What follows are the days in the life of a late-pregnancy miscarriage, or stillbirth. Not the story anyone wants to share or have, but our story it is none the less. Please pray, we are no where near healed- this is the hardest pain, the deepest sadness I have ever felt. At times I have wondered if maybe my heart would stop from the grief. There is hope in the future, but right now it is sometimes hard to feel hopeful. Minute by minute we get by. To read from the beginning, go here.
Today I looked at pictures that were left on my camera from right before we found out about Shiloh’s death, my swollen baby filled belly, when I when I was clueless of the future–it makes me feel as if I do not recognise that girl. It is me, and I seem the same to most people, maybe a little sadder- but I feel so different that I don’t even look like the same person to myself. It is weird. I know that most of it is that I know how full of hope I was, and now. I can see the image of this scenario painted as a picture in my head, a huge fist barreling into me,from the front and along with the air from my lungs when the contact is made, from inside me are evaporating these painted words:a dream,a hope,a future. When they are released from my body they meet the air and mist to nothing. In myself, in my flesh that is how I feel. Empty. As if I have a loss nothing can fill. I know it is a lie, one that I see now how easy it would be to believe.
I see how easy it would be to be angry at God, but if all is His already than the blessings I have, that He has allowed me to keep are just as much of a lesson as those He has not allowed me to hold close. Some were a glimpse of what is to come, of a world of promise beyond this world. It also makes me think that we have coined the word blessings as something that feels good- and that it isn’t the case at all. Blessings sometimes hurt, they are painful, they can be happy or pleasant as well- but hey are always for our good. Always. So if everything is God’s I should be thankful for what He lets me keep, and not bitter, but thankful for what He asks of me. I know that in my head, I am still working on my heart. My heart is truly a fickle creature.
“When we lose one blessing, another is often most unexpectedly given in its place.”
― C.S. Lewis
I don’t want to hear that, that there is a substitute for loss, or a blessing that will come in place of Shiloh. I don’t want to come to the realisation that growth in character, feeling for others, and understanding could be the blessing that I will keep from this. In the first days it felt like nothing would be worth the loss, yet I have realised that because of this pain I now know what real pain feels like, it was like part of me was missing, the part that had blessings stored in heaven, the part that would sit with a friend knowing that I did not understand but I knew what loss felt like. It is a horrid feeling, misery, a dead end, hopeless, devastation, it actually literally hurts in your chest, like a pressure or that you can’t get enough air- it feels like you have more of a gravitational pull (therefore a heavier weight on your whole body) than you should. I am now scared or marked.
With that scar I can lift my head high, I can use it- or I can live under it, a life that is marked by what has been done to me and be a victim of circumstance. Jesus was marked too, but His marks made Him no victim, they made Him rise to victory. I am not Jesus, but the more I get to know Him, the more I want to be like Him.
“We were promised sufferings. They were part of the program. We were even told, ‘Blessed are they that mourn,’ and I accept it. I’ve got nothing that I hadn’t bargained for. Of course it is different when the thing happens to oneself, not to others, and in reality, not imagination.”
― C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
In the last couple weeks after our loss I immediately jumped to, “lets get another dog”, “maybe a canary that sings would make me happy”, ” honey bees-now!”, “what new hobby can I find?”–I would like to say that I am kidding, but it is true. I am trying to find hope in my future again, which is completely okay, but yesterday I realised that was not all I was doing. I was filling my wound with temporary happiness or distraction. A hole was certainly left from all that Shiloh was to me, and I immediately tried to fill it with something other than God. It is true I prefer almost filler to filling my emptiness with Him, but it is also true that it is only He who will meet me right here and right now- and give me something that is not a filling, but what was meant for me.
“Let me implore the reader to try to believe, if only for a moment, that God, who made these deserving people, may really be right when He thinks that their modest prosperity and the happiness of their children are not enough to make them blessed: that all this must fall from them in the end, and if they have not learned to know Him they will be wretched. And therefore He troubles them, warning them in advance of an insufficiency that one day they will have to discover. The life to themselves and their families stands between them and the recognition of their need; He makes that life less sweet to them.
If God were proud He would hardly have us on such terms: but He is not proud, He stoops to conquer, He will have us even though we have shown that we prefer everything else to Him, and come to Him because there is ‘nothing better’ now to be had.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain
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