Proverbs 30:15-16: “There are three things that are never satisfied – no, four that never say, “Enough!”: the grave, the barren womb, the thirsty desert, the blazing fire.”
Since I was a child all I have ever wanted was to be a mom and a missionary. I longed for the day that I would get to hold my children in my arms and hear them call me Mommy. As my husband and I began to try for a family, my heart was hopeful and expectant. Surely, God would give us this family that our hearts longed for, wouldn’t he? As months passed and this dream seemed further out of reach, my heart became doubtful and even fearful.
After six and a half years of trying we prayerfully decided to consult a fertility specialist. I was terrified, yet sure that this was the answer to all our problems. Our journey through treatments was full of laughter and tears, hope and sorrow. We had doctor’s appointments, ultrasounds, and injections … so many injections. I think the worst part of the journey was the agonizing wait for phone calls.
Each step of the way we had to wait for answers. How many eggs would we retrieve? How many would fertilize? How many made it to day three, day five, or would there be any left to transfer? I developed the worst case of fear as I waited for each call, working hard to surrender these little lives to God.
We received the good news that four had made it and ended up transferring two of our little embryos. After our first test, we got the call that we were pregnant; however, our numbers were lower than the doctor had hoped, and he cautioned that we may lose the pregnancy. Unfortunately, he was right, and not long after, we experienced our first loss. I cannot even begin to explain the pain. After almost seven years of waiting, my heart was beyond broken. Why would God give them to us only to take them away?
After grieving, we decided to transfer our last two embryos. I was so sure that it was going to fail that when we got the call from the doctor after our first test, I was utterly shocked when he told me that we were pregnant. My numbers were higher this time. I finally relaxed. I was pregnant! Those beautiful two pink lines were like seeing a piece of heaven. God had heard our prayers and was answering.
However, joy was short lived as our next appointment showed that our numbers were dropping, and we were again losing this pregnancy. I screamed at God. I begged him not to take our babies away. I felt overlooked and forgotten by him. I felt like he was punishing me, but I had no idea why.
I had to wrestle it out with God because while it did not feel good, I had to believe that He IS good, no matter what. Feeling the loss of our babies has made me think more deeply about his loss when he was willing to sacrifice his Son, his only Son, for our salvation. That is love. How can I feel any differently about him than that when he paid it all for me? Does this realization help the pain right now? No, but it helps in knowing that God is walking this journey with me, weeping with me, holding me, and of course holding my babies since I can’t right now.
Grief is ugly and messy and has no format to follow. It can knock the wind out of you and make you wonder if you will ever be able to breathe again. Our society is not known for grieving well. We often want to jump right to the happy ending missing the pain and growth found in the middle. I believe that David knew the power of grieving, as nearly half the psalms are him pouring his heart out in lament to God. We must learn to sit with those who grieve and lend an ear, a hug, a text, a note letting them know we are standing with them in their pain. I believe this was God’s intent, and this is also where we will find healing through the pain.
For those of you who are or have experienced pregnancy loss, my heart grieves for and with you. I am so sorry that you have had to walk this difficult journey, and I pray that God meets you where you are to comfort your grieving heart.
Jesus didn’t promise that we would never experience pain, but he did promise to be with us always.
Psalms 34:18 says, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” If we will allow him to, he will meet us in the place of our pain and carry us when we have no strength left to walk.
In “Grace Like Scarlett” author Adriel Booker states: “Suffering does not choose the weak or the strong, the faithful or the faithless, it chooses the human ... When you are caught by waves that are larger than your capacity to stay above the surface, you’ve got to allow your heart to feel the pain all the way down to the bottom, so that when you get there, you can see you’re still alive. There’s still hope. It’s from the bottom that we can begin to heal our way back up to the surface. The human heart is fragile, yes, but it’s more resilient than we give ourselves credit for.”
Jen lives in Vancouver, Washington, with her husband of eight years. She loves to travel and has been on 20 missions trips both domestically and internationally. Through nearly eight years of infertility, IVF, and loss she has learned the true meaning of faith and longs to walk this journey with other women, sharing the hope that is found in Christ alone.