“The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21b).
We found out Thursday that we lost our baby. Eyes clenched and swallowing hard, I didn’t expect this at all. A first trimester full of nausea and the beginning of the second with regained energy was normal. We even heard the heartbeat…unlike our previous miscarriage.
Josh and I walk ourselves back through the first time this happened. The hurt and confusion and then the grace. The months it took to see the grace. The dark nights of the soul. The community from family and friends to nurture our grieving hearts (Romans 12:15) and point us back to biblical truths. The consolation that God is not against us (Romans 8:31), but near to the broken-hearted (Psalm 34:18) and that his hand is not shortened to aid us (Isaiah 59:1).
But do I really believe it? This is the question that beats in my ear. Do I believe that even through another loss that God is to be lifted up as gloriously loving and good?
Coming back home to our two children, we found grace in pattering feet and cries for help, ensuring our great calling to love them in Christ. Yet the need to hide is still there. I just can’t muster up the boldness to bear through, but God has provided a hiding place for us. “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3).
This pain is real. The question of “why us…again?” is there. Amidst all the head knowledge that we have as believers, knowing that God is sovereign and all of this is part of our sanctification, it still hurts. Yesterday morning, I woke with hope and gladness. Then, while sorting the mail a few hours later, a black and white image slipped out of the pile onto the counter. I read 2.26cm and felt all my strength and gladness escape me. Lord, hide me. Before bed, Norah cuddles up beside me on the couch and touches my stomach asking about the new baby. Josh and I squeeze hands and push back the tears. Lord, hide us.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith-more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire-may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:3-9).
There’s no fix for the grief, but there is this strange joy (not happiness, but joy..tear-stained joy), that through Christ we have such an incomparable inheritance awaiting us. Knowing that another one of our children is in the presence of The Lord brings us comfort (2 Cor. 5:8). The joy doesn’t stop there either. Our feet are firmly planted in the unshakeable reality that God is present and he knows. Just as he knew the pain of his people while in slavery in Egypt (Exodus 2:23-25). Just as Jesus knew the pain of Mary and Martha at the death of Lazarus (John 11:17-44). Just as Christ knew the pain that awaited him at the Cross. He knows.
Is God enough to satisfy us in our grieving? Indeed, he is more than enough.
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died-more than that, who was raised-who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:31-39).
The blood of Jesus still running warm over a sinner such as me, never growing cold, always sufficient. God is enough. His love is enough. It is boundless. His comfort is immeasurable and will get us through. Circumstances will change and our hearts’ affections will ebb and flow in hope, yet the gospel is unchanging. With that, I am certain that my dearest Friend, my Good Shepherd that called me into his fold, is most certainly enough and is loving us through all the pain and tears.
“Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalms 73:25-26).