Finding the Savior in Sorrow

My sister Niki with her family and Evangelle

If you’ve visited Precious Adornment for any length of time, you’re probably familiar with my sister Niki whom I often mention. Over the past few years, the Lord has drawn her closer to Him through her experiences with various forms of suffering. I asked if she’d be willing to share some of the lessons learned through her pain and she graciously agreed.

Today’s post is from her…

My Story

Last Saturday was supposed to have been the day.  October 6, 2012—A day filled with joy and celebration—the day we would welcome a second precious child into our loving arms. But God had other plans. Instead, He chose to take our little one home to be with Him after 11 weeks of life in my womb. 

When Melissa asked me to consider sharing what God has taught me through the pain of miscarriage, I hesitated. I felt unqualified. The suffering I’ve faced seems to pale in comparison to the burdens I’ve witnessed within my circle of friends alone—years of infertility, multiple miscarriages, childhood cancer, the death of children or a spouse. But as my due date drew nearer, I felt the Holy Spirit nudging, gently stirring me to share my story, to tell others what He has taught me through this journey.

The Beginning of Sorrow

Three years ago, my husband Taaron and I welcomed our sweet daughter, Addison Jane, into our family. That was an incredibly joyous, but difficult day. The delivery was rough, to say the least, but at the end of 18 hours of labor, we were thrilled to meet our beautiful, healthy baby girl. Shortly after Addison’s birth, though, I began to experience what I thought were thought were postpartum complications—severe anxiety, fevers, flu-like symptoms, joint pains, shooting pains throughout my body, severe headaches, fatigue… 

When the symptoms persisted for months, I began to realize that something was wrong. After several doctor’s visits and medical tests, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and Lyme disease. Thankfully, the Lord provided two Lyme disease specialists who were able to help me significantly. Still, though, the doctors informed us that we needed to wait before trying to have another baby. Lyme disease has an almost unending list of complications, including a higher rate of birth deformities, stillbirth, and miscarriage. So, we waited. 

An Unexpected Blessing

As Addison approached 3 years of age and I approached 32, I began to wonder if the Lord would ever allow me to have more children. At the beginning of this year, my husband and I were surprised and thrilled to discover that baby number two would enter our family around October 6th. When my blood work showed drastic improvement for the first time in my almost 3 year battle with Lyme, we were overjoyed!  We felt confident that this was God’s timing. It seemed He was healing my body and allowing me to bear another child. 

During my six-week ultrasound, we saw that tiny little blip on the screen indicating that a precious life now resided inside of me. What a blessing. We decided to wait, as many couples do, until the first trimester was over before making our big announcement—just in case. At eleven weeks, we returned for the next ultrasound with plans to announce our happy news to friends and family just after the appointment.

However, as I lay on the table anxiously searching the screen for that tiny heartbeat, I knew almost immediately what had happened. Our sweet little one was with Jesus. Pain filled my heart and tears filled my eyes as I tried to hold it together until we made it out of the doctor’s office. 

Peace in the Pain

So often in my Christian walk, I’ve heard believers talk about the “peace that passes all understanding” in times of suffering. For the first time in my life, I felt that peace. Though the pain has been great, I have come to understand that God’s grace is greater. His peace is real. Jesus is enough. I think this is something you simply can’t understand until you’ve experienced it yourself. All I can say is that it was as though God was holding me in His everlasting arms while I mourned the loss of our precious child. 

As I type these words, I am so aware that many of you can relate to my story. Many of you have faced this pain. Some of you have faced far worse. Miscarriage produces a strange rollercoaster of emotions.

For the past seven months, I have been mostly ok. But then there are those days—those days when you wonder what your baby would have looked like. The days that you long to hold that sweet little one in your arms and kiss his or her face. The days when you think about the life your child would have lived. It is on those days that God has carried me and encouraged my heart through what I like to call little breadcrumbs from His Word.

Heart-Steadying Truths

Addison and I have been slowly reading through the book of John for the past few months. Never before have I noticed how much Jesus emphasized the concept that He is ALL we need. He is the bread of life. He is living water. He is the great I AM. These are truths I’ve heard for as long as I can remember, but I’m not sure I ever fully understood. 

A few weeks ago, I was having an especially difficult day with Lyme symptoms and sadness over the miscarriage. “Coincidentally,” Melissa posted this devotional from Joni Eareckson Tada on the very same morning that I had read the same passage Joni mentions from the book of John:

Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:25-26) 

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to say with the psalmist, “God, I am full! I’m stuffed full of blessings and I can’t think of anything else I desire on earth besides you.” Oh, to be that satisfied.

