Sitting on our back porch, I copied passages of scripture into my journal. I felt the summer breeze brush across my face, shifting my eyes upward. I knew God was with me. I spent many months there, prayed many prayers there, cried a lot of tears there. It was a sunny refuge from the season of storms and steady rain that went on in my heart. A gift from above. It wasn’t an escape; it was a comfort—a place that drew thankfulness from my lips in a time of much grief.
Recently, I was listening to the best-selling book, “The Nightingale” when the narrator referred to the main character’s fertility struggles as, “the miscarriage years.” No longer sauteing dinner, I listened intently. I wondered if perhaps the author had lost babies in the womb. That’s just speculation. But the words she used felt more than just a simple statement about loss. It seemed like she understood that to go through such grief can change you. There was life before the miscarriage years and there is life after.
It’s something I think about often. The years before were so full of innocent dreaming. In the years after, I find I’m much different. Some people may be tired of me talking about it; some were tired while I was still in it. But those years—I was changed through them, molded and shaped, chiseled and refined. I had asked the Lord just months before, “how do I treasure you above everything?” And through the grief of losing baby after baby, I learned how.
The miscarriage years don’t define me, but God used them to refine me. I learned what it meant to grieve with hope and how joy and sorrow can intertwine. Through the loss of my babies, I learned how to give grace to others and how to accept and ask for help (though I did so imperfectly at best). God worked in me a better understanding of how he relates to his children in our suffering. I experienced the Holy Spirit interceding on my behalf when I couldn’t speak a word. Most of all, I’ve learned—no—the Holy Spirit did a miracle within, making Christ most valuable, the Treasure above all treasures in my heart.
Of course, I often fail to treasure Jesus above all. I let other things get in the way, repent, and praise the Lord for the gospel and that Jesus is my perfection. But in my grief, he drew me in, showing me more of his goodness and pouring out his love and grace on me. Because of that, I praise God for the miscarriage years. I don’t rejoice in the death of my three sweet babies, who I long to know even today. But I rejoice in what God has done in me through their little lives.
Now that I’m a mother to a living child as well, I’m already aware of how each of my babies have impacted my life for the better. And, I just have to say how sweet it is. But the sweetest gift they’ve all given me, is an opportunity to experience the love of God more and in turn treasure Jesus more too.
My life looks a lot different now, and yet, I still sit in that same spot on our back porch when it’s warm out. Sometimes I write out God’s word, other times I read. Sometimes I watch my son play and my heart explodes with gratitude. I’ve prayed the prayers of a weary mother, worried I’m failing. Many times, I just sit and reflect on all God has done. I’m thankful for his work in my heart through the miscarriage years and I’m certain he’s not finished with me yet. I treasure Christ, and yet I could treasure him even more. May he continue doing this good work in his children. He who called us is faithful (1 Thessalonians 5:24).