When we lost a baby to miscarriage almost a year ago, I found a group of mothers on Facebook who had similar experiences. For awhile it was nice to have sympathetic ears to listen to what my heart was going through and to be able to encourage other women. But then I realised how dark the group felt—like no one in the group had hope. As much as I wanted to encourage these women, it was still incredibly difficult for them. Despair, depression, hopelessness.
It almost seemed like it was easier for me to move on. Please don’t think I’m negating the hardship that comes with losing a much-wanted child. I’m not. It’s incredibly difficult to lose a child, and to have all your plans for your family ripped out from underneath of you.
We desire to have a larger than average-sized family. When I got pregnant 9 months after Asher was born, I thought, this was great! I was thankful God had blessed us with another little life. Then things changed drastically when I miscarried. My hopes of having a large family were sobered a bit. What was God doing? Aren’t children supposed to be a blessing? God really does have control over our family’s size. It has been humbling to realise this.
God has been constantly reminding me in the last year that He knows what He’s doing. It’s easier to say that than it is to believe, though. A year ago, I was participating in the HelloMornings Challenge. The Bible study for that session was timely—the book of Job. God knew what He was doing. He used that study to begin placing in my heart an eternal perspective on this life and suffering. Job eventually began to recognise the hand of God in his sufferings, and praised Him for it! The apostle Paul also reminds us in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 that our troubles are “light and momentary” in view of eternity. God is also sovereign. Our grief and suffering is so that God can work good through it.
“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” Job 42:2 (ESV)
“Don’t you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good, as you see all around you right now—life for many people.” Genesis 50:20 (The Message)
For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (ESV)
These truths have made it a little easier to trust God in times of trouble, such as loosing a child. In light of eternity, the suffering we face, is truly only momentary! May we all learn to gain that perspective on life.
I recently read the book, Three Decades of Fertility. It’s written by women who have trusted God with their childbearing years, and have seen the rewards of that. Most of them have large families, but they have also seen their share of sorrow and loss. I appreciated the book as a whole, but I found most encouragement when the authors shared about the their losses. The message of an “eternal perspective” especially hit home to me. I think I’ll end with this quote from the book.
“But God was asking me to look at it from where HE was standing. He wanted me to work through those fears from an eternal perspective. What was the worst thing that could happen? I could get pregnant and lose 42 babies. That’s a lot of disappointment and pain. I knew I could not get used to that. But if life on earth was short, and life in eternity was long, and I’d get to spend eternity with all those precious humans—that would be worth it. Ultimately.” —Natalie Klejwa, Three Decades of Fertility (p. 43)
Thank the Lord for the hope of eternity! Whether you’re walking through the loss of a child or another trial, we have hope. In light of eternity, our lives on earth are short. Our suffering is only for a moment. We have a Saviour who can identify with our suffering. The children we may have lost are probably waiting for us with Jesus.