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A Heart That Feels Crushed

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. – Psalm 34:18 (ESV)

Every Mother’s Day, my heart aches for those who ache for a child, for the children lost through miscarriage, and for those who are experiencing deep pain right now. Months ago I had an experience with God where I believe he wanted me to remember those who long to be a mother and are not, or those who have lost a child through miscarriage. I experienced infertility for almost ten years, and then I had three miscarriages in a row in 2003. It was one of the most devastating times in my life. You start out with such big dreams and so much hope…and then you move to denial, then fear, then heartache, and then utter despair. Infertility is such a unique and hard road that feels like it goes on forever. It changes you. And though I have done a lot of healing in the last thirteen years, my heart aches for those who have had similar experiences, and who continue to live in the painful reality of infertility and/or miscarriage. I believe there are those out there who are in such despair, and they feel totally alone. Grief is really hard when you are surrounded by those you love, but when you feel totally alone, it is almost unbearable. I wanted to share some of my thoughts about Mother’s Day as I struggled with infertility for so long, and then also some thoughts about miscarriage as I experienced it years ago. I feel like I want to say again to whoever may read this: “You are not alone.” I am praying for your hearts and for the ache that is there today; the ache for the children you don’t have or the ones you have lost to miscarriage. I am so sorry. I’m praying for God to surround you completely with his love and comfort. Today you are remembered and loved.

My Thoughts On Infertility On Mother’s Day:

2002:

It’s the Sunday I hate the most. I want to stay home, but if I do, everyone will know why and talk about me and pity me. So I get dressed, put on my fake smile, and go to church to watch all the mothers being honored. Everyone except me. My heart feels like it has a cement block tied to it. Year after year, month after month goes by, and still no baby. I feel like such a failure.

Lord, it hurts so much. Why is this happening to me? Are you really faithful? How can this be a good plan for me?

The insensitive comments from others over the years roll around in my head as I sit and try to listen to the sermon: “I can’t believe you haven’t gotten pregnant yet. Your mom got pregnant so easily.” “It will happen if God wants it to happen. Just be patient.” “God knows best, doesn’t he?”

And then a still, small voice whispered to my heart, blocking out all of the painful thoughts. I heard, “I love you, Tammy. I remember you today. You are not forgotten. Let Me be enough today.”

On a day that our country remembers and honors mothers, Jesus remembers me. He remembers my broken heart and he mourns with me. And although I couldn’t ignore that He hadn’t answered my deepest desire and most fervent prayer, He remembers me. I felt His love and the truth of it. He didn’t give me the answer to the “why?” questions, but for today, it was enough. He was enough. I felt his love and compassion for me and I felt peace. I didn’t feel alone anymore, and that was a true miracle. It was a precious gift of a few sacred moments where I didn’t feel turmoil in my heart. Thank you, Lord.

My Thoughts On Miscarriage On Mother’s Day (2003)

Panic ripped through me. I was bleeding! Oh Jesus, help me. Please don’t take my baby from me!”

It was Mother’s Day, 2003. I was working my shift as an RN at the hospital. My husband and I had just gotten a positive pregnancy test a few days earlier. After almost ten years with no baby, we were finally pregnant! To say we were excited was an understatement. Finally, everything felt right in my life, after so many years of everything feeling so wrong.

But now I was bleeding and cramping. I went to the bathroom and sat on the toilet in shock as I miscarried my child. God, how could you love me and still let me miscarry my baby on Mother’s Day? I feel so alone. Why did you leave me, God?

Three months later, I was pregnant again, with twins. I miscarried the first baby around eight weeks and the second baby at nine weeks. I struggle to find the words for what that experience was like. The pain was so overwhelming, I think I shut down and actually quit functioning for several weeks. I think what was so devastating was I felt betrayed by God. The only One who could have prevented it chose not to. It took months, even years, to crawl out of the deep and dark pit I was in.

I shut God out (I was so angry with him) . But I was so miserable apart from him. I turned back in desperation and cried out for relief and understanding. I studied people in the Bible who suffered (there where a lot). I studied Job. I cannot compare myself with Job, but I felt like I understood just a small piece of the devastation he must have been feeling. I didn’t get all the answers I wanted from God, but I grew to know Him better. I remembered that he too knows what it feels like to lose a child he loved so deeply.

I ran across and excerpt (not by coincidence) from a book that really helped me and I wanted to share it with you:

     As I struggled day after day, month after month, as friends looked at me, shook their heads, and asked, “Aren’t you over it yet?” I again found Job as my mentor. Job continued to call out to God, to turn to him with all his doubts, questions, and fears, despite the shallow answers offered by his friends and despite God’s silence. Eventually God showed up for Job. So I, too, turned again and again to God, whether or not I felt like he was listening. And for me as well, God showed up, not in the storm, but in an increasing awareness of his presence coupled with a growing understanding of his character.
     Finally I began to realize something that I’d never known before. God, it seemed, was less interested in my happiness than he was in the strength of my faith. Suffering and sorrow were not the enemies I had once thought, but were tools in the hands of a loving God, tools that could mold me into the woman God desired me to be.
     Because of that child, though lost so early, my faith no longer is based on the ever-changing circumstances of my life but on the unchanging glory and wonder of God. And now, through the window of deep suffering, I can see God more clearly. (1)

It doesn’t answer everything. We won’t have all the answers until Jesus comes to take us home to heaven. But it is a glimmer of hope: a glimmer of peace in the middle of the really hard and really painful.

I didn’t suffer well during those years. I isolated myself and was bitter, and so lonely. But looking back, understanding is slowing creeping in. God is always faithful. He always has a good purpose, or he wouldn’t allow it. He never does anything apart from his deep love for us. He is always for us. He is sovereign and he is Lord. He has complete authority in all situations and his plan is a good plan, even when we cannot see it clearly.

So for today, I want to acknowledge that some of you are in deep pain. Mother’s Day is so heartbreaking (an unbearable) for those who have experienced infertility or miscarriage. But God is here, even in the fog and the unanswered questions. Let him be enough today. Look up and be reminded that today, he remembers you and loves you deeply. And he is acquainted with suffering…

He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief, and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought him us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. – Isaiah 53:3-5 (ESV)

Lord, carry those that are heartbroken today. Comfort and love those that have had their spirits crushed. You are enough, especially today. Amen.

I love you and you are in my prayers constantly today,

Tammy

 

Source:

"Empty Womb, Aching Heart" by Marlo Schalesky; 2001. Bethany House Publishers; Bloomington, MN, pg. 83-84.

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If you are an imperfect wife, mom, daughter, or friend, struggling to stay focused on God in the craziness and find joy in the heartache, then we have something in common. I am a recovering perfectionist and daughter of the King, slowly learning to fully trust the One who sees me just as I am, and is already pleased. I’m so glad you are here.

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