Finding Hope During A Miscarriage

photo

The night we said yes to God’s plan for the timing of more children, he filled my womb. He created, fashioned, and designed. I rejoiced in the quiet of my room when I read the positive on the pregnancy test. I wasn’t holding onto fear like I thought I would, but I felt a peace and comfort and trusted that God knew what was best for our lives.

It was only two days until Father’s Day when I found out I was pregnant with our fourth baby, so I thought I would suprise Aaron. I opened a journal I was going to give to him and wrote about my love for him. I wrote about the beautiful moments we had when we stayed down at the beach for our anniversary… and then I suprised him, “Our passion is powerful—we made a baby!”

We talked about how much the kids would love having a baby. I was already daydreaming over the kitchen sink while washing dishes of what it would be like to have another boy or girl, and what color their hair would be. The silky hair, the soft skin, and the fresh smell of a newborn sounded amazing.

But soon my dreaming changed to a broken heart. I sat on the toilet and saw the first signs of a miscarriage. My stomach felt sick. I couldn’t believe that this would happen to me again.

I thought about the tiny little soul in my womb, I didn’t want to let go, again. The thought of being emptied out felt too much to bear. I’d fallen in love with the little soul that found it’s home in me. I had already prayed for my baby and I’d dreamt of how our family would change with new life.

I layed in bed feeling broken and weary, crying out to God and asking him to help me believe in his plan. I felt the pain piercing my insides and into my soul as my little one left my body.

As I laid in bed, the pain I felt didn’t miraculously go away, but I did find comfort as I let go of my plan. I gripped my sheets with each cramp and begged God to grip my heart. I cried out to the one who gives and takes away and asked him to remind me of his faithfulness. I feared the weakness of my wandering heart.

Help me to trust in you, not just in life but in death. Bind my wandering heart to you. When I can’t lift my head, remind me of your rest. And when nothing else satisfies, help me to taste the goodness of your love. In the most difficult of days, help my desperate soul to long for you.

Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.—Psalm 143:8

With Love, Natalie nataliefalls.com

The Hardest Class You’ll Ever Take

skyresize.jpgThe enemy of your soul will try everything in his arsenal to destroy, dilute or distract you from God’s grand purpose for your life. He’ll try to break you and stifle your effectiveness because he knows if you figure out your purpose and take God at His word, you really can change the world.

He hopes you never apprehend the truth about being ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’, because he wants you to believe you aren’t and God has nothing for you. Or, he’ll try to make you believe God is not what He says and he’ll inject doubt and fear to make you submit to his low-down lies.

Because he wants you to stay broken.

To stay bitter, wallowing in self-pity, ineffective and weak, less than what you were created to be…constantly reminding you how bad it is, how broken you are, how helpless and useless your life.

We’re all broken somewhere. But in the broken places of our lives lie the beautiful, fearful fragments of purpose. God alone can glue them together anew with a fresh look and a new resolve. He alone can take the shattered and make them sure. He can drive our dream back to the realm of the possible.

We don’t know why we suffer and on the surface it seems to make no sense. We think it has something to do with us and it does, kind of. But God allows us to have all sorts of experiences for this primary reason:

He’s making us useful in the lives of others. 

Allowing us to walk through a similar circumstance so we can offer comfort, healing and hope to bleeding souls. In fact He says as much through Paul in 2 Corinthians 1:4:

 “..comforts us in all afflictions, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

It’s not as much about you and me as we’d like to think. He’s not mad and you’re not being punished.

You’re being educated.

Educated in intimacy-the hardest, most glorious thing. Think about this: the savior of the world, the maker of stars, the Son of the morning, the Dayspring from on high, the Rose of Sharon, and King of Kings-wants intimacy and oneness with you. And with me. Impossibly possible and shockingly wonderful.

He does and the thing is, He wants it only on His terms. And His terms take us to the deep, dark parts of ourselves, the perverted pride, the ugly thoughts, the cruel motives, the frightening tendencies. He dredges them up and lays them out over and over till we’re willing to say yes to repentance. Yes to forgiveness. Yes to faith and praise no matter how broken we’ve been.

