If You’re going through Hell, Keep Going. Winston Churchill

winston Churchill

Part 3 in a series on Pregnancy Loss : Bottom of the Barrel

There is an order to things. You go to the hospital you have your baby and you take your baby home. But when I left the hospital after giving birth to my first son Elijah James Warren I had to leave him cold and alone in the hospital morgue with nothing to hold in my hands and a heart so heavy it could have sunk to the bottom of the ocean. The raw pain was almost unbearable. I wanted to die but I wasn’t suicidal. I cried so much that the thin skin under my eyes wrinkled up from all the salt – a bit like when you swim for too long. To make matters even worse my milk came in. My breasts ballooned into these large hard painful watermelons. We were told this wouldn’t happen because of the early gestation, but happen it did . To discourage milk production I had to limit how much I expressed but I was in so much pain that I just had too. I was advised to put cold lettuce leaves on them. It brought some relief but I felt as if my body was crying milk tears as it grieved for the lost baby. Eventually I got some drugs from the GP which brought the issue to a slow close.

On the afternoon I got home from the hospital I had a very long shower. I was overwhelmed with pain and grief. I remember crying out to God “You’ve got to help me. You’ve got to comfort me. I need you. Help me God. Help me. I can’t handle this. I need you. I need your comfort.” While I have never heard the ‘audible’ voice of God I heard Him speak to me as if he was on the other side of the shower curtain. He said “Catherine – you need to give him to me.” “What do you mean God? “ I said. He replied “He’s too heavy for you to carry. He’s a burden to you. Come and give him to me”. Obviously God did not mean for me to drive back to the hospital and demand Elijah’s body back from the morgue. What he was asking me to do was to give him over in my heart. I thought about this and decided, yes, I could and would do that. So I imagined myself walking up to the Father with Elijah in my arms. I started to give God some very detailed and complex babysitting instructions and the Father looked right into my eyes and said “Catherine. This child will only ever know perfect love” What a beautiful and powerful thing to say. On my best day as a parent I would never be able to give Elijah more than ‘perfect love’.  I kissed my son and I said goodbye and I gave him to the Father and I turned around and walked away. I wanted to run back but I knew that this was the best thing I could do, for him and for me.

In the months and years since that moment I have gone back to that particular memory and whenever I do I find it still contains the peace of God and the comfort of God in a place of my most extreme grief, pain and disappointment. The words He spoke still love on me even now as I repeat them to you some 9 years later. While John and I struggled with our grief for months and years every time I went back to ‘the shower scene’ I felt His comfort and His peace afresh.

I had been a Christian for over 20 years when I birthed Elijah and I considered my faith in God to be quite strong but after I lost the first baby my faith was challenged. I didn’t blame God for what happened, I just didn’t understand why it happened. I needed to find a place in my mind and heart to place this experience in the context of my faith. I felt there was a lot of grace given to me by God to explore the complex emotions and thoughts that were swirling around in me.  I distinctly remember thinking if my faith doesn’t help me when I am at my worst then what is the point of having it? My disappointment was so deeply profound that I knew I couldn’t just ignore it and hope that ‘it would’ go away. I felt so isolated that there were times that I thought God had left me.

As I cried out to God in my distress He continually met me offering ‘peace’ and ‘comfort’. As I grieved and cried and challenged and raged He came over and over and over again offering His peace and His comfort. It is so easy in our disappointment to not work it through properly and to just continue on with unresolved negativity toward God because of it. And if you don’t get that peace and comfort it will haunt you forever. The good thing is that it is never too late to bring up past issues with God. His door is always open. The Psalms are full of real people struggling with real disappointment but as each Psalmist starts with his issue by the end of the Psalm there is a reconciliation of those thoughts and feelings which end with God balancing the scales with either His peace or His comfort. God makes these two keys things available to us without measure when we are in acute pain. There is an infinite amount to draw upon but God and I love that God is such a gentlemen He won’t force them upon you.

The lie that I caught myself playing with emotionally and mentally in the disappointment was that ‘God wasn’t good all the time’.  The enemy loves to cast a seed of doubt upon God’s character. In the garden of Eden the snake says to Eve ‘….did God really say …..’.  Truly I say to you if you believe that God isn’t good even .01 percent of the time then the enemy has planted a small seed of doubt that will one day grow unless you arrest it.  I went into this experience having a belief that God loved me but I came out with an absolute unbending truth that supersedes every bad and negative experience yet to come in my life and that is ‘God is good ALL the time. Not some of the time, all of the time.’. If I don’t believe that 100% then I am vulnerable to losing my trust, faith and hope in God. It’s become a non-negotiable for me. NO matter what – God is good ALL THE TIME. No matter what happens, no matter what comes my way, God is good all the time.

As I journeyed through the dark night of the soul carrying my little lamp Father God never left go of me, never gave up on me and never tired of helping me. In my lowest moments of doubt, fear and pain His peace and comfort were there for me without end and without debt. The only person I owe for all that I received is you. When God gives comfort to us He gives more than we need so we have extra to give to others. I tell people if you want to help others in the future then make sure you get what you need first. I have helped many people with their grief in pregnancy loss but only because I stayed in the one place and allowed God to minister to my heart first. If you try to help someone without getting God’s peace and comfort for yourself first than all that will happen is your own pain and grief will come up and swamp you.

I am not writing this series because of me, I am writing this series for you. I have received my ‘peace’ and ‘comfort’ from God for what happened but you may still have residual pain and discomfort around a pregnancy loss you may have had many years ago or just recently. It’s not too late to reconcile that with God. He is available to you right now. He is ready to hear anything you have to say. His shoulders are big enough to take every tear – just open your heart and let Him in.

Over and Out,

Catherine xoxo

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