Losing a baby turns your world upside down. Everything feels wrong. There’s nothing right about a baby dying before her parents. One of the hardest things to understand is why people like drug abusers and child molesters get to have healthy babies but my babies die. Sometimes, I feel like I’m being punished for my obedience to God and they are being rewarded for their sin. I know that is not true, but it sure is what it looks like from my perspective.
I have heard so many other baby-loss moms say the same thing. It’s even hard to see other parents doing things we don’t agree with because we think, “I wouldn’t do that with my baby. I would do it a better way. Why do they get a baby and I don’t?” It is infuriating to see a pregnant woman smoking or a mom slapping her kid around in a store or to see horrible things on the news about parents abusing their children; their healthy children that they got to keep. I’ve seen people lose their faith over this. “How can God take my baby, who would have been treasured and loved and well taken care of but then He gives babies to people who hurt them, abuse them, kill them; people who can’t take care of them.” Some women who struggle with infertility have tried everything they can think of to get pregnant. Some have tried for years and they sacrifice a lot to be as healthy as possible, but still have empty arms. When they see somebody accidentally get pregnant and complain about it, it feels like a slap in the face. I’ve heard them say, “Maybe I should just give up trying to be healthy, start smoking and get really drunk, because that’s how so many other women get pregnant.”
I have been working through these questions since Lucy died and even more since I lost Jude. I know that I don’t deserve a baby more than any other person because I am sinful, just like them. My sins may be different, but I am still a sinner. What bothers me is that the BABY does deserve a better situation and a better Mama. Every baby deserves to be loved and well taken care of. I have a home full of love and laughter and any baby in my house will grow up knowing God’s love. We have a baby-shaped hole in our family that aches with the emptiness. That is why it’s so hard to see crack heads getting babies. It just doesn’t make sense.
I think all these questions have a lot of very deep, theological answers that I’m not going to even try to conquer. I can only write about my thoughts and experiences and this is what I think:
- I am not God and luckily, I don’t have to figure it all out. One day I will know it all, but not today. All the abused babies, the neglected babies and the parents who don’t care- they are not my burden to carry. That is God’s burden, this is His world, and I can release it all to Him. They are all His responsibility, just like the baby-shaped hole in my life is His responsibility too. He will take care of it all and He will take care of my family and me.
- Another comforting thought is that my babies are safe in heaven, living in perfection. I wish they were in my arms, but they are waiting for me, cozy and loved and happy. I don’t have to worry about them. They are not being abused or neglected.
- When I feel jealous of someone who got a baby out of a bad circumstance, I ask myself, “Do you really want her life?” And the answer is always, “No.” I don’t want her life and I don’t want her baby.
- I don’t know what that woman has gone through. Every person has a different story, different hurts and different experiences. What I see is a very small piece of the whole picture. I can’t judge her by what I see because it’s not the whole truth. I also can’t see the future. Maybe God will use that baby’s pain to help others or to accomplish beautiful things. I don’t see what He does, so I shouldn’t mourn the small part of the picture that I am seeing.
- Anger is part of the grieving process. All of the emotions that come with grief are so overpowering that you just have to feel them to get through them. A lot of my grief anger has been directed toward the irresponsible parents or at God for allowing such “injustice.” Some of the anger has been misplaced. It has helped me just to recognize that a lot of the anger is coming from the grief of not having my baby in my arms–not necessarily from the fact that crack heads get babies. Eventually it WILL fade.
- When I feel swamped with jealousy and anger and confusion it always helps to pray for that other lady and her baby. It goes against how I’m feeling, but when I force myself to pray for them I feel so much better. I also pray for God to let me see them the way He sees them. I pray for God to fill me with His love for them because I’m all out. Usually, I am surprised with the compassion and pity I feel for the woman after I pray this prayer.
Ever since Lucy died I have felt like there is a war going on in my head. Satan is spewing his lies at me constantly, especially when I’m feeling depressed and my arms feel leaden with emptiness. That’s when he strikes. He points to what I see and says, “Look! God trusted her with a baby, but He wouldn’t trust you with one. She deserves a baby more than you. God isn’t good. He wants to hurt you and He wants to reward her for her sin.” But what does God say? He reminds me that He is good and He loves me and He is a just God. He reminds me not to focus on the tiny piece of the puzzle that I can see. He’s using this painful, dark piece of my life to make a beautiful, perfect picture that will one day stun the eyes and swell the heart. When He’s done with the whole picture, I will step back and say, “OH! So that’s what you were doing. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I love it!”
