Wednesday, April 21, 2010

For Friends Who Are Hurting

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.


And so it goes said...

Thanks friend...for this and everything.

Michelle said...

Yjanks so much. We sound a lot alike, For 4 years my losses came year after year. It has been almost 2 years since my last loss now. Although it is very difficult and frustrating to see a BFN time after time it is nice to get a break from the losses.

Many times my faith has been tested. Many time I have yelled and screamed at God. Some have said not to do that but I KNOW God can take it. I also know he hurts for me as much as I do if not more. Sometimes it is hard to see the light amidst all the darkness but I do know it is there. It helps to know that people are praying for me because I need all I can get.

I pray for all of you as well and I thank God for each and everyone of you! I too did not start blogging until after my last loss. It just never crossed my mind that all of you were out here. I found you though when it was needed the most and it has been a lifeline.

Thank you. Sending many hugs and prayers your way!

Sharon said...

So well said Stacey! Our journey's have been similar, only the endings difficult and I relate to and agree with EVERYTHING you said in this posting.
My biggest problem currently is that I feel like a hypocrite. For so long I was angry with God for all our losses and all the pain but when he blessed us with Ava, my heart was filled with joy and now when I stand in Church or pray or talk to him with a joyful heart I berate myself for not following Pauls lesson, for no rejoicing in the Lord always.

A said...

Beautiful post! For more on this (joy in the face of amazing loss), you should listen to Jess' testimony here

It is amazing.

Ro-bear said...

Very powerful post. Such blatantly honest heartfelt posts like this are why your blog means so much to so many people. While I still can't come close to truly understanding the pain so many others have experienced through different circumstances, I am a lot closer to being able to do so (and hopefully provide encouragement) because of you and this blog.

~ Katie ~ said...

It's too early in the morning to cry...and here I am, at work, crying. You've done it again. You've been able to put into words what I couldn't.

Jana said...

Stace, that's a painful yet beautiful reminder that God IS good... in spite of who we are or how we respond to Him. I, for one, am thankful for that characteristic.

Amy said...

Good words, Stace. My husband just preached a sermon on Sunday about how to have peace that passes all understanding. He talked about "Rejoice in the Lord always" and turning your fears into thankful prayers. It was a great sermon because it is something EVERYONE deals with at some point. All people know what it means to not have peace in their minds and hearts from time to time. Good thing our God is so patient. And good thing He surrounds us with people to love and pray, like you.

Birdie said...

Thank you so much, Stacey. This is a wonderful post full of encouragement & understanding.

Like you, I also did not begin my blog until after I was able to process my feelings and not be right in the midst of my pain. It's still hard, but God has brought me a long way since my 3 losses.

It's so wonderful to know that others understand & that I'm not in this alone. And yes, God is so good, isn't He? Even though I don't understand Him sometimes & even though I feel pain, I would never want to face life without Him.

Thanks again for your encouraging post! I pray for you as well.

Jenn said...

Wow, this is very deep and honest and I know all of your readers really appreciate that about you!

Although I've never been in this specific situation, when I have been at places where I was mad at God and didn't know the words to say to Him, I was always reminded deep down inside that Jesus is continuously interceding for us and that always brought me comfort because when I couldn't pray, He was! :)

DeniFay said...

You are such a blessing! Thank you for this sweet, sincere, and thoughtful post! I loved what you said about not needing a bandaid on your gaping wound, how true that is!! We just need people to listen! I'm still praying for you and a beautiful outcome with your sweet rainbow baby, and thanking you for helping me with my hope!! Some days are harder than others, especially when you wonder if you will ever have your own biological child, those days I just cling with all my might and lean on the friends God has given me! Thank you for being one of those!

Katie said...

Such a good post. I have one blog in particular that comes to mind when I read this. It's hard, so hard, sometimes, but God wants a relationship with us even with, no scratch that, ESPECIALLY when we are angry with him. He isn't a fairweather friend!

Connie said...

Wow! Amazing! I love you, Stace! XOXO

Andrea said...


Sweet friend, you continue to share your love and compassion...what a beautiful person you are :)

Thank you for this heart felt post, as its very inspirational.

xoxo and take care of you

Sunny said...

Stacey, thanks for this post. I'm feeling pretty low right now...

On the other hand, I'm thrilled you are at 17wks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My Quest said...

Very encouraging post.
Thanks so much.
I thank God for using you to inspire and give hope.
He who has begun a good work in you will completle it till the day of his appearing.
I like you have had a few miscarriage and I am just learningto be joyful in the Lord regardless. O what a sweet journey when the joy of the lord gives us strenght.

like you said we will not always be happy go luck and smile always.
But we have a deep knowing that he is in control and that brings a joy which radiates in spite of what we face

I am blessed by your story.