September 20, 2011 by Stacy McDonald
By Christa McDonald Blanchard
“Hold me now, O Father of Jesus. Sheltered safe, asleep in Your arms. No other place can promise protection. A fortress from pain, and a haven from harm.” – Michael Card
There are some who say that grieving is wrong, as if it somehow demonstrates a lack of trust or joy in the Lord. However, I believe that grieving can be deeply cleansing—even healing. Still, I understand the danger of despair in the midst of it all. When we take our eyes off the Lord and focus heavily upon the storm, we can sink into a mire of depression and hopelessness. When that happens, we forget to be thankful and we begin to miss out on the most important things in life.
It is easy to become overwhelmed and lose sight of the many ways God has blessed us. In our despondency, we may lose our zeal for life—sitting in our homes, not moving for days. People who are depressed may sleep long hours and lose their appetite completely; or they may eat everything in sight, trying to comfort their sorrow with food. Despair is irrational.
But, when we grieve, if we remember to look to Christ, He uses our pain to draw us closer to Himself. A deep bonding takes place. Jesus truly is the only one who can heal and mend our broken hearts.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” Matthew 5:4
My Husband and I were married in 2006. After struggling to get pregnant, the Lord graciously opened my womb; and, in 2008 we welcomed our first born son. Since it seemed to us that it took a while to get pregnant the first time, we began concentrated efforts to get pregnant when Joshua was six months old.
Three years later, after having been told by two fertility doctors that our chances of conceiving were very slim, we found out on August 19, 2011 that we were pregnant! Those sweet words still ring in my ears: “You’re pregnant!” The image of the positive pregnancy test is still vivid in my mind. I was even looking forward to morning sickness and gaining weight!
Then, what seemed to be the worst day of my life: I miscarried on August 25th. I kept asking myself, “What did I do wrong?” Why, after three long years, did I have to lose this long-awaited baby? Was it the mild exercises I did? Was it too soon to fly in an airplane? A million questions flew through my head!
“Do not fear, for I am with you: do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strength you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
Since I was away from my husband, visiting a friend in another state, at the time of the miscarriage (along with my small son, Joshua), I tried very hard to remain calm. For some reason, I felt compelled to remain joyful, and to hide my tears as much as possible. But, stuffing my true feelings only made me feel worse. I continued to hold everything in, even after my husband flew out to meet us and we went to visit my in-laws. I made sure to “look” happy, though I felt like I was dying inside.
Then it was time to go home. It hit like a piecing arrow in my chest. This is where I found out I was pregnant. I left this place with a baby in my womb, and I was coming home empty handed. Now I had to learn to get back to regular life. With Daniel at work all day, nobody would be around to see me cry. And cry I did. Of course, I cried with Daniel too, but there was something profoundly comforting about being alone with the Lord and pouring out my heart (almost like an offering) to Him.
Through this experience, I learned first-hand that my God is in control and that He loves me. I may not know His reasons for this miscarriage, but I can tell you that I am blessed, and that I have hope in the Lord!
I am thankful that I became pregnant in the first place! I carried a baby for a few weeks and had morning sickness! All the “why” questions will remain unanswered, but I will continue to trust in the Lord!
“As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.” Ecclesiastes 11:5
God showed me that He is the opener and closer of the womb, and that I can trust His sovereignty. Not only that; but, He also reminded me that I had in fact not come home empty handed. I have a beautiful three and a half-year-old, blue-eyed boy who lights up my world. I have a faithful and supportive husband by my side and I have a God who knows my needs and desires. He showed me that remaining thankful is the answer to keeping grief from turning to despair.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:6–7
I am still grieving the loss of our Shiloh, but I am content in the Lord. He continues to bring me closer to Him, and I will trust Him to lead me through my grief. And maybe, just maybe, one day, I will be able to hold another bundle of joy in my arms.
He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3
Written by my daughter, Christa McDonald Blanchard