Finding Hope

Posted in Personal, Thank You Thursday with 6 comments

Today marks the one month date since my miscarriage. I have really been overwhelmed by the love and support we have received and wanted to use this “Thank You Thursday” opportunity to do just that… thank you. Thank you for the comments, thank you for the cards, thank you for the personal stories of hope, and most of all, thank you for the prayers. I had never experienced being lifted up in prayer as much as I did in those first two or three weeks after our tragedy happened. When I wrote that blog post, I was believing and trusting that it was what the Lord wanted me to do. I hoped that it would be an encouragement to others that could relate, but I had no clue how He would use it to completely minister to me. He works in mysterious ways and I am thankful He used you!

I will not hide it, I am still grieving. Has it gotten easier? Yes. But do I long for that child that I carried for just a short 8 weeks? Absolutely. Do I have hope for what the Lord will bring through this? OH yea! Do I have times of fear that this suffering will occur again? No doubt.

In this journey of ups and downs, trusting and struggling, and joy with sorrow, I have come across some amazing resources that have helped me “travel” through this time. I have sadly found that finding resources for this area is harder than one may think and that is why I wanted to share where I have gone to receive support with you now. I realize this is a marriage blog, but after finding SO many people that have been through this themselves and seeing just how common it is, I know this is an issue that needs to be talked about and by doing so, it will positively impact marriages as well. If you are looking for comfort, God is the only one who can truly fulfill that need, but I hope the following resources will help you to hold on to hope. You are not alone.

Books. There are very few books out there that really reach out to people who have specifically suffered a miscarriage. I was so
thankful for a friend (Thanks, Barbie!) who has really walked alongside me as she has also been through two miscarriages herself. She bought me a great book called Empty Arms: Hope and Support for Those Who Have Suffered a Miscarriage, Stillbirth, or Tubal Pregnancy by Pam Vredevelt.  Pam has a very difficult story of her own miscarriage loss in which she had to deliver her lost child. She is a counselor and a believer and gives great perspectives in her writing. It’s an easy read that does not give answers, but does give comfort and a sense of being known. Reading and knowing that you are not alone can be incredibly helpful.

Another book I ran into was Grieving the Child I Never Knew by Kathe Wunnenberg. I have not read this one, but it does look like another comforting, Christian book that would be helpful. Again, reading from someone who has been there is encouraging.

I highly encourage reading because it is something you can do (when you are ready) with “someone else” while not really having to talk to anyone at all. You can “hear” from others and receive what you need even in the times when a two way conversation would be difficult to handle. If you have not had a miscarriage but know someone who has, be careful in suggesting or buying these books for them. Feel free to give them this link, or to maybe give them a book later when you feel that they are ready. Throwing materials at someone who is hurting is generally not the right thing to do.

People. EVERYONE grieves differently! If you are one who needs time alone, by all means… take it! For some that may be a day, for some that may be weeks… but don’t do it forever. People are your best resource to receiving support and encouragement that you need. Don’t be afraid to reach out! If possible, deliberately seek out those that have been through it. That is where I have received help the most. A sweet friend of mine (Thanks, Tara!) who had been through two miscarriages herself told me that it’s not a club anyone wants to join, but that it helps to have others who know how it feels and to be able to reach out to others afterwards. I couldn’t agree more. I have not met a single person who has gone through this and  is not open to share their story and listen to yours. It’s been so helpful to be able to text my friend Barbie every few days and ask “Did you feel ____?” or “Did ____ happen to you during your physical recovery?”. It was even a blessing to just text her to say I was having a harder day. Take advantage of those that are reaching out, you will be glad you did!

And of course, hold on to your spouse and take comfort in the one who is suffering alongside you (ladies, remember that your husband is hurting too!). Click here to read more about holding on to your spouse.

