A Season of Suffering and a Sovereign God

photo by Ashley Diane Photo

It’s hard to really find a right way to share hard news, but God has been so faithful and caring to me to give me the words to say and the scripture to think on and pray through as we’ve been processing. We had a miscarriage. It was the beginning of June and found out on a Monday that I was pregnant, but by that same Thursday signs of miscarriage began. It was so sad, so disappointing, so confusing… I honestly held on to hope that it was just normal bleeding that can happen at the beginning of pregnancies, until it just wasn’t normal anymore. We’ve had sad days, but honestly, our souls are well. They’ve been well. And it is only by the grace of God that we’ve been well. The Holy Spirit is within us, God’s word has been close to us, and the Truth of who God is, His character, and His promises have been what has sustained us.

Of course many of the what-if questions came up, but, as I had already been studying God’s word in Philippians this past spring/early summer, I was gently reminded that our true citizenship is in heaven (3:20), in joy and in suffering, I can rejoice because of the hope I have in Jesus (a theme we see in the entire book of Philippians) but a sweet spot for me in this book is when Paul talks about how he has learned the secret of contentment in chapter 4. He can do all things through Him who strengthens him (4:13). That verse has taken on a whole new understanding for me as Paul is writing these words in jail, not sure if he’s going to be released or if he will be killed for his faith. He knows how to be brought low and abound. He knows in every circumstance- plenty or hunger, abundance or need, the secret of being content when our circumstances really stink… is the everlasting hope we have in Christ.

And back to the what-ifs that have snuck in…as I continue to read God’s word I am reminded that if what I am thinking on is not true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, has any excellence, or is worthy of praise (4:8-9), then those thoughts need to fall to the wayside.

And I was encouraged by another sister that we can let go of those what-ifs and leave the secret things of life to God, because they belong to Him and what has been revealed is for us and to our children forever (Deut. 29:29).

I was also reminded that in all circumstances, I am to live in a manner worthy of the gospel (1:27), and that alone has been significant in how I have personally been walking forward. Pressing on. Not that I’m forgetting or leaving this precious life behind, because hear me clearly when I say, life matters. At its conception, it matters. This baby of ours, who was not even 5-6 weeks old yet and about the size of an apple seed or smaller, mattered. Life matters to God, and if it didn’t then he would not have sent His son to die on our behalf so that we could receive eternal life. We love this baby, we are sad we did not get to experience watching him or her grow inside of my womb and join our family in early February. We are sad that Collins and Tommy won’t ever get to meet this life on this side of eternity.

But- the hope we have in Christ and the reminder that our citizenship is in heaven gives me such comfort that one day, we will meet this life. And one day, we will be rejoicing with the Savior with this life for eternity, and there will be no more sadness, no more tears, no more pain, no more worry, no more miscarriage. Only joy. Only glory. Only praise. Revelation 21:3-4.

Joy shared is multiplied and sorrow shared is diminished. So while God made me an encourager, and it is sooo not my personality to be a downer or stay in the sad (I honestly feel that way when I have shared in person sometimes), I’ve continued to share. Because when I do, my/our sorrow has diminished. Even when I don’t feel like reliving the sad. I’m learning to be okay with sitting in the sad. Lamenting. Grieving. Processing. Humbling myself under the sovereignty of God and walking faithfully with Him to where He has called us to walk through suffering for His sake. We’ve been encouraged by our brothers and sisters in Christ, and they’ve shared that burden with us. And I’ve learned, we are never alone in our suffering. Many women and couples have walked this road. Many know this hurt and loss. And for me personally, I don’t mind sharing this story, because it may encourage one of you reading, but more so, it really is a testimony of our great God who is the redeemer of all things and who is our hope in life and in death. And that has encouraged my heart.

So- while we’re still suffering and processing, we are walking with the living hope and pressing on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. We are holding tightly to God’s Truth that gives life. We are openly sharing our burden with others, so that we can encourage them and be encouraged too. We are continuing to quietly and prayerfully process how we are going to honor this life moving forward and what feels right to our family. 💗

I’ve been encouraged by many parts of scripture I’ve been reading personally, but also from other sisters who have encouraged me by sharing other parts in scripture that have helped them in similar situations so I thought I’d leave a few below for you.

“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law. – Deuteronomy 29:29

Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,

-Philippians 1:27

14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing,

15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,

16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.

17 Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.

18 Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me. -Philippians 2:14-18

13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,

14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.

16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained. -Philippians 3:13-16

20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,

21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. -Philippians 3:20-21

4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.

5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;

6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me-practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. -Philippians 4:4-9

11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.

12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.

13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. -Philippians 4:11-13

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