It was this week a year ago that I had my first miscarriage. Allow me to share a part of my heart, a part of that story, and the names we chose to give the babies we lost. My hope in sharing this story is to encourage our hearts to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus in the storms of life.
As I recall, during those weeks before my miscarriage I was happily singing through my days, with the world full of colorful butterflies and sunshine, and ecstatic about finally being pregnant.
But then I started bleeding. No big deal, right? This happens to a lot of women who are pregnant…
A few days later I found myself curled up on my bedroom floor with more severe pain than I’d ever experienced. Google searching helped me know what to expect, as I shakily tried to pack a bag of clothes, in case I went unconscious and my husband had to call 911.
In the days following my miscarriage, my husband and I mulled over what names we wanted to give to the twins we had lost.
We named one child Jubilee.
I’m not referring to a happy, cheesy kind of jubilation that was the exact opposite of my feelings at that time. But in reference to the year of Jubilee, spoken about in the Old Testament. In that year, everyone took rest from their laboring and working, the slaves were set free, debts were forgiven, and people worshiped God for an entire year of sabbath. The year of Jubilee is a crystal clear picture of Jesus, and the way HE gives us rest, sets us free from bondage to sin, forgives our debt of rebellion against God, and provides a way for us to truly worship God. ONE DAY, when Jesus comes back again, we will experience a true year of Jubilee, when everything will be set right in this world, and the groanings of all creation that Romans 8 speaks about will finally be fully healed.
As we walk through this week, remembering personal losses that we have experienced, may we also be reminded that one day all of these pains and losses will be made right. And there will be a Day when we will no longer be living in the corruption of this broken world.
The other child we named Providence.
The day after my miscarriage, I came across this section of the Heidelburg Catechism:
What do you understand by the providence of God?
God’s providence is his almighty and ever present power, 1 whereby, as with his hand, he still upholds heaven and earth and all creatures, 2 and so governs them that leaf and blade, rain and drought, fruitful and barren years, food and drink, health and sickness, riches and poverty, 3 indeed, all things, come to us not by chance 4 but by his fatherly hand. 5
1.Jer 23:23, 24; Acts 17:24-28.
3.Jer 5:24; Acts 14:15-17; Jn 9:3; Prov 22:2.
What does it benefit us to know that God has created all things and still upholds them by his providence?
We can be patient in adversity, 1 thankful in prosperity, 2 and with a view to the future we can have a firm confidence in our faithful God and Father that no creature shall separate us from his love; 3 for all creatures are so completely in his hand that without his will they cannot so much as move. 4
1.Job 1:21, 22; Ps 39:10; Jas 1:3.
2.Deut 8:10; 1 Thess 5:18.
3.Ps 55:22; Rom 5:3-5; 8:38, 39.
4.Job 1:12; 2:6; Prov 21:1; Acts 17:24-28.
Those are fighting words right there, my friend.
“…Fruitful and barren years… no creature shall separate us from His love…” It’s easy for me to attribute fruitful years and health to the providence of God. But my barren years and miscarriage losses? I’m not saying that these losses are good. But I am saying that God is still good and loving in the middle of these losses. And the deepest grief still cannot separate us from God’s Love.
The phrase- “all things, come to us not by chance, but by his fatherly hand” was especially precious to me in the weeks after that miscarriage. My God wasn’t asleep when I lost those babies. He was not too weak or too distracted. He knows these things, He allows loss into our lives, He weeps with us in our grief, and through it all He is our loving Father.
As our minds this week wander to thoughts about losses we have experienced, may we also be reminded that we have a loving Father whose hand we can hold in the midst of the brokenness in this world. The hand that has the scars from when, in the Providence of God, Jesus hung on a cross to reconcile us to Himself.
This all sounds so easy, written down a year later, without the raw emotion and broken questions I carried during that season. But each day during that time I cried out to God to show me something unique that would remind me of His Love for me. And God answered that request. Some days it was a poignant Bible verse, or a fitting sermon, or a friend bringing over chocolate. One day I saw God’s love in finding this song by Casting Crowns, and it became my theme song for that season: “Just Be Held”
As we walk through this week, my prayer for us is that our hearts would understand afresh the hope we have in Christ. To know that even though His providence is allowing for loss in this world, He will not leave us there. One day He will return and bring with Him the greatest healing and year of Jubilee this world has ever known.
“We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy.” James 5:11