Bye, bye baby (#4)

(This post may be difficult for some to read, due to the expressions of healing amid a miscarriage, but I felt it necessary given that it’s something many women experience, and yet few are open to discussing. Through this difficult time, the Lord ministered to me in a new way through this situation and I wanted to share what He showed me in case it’s of any help to someone else going through the same thing. Blessings!)

I lost a baby recently – my fourth miscarriage. By now, you’d think it would just be another unfortunate experience that I just ‘get through’ because it’s become almost routine, and because we weren’t even trying for a baby, but nope – this one hit me just as hard as the ones we’d planned for. The surprise, unplanned pregnancy was no less devastating in the loss, but to compound my pain, I had to deal with the knowledge that this one was my final chance to have another child.

All my life I’d dreamed of having 5 children. I couldn’t tell you why – just a number that I have always felt was the perfect number of kids for me. I had my first one in college, before I was married. Then, I got married and two more children joined my life. Next, we had an “ours”, totaling four children, but I wanted five.

Growing up, it never occurred to me that I would struggle with fertility issues like this. Each time the bleeding started, I got that pit in my stomach, that heart-stopping fear, and then the grim sense of knowing – it’s over.

Each miscarriage that I have had has its own story – of what I experienced at the time, physically, spiritually and emotionally – and this one was no different, except that it had a greater sense of finality – and I struggled with that, a lot. I wasn’t ready to give up, but my body was.

I don’t bother asking questions like “why” anymore – and I don’t blame God for one second. We live in a fallen world where the choices of evil people affect the good, and where babies die before they take a breath because someone kills them or because they were not formed to the point where they can survive. It’s not God’s fault. It’s just life and it happens and we have to deal with it and move forward, and God, in His faithfulness, is there to walk through it with us. Oh, how I needed Him this time, maybe more than the others before.

However, last night I started cramping and I got worried, so I reached out for a time of prayer and crying and talking with my mom and a dear friend, I fell asleep and had a dream that impacted me deeply. You can say what you want about dreams, but I absolutely believe that some dreams are sent from the Lord, to serve a purpose and this is what happened in mine:

I walked into a bedroom and I heard the song “Once Upon a Dream” playing on an old record player, with that gritty, scratchy sound you remember hearing on old records. Specifically, this one by Lana Del Ray . Sitting on the bed was my grandmother. While, in real life she has passed onto glory, there she sat – a younger, happier version of herself – and she was holding a baby boy with bright blue eyes. He was about 6 months old. The baby turned and looked at me. I asked my grandmother if I could hold him. When I spoke, he reached out for me and said, “Mommy”. 

I took him and held him very close, to my breast as if to nurse him and for a split second, I got to look into his sweet, little face and I smiled.

I woke up to a rush of blood leaking from my body and I knew, in that place in your heart where your spirit just knows, I knew I was losing my baby. I tried to pray and stand in faith, but I knew he was leaving, especially in light of the dream I had just had. I felt that the Lord had sent me that dream to let me catch a glimpse of him – to validate that he was, indeed, a real person and that he had a place in heaven.

And so I grieved.

I prayed that this baby’s life would serve some purpose in the greater purposes of the Kingdom of God – and I was determined not to define what that purpose would be – even if I don’t personally get to witness that purpose during my time on earth. I will not ever say this little life served no purpose, because we know that God is a God of purpose and no life, no matter how small, isn’t breathed with His spirit and given a purpose.

We have to be careful not to define “purpose” with our own definitions, when God’s purposes are well beyond our ability to comprehend. He sees all things, and all times, everywhere, so it would be really narrow-minded to define the purpose of a life based on what we see. God exists in eternity, as do His purposes – they are eternal, which means that not even death can cause the purposes of God to cease. I felt like I could let my baby go if I knew that his little life would not be for nothing – that he was seen and known and made and existed for a purpose.

I was reading in the Psalms – my go-to for comfort in times of pain or trial – and I read several chapters before running into Psalm 139. I almost skipped it because I already knew it had a lot to do with unborn life and I didn’t want to comfort myself with a cliche. I told God I wanted a “fresh revelation” – but I read it anyway and I’m so thankful I did.

Isn’t it funny how we try to TELL God what we want and don’t want, and don’t just trust Him to know what we need?

As I read Psalm 139, the Holy Spirit quickened His Word to me from Psalm 139:46 which says, “Your eyes saw my substance being yet unformed, And in Your book they were all written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them…

That phrase jumped off the page to me: when as yet there were none of them

I knew in my heart that the Lord was speaking to me that although this little life may have no days here on earth, God not only saw my little baby, but had written out days for my tiny one. Not 6 weeks of days on earth, but days written into eternity. Perhaps in eternity is the only place my little one will live – and that’s okay – because I’ll get there and when I do, he’ll be there, living out the days the Lord has written for him.

How short sighted it is of me to think that life on earth is all there is. I know better than that! Just because someone passes into eternity, we have this sense of finality, but in Christ, we know that this life is only one part of what we were created for in the expanse of God’s time, not our own.

It gave me a tremendous sense of comfort to catch the revelation that this life DID have purpose, even though it has not fully unfolded yet, and even if he never has “days” as I understand them right now, on this earth.

So, I grieved, but “not as others who have no hope” (1 Thess 4:13-14), but as one who knows that my hope is in God.

I thank my Friend, the Holy Spirit for the dream that I had about my baby, right before he passed. I know that He used it to bring me a measure of comfort and to be faithful to His word in John 16:13 to tell us of things to come. I was also so comforted to know that my grandmother was there too and that she was happy, because she had died a slow, painful death, and because she loved to rock babies in a rocking chair. It was one of her favorite things in life and she used to volunteer at hospitals to rock very ill babies and sing to them and pray over them. So, to see her with my baby was a beautiful image I will always treasure.

All that to say – if you’ve experienced a miscarriage – there is hope in God. Remember that our limited understanding of eternity is not God’s eternity, and our idea of purpose and will, are not His. We cannot say His purposes didn’t not prevail or that His will was for someone to die and that their purpose ended with their death. That is NOT TRUE. God sees in all times, in all places and His Kingdom will advance through the unfolding of the purpose He has placed onto every, single life – whether or not we experience it in this life, in this time and place. Every life is one of destiny  and I am so excited to see how it all plays out.

In the meantime, I will move forward as a healed and whole person, happy to know that the Lord knows what He is doing and I rest in His unfailing love.