Dear World Changer,
We’ve been doing an “Overcoming” Series lately. Some of these posts have been about overcoming past events, and some, like this one, is learning how to overcome while you’re still walking through it.
One month ago Kyle and I lost a baby.
It was devastating as we looked at the ultrasound and didn’t see a heartbeat. We were so excited to be parents. Every decision we had to make, we had this little babe in mind.
I told Kyle by writing “I’m pregnant” on a pizza.
We told our parents with signs and Starbucks mugs.
We told our IntenCity leaders and close friends.
I’ve learned recently how many families suffer in silence when they miscarry. They tell you to wait 3 months before sharing the news for this reason. But more than anything, I’m glad we told a lot of people. I’m glad there were people to be excited with us and to mourn with us. And like any other situation whether it’s a miscarriage, going through a parents divorce, bullying, depression, anxiety…you should never suffer in silence.
We’ve learned a lot through this. A lot about ourselves, about faith, about healing. We shared this with our youth a few weeks ago and if you want to hear the “live” version, head over to IntenCity Youth’s podcast on iTunes.
We (Kyle and I), don’t share this for the “I’m sorry’s,” or the attention, or any other reason than we just want to be role models. And being a role model doesn’t mean JUST being an example in good times, but it’s being an example in the rough parts of life too. And we haven’t handled it perfectly. Not at all. But when I was younger, I would have died for someone to model how to cling to Jesus when life sucks. Because when I looked around me, when life threw a curve ball most turned to drugs and alcohol.
I don’t want to see a Christian go through good things, I want to see a Christian go through bad stuff because that really shows how tight you are with Jesus. And being tight with Jesus doesn’t mean you handle things perfectly, but it means that as you’re walking through the journey imperfectly, you’re walking with Him.
So here’s what a miscarriage has taught me.
Peace is a Thing…A Great Thing
So often people pray that you’d have peace through sucky stuff, but rarely do we say “I accept that peace.”
I see a common pattern in how God works through cancer, divorce, death, feeling like our dreams have fallen apart etc.
It’s that a lot of the time, he calms you before He stops the circumstance.
I mean, could you imagine if He just babied us and stopped everything and attended to our every need right away? We wouldn’t grow. We wouldn’t get stronger. All through Bible College I heard the phrase “God cares more about your character than your comfort.” And boy does that ring true! And I’m glad He does. He really is a good good father.
Ever heard the term “storm” for rough seasons of life? Well, God gives peace while it’s still raining. 2 days after the ultrasound tech told us there was no heartbeat we were sitting in the doctor’s office to discuss options on how to get the baby out. And peace filled that room. Peace filled our hearts. And peace doesn’t mean you’re not crying or hurting or broken. But peace is this trust in God that you know everything is going to be okay and that He’s working behind the scenes to make everything come together for your good and you can’t see it at first but you know it’s there.
God gives peace that goes beyond our understanding. What that means it that you’re going to feel peace when it doesn’t make sense to have peace. Your world is crashing down yet you’re calm. And that’s a blessing. And I’ll say it again and again…I accept that peace.
Get Your Hopes Up
God brought me back to the story of when Jesus walks on water and Peter asked if he could walk on water too.
Peter asked Jesus “If this is really you Jesus, let me walk on water too.” And as he stepped out of the boat he saw 2 options. He saw the giant waves that could cause him to drown, and he saw Jesus. And seeing 2 options of how this could go (drowning or Jesus saving) caused doubt and that made him begin to sink.
We need to see one way…Jesus.
4 days after we got told we were miscarrying I got called into the doctor’s office immediately. My doctor looks at me and said “I’ve never seen this before, I’m 99% sure you’ve miscarried but there is this small chance your baby is alive.”
And at that moment, I had a decision to make.
Now most of you know my past. I’ve been a part of the stats since I was a kid.
I was in the 50% of kids whose parents divorce
I was the One in 20 who will experience death of a parent
I was in the 50% of families that are blended families
I was the 1 in 6 who get sexually assaulted
And so I just figured I would be the 20% of pregnancies that end in miscarriage.
