There are few things in life that devastate hope and destroy joy like miscarriage. I know countless women who are unable to even conceive a child; it is bitterly painful and disappointing, for sure. Carrying a baby in your womb only to discover you will never be able to hold and take care of him or her is another kind of pain and heartache that can go very deep. It can even cause us to wonder: Where is God during a miscarriage?
My husband and I thank God for the four beautiful children we have been blessed with. We also have experienced six miscarriages. Six. It seems like so many, and looking back, I wonder how we survived. I know many other couples who have experienced the disappointment of miscarriage, and I’ve seen some handle it better than others.
In 1997, I became pregnant with our first child. My husband and I had been married for less than a year, and we were very excited (and at the same time a little scared) since we were becoming parents for the very first time. I began to read everything I could in books and magazines to prepare myself for pregnancy and parenthood.
My husband was the youth and associate pastor of our small church, and I was a first-year high school teacher. I planned to quit my job so I could be the stay-at-home mom I always dreamed of being. We weren’t quite sure how we would make it on my husband’s income alone, but we were full of faith that God would provide every step of the way.
Throughout my first trimester, I experienced some spotting on and off, but my physician assured me it was normal and not necessarily anything to worry about. I believed him. It was Father’s Day Sunday, and I was 11 weeks along. It was the perfect day to announce to the church that we were expecting! Everyone was excited for us. Then we were devastated just a few days later when I began bleeding and clotting heavily.
We held on to hope, each other and God, but it wasn’t enough. We lost our first baby. We were in shock. We couldn’t understand what went wrong. I questioned myself: Had I eaten something wrong? Was there something physically wrong with me? Could I have done something differently? And the biggest question of all: Why did God allow this to happen to us?
I remember being angry with God and questioning Him. I remember being confused and sad and hurt. I remember pleading with God to stop the miscarriage and to save our baby, but He didn’t. I remember being scared when I found out I was pregnant with our second child, Wesley (who is now almost 16).
Then came Cameron (who is 13). Next I had three miscarriages in a row, and after the third one, I almost had a nervous breakdown. I couldn’t understand why God would allow us to have two sons and then lose three babies. We were contemplating adopting a little girl when I found out I was pregnant with our daughter Trinity (now age 8). After two more losses, we finished with our son Tyler (now age 5).
If we don’t know Romans 8:28 by heart, then we certainly have heard it quoted or read it in a Christian greeting card: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (NIV). But in the midst of heartbreak, we wonder how God can possibly use our tragedy for good. Through the devastation and loss, I learned many things about myself, God and life.
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