Sunday, October 29, 2006

A mother's grief and surrender

I am feeling so very sad tonight for an online friend who just lost her precious baby at nine weeks.

Recently, I've been praying for several women who have had miscarriages. One thing never changes: it doesn't matter how much we trust God and His loving kindness, it still aches, like no other ache, to lose a baby. I've done it too many times and the stark truth is that it's a horrible, empty feeling beyond compare.

Yes, we will heal. Yes, we will trust again. But, yes, we need to cry and grieve. Sometimes we need to grieve for a very long time.

A few years ago, I wrote the following poem after a very unexpected miscarriage. It wasn't my first loss, but I mistakenly thought we'd found "the problem" and resolved it, as I had gone on to have two children. We hadn't found the problem -- or, rather, a new problem developed. I went on to have more miscarriages before we were blessed with Ramona.

As poetry goes, this is not very good poetry. As prayers go, this was from the depths of my hurting heart.

And tonight, Donna, this is for you.

Fiat

You said that we would have a child
So I, with love, welcomed new life
and smiled with each wave and sea
of morning sickness,
caught up in this miracle-to-be.
"For You, Lord," I said,
and offered each tiny suffering
as a gift to Thee,
incomparable to the gift of life
You were giving to me.

And so I reeled, stunned and shaken,
at my baby's death.
I was forsaken.
Anger rose and built a case
against misinterpreted signs of Grace.

I was so wrong –
"Here is a child," You said,
or so I thought.
But my arms are empty, bereft.
There is nothing left of my trust when I listen for Your Voice.
How can I trust when I was so wrong?
How will I again be strong?

I quiet myself and turn to You,
O Ancient Beauty ever new...
I ask You, my truest and deepest Love,
for an answer, some comfort, a sign from above.
There is silence, and my tears...
tears of a mother's grieving love.

Then, in Your Kindness, Your encompassing Love,
You embrace me and speak:
the words from above
flow through an earthen vessel.
A man of God who listens to me,
and tells me I can --
I must -- dare trust,
for all is as it should be.
The mystery that is my child
is in Your Hands,
Your Sacred Heart.
The part I play is to surrender and be free.

When next I quiet myself to pray,
"My Grace is sufficient for you," You say,
"For My power is made perfect in weakness."
The words play again and again in my mind,
like a record left to skip...
they rip into the core of my grief
and leave me no choice but to drop to my knees
and offer You my child.

Oh, heal my heart, Lord, bitter and spent,
Be perfect in my weakness,
my Pearl of great price.
Though I offer it, Lord, imperfectly and poorly,
my life is Yours.
Let Your Grace suffice.

19 comments:

Mrs.K said...

You so beautifully put into words what so many of us have deeply etched into our hearts. As I, too, have been thinking about and praying for these women, I thought of how it's like God gives us a taste of Abraham. We don't have the choice of whether to climb the mountain carrying the wood and fire and knife or not, but we do have to choose to surrender. Thank you for expressing it so well and for sharing it with us. Blessings,Mrs.K

Jennifer said...

I have been praying lately every day for those who have lost babies and for those who are longing for more. I can't imagine the feeling of loss. Your words have overwhelmed me.

Alice said...

Oh, Karen, nothing I can say at this moment will not sound trite when compared with the depth, the beauty, the emotion, and Faith of that poem. Thank you for allowing us all to read it and be comforted by it.

May God bless you, my beloved friend.

Anonymous said...

Oh Karen that was so incredibly beautiful, and sorrowful. Praying today for all who have lost children.

Amy said...

Sorry, that last one was me. Toddler lay down on the computer keybord before I could post it properly!

cheryl said...

Karen,
Your poem is beautiful. Thank you for sharing it.

Diane said...

Thank you, Karen, for sharing the depths of your heart with us. This is perfect.

May all who have lost children find healing in your words and be led to the precious arms of our Lord.

mary beth p said...

What a beautiful poem. I, too am praying, as Alice asked last week, for the blogging friends who have suffered recent, and not so recent pregnancy losses. Thank you for sharing.

Mary Vitamin said...

Inspiringly beautiful...
Love,
Helen

The Bookworm said...

Reading through tears ... beautifully written, Karen.

Mb said...

As always...your words will give comfort to so many...your writing is such a gift to us all, Karen...thank you for sharing!

Heather said...

I could have written those words when my baby daughter was stillborn three years ago. You beautifully expressed the place between despair and surrender. Thank you for sharing it.
Blessings,
Heather

yesterthoughts said...

Karen,
Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful poem of yours. It speaks to my heart.

Karen E. said...

Many thanks for many kind words -- I'm so touched by what a powerful bond motherhood is.

My deepest sympathy to all of you who have miscarried, have been unable to conceive, or have lost a child at any stage .... prayers will continue for mothers everywhere ....

melanieb said...

Karen,

For some reason this old blog post appeared in my RSS feed today. And then I received a prayer request from my dad for a friend's daughter in law who just had a miscarriage. I'm going to send her the link because I think maybe the appearance wasn't a fluke but a prompt.

Anyway, I thought you'd like to know. Thank you again for sharing your prayerful reflections.

wanderlust said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wanderlust said...

Have been trying to find some answers, and I know I should stop looking. Your poem expressed how I feel. Thank You for sharing it.

JEAN said...

I LOST MY 41 YEAR OLD SON LAST YEAR NOV 22 2006 TO AN ACCIDENTAL OVERDOSE. HE WASN'T A BABY -- BUT I HURT SO MUCH. TIME IS SUPPOSE TO HEAL . I FEEL I FAILED HIM AS A MOTHER. SO MUCH HAPPENED -- BUT HE DID PRAY FOR SALVATION AT THE AGE OF 10. I SURRENDER TO MY LORD.

Karen E. said...

Melanie, wanderlust, and Jean,
My sympathy and prayers to all of you and to your family members as well. I'm so sorry for your losses.