I write this with a heavy heart. While both Matt and I have both experienced hardships of our own, and/or experiences that are more personal to one or the other, we have recently experienced our first real heartbreak as a married couple. On March 29th, we sorrowfully said goodbye to the first hope of a little one to come as I suffered a miscarriage. We have been so excited to extend our family, and were beyond giddy when I (finally, after weeks of wondering) tested positive. I had gone to meet Matt for lunch the day I found out and gave him the gift of the wrapped positive test. I took pictures and video recorded his excitement and shock as he realized the news I was telling him. We excitedly talked that night about how we would tell our families and what we would name our first child. We created happy memories that day, but now the excited conversations have stopped. The pictures and video stay on my phone as I do not have the heart to delete them, but also do not know if I can ever look at them again. We have gone through ups and downs of emotion this past week. It has felt like we were (and maybe still are) on a roller coaster but were not strapped in right. That at times we were simply just holding on for dear life and not knowing how to help our own self, let alone one another.
I debated whether to write about this or not. As you can probably tell, it’s deeply personal and still painful for us. Not only that, but I tend to worry about what others will think or how they will react when I look only to myself on what to write. But as I prayed about it, I realized that just as God had sent friends to us who had suffered miscarriages, He also wanted me to be a friend to others. Not that every couple has suffered a miscarriage, but in our fallen world hardship is something we will all face. Sadness and grief is inevitable and we must be prepared to work through it with our husbands and our wives. Not out of despair, but out of a hope that we claim in a God who truly cares and wants us to be there for one another just as He is there for us.
Whether you have been married one month or 50 years, you very well may have gone through the grief of a lost loved one or pain of a difficult circumstance in your marriage. I have not only experienced this first-hand with my husband now, but have also watched as my parents walked through it in their marriage. My precious younger brother, David, passed away at the age of 4 due to complications with his Cerebral Palsy. I later learned that my parents had not only been given low odds of their marriage surviving after his death, but also after his birth when it was discovered that something was “wrong”. Seeing them celebrate their 28th anniversary this past Saturday is nothing short of a miracle as they have been through some of the deepest grief and hardship of any couple I know.
So for you that have already been through heartbreak together, take hope! The pain can be unbearable, the difficulty of grieving not only alone, but together, is anything but easy. The shock, anger, resentment, guilt, sadness, [insert emotion here] is okay to feel. But whatever you do, hold on. Hold on to that thrashing roller coaster and the twists and turns that you were not prepared for, because in the end, we all get off of the ride. There is a destination, there is a happy ending to our pain, and we will see Christ one day, face to face. Hold on to Him, and hold on to your spouse. It’s easy to let one another slip, but grab their hand and keep holding. Letting them go will not ease your pain, but will only deepen it and will take away one of the greatest comforts and helpers that God has given us on this earth. I watched as my parents grew apart in their struggle and pain but still held on to one another, even if it was just by a pinky. They stuck through it and what a blessing it is to now see them as newly restored “love birds” who can hardly be apart. I have seen what God can do when you stick through it. I have seen how He can take brokenness and place the pieces back together. My friends, I have seen miracles. Do not give up.
Psalm 34:18- The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit
To those of you who have not yet experienced hardship as a couple: it will come. I say this not to bring you down, to make you fearful or to be harsh, but as a warning to be prepared. Jesus promised us in John 16:33 that we will have trouble in this world. Get ready. Talk with your spouse about dealing with hardship. Commit to one another that you will stay strong and pray together that the Lord will guide you through it together. We cannot be fools when it comes to being ill-prepared. This is like strolling into a desert with no canteen of water. Be ready and stay strong. John 16:33 leaves us not only with a warning, but with comfort…
“…In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” We have an amazing God who does not leave us or forsake us (Duet 31:6). We do not need to fear, He is right by our side (Isaiah 41:10). He will fulfill His promises to us (2 Cor 1:20). He loves us (John 3:16).
This week has been a hard one. I was gone from Matt for a week right after the miscarriage happened as I was taking care of my grandma in California. I learned then, more than ever, that we are not meant to suffer alone – especially in marriage. Being reunited at the airport yesterday sent me into a flood of tears of relief as his love, support, and understanding was once again at my side. Our hearts are still healing. While we are ourselves and are able to get through our day-to-day tasks, the pain of seeing a baby or a pregnant woman and being reminded of our loss is still fresh. But despite it, we take comfort in our amazing God and in one another. We hold on for the ride and are keeping each other on, even when we go down another rough dip. We know that this will probably not be the hardest thing to come our way, but we are prepared to face all that is to come together. All in all, we are thankful for the journey that God is leading us on and are thankful that He will never stop letting go of us.
God has spoken amazing peace to me through music this week. I wanted to leave you with one of my favorite songs to listen to during the toughest times.
In loving memory of our forever first child.