Coming to terms with a loss of a child is totally different for everyone. Some come to terms right away while others don’t fully come to terms until much time has passed. Everyone grieves differently . This is the story of the season I came to terms with our miscarriage through an unexpected avenue.
Meant to Be there
A women’s conference was coming to my church and I wanted to attend, but didn’t really make an effort to go to. You ever do that? I did with this conference. Each time it was announced I thought, that would be good to go to, and never went any further than that. The week of the conference while at my mom’s group, a friend asked if I was going. I told her that I wanted to, but that I didn’t think I would go. Then she asked if I wanted her ticket. It turns out that she double booked herself and was looking to give her ticket away.
I guess the Lord wanted me to be there because He literally dropped a ticket in my lap. Okay Lord, I’ll be there. I managed to have my son stay with Grandma for the first day of the conference while I had with the entire day before the conference to myself. I think the Lord was preparing me for what would happen in the next two days.
A Conference Just For Me
I knew some of my friends would be at this conference, but I didn’t really make an effort to meet up or go with anyone. I just winged it and sure enough, God gave me the exact people He wanted by my side. The first night, the speakers spoke about their struggle with being unable to have kids. This was not the topic I had anticipated hearing at a 2-day Christian women’s conference, but was a slap in the face right away. Alright God, I’m listening.
The first day got my attention, but the second day got my heart. The speakers were great about sharing their struggles, but most of all, awesome for sharing how God got them through. I was hit hardest when we came to prayer time toward the end of the conference. I didn’t expect it, but my whole week was leading up to this very moment.
Having and losing children was not the main topic of the conference, but it was certainly repeated theme throughout the last two days. During prayer, the speaker asked all the women who had lost a child to stand up. My heart dropped and I stood. Then she asked the women sitting around any woman who was standing to lay hands on them to pray for that woman. I stood there with my teary eyes closed, dear friends seated next to me, and random hands laid on my shoulders, back and arms. I felt each woman’s prayers and God saying to me, “It’s okay. I am here. You can cry it out.”
And that’s what I did. I finally came to terms with our loss.
This was an important step for me because so often when people would ask, I would make my loss small, like it didn’t matter or didn’t count because it was so early in the pregnancy and because we never saw a baby. When I was surrounded by praying hands, it was the first time when I confessed to myself and to God that my loss really did matter and I was hurting for another child.
Coming to Terms and Finding Contentment
That moment of prayer was a giant step for me and I could have walked out of there and been good to go, but God wasn’t done with me yet.
Karen Kingsbury, a popular Christian author, was one of our speakers. She was giving the last talk of the conference and closed with a reading of her children’s book entitled, Let Me Hold You Longer. Many women had already read that book and I could hear the ohs and ahs reverberating in the sanctuary. I had never read or even heard of this book, but the reaction of the other women told me that I was in for another tear fest.
Here is a video of a reading of Let Me Hold You Longer by Karen Kingsbury, watch it and come back to me. The lady that reads this in the video reads with a more upbeat tone of voice. Karen’s tone when reading it was more soft and somber, but it is still a good reading.
As I heard Karen read this book fresh off my coming to terms with our loss, my mind’s eye kept flashing to my son and all his firsts, then God replayed a moment for me that I will never forget. As my mind wandered back and forth between the book reading and my visions of Mateo, one final vision of Mateo running into my arms from his bed sent an overwhelming emotion through my whole being, contentment. All I could think to say and pray was, “Yes Lord, I’m content.”
I didn’t fully come to terms with our loss until two years had passed. I didn’t learn to be content with our family of three until I thought about my son’s firsts and lasts. I went through a mountain of emotions in the two years after our miscarriage, but I didn’t truly grieve and heal until this 2-day conference. The two years leading up to this conference as I walked with God processing the loss, He slowly opened me up more and more to His love. The more I opened up to Him, the more I saw just how specifically He knows and loves me. That took time and cultivating a relationship with my God.
How did I know this was all God’s doing? Because I did nothing and God did everything. I made no effort to go to this conference and He sent me anyway. I made no effort to meet with friends, and He sent them anyway. I made no effort to find points that would connect me with God, but He connected with me.
If you have experienced a loss of a child, grieve in your time. Everyone grieves differently, but I know one thing that is constant in spite of all our differences, that constant is God. No matter how long it takes us to come to terms with what life brings, God will always be there waiting patiently for us to run to Him. He waits to show you just how much He loves you and how specifically He knows you and your needs.