Look at the cross. Think of all the people who went home that night who saw Jesus Christ dying on the cross, which is the greatest act of wisdom and salvation and grace and love in the history of the world and who went home and lost their faith. Do you realize how many people looked at Jesus dying on the cross and because they couldn’t understand it they said, “I don’t even believe in God anymore. I don’t see what good God could be bringing out of this.” So they looked right in the face of the greatest thing God ever did and said, “I don’t understand it, therefore my faith is undermined.”
I am choosing to trust God to make something beautiful with my loss and my pain. I have to relax in the fact that I am not God, I don’t know everything and I am not in control.
I think Satan wants us to be jealous of other moms with their babies. I think he wants us to be eaten up with bitterness and anger and hate. Let’s choose love. Let’s fight for love and pray for those other parents and their babies. What would our babies want? Let’s make them proud by living lives full of love.
I Corinthians 13:4-7, 12
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things…For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
I’m always surprised when my plans and Gods plans arent the same. And then it hits me how blind I was after I see the end result of what He was doing. Love you.
This is a great mystery. So we have to lean on what we know about God’s character and His love. He is kind and good to us every day. “Heaven is not here, but there.” This earth is full of pain and hurt.
Oh my gosh this is so beautifully and perfectly written. I feel the same way- right now the Enemy is trying his hardest to make me jealous of other mothers and pregnant women. This is such a great reminder that God and my angel doesn’t want that for me, and that God has good plans for my life, because I am his child. Thank you Bethany.
Why do people with ANY disease get pregnant and have babies.The Disease of Addiction in any form is cunning, baffling and THIS is the thing that a large population can’t understand including me.This world is so full of uncertainty and ALL, not just some things need to be turned over to our God and Savior.The question of why will always be there but trust and love of God will endure.I could go on but not here.
Bethany, this is beautiful! It is so much more kind and mature than I would be able to write at this point. Your perspective and wisdom are so inspiring. With the title, I was kind of expecting more of an angry rant (and would have been totally okay with that), but this is just the opposite. I feel more of the angry rant in myself, so thank you for the reminder that Satan wants us to think such things and fight with God. I have so far to go on so many things, sigh. I’m glad you went ahead and posted this!
Remembering that God sees the whole picture and I only see part has always been tough for me – in many of my circumstances, not just child bearing. He does indeed cause all things to work for the good of them that love Him. I had a rough and abusive childhood. Even growing up I would question why God would put me in this family. I still don’t have all the answers of why and I still deal with a heavy load of baggage, but I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be the mother I am today if I hadn’t have come through something so terrible. I strive every day to be the opposite of what I came out of. God is indeed good.
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When I began reading this post it had a strong anointing of 1 Cor 13 all over it (Before I read the text at the bottom)! Please if you have time listen to this song by Larnelle Harris it is 1 Cor 13 put to beautiful music. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iAxX5MXdDI
In the light of my own pain. I received a text from my brother last night with the following quote:
“I Know now Lord, why you utter no answer. You are Yourself the answer. Before Your face questions die away. What other answer would suffice?” – CS Lewis
That quote about Christ death appearing another senseless death of an innocent person also points out that His suffering mingles with mine because He bore it on Calvary. His tears flow with mine. The blood we have lost in miscarriage and/or still birth flow with The BLOOD He lost on Calvary. He CAN confidently reassure me that IT IS FINISHED! GOD HAS WON! Good has triumphed over evil. God’s soul and heart has suffered this exact pain (Isaiah 53:10-11). Even though as a physical man He never physically had a miscarriage the Father DID lay on Him the suffering of us ALL. This type of bearing to me is deeper than the physical pain because the physical pain of miscarriage and/or still birth is insignificant in comparison to the heart and soul pain of this type of loss. So He did endure this exact pain because He has said–>Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows yet we did esteem Him stricken smitten of God and afflicted. But He was wounded for “my” transgressions, he was bruised for “my” iniquities: the chastisement of “my” peace was upon Him; and with His stripes “I” am healed.- Isaiah 53:4-5. These things I have spoken to you, that in ME, you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer I have overcome the world. -John 16:33
