Joy of Tomorrow
About six weeks ago I had a miscarriage. I expected to be sad, but not for more than a couple weeks.
The truth is, grief, even that of a miscarriage, isn’t that simple. If the doctors were right in their original calculations, I would be almost 12 weeks. When I think about that I’m sad; when I see my happy friends who are mothers to be, I’m sad; when I see baby clothes I’m sad. I think years from now, when I happily watch my kids play, I’ll be sad.
I had my miscarriage on a Friday night and by Monday I was “Okay.”I let myself feel sad when I wanted to, but most of the time I was really okay.
But as time passed, I gradually felt the pain more.
There seemed to be pregnant women everywhere. I saw more and more babies and toddlers at the grocery store, or walking down my street; baby bumps were plastered over social media; I felt like when I lost my baby, the rest of the world had theirs. Not to mention, when I had to get blood drawn for the last time the Sunday after it happened, I was sitting outside the labor and delivery part of the hospital. I saw dads walk in and out carrying hospital bags. As I was in the middle of losing mine, a whole floor of women were welcoming theirs.
For a week or so in July I was in a funk; my whole life, even for a short time, was about that baby, and when I lost it, I didn’t care about anything else. I didn’t care about working out, training for a triathlon, riding my horse, or seeing my friends…I just wanted to be miserable; I just wanted to want my baby back. I just wanted to resent beaming pregnant women. While their pain would end with life, mine ended with death.
It was personal. It was unfair. It didn’t make sense. I felt bitterness creep into my heart.
As I’ve gotten older I have accepted that grief is okay, that mourning is necessary. “Blessed are they who mourn for they shall be comforted.”
What’s not okay is feeling bitter, feeling that God has let you down and has blessed others while forsaking you.
I have had a very blessed life; I haven’t lost my husband, a close friend, a sibling, or a parent. My dad got to walk me down the aisle, all my brothers, my sister, my sister in law and nephews are home at the holidays, my husband blesses me everyday, his entire family is a part of my life, and my mom is there when we celebrate her on Mother’s Day. Not everyone can say that. I am sure people look at my family after they’ve lost a parent or a sibling with bitterness and questioning.
Why do some of us suffer loss while some of us welcome joy? Why is life so unfair?
I realized shortly after being jealous of one too many beaming pregnant women that I don’t know how they have suffered; maybe they’ve lost a sibling or a parent. Maybe it took them years to get pregnant. Maybe they’ve had multiple miscarriages But the happy pregnant women who have never lost a loved one should still be celebrated. Everyone has their cross to bear.
But nothing has made me more mad recently than women who don’t love their children, who choose not to be decent mothers, who decide to give up their child, or worst of all, terminate their pregnancy. Why are these women who don’t want to be mothers allowed to carry beautiful, healthy babies? Why are their bodies created to home children they don’t even want? And why, when they feel life change them, do they take that life away? My stomach turns and I am filled with anger, not only because I’m jealous or bitter, but because I know now more than ever that they forsook a precious life; a life they made. It’s not fair.
But because of God’s forgiveness and love, the anger, bitterness and jealously didn’t consume me. Eventually God pulled me out of the hell I was living and gave me love.
“What is hell? I maintain that is the suffering of being unable to love.”- Fyodor Dostoyevksy
People always ask “why do bad things happen to good people?”
Because in the words of C.S. Lewis “Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
“Good” and “Bad” are such black and white terms, but if we must use them, if we must place people in either/or, then I would hate to live in a world where bad things only happen to bad people. Some bad people will change for the better with their suffering; others allow their suffering to take hold of them. All good people, or at least truly decent people, will hear the shouts of God and bless others through their suffering. I’m not saying I’m some great person, but I do see that God has opened my eyes to love through suffering instead of growing full of bitterness. I think because of my suffering I have an ability to love l didn’t have before. God shouted at me in my pain to come out of my selfishness and hear the cries of others.
If I had carried my baby to term, I would have been a mother on mother’s day; the other day it hit me that I won’t be. I remember last mothers day articles floated around about how Mother’s Day is so unfair to women who have had a miscarriage, lost a child, or can’t carry babies. Instead of celebrating mothers, it’s insensitive to women who cant enjoy the happy day.
As someone who has had a miscarriage and will be mourning that loss on Mother’s Day, I supposed I could hop on board with that, but in reality I will be celebrating mothers more than ever.
How many mothers out there have suffered for years, have suffered more than I did before finally receiving their blessing? If we don’t celebrate mothers, we don’t honor their loss and rejoice with their blessing.
I know now more than ever babies are a miracle; the female body’s ability to create and carry life is mind blowing; the fact that Mary carried Jesus for 9 months, just as our mothers carried us is both humbling and amazing. So instead of not celebrating mothers because those of us who have suffered will be sad, we should respect the miracle that God performed in their bodies. By not celebrating mothers, we are disrespecting life, including the lives of our babies now in heaven.
We don’t ignore Christmas, ignore the motherhood of Mary because Sarai was barren, we celebrate the miracle of life, the gift of motherhood, because Sarah became the “Mother of Nations.”