When Katie asked me if I would be willing to be a part of this Real series and share about my miscarriages, I was so honored. I went back and read the other topics that were shared and started to get a little intimidated! These ladies drip with Jesus and it was conveyed through their writing. My prayer is that you see Jesus shining brightly in the darkest places that life can take us and the JOY He gives in the midst of these painful seasons of life. Total side note but it is so amazing how our Lord can knit friendships together. Katie and I have never actually spent any time together, we’ve never hung out or had coffee together (which we really need to do when I come in town next time!) but we have prayed for each other, rejoiced together and wept for each other. I’m so thankful for the family I have in Christ and for this sweet sister.
So, a little about myself before we get started, I’m Sarah and my amazing husband, Adam, and I married in May of 2010. We were both born and raised in the Memphis area. In 2011, we felt the Lord leading us to be a part of a new church plant in Johnson City, TN, which just so happens to be a beautiful place to live! It’s been an incredible journey and a huge teachable time in my life.
January of last year, Adam and I felt that we were ready to start our family. I remember that day and that conversation like it was yesterday, we prayed and asked God to bless us. Little did I know the path God was about to take us down. We got pregnant that next month, it was very shocking and exciting for us, we had no idea it would happen that fast. The excitement came and went very quickly and we learned a few days after finding out we were pregnant that we lost our baby. I remember those days and weeks that followed feeling very confused and a whole other mess of emotions. After about a month, we decided to try again, I thought that since other women had experienced this and had gotten pregnant after a miscarriage that this wouldn’t happen again, surely Jesus wouldn’t allow this to happen again?
Towards the end of May of that same year we found out we were expecting again. My first doctor visit wasn’t until July 18th, the weeks seemed to drag on and this time with every week that went by with no signs of miscarrying, I was getting more and more excited. I will never forget July 18th. The nurse called us back to the ultrasound room and our hearts broke, our little baby on the screen had gone to be with Jesus 4 weeks before we had this ultrasound. I remember the silence in the room was deafening, not hearing a heartbeat but just looking at our lifeless baby. In that moment, the verse, “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever” kept running through my head. During the next two weeks I had to go back to the doctor and then have a procedure called a D&C. It was all so physically, emotionally, and mentally painful, I was furious at God. So incredibly angry that He would let me believe I was pregnant with a growing baby for 10 weeks only to find out I carried our lifeless child unknowingly for weeks. Angry that I had to have surgery to remove my baby because even my body didn’t want accept all of this. Angry that I had friends that were pregnant with babies and here I was having lost 2 children in a matter of 5 months. That anger ate me alive for months. I put on a good Christian front around people but I was so numb, miserable and jealous inside. Jesus knew all those things and He still pursued me, loved me and carried me during that time. He started softening my heart enough to hear Him. Anger lifted and sadness and total desperation for understanding filled that space. My heart goes out to women who have experienced this kind of pain and I want you to know that Jesus has a lot to say to us in our pain and He has a purpose for it and in it. Some of the things that Jesus taught me during that time:
• Jesus entrusts us with suffering uses it to make us more like Him. As believers the ultimate goal and aim of our lives is to be conformed to the image of Christ, Jesus suffered, if He suffered why would we be surprised when trials and pain come our way? Philippians 3:10, Paul says he wants “…to know Jesus and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings …” We as Christians often think that when we put our faith and trust in Christ and He saves us that our lives are supposed to be happy all the time and without any bumps in the road. Jesus is just supposed to give us all we desire and make our lives on this earth easy. But how is a lost and dying world going to see the hope of Christ in our lives without them seeing Christ work in our lives through suffering? I’m not saying that when trials come that we are supposed to act like it is all okay, that’s not real, but when we suffer we should remember that Jesus is making us more like Him and that is something to rejoice about.
• Jesus is Lord over all and He does whatever He pleases. Psalm 115:3 says, “Our God is in the heavens, He does whatever He pleases.” Isaiah 55:8-9, “My thought are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways, declares the LORD, For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” The sovereignty of God is a beautiful place to rest, knowing that God only allows that which will be for our ultimate good and His ultimate glory can bring a great deal of peace and security into our lives when everything hits the fan. My two children served their purpose and God called them home. There are a thousand “why” questions that I can ask and I have asked, but ultimately knowing that it was for my good and the glory of God that these two babies never made it into my arms is enough, it has to be enough. Do we trust our Savior? We say we do, we sing about it but can we trust that when our worst nightmares come true, He is working it all out for good? When Job starts questioning God, He comes back at Job and says, “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Who set its measurements? Since you know.” Asking God the why questions is okay to do but there has to come a point where you are okay with not having all or any of the answers and you rest in God’s sovereignty because we only see the dot, but He sees the big picture.
• Jesus allows suffering into our lives so that we might be a comforter to others. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.” I can’t tell you how much it has meant to me to have sisters in Christ that have walked this same road come alongside and encourage me to continue to trust Jesus and walk with Him. This is probably one of the most amazing scriptures to me. Jesus, the God of ALL comfort, comforts us, loves us, doesn’t leave us, heals us and then sends us out to comfort others in their pain and point them to Him. It’s amazing.
• Jesus is our joy. Period. Would those 2 babies have given me ultimate joy? No. Would I have been completely satisfied for the rest of my life if I hadn’t lost those children? No. You see, nothing but Jesus was ever meant to bring us ultimate joy and satisfaction. Everything else will leave us void and empty eventually, even good things and godly desires. You and I can turn anything into an idol factory can’t we? Jesus was and is showing me continually that in Him, I have it all. Everything else He gives is complete grace and a blessing that He can take away whenever He chooses. John Piper says it best, “the human quest for joy leads straight to the missionary heart of God. You can see it already. But let me put it together: God is the fountain of joy because he is blindingly glorious, and infinitely worthy, and breathtakingly beautiful, and awesome in power, and inscrutable in wisdom, and limitless in knowledge, and tender in mercy, and terrible in wrath, and the source and foundation of all truth and goodness and beauty. When we see him for what he really is, and turn from all the broken cisterns of the world that cannot satisfy (Jeremiah 2:13), we find "joy unspeakable and full of glory" (1 Peter 1:8).
There is so much more I could share about what Jesus taught me during that season of life and is still teaching me. As I sit here writing this, I have a little boy squirming around in my belly due anytime in the next few weeks. In January of this year, we found out we were expecting again. There were a lot of tears, mostly fearful, anxious tears but it’s been an incredible nine month journey of faith, dependence upon Christ and continually giving this child to Jesus. I would be lying if I told you that I don’t struggle still with the fears that those miscarriages left behind but Jesus has been faithful to walk with me through them and teach me by His word how to trust Him daily.
As followers of Jesus let us not forget that “this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18. One day we will see Jesus face to face and know that all the pain, suffering and trials were nothing but hiccups compared to that moment we fall down in worship to the One who saved us and never left us in our pain.