I once read a book that painted a picture of miscarried and lost fetal children as playing in heavenly fields of wildflowers and cascading waterfalls in a realm with their Creator: Jesus. And I read another book from the perspective of a father writing to his unborn, aborted, yet loved, children. He states his position, as well as the life of their mother, in gorgeous, poetic detail.
I’ve heard and absorbed heart-wrenching stories of loved ones losing their children far before their dreamed or intended time to depart from this earth. Some of these unlikely absences take place at birth, some just after conception, and others while a child is growing in wisdom/stature.
The truth is, it feels *intensely* wrong on so many levels, and it’s deeply painful. There seems to be a time-released effect it has on our entire lives moving forward.
Infant loss is like this.
Infant hope is like loss.
Difficult diagnosis is like this.
Difficult relationships are like loss.
Waiting to adopt is like this.
Waiting to be chosen is like loss.
Praying for lost family members is like this.
Praying for their illumination is like loss.
All require a steadfast longing to be reunited, restored, renewed and rewarded in spirit and in truth.
We wait in this challenging space knowing full well that it will feel immensely terrible, yet we know what God’s promises state for our lives. We wait not knowing when our name will be called, or when God will move us ever so slightly beyond the pain.
As a believer, trauma survivor, crisis pregnancy navigator and parent of adult children, I can state that life doesn’t get easier, it just gets more complex and advanced—like higher education. There isn’t a stopping point at the next milestone to allow for reprieve. We keep progressing through our God-given life and its uniquely different challenges— at our own custom pace. Here in these hard times, you are valid for complaining, feeling sad, downcast and even depressed. If ever you were in doubt about having feelings, turn to the Psalms. I’m not advocate for brush-it-under-the rug mentality, but I’m also not a supporter of staying in one cycle of grief for too long. One must go through the feels—no matter how painful—to get to the other side.
God’s process is for us to move out of the old and into the new.
Carry the memory.
Savor the laugh.
Feel the pain.
Harbor the good.
And press onward with these valuables tucked gently in your soul.
Yes, there is a real enemy who would love for you to overstay your grief welcome, but as an etiquette-abiding believer in the Almighty God, we have to put on our armor and walk out the door of discouragement.
To be discouraged is to be asleep to the present and future.
Awaken beloved, notice that God is doing new and amazing things right now. He’s got you. And just like David, express your grief and sadness, but intentionally balance these feelings with His promises and truth. Feelings have space at the table, they just cannot sit at the head. God, your Father, gets that reserved and honored chair.
Surround yourself with nurturing experiences, community and close friends who will allow you to explore grief in a healthy manner. These quality people will hold space for you, lift you up and stand beside you.
And as you read, listen to music and hear the challenging stories of humanity, think of how God will use these zoomed in snapshots of pain for His purpose and glory, but also for your transformation in and on your walk with Him!
We will indeed see our children in heaven, so imagining these babes playing in a field of wildflowers or frolicking in a waterfall is not fairytale, it’s truth.
“So then, my soul, why would you be depressed? Why would you sink into despair? Just keep hoping and waiting on God, your Savior. For no matter what, I will still sing with praise, for living before his face is my saving grace! Here I am depressed and downcast. Yet I will still remember you as I ponder the place where your glory streams down from the mighty mountaintops, lofty and majestic—the mountains of your awesome presence. My deep need calls out to the deep kindness of your love. Your waterfall of weeping sent waves of sorrow over my soul, carrying me away, cascading over me like a thundering cataract. Yet all day long God’s promises of love pour over me. Through the night I sing his songs, for my prayer to God has become my life.” Psalms 42:5-8 TPT