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…
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.
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!