by S. Carter Studios

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Miscarriage and Faith: Suffering and God's Goodness

It was 20 minutes after I received the phone call that we got the expected knock at the front door. A friend from church was bringing us dinner.

I was still numb from the news: "Your numbers are dropping. I'm afraid…this confirms a miscarriage."

As our friend set the food on the table, we told her what happened.

She was so sorry. She had been praying for us fervently. She had even shared that she had seen a vision of God cradling my womb during her prayers. This had been a great comfort to me.

"Can I pray for you?" She asked.

She slipped her arm around me in our kitchen and we bowed our heads.

"Oh, Lord," she began. "We thank you for your goodness…"

Everything in my soul recoiled.

How could she thank God for his goodness?
This was not good! This was bad, evil,  horrible, a nightmare!
If God was good, then why did my baby die?
I begged God to let the baby live, let the bleeding stop, let the midwife say "We have good news!"

That was the phone call I played over and over again in my mind. I couldn't imagine the alternative.The pain was beyond my imagination.

Yet here I was, in the midst of it.

And she was thanking God for his goodness?

God was not good. Not to me.

Her prayer and God's presence hovered over my soul at that moment and I shoved them away as hard as I could.

I couldn't pray. I had no words. Only deep pain and suffering that I had never experienced before.

Oh, I had suffered, of course. But as a result of my sin, or someone else's. That suffering had a reason, a purifying effect, a course that led me to repentance.

This. This was new. Stark, and bleak, and shocking, numbing and white hot. Suffering that hit me physically and spiritually.

"We know you are a good God…" she prayed.

I almost wanted to laugh. But I couldn't and so I cried.

We know you are a good God. 

I don't remember anything else from her prayer in my kitchen that day. But her words about God's goodness both shocked me and have stuck with me.

We know you are a good God.

I knew, in my head, that God is good. I had repeated those words since I was a child. I had memorized hundreds of verses, could recite every Bible story that spoke to this fact. I had prayed these words myself. I had never doubted God's goodness.

Until now. I doubted in my heart because it was filled with so much pain that there wasn't room for my faith.

But my head knew that God was good. The scriptures came rolling in, the ones I had tucked away for such a time as this.

I heard a song a few days later, a familiar hymn: "His eye is on the sparrow, but I know he watches me."
Source
I basked in the comfort of this image but a moment later was slammed with this truth:

His eye is on the sparrow….but the sparrow still falls. 

And all I can ask is why? Why did he let the sparrow fall? Why did I have a miscarriage?

That was my only prayer: Why did this happen, God?

I don't know why. But I do know he is with me, watching me. And weeping with me.

This is faith--horrible, hard, gut-wrenching faith: God is good.

______________________________

I'll be sharing more of my spiritual journey through suffering and grief in the coming weeks and how God had brought comfort to my heart through this difficult time.

UPDATE: Click on the links below to read about more of my journey.

Sweet Iz: Our Miscarriage Announcement
Giving Thanks IN…not FOR
Walking through the Valley

9 comments:

  1. All of this hits home with me ♥ Prayers continue for you. I'm so sorry you are going through this.

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    1. Thank you for your note, Liv. I am getting better each day. It is a slow process. Thank you for your continued prayers.

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  2. Thanks for your transparency, Brittany.

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  3. Oh the times I have doubted God's goodness during those dark times when life is just too much and the darkness is too overwhelming. I've been there, more times than I care to recall.

    Your post reminded me of the Heidelberg Catechism question "What is your only comfort in life and in death?" The answer, "That I belong, body and soul, in life and in death, not to myself but to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ. Who at the cost of his own blood has fully paid for all my sins and has completely freed me from the dominion of the devil. That he protects me so well that without the will of my Father in Heaven, not a hair can fall from my head. Indeed, that everything must fit his purpose for my salvation. Therefore, by His Hold Spirit, he also assures me of salvation and makes me whole heartily willing and ready from now on to live for him."

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    1. Kierstyn, thank you for sharing. This brought tears to my eyes. Such comfort in this truth!

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  4. Thank you for your willingness to share your journey!

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  5. Amanda miscarried our first baby, and now we've lost Selah...there are no words, unless they are, "I love you, I'm praying for you and anything we can do we will." Amanda and I have found those are the best things to hear, because they are compassionate words. (I mean those words by the way!)

    He has and will bring good from our tragedies. That is His character, and we can trust His character. "The LORD is good and what He does is good." Psalm 119:68

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  6. I have also struggled with this :) I just suffered another miscarriage last month. Thank you for your honest post

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    1. Carolynn, thank you for your comment. I am so sorry for your loss.

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