It’s inevitable. Life always includes death. We cannot have one without the other. It was never intended to be that way, yet it has been since the very beginning. We can thank sin for that one (and if you’re looking for someone to blame, we can just throw Eve and Adam under the bus. Though, to be fair, any one of us would have succumbed to the lies of the enemy as well).
Sin entered God’s perfect world and it has been full of death and mourning ever since.
Luckily for us, that’s not the end of the story. It’s not even the biggest part of the story. Oh no! It’s God’s love for us and His desire to restore and redeem what was so rudely stolen. Life. Abundant life. Life to the very full. Life brimming with joy and love and deep connection with God and people.
If you have suffered loss of any kind, and I know that you have, I am deeply sorry for your pain and your heartache and that overwhelming sadness that has you crying yourself to sleep most nights. I understand it. I’ve lived it.
That hurt you feel, it’s raw, it’s deep and it actually feels like it might just rip you apart. It’s an ache in your very core, a heavy burden of loss and brokenheartedness that you have to carry with you day in and day out.
You wonder how you will even survive it because the pain is incredible. Overwhelming.
I know that pain too. In my 6 years of marriage, I have experienced the loss of 3 precious babies. It’s a hurt that never actually goes away. While the pain eventually does feel less intense, and there does come a day that the burden is bearable, the losses we experience in life will be with us forever.
God has blessed me with 4 healthy children that I get to love and parent and raise. I am so grateful for these 4 little lives. But you know what, I still mourn the loss of each one of those little ones that I will never get to hold.
When I hear one of their names, or the date of their lost little lives or the date that they should have been in my arms, or I hear of another’s experience with losing a baby, I feel that bitter sting that reminds me of what I should have in my life. The hurt...it will never go away.
But that’s not to say that God cannot use it.
When I experienced my first miscarriage I allowed Satan to use it for his glory instead of turning to God and allowing Him to work in my turmoil. You see, God cares deeply about our lives; the things we experience, our joys and accomplishments, and especially our hurts and deepest heartbreaks. He cares.
But I allowed Satan to tell me lies and I actually believed those lies.
The lie that God had taken that baby away from me. The lie that God didn’t care about me or that baby. The lie that God wasn’t right there with a broken heart too.
I remember crying out to God, telling Him that He could have saved my baby, yet He chose not to. I was angry with Him for being so heartless. After all, this was life and He was supposed to be the Lifegiver. Why did He put that baby in my womb if He was just going to take it away a few months later?!
I was brutal with God. I was angry and I let Him know how much He hurt me.
It was the same story with the second baby we lost. It was my third pregnancy. It was so hard to fathom that we had lost another baby. I was convinced my body was just not made to hold life well. Yes, it was kind of easy for me to get pregnant. But it wasn’t easy to keep a baby growing healthy in my womb. I blamed God instead of running to Him and clinging to Him.
With our third loss, though, my understanding of God had changed. And while that pain was real and intense and in some moments I could barely even breath through the breaking of my heart, I had a new perspective.
God did care. A good friend of mine opened up my eyes to the Truth of who God is. She told me, as she was experiencing her own heartache and loss, that God mourns with us. That He never intended for us to experience any of this. That His heart breaks too when death occurs because He wanted something far better for us. Sin came in and utterly destroyed so many things; our relationship with God, our understanding of who God is, a life full of life.
And sin has not stopped wreaking havoc in this world. Sin is running rampant, taking it’s toll on our hearts, killing our joy, destroying the good things that God intended for us. But let’s remember that that is not how it ends. Oh no!
God is bigger and better than the enemy. Day by day, in big ways and in little ones, God is bringing redemption and healing.
His love for people, for you specifically, is so deep and so wide that He longs to heal your hurts, to have a relationship with you, to wrap His loving arms around you and whisper His true love for you.
Satan is the father of lies. His very nature is evil and he is bent on destroying you in any way possible. He’s good at what he does. He has a way of sneaking in and cleverly sticking little lies and half truths in our thoughts, and then he sits back and watches as we run wild, severing our relationship with the One who loves so deeply.
Here are some truths to battle those lies that Satan has snuck in:
Lie number 1: God doesn’t care.
The Truth: God absolutely does care. And he cares more than you can even imagine. He cares deeply and desperately for every single aspect of your life.
1 Peter 5:7 says to “cast all your anxiety on God because he cares for you”.
Psalm 139 is one of my most favorite Psalms. It clearly depicts that God knows us, understands us and loves us.
“You have looked through me and have known me. You know when I sit down and when I get up. You understand my thoughts from far away. You look over my path and my lying down. You know all my ways very well”.
Lie number 2: God did this to you.
The Truth: God allows pain and suffering in our lives because we have free will. And because we have free will, we have the choice to NOT choose Him and to choose sin instead. If there was no free will, then there would be no true love.
God wanted us so desperately. I don’t know why, I can’t fathom that at all. But He loved us before He ever created us and His desire is to have a relationship with His people. With you. But what He didn’t want was to create people that didn’t have a choice in the matter. Because that wouldn’t be real love.
So He gave us a choice knowing full well that we might not choose Him.
God did not do this to you. Yes, He allowed it to happen. Nothing happens without Him knowing. But doing it to you and allowing it to happen are not the same at all.
Sin has brought death and disaster and it completely destroys.
Lie number 3: Nothing good can come of this.
Romans 8:28 declares that “We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
God didn’t do this to you, He is mourning along with you. BUT He can use this to bring about good. We cannot even fathom the ways that God works. When we lost our 3rd baby, I was completely devastated. I had no idea that anything good could come from losing an innocent child. And to be honest, I didn’t want God to use it for good at first. I was mourning and I was in pain and I was angry.
But ever so gently God began to change my heart. That’s when my prayers changed and I asked God to bring redemption to this loss. He did that in two distinct ways. The first was being able to share my story with others who have experienced loss. God was glorified in this because I was able to share of His great redeeming love and how deeply He cares about every aspect of our lives.
The second way was allowing us to get pregnant again (this baby being due on the exact date we lost our precious girl) and having a very healthy baby boy a year later.
God can and does use our pain and sorrow to bring about His good.
Lie number 4: Nobody understands what I’m going through
We really have no idea what most people suffer through. A lot of the time, people hold on to their pain and don’t allow others in. But the truth is that many people have experienced loss in some way. There are
God allowed me to share my pain and my story. I’m not glad that I have lost 3 babies, but there is something powerful about being able to empathize with another person going through the exact same thing. I can truthfully say that I understand what someone is going through and I can listen to their pain and their story and I can cry with them because I have experienced it too. And there is something so incredible and so comforting in knowing that someone has walked this road before you and has come out on the other side.
And let’s not forget that Jesus himself experienced pain and loss. He also suffered. The Message says it this way “We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help” (Hebrews 4:15-16).
He experienced the loss of his cousin, John (the Baptist). He mourned when Lazarus died. He was not set apart from us in such a way that He didn’t experience the things we experience. He was fully human. He knows our pain, he shares in it, he grieves with us.
When you are suffering, reach out to someone. Open up and be vulnerable. Allow another person in, let them share in your grief. It is easier to live through loss when we have someone by our side that we can lean on, cry with, and express our deepest hurts.
The enemy is very real and what he wants is for you to believe these lies and not seek God and not seek out other people. Don’t allow him to increase your pain and suffering. Instead, allow God to work in you and through you.
Living through loss is hard. So hard
I will never downplay it. I’m so sorry for what you are going through. If you are reading this and suffering through a painful loss, know that I am sincerely praying for you. Please let me know how I can pray specifically.
Also, here are a few resources that might be helpful: