"It doesn't get any easier, does it?"
You meet kindred spirits in some of the strangest places sometimes. As I nervously stood in line at my local drugstore I dreaded what I was about to do. I knew I needed the medicine in order to have some form of closure and to complete the miscarriage, but something felt so wrong about it all. Deep within my soul I wanted to scream to all who were around me:
"I'm not having an abortion. I promise. I was pregnant. I wanted this baby!"
Thankfully I didn't have to. But that didn't make the situation any less uncomfortable for me. As the pharmacist asked me the obligatory "are you pregnant?" (which is apparently required when you take medicine like this) my heart ached. I didn't know how to respond. Yes, I kind of was still pregnant. I was still carrying the baby, but the baby was no longer there. So I stumbled to get the words out and eventually confessed that I needed the medicine to help with the process. No one tells you how awkward it will be to do that.
But then something sweet happened. After the pharmacist left, the pharmacy tech continued to finish out my order. As she processed my credit card she mouthed the words "I'm sorry." She went on to tell me how she also had two miscarriages and confirmed my feelings that this really doesn't get any easier. She understood. She had been there. And she validated my grief and my fears. The Lord met me with comfort even through a process that brought me much dread.
Her words have stayed with me these two weeks since we learned we lost our fourth child. In many ways her words are very true. I used to wonder if having another miscarriage would be easier since I know what to expect or since I have two other children now. But I don't think those things really change the awful reality that there is nothing good and easy about losing a baby. It is true, since I have gone through this before I know what to expect. I know what a miscarriage is like. I know how my heart processes things weeks and months later and I know the dark days that can lie ahead. The knowledge of what to expect makes me prepared, but it doesn't lessen the sting in any way. And having our sweet boys surely gives us great joy in the midst of great sorrow, but having gone through a successful pregnancy only reminds me how wonderful it is to hold that precious babe for the first time. They are a bright spot to our weary souls and a needed distraction from the chaos of our lives right now, but we still feel the loss of their sibling acutely.
As I've walked through miscarriage, infertility, and now another miscarriage I have quickly learned that there is nothing easy about living in this sin-cursed world. The stain of sin is all around us. Sometimes we are impacted by it directly. Sometimes we see the effects from a distance. But it never makes it easy. If it were easy then this would be our home. Right now our eyes are veiled to the glory that will one day be revealed, but our hearts know it is coming. Our hearts know that one day this will all be made right and we will understand God's purposes behind it all. Right now we only see darkness, but our hearts tell us there is light coming. And that is what we cling to. With tears in our eyes and lumps in our throat we are begging God for more faith through this dark valley of loss.
And we trust him.
The same God who brought us through our first miscarriage and infertility will sustain us through this loss as well. The same God who gave this barren woman arms full of two precious children will not leave me to myself. His love is sure. His ways are always good even when they feel utterly awful. By his grace we are (and beg to continue) walking by faith in his good ways and not by the sight that is so clouded by our circumstances.
"The Lord has promised good to me. His word my hope secures. He will my shield and portion be as long as life endures."