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Deep dive after miscarriage

Scripture: Lamentations 3:19-24

I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness, and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.”

Maybe your grief is fresh and raw and you’re still reeling from the suffocating blow of a recent miscarriage, just like me. Or maybe you’ve long ago buried a secret grief but something within is probing you to lean into the pain once again. I can’t answer the cosmic “why” of your miscarriage, but I can validate and help you understand your pain and grief. I want to link my arm with yours in hope as we look together toward the day when Jesus makes all things new.

I discovered something refreshing and helpful in the early days after my miscarriage when grief came pounding with incredible force: If I didn’t dive deep, the waves of grief would absolutely crush me and drown me. The apostle Paul calls it being “hidden with Christ” (Colossians 3:3).

I call it surviving.

As I began to practice my own deep dive after losing our daughter, Amelia Lilly, to miscarriage, at 6 months and everything that transpired during the miscarriage (after already having listed two babies), I discovered this was actually more than survival. It was an invitation: Would I find Jesus in the deep?

It’s normal to be filled with questions when experiencing personal trauma. Why me? Why does this have to happen again? What have I done to deserve this? Is this my fault? Have I not suffered enough? Does God still love me, and if He does, why must I endure this pain and loss again? Why would God let this happen? Is he punishing me for something? What if God isn’t who I thought he was? How can I go on with life as I once knew it? Will I ever feel normal again? Is God—or his goodness—even real? What if my whole faith is a sham?

Because the grief, frustration, and pain of miscarriage often go unspoken, these types of questions can eat away at the soul and confidence of a woman as she tries to shoulder the burden of them in secret. We pretend to hold it all together, we keep busy to not think about or feel the pain. We avoid people and places, to minimize the outpour of looks, questions, advice, condolences, and the “I know how you feel” moments.

But I must tell you this: It might seem impossible, but you can do this. You can lose and grieve and hope. The power of grief can, and sometimes will, sweep us off our feet. But we can learn how to breathe under the deep. We may even learn to open our eyes there. We can grieve with hope. We may be brokenhearted or even crushed, but we will not be destroyed.

We might even find that, in our weakness, we’re stronger than we think.

Just keep moving, one foot in front of the other. And if you falter and stumble, reach ahead and grab onto God’s hand. He is always waiting for that outstretched hand. He will wrap his hand around yours, hold you steady, and walk with you.

Take a breath, fill your lungs with fresh newness, and exhale the pain, frustration, anger, and hurt.

And remember, it is okay to not be okay. It is fine to take your time to deal with and heal. No one person, in this world, heals at the same pace. There is no time limitation to trauma or pain, so take your time, however long it may take.

And don’t let anyone tell you, to stop wallowing, to stop feeling sorry for yourself, to move on, that you are not the first or last woman to lose a baby…and if you do encounter these naïve people, step back, exhale and give it all to God.

I am with you in this, and we will get through this. Remember how powerful, graceful, kind, amazing, and beautiful you are, always.

Love and respect,

Leatitia Coetzee

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