Why I talk about miscarriage and Matthew.
Maybe I thought it more fitting for the miscarriage website, or because I think people really don't want to hear about it. Either way, I know now that I was mistaken. Some things need to be discussed whether they pertain to our personal lives or not. And the truth is, if a woman never suffers through a miscarriage herself, she will have a friend or family member who will suffer. And haven't each of us been in a situation when we wish we had something to offer ... something to say ... something to share that would be helpful and encouraging? But because we do not understand their pain, we sit feeling completely helpless and inept. And it is uncomfortable.
I cannot speak for every woman - I can only share what I know. My motives for being so open about my miscarriage are these: 1) I want to be a woman who praises God publicly when He does great and amazing things, and - when He allows hard things to happen. 2) I want to acknowledge our son Matthew just as I do every living child we have. Matthew was real. He was created in God's image just like Micah, Luke, Caleb, Josiah, Isaiah, and Ellie were. I held him. I saw his face. He is our son. He deserves a place in this family, and he deserves to be honored. 3) I want to comfort other women the way the Lord comforted me. The number of women who walk through this trial alone is astounding. Whether their husbands/friends refuse to support them or make it appear so with their silence, they feel like there is absolutely no one else in the world who understands. And that is not okay. It just isn't.
And so - I talk about it. I talk about Matthew like he is a member of the family - freely, without shame or embarrassment. When people ask me how many children I have, I always say seven.
It is who I am - I want to use my life to let others see what God can do. It took me a long time to be able to do so, and I have no intention of going back.
I talk about it because people ask me questions like the ones below. And if they are asking me, they are asking other women. Women who may not be as far in their healing. Women who may be more sensitive than I am. Women who may not know the Lord. Women who are afraid to speak boldly and cry out, "It doesn't MATTER if you understand! Just love me. And if you don't know what to say, just be silent."
Why are you still talking about this? It happened so long ago.
Do you really still cry about it?
Is it really that emotional and hard losing a baby? It seems a little dramatic to keep bringing it up.
Don't you think it is awkward for other people to listen to you?
How do you know your baby even went to heaven?
And you know what? All of these are fair questions. They come from people who have never experienced the loss of an unborn baby, so they are trying to understand. They come from men who will never fully know what it is to have the heart of a mother. They come from people who are just trying to figure it out for themselves and need answers. They come from women who have experienced a miscarriage or stillbirth but responded in a completely different manner, so the way someone else responds seems odd or outright ridiculous.
I talk about the loss of Matthew because before it happened I never heard ANYone talk about miscarriage. And if it did come up, they either dismissed it like it was no big deal or spoke of it with shame in hushed tones. I do not want women to be ashamed to say, "I am hurting." "I feel like I am never going to break through this fog." "I am ANGRY! I don't want to be angry, but I am!" And because well-meaning people just don't know what to say or do, I want women who are aching for their babies to know that there is someone who understands and 'gets it.'
I remember being the one sitting on the couch looking into the eyes of a friend who had lost a baby, feeling awkward, afraid to speak for fear of saying the wrong thing, and wondering what in the world I could to do to help her. I thought I was a good friend, but truthfully, I was bumbling and fumbling and more concerned about my own comfort than hers. So I guess, there are two driving factors behind my motives to share my story ...
I hope I am able to help equip others to minister to a woman walking through the grief of a miscarriage or stillbirth.
And more importantly, I pray that every time I share my story, and the wonderful things God did through my loss, it will give another woman the strength to do the same.
We do not have to understand or agree with the way everyone handles trials, or how they deal with grief. But as the body of Christ, we are called to be of one mind, unified, and to live at peace with everyone. And sometimes that looks as simple as being present ~ and quiet ~ and letting the Lord do the rest.
Be still, and know that I am God.
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.