***But you can’t base your theology off of your experience***
I was seeing 2 ways instead of one. I was seeing my baby dead and I was seeing Jesus. All my life it just seemed like if something bad was going to happen, it was coming MY way. So as a kid, I made the decision to never get my hopes up, then I would never be disappointed, and I would never have to grieve again.
I didn’t want to get disappointed. I didn’t want to get my hopes up that this baby was alive. I even told my doctor “I have zero hopes.” I didn’t want to believe in a miracle then have to grieve all over again. But I pushed myself to just see Jesus. To have the faith the size of a mustard seed and to get my hopes up (to be honest, it felt like my faith was a quarter of a mustard seed). But I prayed every 30 seconds that God would breathe life into this child. I got my hopes up.
Because faith is a RISK.
Next day it was confirmed that the baby had been dead for 3 weeks. It was a miscarriage. And I had to grieve all over again. But getting our hopes up wasn’t for nothing. It brought us to a new depth with Jesus, a new faith level.
Remember the woman in the Bible who was bleeding for 12 years? She had tried everything. She spent ALL she had on doctor’s visits getting her hopes up that she would be healed. Nothing worked. She heard Jesus was in town. I bet she had to make the decision, do I get my hopes up? There’s going to be a huge crowd, will I even get close enough? Will I even get to see him? Do I want to go through the disappointment of not being healed again?
But she got her hopes up. She fought through the crowds and crowds of people. This type of disease made you an outcast in the town. I bet she got nasty comments and hurtful glares as she ran to Jesus.
All she did was touch the edge of Jesus’ cloak and she was healed. That was worth getting her hopes up. And Jesus said, your FAITH has healed you.
Her story and mine are different. Both worth it. I got my hopes up in Jesus, he didn’t heal my baby, but he did heal Kyle and I’s heart and continues to do so.
I’ve learned not to discount the small miracles. We only see miracles one way, and if it doesn’t happen that ONE way, we don’t say it’s a miracle. But there are ALWAYS small little miracles happening. The doctors thought there was a cancer that caused the baby to die which would mean a lot of testing and doctors appointments for me. I got the results two week ago, and it was a normal pregnancy! Be grateful for the small miracles.
Your situation has to look impossible to know it was a miracle.
If you look at all the miracles in the Bible, each looked impossible. People who had lived with diseases all their lives who were so much considered outcasts that they weren’t even allowed in the town.
There was the little girl who was pronounced dead, Lazarus who was pronounced dead and even put in grave clothes!
We always think “God you showed up late, why didn’t you come WAY before this.” But it has to look impossible for us to know it’s a miracle. He is always right on time. And because of the impossibility of the situation, Jesus’ name was brought everywhere. People started to say, truly you are God!
Sit with grief
As a kid, I was the type of person that wanted to do everything perfect. So when I lost my Dad or went through anything else, I would just numb myself and act sad for “the right amount of time”, then get okay at the “right time;” the time that everyone told me. WRONG WAY of doing things!
Don’t let anyone tell you how to grieve. I used to think in my head, “stop telling me how I’m doing everything wrong, it’s not like I practiced loosing my Dad.”
And recently someone very wise (shoutouts to Pastor Shelley), told me, “sit with grief.” So this time around. We sat with grief. I picture grief like one of these guys (don’t make fun)
And you need to sit with grief in your bedroom, living room, wherever. You need to cry to grief, yell at grief, ask the why questions. And eventually grief will get out of your bedroom or living room and it won’t be there anymore. But if you numb yourself to grief and ignore it, grief will always be there. And it will start to look like anger and bitterness in you.
And everyone needs to sit with grief for however long you need too. Don’t worry about people pleasing, this is YOUR life, YOUR future. Deal with grief right.
Bear each other’s burdens
Never go through something alone. We’re not built for that. We need people. And it doesn’t mean that everyone on your Facebook needs to know, but SOMEONE needs to know!