Some lessons in intimacy take longer than others. I fought God for years in my season of infertility and desperate desire for another child. I didn’t get what He was teaching and I desperately wanted to drop His class! It was hard, it was painful and I hated it!

Because I couldn’t see God’s why. All I could see was the hole in my heart, the empty place He couldn’t fill. The hurt and the hollow. The bleeding need.

He kept teaching and He refused to let me drop the class. He kept at it and together we peeled back the layers and the years and the sorrow. Because He was trying to get me to see just one thing the whole time. It’s a really simple lesson. Simple and hard like all lessons in intimacy. And the lesson is this:

He is enough.

That’s what I needed to learn and He will do whatever He needs to in order for us to grasp this truth.

Anything in life I think can satisfy more than Him simply can’t. He will have nothing less than my whole heart, full of Him and empty of all else including every noisy idol I feel compelled to worship.

Nothing you desire, not the baby, or the relationship, the job, the raise, the position, the husband, the influence or recognition, none of it compares to one real moment in God’s presence.

What is He teaching you right now? Do you desperately want to drop the class? I know, I totally get it. But friend, the best thing you will ever have is Him. Whatever good thing you want, no matter how good it seems right now, can never compare because good is always the enemy of the best. He’s so much more than you think. Let Him peel back the layers and get to your heart. It’s part of the maturing process. We have to go to school before we’re useful in the world. We have to learn certain lessons. Hard lessons.

As you allow Him access to your heart and submit to deep teaching, you’ll gain intimacy with Him. As He takes you through and you find He comes through,  as you gain firsthand knowledge of His faithfulness, you’ll hear His heartbeat and He will send you out to bring comfort, healing and hope to other bleeding souls.

Blessings,

Kate Battistelli

This post is part of our series Finding Balance as a Busy Mom. 

Please check the series page for all of the posts! 

Finding Balance as a Busy Mom

Do I Love My Kids More Than I Love Jesus?

via Worth James Goddard on flickr

via Worth James Goddard on flickr

A tiny casket lowered into the sullen dirt and the sky, swollen with grief.

The parents stood to the side, watching their baby girl being buried in a box and my scarf was soaked with tears. I kept stealing glances at my friend, wondering how she was still standing. Wondering how to comfort her, because there is no comfort any human can offer for the loss of a child.

I still have their daughter’s picture on my fridge and I tear up when I look at her delicate face, this baby born with a rare genetic disease to a couple that tried eight years for a child.

“If it has to be something, give me cancer or let me lose my house but please don’t take my kids,” I pray at night. “Please God, don’t make me go through that–”

Getting pregnant was hard for us too. We were told we would probably never have children because of my anorexia, and then a pastor prayed over us on national television for a son within the year–and we conceived a son within the year. And now we have two boys.

But I’ve also lost two babies, while they were in the womb, and it’s near-wrecked me. Those miscarriages bore stillborn faith and for awhile it was all I could do to just keep going.

I didn’t know, before having kids, the agony of giving birth to your heart and not being able to protect it.

via ILinca Vânău

via ILinca Vânău

The excruciating pain of sending your vulnerable little heart–with his puppy-dog backpack–into a world full of sin.

And the truth is? I don’t know if I love Jesus more than I love my children.

I don’t know if I love Jesus enough to say, “Anything Lord–whatever your plan is, whatever it is you want to use my children for, whatever your will is for this family–please do it.”

I’ve heard of parents giving God the glory when their children die and I want to be that person and yet–I also believe in grief, because what is the resurrection without death? And what is praise without sorrow? Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.

Some things in life are just really, really hard. And we’re not supposed to be able to comprehend the pain of losing our children–it’s supposed to be heart-wrenching, because otherwise God sacrificing his own son wouldn’t mean much.

I recently returned from Uganda and Rwanda, where I met women who’d lost multiple children, and I met children who’d lost their mothers and fathers, and death was a reality for everyone there.

But God was a greater reality.

He rose off the face of every person I met, he rose triumphant and joyful, he rose with the promise of an eternity filled with life.

