been borne and our sorrows carried, but the time has not come yet for all of this to be fully fulfilled. We must endure sin, pain and death during this era in redemptive history. While Christ's work on the cross is finished, the benefits of His work have not been fully realized yet. In John 16:33, Christ tells us that in this world we will have tribulation, but He has overcome the world. While the overcoming has already been accomplished, the full fruit of this work has not been realized yet. This calls all Christians to have faith, right? Look at this verse:
Do you truly believe this will happen? Christ crushed Satan's power of death at the cross, but the ultimate fulfillment of this will not come until Christ comes again when He permanently strips Satan of his weapon of death. So, while we wait, we must endure the sting of death. We are not promised escape from pain and suffering as a Christ-follower, but we are promised that death WILL be destroyed. We are in the trenches, ladies! We mustn't let our miscarriage turn us away from faith in Christ! We must let it call us to this deeper faith, this deeper trust that God WILL keep His promises. He WILL destroy death. We WILL be able to say with the prophets, "Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" (1 Corinthians 15:54-5)
While we may feel alone, like no one is grieving the way that we are, we can know from scripture that we are not alone. Jesus grieved. He carried our griefs. He bore our sorrows. And listen to this: He not only carried and bore our sorrow and grief, He atoned for them. This makes Him the only One who is qualified and truly able to wipe away your tears. You may wish your husband or friends could do this for you, but they are not equipped to do so in the way that Christ is. While all Christians are called to bear one another's burdens, they may not do that perfectly! Christ is the only one who can bear your burden and cast it away permanently! Your miscarriage is a call for you specifically to praise Christ and to hope in Christ. We can look back at His atoning work in praise and awe and we can look forward in hope of death's being forever destroyed!
I'll leave you with this beautiful promise from Revelation. There is an end to your grief, there is an end to death and there is an end to miscarriage - He promises!