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.
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.