Like I mentioned above, I am so thankful people knew about this.
And because people knew, we didn’t cook a meal for over a week, flowers and chocolate were brought to our house, gifts were brought to our house, family came over and cleaned and ran errands for us.
And although it’s been one of the toughest months of our lives, it’s been easier. We’ve felt like Moses. When Moses and his army were in war with the Amalekites Moses had to keep his arms raised, he had to hold the staff. And when his arms got tired, Aaron and Hur got him a rock to sit on and they each held an arm up for him, making it easier. They took some of the weight. That’s what it feels like when we bear each other’s burdens. We NEED each other! Never suffer in silence. Don’t keep things hidden and in secret, been there and done that! And the hurt and pain lasts longer.
There has to come a time when you LET GO
It’s crazy how quickly you get attached to an unborn baby. I was SO attached! For 9 weeks I had been pregnant. I had this embryo that went everywhere with me. And when it was time for surgery, I looked at Kyle and said “I don’t want them to take the baby out. Like I’m attached to this baby. It’s mine. I didn’t want it gone.”
And it painted this picture that we get attached to our storms.
But the sooner you let go, the sooner you can move on. The sooner that baby came out, the sooner I could get healthy again.
Jesus died so we could be free. Free from the burden of losing a child, or losing a parent, of the effects of divorce, of our sin, our shame and regret. Letting go comes at different stages for everybody, but it has to come. You have a purpose, God has this huge plan for your life and you can’t do it while holding onto your past.
Remember the story of the 10 lepers?
There were 10 people with leprosy. And this disease made you an outcast in society, so much so, that they weren’t allowed inside the town so they stood outside the gates.
Jesus came by one day. And those 10 lepers stood outside the gate yelling and begging for Jesus to heal them. And he did. Jesus said “Show yourselves to the priest, you are healed.” And as they all walked away, only ONE leper turned around to thank Jesus.
Picture the one thing in your life that you really need a miracle for, or need healing from, or that one family member. And for years and years and years you’ve been praying for that. You beg God every 5 minutes and then one day, that miracle, that healing comes. And you never thank the God who did it. Imagine how that feels?
We need to turn around and be grateful. Even if the miracle doesn’t come like mine, I was taught by God to turn around for the health I’m in – a lot of stuff could have gone wrong but it didn’t. I thanked him for my husband, for the roof over my head, for our jobs, for food.
We have a lot going for us. Turn on the news for 2 seconds and you’ll realize how much we have to be thankful for.
A Friday night (Youth) or a Sunday morning shouldn’t be the only time we thank Him. TURN AROUND
Lord I will Still Love you
Even if the healing, or the miracle doesn’t come, will you still say “Lord I will still love you?”
If you lose all your money…
If you don’t get into the school you want…
If you get diagnosed with a disease or disability…
If you lose the people you love in your life…
Will you still say, Lord I love you.
I tell our youth this all the time. Jesus needs to be more than JUST Saviour, he needs to be LORD over your life.
Yes Jesus is Saviour, but that’s not all He is. If He’s only Saviour, than to you He can fail. If you only come to Him to ask for something (save me, do this for me, redeem this, give a miracle) and He doesn’t do it, He’s failed in your eyes. But when He is also LORD over your life, He can never fail because you KNOW he’s working everything together for your good whether it looks that way or not. Whether the miracle comes or not. Whether you get healed or not. He wants more than just “do this and do that.” He wants this personal relationship, this deep connection.
Put your life in his hands. Make Him LORD over your life, not just Saviour.
The cover picture for this post was a photo shoot Kyle and I did not too long ago. It was supposed to be the shoot where we would announce our pregnancy. But instead, it’s a reminder that my God is good. It’s a testimony that we’re okay. Okay enough to still do the shoot. Okay because we trust in God and His plans. And okay, because when our baby first opened their eyes, they saw Jesus.
What a perfect life for that child. And one day, we’ll get to meet our little treasure in Heaven.