Have you ever been in one of those places? You know the ones. You don’t necessarily like your outlook, but you can’t figure out how you got there and why you’re there.
Earlier this week I was in the middle of one of those slumps.
It’s been two and a half months since my miscarriage, and it amazes me just how much I can be caught by surprise by the emotions. Blindsided is more like it. I will be absolutely fine. Counting my blessing. Enjoying the sunshine (okay, so that was last week before the cold snap hit Indiana. When was the last time you had snow the day before Easter?!?!?). And then — WHAM!!! I’m in a funk.
Right now, it’s happening when I learn that friends are pregnant with due dates very close to what mine was supposed to be. I have never appreciated how painful it is to truly want to rejoice with someone while your heart is breaking. Again.
And then there’s the expectation that I should be over this. If you haven’t had a miscarriage, I am so happy for you. That is such a blessing. But one thing I have learned is how common miscarriages are and how lasting the impact is (estimates range in the 10-20% range for miscarriage after a recognized pregnancy). Yet women I know and respect tear up when they tell me about their miscarriage. And many of these happened ten, twenty, even thirty years ago.
It can be an amazingly lonely experience, too. I have had more people ask me how I was doing after my grandfather and grandmother died, than after this loss.
The result? It feels like the expectation is to shove the pain down, stoically ignore it, and move on. I can’t. Because I am committed to working through this process. One book that has helped me in this might surprise you. It’s Beth Moore’s new one: Get out of the Pit. Now, I got the book because I have learned so much through her Bible studies and a couple friends recommended it.
Now I don’t think of myself as a pit dweller. God has protected me from so much in my life. And I have been blessed beyond measure. But one of the pits that Beth talks about is the pit you’re pushed into. Think Joseph being sold into slavery by his brothers. He didn’t do anything to deserve that, but still found himself in a strange country as a slave rather than a favored son.
Can you imagine all the questions running through his mind? Repeat them with me: Why God? It isn’t fair! I didn’t do anything to deserve this! Do you still see me? Do you still care? What did I do wrong? I don’t understand. I trust You but it really hurts right now.
So I am clinging to Genesis 50:19-20 right now. In that passage, Joseph tells his brothers: “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended for good to accomplish what is now being done…” What has been painful, even excruciating, can still be used by God. Couple it with Jeremiah 29:11, and I can rest in the fact that even though I can’t see the reason behind — and might not until heaven — I can know that God intends even this only for my good, hope and future.