The Struggle of Miscarriage

By Renee Schuller

Date: September 14, 2018

Category: Family Living, Crisis Pregnancy, Fetal Development

The Struggle

Miscarriage is a struggle in so many ways. I’ve found the spiritual struggles are the hardest: anger, jealousy, blaming God, blaming myself, fear, anxiety, isolation, doubt, lack of faith—and so much more. I find myself alone in these struggles in a very personal, inward battle—a spiritual battle that I have found very hard to express. I have found little to no comfort in everyday platitudes and comments from others. My knowledge of Scripture, I found, makes this all somewhat, somehow, harder. Maybe other women just don’t think about certain things that I do as I reflect on Scripture. Maybe that is a blessing, or a curse, for them. I don’t know. All I know is that this is the hardest thing by far I’ve ever faced, and it never goes away. I don’t know if I’m broken or bitter or just plain numb after all this time.

The answers never seem to come. There seems to be no solution physically or spiritually. It is an emptiness so deep I can’t describe it. I never knew this could hurt so much and linger for a lifetime. It hasn’t gone away, and I suppose it never will. I miss them (my babies) every day. I cry most days. Only on busy days where my mind takes over my heart and I can ignore the emotions do I not cry. My future seems so empty too. Will I ever have a family of my own? Will our home ever be filled with the joy and drama of family, or will we be alone—just us—for our whole lives?

My biggest struggle has been with fear. Each subsequent time I was pregnant I was so fearful it would happen again. Mark, my husband, is terrified too. I fear it was my fault, but I don’t know what I did wrong. I’ve wracked my brain repeatedly trying to figure it out. Did I eat the wrong thing, lift something too heavy, not eat the right stuff …? Was it my body or my overall health? How can I fix it? The doctor had little to offer. Test after test found no good, solid reason. Drugs, shots, hormones—nothing kept the third baby alive despite everyone’s best intentions and efforts. I can’t help but get jealous of other women and their babies.

It both makes me jealous and breaks my heart that women who do drugs or don’t take of themselves can have babies they don’t even want or care enough to take care of. They didn’t try at all, and I tried my best to do everything the best I possibly could. It is so unfair. It makes me angry—angry at God. Why did God take my babies?

I know God doesn’t kill, but it is hard not to think or even say, “Why did God kill my babies?” After all, I know He created them and could’ve sustained them even if my health wasn’t perfect. He could’ve overcome all those obstacles and kept my babies alive. But He didn’t. I prayed and prayed. I know He heard me, but it feels like He didn’t listen, like He didn’t care, as if He chose not to act on those prayers. I can’t understand this. I can’t understand any of this horrible experience. That is so frustrating. My weak faith and strong intellect want to understand and wants things to be fair in a worldly way. I want so badly for someone to just say one thing that soothes my pain. Yet, the world can’t offer me anything. It hasn’t helped a bit. It seems God and the world, even my own body, have abandoned me.

The devil has had a heyday with these emotions—causing me to doubt, to blame, to be angry at God. I can understand why some women might lose faith completely and turn away from God, putting their trust in the medical field or some other supposed earthly solution.

I don’t know why God let this happen. Why all three pregnancies, why me and not another woman, or another woman and not me? (The classic question of why or how can a good God let bad things happen?) I can understand that some women might feel God abandoned them. How could a good God let a woman who doesn’t even care have a baby—or even abort a baby—and not allow “good” people who truly want their babies to have healthy children? I’ve had these thoughts too.

The Answer

I didn’t realize how much I had struggled with this until prompted by a question which was part of a Lutheran Hour Ministries devotion. Had I not been in His Word I would never have reflected on this, and it would have continued to plague me—even if I never acknowledged it.

In the Scripture accounts of Jesus’ healings, so often one man is healed while it indicates that crowds had gathered around to be healed. Yet it never states that Jesus heals them all. Jesus has compassion and mercy, so why didn’t He heal? How can He walk past all those other people and not heal them too? Why doesn’t He just heal everyone? Why didn’t He stretch out His arms and heal the whole crowd at once?

This, at first, frustrated me, but the Holy Spirit worked through God’s Word to strengthen my faith. Scripture always has answers for our deepest struggles. God’s Word reminds us why.

First, He is compassionate, slow to anger, and abounding in love and mercy. However, Jesus didn’t come to save the world as a mere man would. He came as God incarnate. He came to save souls. His mercy is on our spiritual disease, our sinful nature. Notice when He heals the man lowered down through the roof He says, “Your sins are forgiven,” not “Your body is healed.”

Yet Jesus did offer healing to everyone there present with Him in the crowds—and everywhere even still today. When He died on the cross, His blood cleansed the whole world of sin. It was by His wounds that our spiritual illness was healed and we were given life. Not life to just to be able to live longer on earth but an eternal life far greater than we can even imagine. It is a Resurrection promise of a life lived with no pain or tears.

God did not forget or ignore those others in the crowd that day, and He does not forget or ignore me or you either. I was struggling with the age-old questions, but we still live on this side of glory in sin-broken bodies in a sin-broken world. When we come to God in repentance, however, we can be certain that He will heal. Our sins are forgiven.

God allows suffering because it causes us to turn to Him for strength and peace. It pushes our faith to the limits and that makes us stronger. When we get weak and turn away or doubt or question or even blame God, He does not give up on us. He seeks us out even when we get lost, wandering around in the wilderness of our minds, searching for answers in all the wrong places.

He is our Good Shepherd, and He mercifully calls us back to Himself no matter how many times we stubborn sheep get lost.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27 ESV).

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 ESV).

He is causing me to rely on Him, hope in Him alone (and not to look to myself, diets, medical procedures, or whatever else this world has tried to use to comfort me with). He is causing me to seek peace beyond my understanding. I don’t know, nor will I ever know, why my babies died. I just trust that God is in control, and He knows what He is doing more than I do. My peace and comfort come not in worldly platitudes or answers or even understanding why. It comes in fully trusting that God has me in His hands and had and still has my babies in His hands too. It comes in knowing that my true healing comes in the forgiveness of my sins and that He accomplished that on the cross for me and my babies. I am forgiven. I am healed. I have eternal life.

I struggled for a long time with wondering if my babies are in heaven because they were never born and thus never baptized. I now have faith that they are in heaven.

Baptism is not an act that merits heaven simply by its occurring. It is a means of grace. God created my babies. He loved my babies and cared for them as He does His whole creation. I trust that Jesus died for their inherent sin as well. Jesus rose and opened heaven to them too. No, they didn’t have a chance to repent, do good works, or be baptized, but I trust that God loves them nonetheless. These things don’t impute or gain salvation. They are gifts from God by grace, and I believe that includes my babies.

I also trust that I will see my babies again. They were barely the size of a grain of rice in my womb so I don’t know what they will look like, but I hope that I will recognize them in heaven. I know they are safe there at home and at peace.

I am a very intellectual person, so understanding has always been a pursuit of mine. That makes it hard to let go of what I have written about here. However, I know that my peace and hope do not come from myself, this world, or my own understanding. They come from Christ and the peace that only He can give. It is not a temporal peace, as the world gives, but it is “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7a ESV) that only comes by faith given by the Holy Spirit working in God’s Holy and powerful Word.

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