On loss

I often ask myself and God why I have been blessed so much – a husband who loves me, three beautiful children and one little darling I’ve yet to meet.  Healthy pregnancies, provision, blessing upon blessing.  I usually ask this question when I watch my friends suffering through losses of all kinds.  I have watched two dear women lose their first babies in the last few months – one late last year at 29 weeks of pregnancy and one just this week at 14 weeks.  I watch this helplessly as I carry my fourth child and am overcome with sorrow for them.  I have had a mother’s heart for years – long before I had Jenny – but of course it has intensified after having my babies.  I believe God put that heart in me and even wants me to grieve with other women.  But I can never get over that feeling that I have no right to grieve with them because I have never been where they are.  I have never – and will never – say, “I know how you feel.”  I’m not stupid – I don’t know how they feel because I’ve never been there.  And while I am so grateful that I’ve never been there, I wish I could relate to them and feel legitimate in my grief.   I quite literally weep just reading the blogs of women who have lost babies during pregnancy or afterward and I can imagine only a portion of what they must feel.  Losing a child or a baby during pregnancy is my greatest fear in this life.  But I still have not been through it.  I’ve had moments of fear – bleeding early in pregnancy, cramping or early contractions, heart rates going down during labour – but have never had those fears realized.  Elias once fell face first into a hot tub – the world stood still for the seconds it took my step-dad to pull him out – but he was fine.  He is fine.  He sleeps in his bed now, a healthy three and a half year old boy.  Why has God blessed me and why do my friends suffer?  I know that many of them have been blessed in great ways both before and after their losses but that doesn’t take away the loss.  I don’t blame God for taking those children – I know the facts – that babies are often miscarried due to genetic or chromosomal defects and that it usually has nothing to do with the mother.  I’ve watched miracles come from the short lives of these children and been amazed at God’s hand in redeeming such tragic situations.  But why does my heart break so fully each time I see another loss like this?  How can I, in the midst of blessing and hope, carry so much hurt?  And what can I do with it?  I imagine women who have lost children reading something like this and scoffing – “she doesn’t have a clue – who does she think she is?”  Is this just the enemy’s voice – telling me that my pain isn’t legitimate enough?  Trying to get me to harden my heart?  I can only assume so, but even then, I cannot get past it.

So what do I do?  I continue to weep, my heart continues to break.  I can never express how truly sorry I am that anyone ever has to go through this kind of loss.  But I know God redeems even the darkest situations.  Five years ago, my cousin discovered at a routine ultrasound that her baby had no chance of survival.  She chose to carry that child to term rather than aborting, knowing he would die during labour or shortly afterward.  But because of hearing the news when she did, her husband came home from a dangerous situation overseas.  That diagnosis may very well have saved his life.  Their son passed away during his mother’s labour.  They now have a three year old and another due in a few weeks.  So I know what God can do and do not doubt His power and His presence in our lives.

I know this is a ramble, but my words usually are when accompanied by countless tears and questions.  Please pray for these women – for families who have lost precious lives for unknown reasons and have yet to see God’s plan being carried out.  And pray for those around them like myself, who hardly know what to say, but want so desperately to comfort and encourage.  Pray that God would speak through us, even in silence.



Filed under Faith, Life, in general

2 responses to “On loss

  1. Carly

    Though you don’t exactly know what we’ve been through, you can imagine how devastated you would be if you lost a child of your own. It’s a mother thing. I never would feel anything negative towards you. Your words encourage me and knowing how much you care and that you grieve also means a lot. Thank you friend and I love you.

    • Katie

      I love you, too, Carly, and these words mean a lot to me. I think I’m realizing that God made me this way and there’s not much I can do about it. I’m grateful for being given a compassionate heart, but sometimes I hardly know what to do with it! It’s hard to feel what I do – that I so hope I never go through a loss like this but that I wish in some ways that I had already so I could relate more directly to it. I think I’ve been taught that if you don’t know what to say, you shouldn’t say anything at all – but I know this isn’t necessarily true. I look forward to seeing God’s plan taking shape in your lives, even if I don’t have any answers about what has happened.

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