To wrap up the story I’ll focus on what I learned and how I grew from the experience, and how my hope was restored. As I mentioned at the end of my last post, the happy ending is not the birth of Gwen. I’m not sure where in the healing process I’d be right now if I was still childless. I know that God just giving me what I want is not the solution to suffering or the answer to make the pain go away. I do know that getting pregnant with Gwen did not “make up for” my loss or make it hurt any less. And I know myself and the tendencies of my heart enough to know that I may not be writing these posts right now if I didn’t get pregnant again so quickly. I just wanted to acknowledge that for anyone who might be thinking “easy for you to say”. I know. But the experience was not in vain.
*The reason for suffering. Despite my best efforts, I could find no good reason for what happened. While suffering can sometimes be a result of bad choices we make, most of the time bad things happen simply because we live in a fallen world and no one is immune to suffering. No one. Sin entered the world a long time ago in a garden and ever since, things just aren’t the way they’re supposed to be. Crap happens. Once I accepted that, I was able to let go of the control I thought I had and move on. If I was still stuck on the “why” question, I wouldn’t have been able to heal and move on with my life. Didn’t happen overnight, it was gradual. But I got there by the grace of God.
*How God used my suffering. I do not believe God causes suffering, but He allows it and uses it for his good. I realize there are many people reading this who may disagree and I’m not going to get into a theological debate in this space (but feel free to message me about it and I’d be happy to elaborate). So what good could possibly come from my suffering? Well for one, a deeper relationship with God. The times in my life when I am most hurt, upset, broken, etc. is when I have the most intimate moments with God. It’s an opportunity for me to acknowledge how much I need him. When things are going well, I tend to ignore him. And like any relationship, it would be kind of shallow without dealing with the hard stuff. God used this experience to deepen our relationship. Likewise, it caused my relationship with my husband to grow. It brought us even closer together. Would I ever ask for this kind of experience to happen in order for my marriage to grow? Of course not. But trials and storms are going to happen. They just are. Matthew 7:24-27 tells the story of the wise and foolish builder. It was my prayer at the beginning of our marriage that we’d be wise builders, building our house (marriage) on the rock (God) so that when the storms come (and they will), our house would stand. It stands and we’re even stronger because of it. If we had built our house on the sand (anything other than God, such as warm fuzzy feelings or attraction alone), then it’s likely our house would fall with a great crash the moment a storm comes. Which is why I think divorce is so common nowadays…but that’s another post for another time. I digress.
*There is an end to suffering. For a non-believer, “life sucks and then you die”. There’s no hope in that statement. For believers, life still sucks sometimes, but God is faithful, He heals and restores and promises an end. That end is not death. That’s why we don’t grieve as those who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4). We still grieve, yes. But with hope!
*We don’t have to suffer alone. Go ahead and browse the book of Psalms. Or the book of Job. Read about Paul’s experience in the New Testament. We’ve been suffering for a long time. Share your story of suffering on your blog, and see how many people speak up about a similar experience. Thank God we don’t have to go through life alone. The body of Christ is to be just that, the “hands and feet” of Jesus. We don’t have Jesus here in the flesh at the moment, but he gives us His Spirit to live within us and other believers to surround us and carry our burdens, cry with us, pray with us, mourn with us and rejoice with us.
I’m sure I haven’t covered everything I possibly could have in my story of pregnancy loss and suffering and it might not be as cohesive as I would’ve liked (writing in several parts on different days whenever I can find time doesn’t make that easy to do). But I hope it was an encouragement to someone who read it, despite that. And if so, please know it was not my doing, but God’s. He put it on my heart to share my story, and there is certainly no power in my words.