Jesus says to love him more than we love our sons and daughters.

Jesus says a lot of hard things and I’m a sinner saved by grace and it’s all I can do some days to repent. But I want to want to love him more than anything in this world. I want God to be a greater reality for me than death.

via Irena Selaković

via Irena Selaković

And I know that I don’t serve a heartless savior. When I commit my children to him in prayer while seated at the scratched wooden kitchen table, my sons watching Thomas the Train in the background, I don’t commit them to just anyone. I commit them to their Maker.

And when I pray that Jesus would be glorified both in my family’s living and dying, I know God weeps–not only out of joy for the surrender of our hearts, but out of pain–knowing how hard it is to give up a child.

“I just wish I could be there to show her around heaven,” my friend said to me following the funeral of her baby girl, her eyes blurry with tears. “It’s such a big place–I just worry she’ll get lost.”

Oh friends, these mother hearts–they’re meant to ache with the thought of loss.

But this earth, is but a glance, and then, we have forever to spend with Christ and our children. Hallelujah.

Blessings,

Emily Wierenga

novel ad

How to Make Room for Pain

How to Make Room for Pain

Back during my child-bearing years after having one child, I dealt with infertility following an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy. Maybe I should be honest and say, infertility dealt with me. Everything I thought I knew about God, motherhood, my purpose, my desires, my very identity-all were stained by a hard season in my life.

The pain of a harsh diagnosis and more than that even, the unfulfilled promises from the Word, pierced my heart like a sword. Me, who always saw myself as a mom of a houseful found herself the mom of an only child. Depression made a move on me when I realized the one thing I wanted above all-to have a big family-wasn’t happening. Three failed adoption attempts later, I had no clue what I was supposed to do.

It was a weird place to be in and the pain and loss gnawed at the edges of my days making me sad, resentful and filled with self-pity for a long stretch. Their was little place for gratitude in my heart and I simply couldn’t see the point in any of it.

A few years went by and the pain stuck around and the empty, inferior feeling each time another friend announced another pregnancy. I basically got used to it and reached a place where I could compartmentalize the pain better. It was kind of like telling an annoying dog, “Go sit over there. I’m not petting you!”

Because whatever you pet sticks around.

It took awhile and God let me dangle (at least it felt like I was dangling) over a precipice of self pity until I was ready to do these three things.

  1. Accept His will to raise an only child. (Which ultimately turned out for the best)
  2. Stop bemoaning what I couldn’t change.
  3. Look for the joy right in front of me.

My pain didn’t disappear right away but it stopped hijacking my peace. Oh, it had it’s place, like yellow jackets at an outdoor barbecue, always buzzing around and usually avoidable but able to sting deep if you decide to mess.

I did my best to just leave it alone and ignore the dull ache. There were times, during certain scenes in movies or deep conversations, where it rose up and spilled down my cheeks. Still are. And I regret I could never give my husband a son to carry on the family name. I was the last hope until I realized God, in His quirkiness, had a different plan to carry on the Battistelli name. He let our daughter make his name known. 

How awesome is God! His ways truly are past finding out!

Whatever deep pain you hold, know it won’t go away completely. It can’t because it’s part of who you are, part of what makes you human. But you can make room for it and you can make it lie down and be quiet, at least most of the time!

I found three  primary things to help heal my wounded heart.

  1. Time. It really does help to lessen the pain.
  2. Jesus. Spending time with Him doesn’t always change your circumstance but it will most definitely change you.
  3. Cultivating a heart of thankfulness until it becomes as unconscious as breathing. Because when we thank Him, we’re not focusing on what we lack, rather we take stock of all the blessings He’s loaded our lives with.

I can’t change my past but I have complete power over my present. And my present will determine my future. Your pain won’t go away but I promise it will diminish and you’ll learn to make room for it. It will have a place in your story but know this: it’s not the whole story.

And as time goes on, the edges will soften and I promise, if you look for it, you will find joy.

What are you thankful for right now, today? I’d love you to share!

Blessings,

Kate, Kate Battistelli

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...