Sometimes our circumstances are hard. Sometimes they're beyond hard and it seems like more than we can bear.
During my most difficult times I needed to be reminded that God was still good. It didn't help much (or at all) to hear that my baby wasn't meant to be or that I was still young and it would happen one day. It didn't help when people tried to comfort me by saying that at least I knew I could get pregnant. What I needed was someone to listen and try to understand instead of trying to put a tiny bandaid on my gaping wound. I struggled with my faith. My faith had never, ever been tested as it was during my years of one loss after another. I had never learned how hard it would be to trust God when my circumstances were terrible and I was at rock bottom.
I know what it's like to be angry, even at God. I know how it feels when you can't find the words to pray. While I have blogged through some pretty tough times, I didn't have this blog during my hardest times. I never wrote out my feelings of utter despair while going through a miscarriage. I don't know why it happened this way, because I'm sure I could have used the support during those times. For some reason I didn't think to start a blog until I could write about most of my pain in retrospect. Maybe that was a good thing in a way. I'm telling you this because I want you to know that you haven't seen me at my worst. You haven't seen me when I doubted that God actually cared about me and my barrenness, when I wanted to give up, and when I felt like my life was completely meaningless.
Fortunately it has been a long time since I've felt many of those things. While waiting three years for another pregnancy was far from easy, I did have a long break from experiencing miscarriage. For six years the losses had come back to back, one every year. That was an incredibly hard time for us, and even though we were trying again for another pregnancy, we were grateful for the break from losing babies. No, our problems were not solved. Our journey had not come to an end. We still didn't have children to love here on earth, but it did give us time to reflect and time to process some things.
One of my biggest struggles had been letting my circumstances and emotions determine whether or not I was happy. When times were good, God was good, and I was blessed and happy. When times were bad... well, you get the picture. It took a long time for me to put into practice what Paul taught in the Bible. Rejoice in the Lord always. How could he say that? How could God expect me to rejoice when my babies were dying? The truth was that I could be sad and angry and full of grief and yet still rejoice in the Lord. Joyful doesn't always mean happy-go-lucky, and my happiness has little to do with whether or not I am blessed. I had to learn that He was still good even when my circumstances were not good. When I rejoice in the Lord, I cannot lose that joy because He is always good. (For another post about this topic, click here.)
I have some friends who are going through really hard times right now. It's difficult to see friends going through trials, and when they are blog friends it's hard because I can't be there in person to sit with them, cry with them, and just be beside them. What I can do is pray and offer as much support as possible, and that's what I try to do. I would never claim to understand how everyone feels about loss. I know what I've been through and what I've felt, but I also know that everyone is different. People feel different things and grieve in different ways.
I know that in the middle of a trial there are very few words that help. I'm not writing this post to try to fix anyone's pain. These are things that I'm still working out myself. I have no idea exactly how I might handle another loss at this point and I hate to even think about it. I'd love to say that the lessons I've been learning and storing up in my heart would be what would come out. That's what I hope would happen even through my pain, but it's hard to say.
I do know this, friend: If your faith is weak right now, you can count on the fact that others are praying for you when you can't find the words or the strength. I pray that you'll hold onto the Lord even when He seems far away, and I pray that you'll hold onto hope.