October is SIDS, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. We wanted to invite two mothers to share their wisdom, experience and stories with us this month. We want you to know you are not alone in your experiences of loss and waiting. Both of our guest authors have some incredible words to share with you! First up is Lauren Bourne, of I am Fruitful.
My season of miscarriages and delayed fertility was one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through. It’s a heavy topic, but I want to start by saying that there’s nothing that cannot be revived in your life, and nothing is wasted if we allow God into those heavy places. Asking difficult questions, claiming your identity, and praising God are all crucial when going through miscarriage and infant loss, and I’m so honored to be able to share my experience with you.
It’s okay to ask tough questions
I remember asking God so many things as we went through miscarriage after miscarriage. Why is this happening? Am I being punished? God, are you really faithful, because it doesn’t feel like it right now. Are you really good? Did you cause this? Why are you allowing this?
And I asked all of those questions through tears and heartache and a whole lot of anger.
The good and faithful part was easier for me to decide on. I believe He’s good. I believe He’s faithful. So why am I still unsettled about this? The question that weighed on my heart was, “Does our good and faithful God cause miscarriage?”
I don’t want to debate theology or start arguments. I just want to share with you what He showed me as I began asking questions, because through what He showed me, I experienced immense freedom.
I remember crying through an episode of 19 Kids and Counting where the Duggars went through a miscarriage. I can still see Michelle whispering to God, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.” I won’t get into the whole context of Job saying that, but something didn’t sit right with me. In fact it bothered me for a long time. So finally I asked God about it. Who are you God? Do you cause miscarriage? That just doesn’t fit the God that I know. Am I wrong? And I asked Him to show me.
And over several weeks, He answered me through scripture. John 10:10 (NLT) says, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” Hmmm… that doesn’t sound to me like a God who causes miscarriage. My God desires that we would have a rich and satisfying life.
Then the Lord directed me to Exodus 23:26. God was leading the Israelites in the wilderness but desired for them to be in their promised land, and He was asking them to serve and worship Him alone. And then came, “There will be no miscarriages or infertility in your land, and I will give you long, full lives.” What that tells me about God is that miscarriage and infertility isn’t something He intends or wants for us. It’s something that came into the world when sin entered. And because of that, unfortunately we experience death and destruction. I could cling to the fact that God is good and He doesn’t desire miscarriage for us. That’s the enemy’s doing.
He had gently answered my questions through scripture and showed me that He’s okay with our questions- even the messy ones.
It’s crucial to protect your identity
Alright, so we’ve asked God some tough questions about Him. It’s also important to ask questions about who we are. I highly encourage you to read through In The Everyday’s Identity bookmarks HERE. Read each line, and if there are one or more things on that list that you don’t believe about yourself- ask why. Make a plan to conquer those lies that have crept in. The enemy wants to steal our identities, and when we’re going through a struggle to conceive or dealing with loss, our identities as mothers can be challenged in a very deep and painful way.
So who are you in Christ? If you feel like your miscarriage was your fault, you’re being punished, you deserve this (I went through all of those)- you are believing a lie from the enemy. God says that He chose you. He set you apart. You are a child of the King. He has great plans for your life! Plans to prosper you, not to abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for! God won’t punish you into purity. He uniquely created you, He delights in you, and He paid a price so that you could be completely forgiven. You are a daughter of the King. You are called. You are chosen. You were uniquely made and set apart. You have the mind of Christ and all that comes with it. You have power and authority in Him.
So after hearing all of those things, do you still think God says, “you deserve this.”?? Absolutely not. God says,
“Beloved, be comforted. You are greatly loved and I cherish you. I never left you alone. I will heal your heart and I will remove shame. I will replace it with a great love and a great hope that will propel you forward. I will guard you and protect you if you’ll just run to me. You can hide here. I’m stronger than anything you will face. Nothing can come against you that I can’t handle. No hurt is too great. No loss is too big. I chose you for a unique purpose. My child, I will wrap my arms around you, and you will get through this. Your children are important. They are so valuable in my kingdom and you will see them one day. They won’t be sick or sad or lacking anything. They’ll be healthy and joyful and whole in Me. Invite my Presence daily. Watch what I can do in you and around you. I love you and will move mountains for you. I’ll part seas for you and send plagues for you and fight for you. The love I have for you is far beyond what you can understand, but you CAN experience it. Welcome my Son. Welcome my Presence. I’ll comfort you, heal you, then use you in mighty ways.”
So cling to His truth about yourself and your value and then lay the rest at His feet. Even in your grief… decide what you will believe about yourself, then protect that identity, and don’t let anything change what you believe.
It’s possible to praise during the storm
I’ll never forget my 3rd miscarriage. I had had enough. Just two months before that I had lost a baby and I didn’t think I could survive going through it again. Then we got a call that our numbers were too low. It was happening again. I was at our church’s healing and worship service when I began showing signs of miscarriage.
As I physically began losing our baby, I worshiped. And in that moment (one of the most difficult moments of my life) the Lord showed me a beautiful picture of Jesus dancing with 3 small children. It was in that moment that I knew for certain it had happened again. My child was with Jesus. So I worshipped. I didn’t understand. I didn’t get why God would allow this to happen to us again. It hurt so badly. So I worshipped. And I cried because I knew I had to tell my husband. And I cried because we’d never hold that child. And I worshipped. And I decided that God was still good. And I worshipped. And I decided who I was and that this was not my fault. And I worshipped.
And over the next few weeks I praised God in the ugly. And I praised God in my anger. And I praised Him on the good days. And I praised Him when I didn’t want to.
And I believe He accepted my tears and my ugly and my anger, and I believe He’ll accept yours too. Then, He’ll redeem anything that was taken from you.
Praising God in the midst of my grief was my act of surrender. When my situation seemed hopeless, telling God that He was good, despite my circumstances, kept me going.
I shouldn’t judge. I think praying, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord” was probably Michelle Duggar’s beautiful way of praising God in her storm. She was simply praising Him for who He is, not for what He has or hasn’t done for her. In that praise is where we see breakthrough and freedom and healing.
I received my miracle babies- two of them. And they’re the most amazing kids (yes, ever, on the face of the planet)! God redeems. He still does miracles. He still heals. He cares about you and has great things for you. Shouts of joy are coming. When you feel like miscarriage is shaking your faith… ask the tough questions, discover and protect your identity, and praise God despite your circumstances.
Psalms 126:5— “Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy.”
Lauren Bourne is an Oklahoma girl living in a Texas world with her husband Billy and her two beautiful children. She is the Founder of I Am Fruitful, a non-profit that supports couples struggling with infertility, miscarriage, and infant loss. She and her husband, Billy, are passionate about encouraging couples in a small group setting, but they share daily encouragement online on their blog and social media platforms. Lauren is the author of Lay it Down: 14 days of Prayer Through the Two Week Wait and also the (soon to be released) adult coloring book: Joy Comes in the Morning: coloring Through Infant Loss and miscarriage.