On the flip side, do not let people get to you. Many will say the wrong things when they have perfect intentions. If you are one of those people wanting to support, but worried how to, here are a few things you should avoid saying. If you have gone through a miscarriage, try and take what others say to you in love. If you are one wanting to comfort a friend, the best things you can say are “I’m praying for you” And really do so! Or “I’m here if you need anything”. And sometimes it’s best to not say anything at all. Overall, pray for your friend, offer your help or the option of a distraction if they care for it and just be there.

Music. We are all familiar with the effect music can have on us emotionally. I even touched on it in my Hold On post. But play encouraging, Christian music whenever you can. Use the words spoken in the songs to speak what you cannot say on your own. The Chris Tomlin Pandora station has been one of my favorites and it is free. Pandora is definitely an awesome resource in general during this time as songs you may have never heard before will play and speak to you in new ways.

Scripture. I will be perfectly honest, the Bible did not appeal to me after my miscarriage happened. Going through the Bible to find what I needed sounded like work after what I had been through. Even scriptures I had memorized were hard to conjure up. I was not mad at God, if anything we were closer than we had ever been. But I was tired. And sad. And I didn’t want to do a Bible study. I prayed a lot, and just rested in the silence and peace of His presence and during that time, Scripture found me. The Empty Arms book above is full of some amazing Scripture that really encouraged me. I also was sent some sweet verses from friends that were also great. Take hope in God’s word and know that He is good.

I wanted to end by sharing some of these scriptures below. Take hope in our God, hold on to your spouse, receive love from others, and use the resources you have been blessed with. I pray that each person who reads this and has been through the heartbreak of miscarriage can know that they are not alone. Thank you, again, to all of you that have been praying for us and have been there. You are true blessings!

Psalm 27:13 (NIRV)~
Here is something I am still sure of.
I will see the Lord’s goodness
while I’m still alive.
Wait for the Lord.
Be strong and don’t lose hope.
Wait for the Lord.

Job 1:21 (NIV)~
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
may the name of the LORD be praised.”

Psalm 113:9 (MSG)~
He gives childless couples a family,
gives them joy as the parents of children.
Hallelujah!

Psalm 16:8-9 (NIV)~
I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With Him at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure.

Psalm 138:8 (ESV)~
The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of Your hands.

 

If you have been through a miscarriage and have a resource or advice to add, I would love to hear it! Feel free to comment below!


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6 Comments

  1. Gretchen

    Wow….thank you so much. June 1st would have been my due date and I’m not looking forward to that date. It has been such a hard road after our miscarriage. My emotions have been on a such a rollercoaster and it seemed like it was so hard to connect the truth of God’s love and know that everything would eventually be okay to what I felt in my heart. I have been dealing with infertility due to PCOS for years and after treatments and surgery had finally been able to conceive. The level of joy my husband and I felt could only be matched by the level of sorrow I felt losing our baby. I have been reassured that we can get pregnant again but I feel like that initial joy was stolen and replaced with worry and fear of it happening again. Plus, I worry about health issues due to my age and because my parents are older, of not having a child for them to meet. I will definitely check out the books suggested.

    Reply
    • erinmbaxter

      Oh Gretchen, I am so so sorry for your loss. I also have PCOS and know the complications that it can bring. I pray that worry will not overtake you and that you will be filled with God’s hope! I pray for peace as your due date arrives and that God would grant you the fertility that your heart so desires. Grieve as you need to but know that He is good! Praying for you, my friend!

      Reply
  2. J (Hot, Holy & Humorous)

    I always thought that the three friends in the Book of Job did fabulous at first when they simply sat with their grieving friend for three days. They blew it when they opened their mouths and started trying to offer their two cents and problem-solve. I know that I don’t have anything to say to comfort you entirely. That’s God’s job. But know that there are friends out here mourning as you mourn and praying for the best for your future.

    I appreciate how open and authentic you have been through this difficult time. I’m certain that you are helping others with your transparency and faith.

    Reply
  3. Gracie

    After helping a friend who lost her baby at a very young age, I stumbled across Angie Smith’s book I Will Carry You. It was a tough read but definitely a great Christian resource. I’m sorry for all the pain you have gone through Erin & I hope your healing process continues with Him alongside you.

    Reply