When you become satiated in Christ, it is evidence that contentment has the definite upper hand in your heart. When Jesus says to you, “I am the Bread of Life. He who comes to me will never go hungry,” he is talking about gratification of the soul (John 6:35).

To be satisfied in Christ means being full. Never wanting more. We need not ever be hungry for “Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 8:3). The role of the Word of God is to feed faith’s appetite for Christ.

The All-Sufficient Savior

Jesus knew we would face times of immense suffering here on this earth because He faced the worst suffering of anyone. He knew we would sometimes feel abandoned and alone. He knew we would need to be constantly reminded that HE IS ENOUGH.

Jesus never promised us that this life would be easy.  In fact, He tells us just the opposite in John 16:33: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” 

What a comfort! Life is hard. Suffering is real. This world brings pain, but JESUS IS ENOUGH!

13 thoughts on “Finding the Savior in Sorrow

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your story! I too have Lyme disease. I’ve had it for three and a half years. I can empathize with you in so many ways. The effects this disease has had on my body, and the pain of not being able to bear more children has been nightmarish for me. Through the seemingly endless roller coaster of moods and pains, I struggle often to find something that is even remotely praiseworthy. Your story touched my heart precious sister. You are not alone and neither am I. There are countless others with this disease who share very similar testimonies. May God bless you and your beautiful family abundantly!

    • Thank you, Clara. It is amazing how the Lord can redeem our suffering for our good and His glory. He has definitely used the pain of Lyme disease to draw me closer to Him. For that, I can honestly say that I am thankful. I will pray for you as I remember my list of friends with Lyme!

  2. While I don’t have the struggles with Lyme, I miscarried our first at the 11wk mark (while out of town on an anniversary trip to the mountains in Oct of 2009). So, I can attest to the roller coaster and the peace that only God grants in those trials. Thanks for sharing with us. It isn’t easy for sure.

  3. Thank you so much for this post! So encouraging. My family and I have had the honor of going to church with Nikki and Tarron and they are such a sweet, Godly family!

    I too, suffered a miscarriage after my first child and know all too well the pain. I am thankful to say however that GOD writes our story, not man. 3 years ago God blessed us with a third child. Despite what the doctors had said. God is so good!

    In the hurry of everyday life I sometimes forget about the miracles God has given me and your post has been a deep reminder to praise God and continue to completely trust in Him. He is so faithful!

  4. Bless you for sharing, Niki. These truths are so important for all discouragements and pains we all face. We have lost 3 to miscarriage (one singleton, and twins) and God has graciously helped me through those moments of sorrow. It crushed me when I realized I was losing a child and the medical field was calling it abortion. I was not intentionally aborting my child. It was then, God helped me turn my grief towards those who do intentionally end a life. Whenever sorrow of the loses start to surface, I grieve and pray for those who choose abortion and those considering it. I feel the Lord has given me a quiet ministry through those experiences.

    I was blessed to meet you at True Woman ’12! The Lord has brought you to mind several times since our meeting, giving me a moment to say a quick prayer for you. May the Lord continue to draw you to Himself, and bless you!

    • Hi, Crystal. I had no idea that you had faced such loss. How great that you have allowed your pain to encourage you to pray for others. I know that the pain I have faced has allowed me to empathize with others on a deeper level as well. It was a blessing to meet you as well. I know I was not myself that morning, though, so I hope we can meet again another time :) God bless!

  5. Even though God blessed me with 3 healthy children, I know the suffering of losing a child before he had the opportunity of being part of our family… but on March 14, every year since 1984 I have had a ‘private’ birthday party for him on that day… he stays with me… Suffering in this life, in many different ways, is very real, but prayer, praise, and perseverence keeps me going… the Lord has carried me in times I could not walk and slowly healed me as I learn the lessons of life He places before me on this journey…I would not trade my sufferings for anything, b/c it is in those times that I have felt the Lord’s presence so immensely and I have grown in my Christian life through my sufferings…. I give praise to our Father for never leaving me or forsaking me and helping me to get through the tough times with His love and care and the people He has placed in my life to help me along…

  6. Losing a baby has been the hardest thing in my life thus far. We have had 4 losses, the hardest being our stillborn son. Sometimes God asks us to walk some dark valleys, but I am so very thankful that we never truly walk in pure darkness. The Light of the World helped me through those dark days and we are even more thankful for our 2 precious children and a new one on the way! God is good all the time and all the time God is so good!

    • Oh my, Wendy. I can’t imagine the pain that you have faced. It is amazing to me how the Lord carries his children through times of suffering that seem unbearable. Thank you for your testimony of faithfulness to Him. I will be praying for your current pregnancy! What a wonderful blessing!

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