Miscarriage and Ministry
One of my most difficult days in ministry was when my husband preached soon after I miscarried our first baby. He was a youth pastor at the time and we had only been married for three years. At that point in our lives, he didn’t preach very often, but God had already preordained that time and that day.
And so, it was a difficult day, watching as my husband cried his way through a sermon, trying to hold back my own sobs, but it was also a beautiful day, because I have never forgotten that sermon and the comfort it brought me then and still brings me today.
Dave preached from John 11, specifically verse 35, “Jesus wept”. Knowing that he would raise Lazarus from the dead, Jesus wept. Aware that in just moments, he would perform a miracle and that there would be much rejoicing, Jesus wept. He was moved by the mourning of those gathered and he wept.
Losing my first baby was so unexpected. Everything was fine and then it wasn’t. I had just barely discovered that I was pregnant and then a few weeks later our doctor was handing me a box of tissues.
It was a surreal time for us. On top of our personal loss, our country was reeling from the tragedy on September 11, 2001. I wasn’t sure how I could go on breathing. The devastation was deep and while I knew that God would prove himself faithful, and while my hope and faith never wavered, I wept and I didn’t know if I would ever stop.
Dave’s words on that Sunday were exactly what God intended for me to hear. “Jesus wept” and Jesus still weeps with us in our sorrow. “See how He loved him!”, the Jews said when they saw Jesus weeping (John 11:36, BSB). See how He loves my baby! I could trust that He knew what was best for my baby. Even though I longed to hold that little life, to watch it grow, to be it’s mother, I could trust that Jesus loved my baby more than I could imagine. He mourned with me when I mourned and I knew that He would rejoice with me when I rejoiced.
For a year after I lost our baby, I had to be tested every month to ensure that I wasn’t pregnant. My miscarriage was not a typical one, but a rare partial molar pregnancy. It was a painful time for me as each month I had to schedule an appointment and tell the office workers (again and again!) why I needed to be tested. I didn’t know if I would ever have children. Imagine being in a waiting room with happy, expectant mothers all around you, harboring your heartbreak every month for a year.
It was a tough year, but Dave’s words rang true. I could feel God’s comfort, I could sense His presence and I knew His faithfulness. It was through that year that I learned to hold my family and my future with open hands. I could not control my story, but I knew I could trust the Author.
We named our first baby “Hope”. Our four beautiful children are blessings beyond what I could have imagined. There have been tears of rejoicing with each birth. With our last baby, “How Great Thou Art” was playing while I was in the final stages of delivery.
Celebrating twenty years in ministry!