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When Hope Fades

When Hope Fades

Navigating Miscarriage and Faith

Stephanie Delger

Podcast Host

Mom Guilt Podcast

Published On:

November 29, 2023

My husband and I were so excited to see that light pink line on the pregnancy test! We were having a baby! We couldn’t contain our excitement and immediately called both our parents to tell them that they were grandparents!

But, about 6 weeks into my pregnancy, I started bleeding. I called my doctor’s office and they asked me to come in for an ultrasound and blood work. We went into the doctor’s office. The technician got started and after a few short minutes, turned the screen towards us and showed us our little baby’s beating heart. She said everything looked okay on the ultrasound but they did notice a small blood clot. It wasn’t anything too serious, it happens quite often from the baby implanting, but they wanted us to come back in 2 weeks to make sure everything was resolved.

A few days later, my bleeding stopped and things seemed to be going well. Two weeks later I found myself in the same ultrasound room from before. But this time, as the ultrasound started, the technician didn’t turn the screen. As the silence grew in the room, my heart rate sped faster and faster. Something was wrong. Why wasn’t she turning the screen to show me the heartbeat like last time?

After what seemed like both seconds and an eternity, she told my husband and me that there was no longer a heartbeat. We had lost the baby and a doctor would be in shortly to talk to us about what happens next.

The doctor came in and told us that it looked like the baby had died about a week and a half ago, about the time that my bleeding had stopped. For some reason, my body didn’t recognize that the baby had died and was still carrying my child like it was a healthy pregnancy. For this reason, and the increased chance of infection for me, he recommended that I go into the hospital and have a D&C. A procedure where they would remove the baby surgically because my body wasn’t delivering the baby on its own.

We decided that this was the best option and told them to go ahead and schedule it. I walked back out into the waiting room filled with pregnant moms, grieving the child I knew now that I would never meet. In the car, we called our families and told them what had happened.

This was one of the hardest seasons of my life. This was the first time that I came face to face with death. And it was the death of my unborn child. I am not alone in this. Doctors estimate that as many as 20% of pregnancies in the United States end in miscarriage. How could it be this common and yet no one was talking about it?

With no one talking about it, I struggled with believing a lot of lies. Feeling isolated and in the midst of grief, I was in a particularly vulnerable state of mind. Either through conversations with (I really do believe well-intentioned) believers or my inner dialogue, I started questioning life as I knew it. Is God good? Why did this happen to me? Did I do something wrong and God is punishing me? Did God forget me and does He care that my baby died? I was angry at God, but was it even okay for me to be angry with God?

These are questions that I wrestled with and I know from talking with other women who have had miscarriages, they are asking some of the same ones. Let me share from my own struggle what I have found to be true.

Why are there miscarriages?

LIE: Some people have viewed having a miscarriage as God punishing a specific sin in the life of the mother. They (and I) have been told that you must have sinned a specific sin and now God is punishing you for it by causing you to have a miscarriage.

TRUTH: In the Bible, we read in Genesis 1:31 “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” But when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate the fruit that God commanded them not to, sin entered the world and broke God’s good design. Because of sin, death entered the world. If there was no sin, there would be no death. But do you notice the difference between the lie and the truth? Saying that a mother committed a specific sin that led to her miscarriage is incredibly painful for the grieving mother and is not a universal truth. Can there be situations where the natural consequences of a sin that was committed led to the death of an unborn baby? Yes. But to say that all miscarriages are a consequence of a specific sin the mother has committed is a lie. All death is a result of sin entering the world.

God is grieved by miscarriages

LIE: I wrestled with the lie that I couldn’t grieve the loss of my child because I had never met him or her. Did I have a right to be sad over someone I never knew? Miscarriages I found out were so common and yet no one seemed to talk about it. Was there something wrong with me over how utterly heartbroken I was? Did I have a right to grieve?

TRUTH: Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” All human beings, both those born and unborn, are made in God’s image. Anytime the death of one of His image bearers occurs, God is grieved. This means that not only was I justified in grieving the loss of my baby, but also that God grieved alongside me over the loss of my child. I believe that the death of my child was grieved more by God than it was by me. Which says a lot. A mother deeply grieves the loss of her child. We don’t cry out to a deity who is impartial and devoid of emotions. No! We cry out to God in our distress and He hears us. (Psalm 40:1) God feels the sting of the consequences of sin more than you and I could. I say this because He is the only one who knows the depth of our sin and how corrupt it is because He alone is Holy. In the grief over losing our child, God also grieves because He knows the pain. God also, lost His child to death. His son, whom He sent to earth to save you and me from our sin. Jesus did nothing wrong, he committed no sin, yet willingly died on our behalf so that we could be God’s children. God knows and grieves right alongside us.

We can be real with God

LIE: I wondered if I could tell God how I truly felt. When I was grieving the loss of my child, I recalled all I knew about God. God is all-powerful, God is in control, God is sovereign. These things are true. But, that meant that He could have chosen to save my baby and yet for some reason chose not to. I was angry at Him for not choosing to save my child. But surely I couldn’t tell Him that, right? I felt the need to hide these emotions deep inside and never let anyone know I was feeling this way. These seemed like things a good Christian wouldn’t feel or even think!

TRUTH: This isn’t what is modeled in the Bible. I have since come to love the Psalms partly for this reason. David in the Psalms, cries out to the Lord. In Psalm 22:1-2, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer and by night, but I find no rest.”

We can be real with God! We can cry out to him in our pain and frustration. There are many Psalms recorded in the Bible where the author does just that. But I also want to urge you to not stop there. David goes on right after these words, to write “Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. In you our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them. To you they cried and were rescued; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.”

After crying out to God and asking why, David turns his attention away from his grief and anger and dwells on truth - The Truth. God knows us and knows what we are thinking whether we talk to Him about it or not. Don’t let your anger and frustration become a wedge between you and the Lord. In your grief, run to God, not from God.

If you are reading this and are experiencing or have experienced a miscarriage, my prayer while writing this is that you will find comfort. That you would fight the lies with truth. This is best done in Christian community. I needed to talk with my husband about the lies that I was believing so that he could help me fight them with truth. But it was also comforting for me to talk to one of my girlfriends who had also had a miscarriage. I was able to share what I was going through, and what I was struggling with or thinking. Hearing her story was healing because I felt like there was another woman who had experienced the same thing. She could truly grieve with me because she had been there. My prayer is that you will find someone in your life who is a solid Christian friend. Ask her to sit with you, cry with you, listen to you, text comforting scripture to you, reminding you of God’s goodness and that He is always there for you. Christian community was and is so important!

If you are reading this because someone you know or love has had or is currently having a miscarriage, my prayer for you is that you would be a much-needed comfort to her. My friend came and sat with me a few days after my procedure. She came to the door with a potted flower in remembrance of my baby, a handwritten bible verse on a card reminding me that God is there for me, and embraced me in a hug. She didn’t need to say anything, what really can you say to make things all better? You can’t. And she didn’t try. Please if you are going to visit someone who is suffering, don’t underestimate the comfort of sitting by her without saying a word.


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