If miscarrying has produced any visible fruit in me yet, it has been the enjoyment I have found in reading.
Never thought those words would come out of my mouth.
I always thought of reading as I did exercise- who does this for fun?
Now, Me. That's who.
I had blogged a few weeks ago that I had read I Will Carry You by Angie Smith, which led me to read What Women Fear by Angie Smith, which led me to read What Was Lost: A Christian Journey Through Miscarriage by?
By Elise Erikson Barrett.
I was a little weary of this last one. There aren't many pages (I was always the kid that would calculate exactly how much of the book was left based on where I was and would chant "only 30% of the book left... only 10% left". Obviously I was more dedicated to math than reading), but the font type is rather small and the pages wide. It took me quite a bit of time to get through it.
Fantastic. Hard. Challenging. Comprehensive. Everything I was looking for. If you have miscarried, please read it. It blessed me tremendously. It covers everything from a personal story of a pastor who miscarried to basic medical terminology, testimonials, and ways to cope with grief and hurtful people. Above all, it leaves you knowing that God loves you, God loves and cares for your lost child, and that your grief may not be understood by anyone except God and other women who are walking your road- and that's okay. It doesn't mean you are overreacting or mourning just the idea of being a mommy. You are mourning a life lost. A life lost to you but found in Christ.
I got to the chapter about grief and almost skipped it. I thought- oh, it's been almost 3 months since that happened. I'm good. Ready to put this behind us. But, being the perfectionist I am, I have to make sure I read every single page for fear I might miss something-or the reading police will come and punish me for skipping.
Reading through it I realized this- I will never be over grieving for my baby. The first 6 months are the worst. Sure, life will get easier, and the bad days will be further apart, but this is forever.
Just when I thought I was good, grief swallowed me in a flood, almost to the same degree as the first day we lived without our baby.
From the beginning, I moved from sadness, to acceptance, to what I thought was healing- and then fell back into anger. Unlike my husband, I completely skipped anger. This doesn't mean I am not handling it well, or that I don't grieve "right". There is no such thing. My grief just looks different.
I love God. I worship Him and know he is Almighty and Sovereign. I know his ways are perfect and I won't ever understand them. I don't think I know better than he does. Despite the desperate longing I have to be a mom, sometimes I just wish He'd just come back and sound the trumpet for his people so I could be with him and leave all of my earthly dreams behind in the dust.
But crying in my car this week, I screamed at my God. I yelled at him. I was mad at him. For the first time in my life I felt He abandoned me. I felt no one- not a single being including God, could love me and that I deserved to be hated, despised, and kicked in the face (yea, all us Christians will say we deserve this because we are sinners- but be real- if this happened to you in real life, you were hated, despised, kicked and beaten down and completely unloved, you would pity yourself and think you didn't deserve it. For crying out loud, we don't think we deserve to be overcharged at the register or be the victim of a hit and run at the grocery store). And making myself believe I deserved all of those feelings and more made me even more angry.
Yesterday I literally could not stop saying in my head, "God, where are you? Where are you? Where are you when our cradle is empty? Where are you when we cry in the night for you? Where are you when people are rude and inconsiderate? Where are you when people say hurtful things? Where are you when the pain keeps piling up? Where are you when we can hardly breathe? Where is our rest? Where? Where are you?"
I thought of the Psalms. David cries out to God like this, right?
Every bit of me wanted to tell myself, "No where. He doesn't care. His eyes are on the sparrow and changing the colors of the leaves. He is consoling the widow, healing the sick, forming in the womb some other woman's baby because he loves her more. You are nothing to him".
But, I know this isn't true.
It sure feels like it, but it isn't true. Maybe if I keep saying that-that it isn't true-I will really believe it.
In one of the books I mentioned before, the mom writing says she had done the same thing- went driving and just cried and screamed at God. She said she felt bad, but then noted that it's okay.
The God who made the universe, holds it up by his Word, and conquered the grave can handle his children being mad at him. I thought- um, wow. Harsh. Who does this? Who yells at God? How rude, unthankful, and disrespectful. I will never do that. I love God.
Well, it happened.
And I agree- it's okay.
It's okay to feel like the child who is kicking and screaming and crying in pain, trying to get out of their parent's arms, only to feel their parent hug tighter. Eventually, the child calms and weeps in sadness and clings to what is good.
I'm not going to lie.. I'm still kicking and screaming. I am still mad and angry and sad. Eventually, I have faith in knowing I will calmly weep and cling to my Father. I have faith that He will sing songs over me and quiet me with His love. I have faith that praise will once again be on my lips- and I will mean it.
I know the Lord is good. He loves us. He is always with us. Good will surely come of this time of barrenness, in every sense of the word.