Be Strong and Courageous

// From the Archives //


You know, I think sometimes when people share in very raw and unedited ways, especially publically, others will take that opportunity to give them unwanted advice about their struggles, talk badly about their choice to share with the world, or even act more uncomfortable around them because they do not know what to say.


I am not sure why it is so hard for some to share about the things they are going through. Maybe it is because of those things. They do not want anyone telling them how to get through it. They do not want others to talk about them and their experience. They do not want others to feel uncomfortable around them.


For some reason, miscarriage seems to be quite a taboo topic to discuss publicly. Many, inlcuding myself, have experienced those things just mentioned when sharing about their experiences with this type of loss. This loss makes others uncomfortable. They do not understand the pain of it (unless they have walked through it), so they either judge you for your grief, or they just pretend the loss did not happen. It is not the same thing as losing an already-born child or a spouse or a parent, right? The grief can't be as legitimate as those things. This is what they say.

 

I want to write to those of you who are afraid of those things happening when you decide to share.


Miscarriage is very "common," the doctors tell you. You would be surprised how often it happens, and how little it is talked about in comparison. It is just not something people are comfortable discussing. The last blog I wrote was about my second loss of a child. When I write out of pain, it is raw and unedited. Some find courage that they need to share their stories when I write, and some are able to deal with their own losses knowing that they are not alone. Some choose to write off my pain and outwardly decide that it is not significant. Not all respond this negatively, but yes, there are some. Though the latter group hurts, I write for the former.

 

I write for those of you who have gone into your ultrasound and all that you heard was silence.

I write for those of you who have been put to sleep for surgery and have woken up with no baby anymore.

I write to those of you who have had to let go numerous children, and not by choice.

I write to those of you who silently hold memories of traumatic experiences in loss, who have gone through physical pain and who have had to hold your lifeless baby in your hands.

I write to those who grieve the loss of not only a child, but a dream, a life of being this baby's mom.

I write to those who see moms of multiple children and think about what it would have been like. 


Let me tell you something, sister.


Your grief matters. Your pain matters.

Forget about that second group who is critical and judgmental. Remember that there are millions of women who understand this loss. Your story could give them the courage that they need to share it with a friend, a family member, a church, an office, even the world through social media. Cling to those in your life who will  support you, pray for you, bring you meals, and ask how you are really doing. 


In Brene Brown's The Gifts of Imperfection, she discusses courage in a very refreshing way. She says, "Courage originally meant 'To speak one's mind by telling all one's heart'" (p. 12). So many think of this word as synonomous with heroism, putting one's life on the line for another. Though this is courageous, no doubt, ordinary courage is being able to speak honestly with others.


To be vulnerable is to be courageous. To be authentic is to be courageous. To share your story is to be courageous. To point others to Jesus through your story, that's just simply obedience, but it is also courageous.

 

There is risk involved when one chooses to share their thoughts, their stories, their feelings. There is risk involved when one uses those things to share the love of Jesus with the world. There is risk of rejection, persecution, misunderstanding.


When a woman experiences the extremely painful loss of losing a child through miscarriage, so often people say things like: "At least you didn't have to deliver stillborn. That is much worse"; "Losing a living child is worse"; "You will have more one day"; "This is so common. It happens in a lot of pregnancies"; "Why are you so afraid of it happening again? Can't you just deal and keep going with your daily life?"

 

I wish I could allow you to enter into the pain that comes with miscarriage, but I honestly do not want anyone to have to go through it. When one is already going through that pain, and then chooses to share, the risk of those things happening is very real. 


Isn't it amazing, though, that so many people can be touched in beautful ways by your story? I am one to openly share these things because I have known first-hand how many can be ministered to in powerful ways. They do not feel alone. Their thoughts have been put on paper. They are able to grieve more effectively. They have the courage to share with another. I have also known the rejection, the judgment, the lack of empathy.


Was sharing my story worth that risk? Of course. It always is.

 When God brings you through very dark times, especially like miscarriage, it is extremely difficult to trust Him, to have any energy to pray or seek Him. It becomes even difficult to grieve due to the numbness that sets in. I know in that pain, it is even more challenging to share your story and your faith journey in it. But when I read someone's blog, even someone I do not even know, and they very openly share about this, my heart is moved in ways I can't even explain. I am challenged to help empower women to share their own personal stories with others because I personally am so affected by other's words of faith. 


It is scary, but if God is tugging on your heart to tell a friend or family member or the blogging world about your story, He has a reason. He wants you to comfort others with the very comfort that He has given you (2 Corinthians 1:3-11). He wants you to be strong and courageous. You never know whose life could be touched. You never know what kind of freedom another person could experience by hearing about your faith in the One who is always good in every circumstance. You never know whose walk with God could start or grow because of what you went through. 


Yes, there is phyical and emotional pain that goes beyond understanding when you lose a sweet unborn baby, but there can also be the pain in the aftermath from those who show no empathy.


One life transformed by the gospel is worth every ounce of emotional and physical pain.

One life returning to Jesus.

One life moved to compassion to reach out to others who are hurting in this way.

One life overcome with courage to share.

One life able to finally able to say goodbye.


It is all worth  it. Every tear. Every feeling. Every long night. Every waiting period. Every single part. 


Joshua 1:9 

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." 

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