My second year of marriage to a youth pastor started off with a flurry of activity – working part-time, conducting teen girl Bible studies, attending marriage conferences and youth worker conferences, visiting family, planning events, and also finding out that we were expecting our very first little one! I will never forget what joy and nervous excitement I felt as I stared at that positive sign on the pregnancy test. My favorite memory of that year was the look on my husband's face when I handed him a Polaroid selfie I had taken with the words "We Love You" written on it. He was thrilled! We were standing by the kitchen sink, and he wrapped me in his arms and said, "You're going to be a wonderful mom." As the weeks went on, I started to experience all the changes happening in my body as our sweet baby grew. We dreamed of what the future held and prayed for our family to please Jesus above all things.
Then one morning, as I got ready for work, I noticed that I was feeling – different. And later that day, some other things happened so that I knew something wasn't right. I instantly feared the worst. As I drove home and waited for my husband to take me to the doctor, God gave me a sweet peace through Isaiah 41:10 which says, "Fear thou not, for I am with thee. Be not dismayed, for I am thy God. I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee. Yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." Just a few hours later, we learned that our baby was in heaven. During the ultrasound I looked at the tech's face, and I just knew. I almost couldn't believe this was happening to us. I looked at my husband and he smiled a little and said, "It's gonna be okay."
It was the longest two days of my life as I waited for my body to naturally have the miscarriage, but God was gracious to me and gave me a peace and strength that I had never known before experiencing such pain. The few people I told were able to share sweet words of encouragement, and I discovered that many women in our church had experienced the loss of a child through miscarriage. It was comforting to know that I was not alone. My husband constantly prayed with me and shared Scripture with me, leading me to the foot of the cross in our grief. I am so thankful for his help.
I know that some of you women have experienced this kind of pain and much more. I can't believe how many women have silent struggles – dealing with a miscarriage, an abusive background or situation, a broken heart, a chronic illness, a depressed and hurting soul. This is why I chose to share with you about my silent struggle and how God brought me through it.
The Bible states in Romans 12:21, "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." You know, these things we struggle with, they aren't from God. He only gives good gifts to His children. God doesn't do bad things to us in order to watch us suffer. He is, however, in sovereign control. He did allow me to lose our baby. I was tempted to ask Him, Why? Why didn't you stop it?" And I know you have asked Him that same question. He could have prevented this pain. Why didn't He?
It is when our broken hearts are crowded with these questions that we must remind ourselves of who our God is. The Bible says in Psalm 84:11-12 "The LORD God is a sun and shield: The LORD will give grace and glory: No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee." From this verse and so many others, I know that as I love Him, God only, ever, always works for my good. And I needed to trust that God, in His infinite wisdom, knew that losing our child was the best, most merciful, loving, and gracious thing for me and my husband. To my simple heart, that doesn't make sense. But God knows things that I don't know, and I trust Him. He has proved Himself to me over and over again, and I know He is not "out to get me." He is only interested in my good. In fact, He is so good that He can use circumstances so terrible and sad as miscarriages, abuse, illnesses, and other bad things for our good and His glory!
In Japan, when a piece of pottery or jade has been broken, the cracks are filled in with molten gold, making the broken, jagged lines the most beautiful part of the vessel. What a clear picture of God's perfect plan. God is in the redeeming and rescuing business, and that doesn't stop after we accept His gift of salvation. If we trust that God is good, then He can use our trials for our good. What a beautiful promise. What a blessed peace is ours when we realize that with God, our broken pieces can be mended and made even more beautiful than before.
But you know what? I knew these things about God before this happened. I grew up in a Christian home and was always taught that Jesus loved me and that He was good. But now, I have experienced God's love in a tangible way. I have witnessed God's goodness. I have watched His perfect plans unfold. God has grown my faith and trust in him through the pain He allowed me to experience.
And He can do that for you, sweet friend. Let God mend your broken heart with the golden truths of His Word. Feed your soul with thoughts of His unchanging character when you are tempted to drink of bitter lies. Pour yourself out to Him in His presence, and allow Him to turn your silent struggle into a song of praise.
"O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good: for His mercy endureth forever." Psalm 107:1
"Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." I John 4:10
"As for God, his way is perfect: the Word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him." Psalm 18:30
Lord God of heaven, I cry to you from a broken, bleeding heart that longs for your healing touch. My Jesus, you alone can bring my suffering soul comfort and peace. I know and remember all the blessings you have richly given me, and I believe your plans are perfect. I trust and rest in your sovereignty. But my heart aches with pain. Lord, be my refuge today, moment by moment. I know it is not wrong to feel sad and to mourn. But please don't let me get so lost in my grief that I turn away from you. Keep my eyes and my heart fixed upon you. Thank you for your beautiful grace, your wonderful mercies that are new for me each morning, and your steadfast love that never ever ceases. Comfort my heart today with the truth of your Word, and the wonders of who you are. I will go forth in the strength of the Lord my God, leaning on the everlasting arms, and trusting, obeying, following, loving, and knowing my sweet Jesus Messiah more and more. Abba, it's in the name of your Son and my Savior that I ask all these things of you. Amen.
By Emilie Crist
Originally published in Be Still Magazine, Issue 4.