My friend who was going through a similar pain as myself at the time said that if God made everything right and prevented any and all injustice and prevented Satan from doing any evil. Satan’s accusation of God being a militant overbearing control freak would find proof. But God gives all of us free choice and the innocent people that suffer outside of their control God walks with them in their pain. Yea though I walk through the shadow of death I will fear no evil for Thou art with Me. After such tremendous loss the shadow of death presses you with sadness and fear. But you have no fear because God is with you. “When I cry out to you then my enemies (fear, depression, anger) will turn back. This I know because GOD IS FOR ME.- Ps 56:9 . also 1 Peter 3: 18, 1 Peter 4:12-13. But God NEVER NEVER waste our pain (http://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/encouragement/encouragement-for-today-june-26-2012.html)
Also if you have time you might be interested in The Voice of the Martyrs (www.persecution.com). Even today people are TORTURED for Christ, their children are killed, raped, and their husbands or wives are killed, imprisoned and/or suffer! I recently read a story of a woman who was 6 months pregnant when she was hacked with a machete ..she almost died and she lost her baby. God has since led her to forgive them. And she actually saw one of the men who had done that to her. God helped her to forgive them. It was absolutely amazing and I still don’t fully understand. But I do understand that God has taken on all pain and in Him we still find rest and JOY!! Praying for your strength and for the strength of the LORD to be your joy. GOD restores and He loves you. I love you to. Have a blessed day in Jesus 🙂
Also a note on the enemy:
“Satan has led men to fear God as one who delights in their destruction. The Old Testament sacrifices that should have revealed His love were offered only to appease His wrath. The glory and peace of heaven, and the joy of communion with God were but dimly comprehended by men- but were well known to Satan. Since he had lost heaven he set out for revenge by causing men to undervalue heavenly things and to set their hearts upon earthly things. Christ took upon Him the infirmities of degenerate humanity with all its liabilities. He rescued man from the lowest depth of degradation. We have nothing to bear which He has not endured. He has endured all that is possible for us to bear. His victory is ours.” Desire of Ages- Ellen White
” Who is among you that feareth the Lord…that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord and stay upon his God” -Isaiah 50:7-10″
He hath not dealt with us according to our iniquities. I think that God gives us all free choice. He knows all that has happened and will ever happen but because He is a Honorable Gentleman He does not press or control His creatures with His omniscient knowledge of future choices but sincerely and genuinely gives them the gift of free choice. If He was deciding on who would have a baby and who would not have a baby based on future actions then that would be in opposition to His expressed will. And that will is for all His creatures to love Him with our free will choice. Because of sin people make poor choices that are against the good God planned for them. Because of Satan’s power to kill steal and destroy.. the wonderful happiness we desire is sometimes stolen. But because of God’s redeeming power in the Blood of Jesus, God will restore all that the enemy has stolen. He will restore 7 times.(please enjoy Psalm 84- You are such a spring in the Valley of Baca- I praise God for your openess. It is such a comfort to me.) I don’t let my mind be influenced by the insinuations of the enemy that resound as follows: Well you just weren’t ready for another baby, Well you weren’t thankful enough for the child you already have, You don’t even raise the child you have completely right why in the world would He give you another one, That child would have probably grown up to be a mass murderer, See this is still my world and I do any and everything I want….. Well all of that is UNTRUE. God shared with me some of the plans He had for my precious precious baby. They were ALL GOOD PLANS. God would never hurt me. He DIED so that He could redeem me from the death I had earned. AN ENEMY HAS DONE THIS!!!! He is to blame for pain and suffering. If it wasn’t for Jesus this pain and suffering would never have any relief or comfort. Because of Him I will meet my baby in Heaven. We will be together with Jesus for all eternity.
I pray you have time to read this: http://www.whiteestate.org/books/da/da79.html
It is a reading on the final statement of Jesus: “It is Finished” it gives SUCH HOPE and it discusses why the suffering continues.
Also a reading on the Valley of Baca
Love you. talk to you later.
There is no book like the Bible.
There is none like it when your head is aching
There is none like it when the day is without the sun, and the night without its stars.
There is nothing like it when your children are left motherless.
There is none like it when you bury your baby.
There is none like it when the springs of life are snapping.
There is none like it when you reach the end of life’s journey and pillow your head on its promises, and God stoops and kisses you to sleep.- HMS Richards
I’m so sorry for your losses and the ensuing struggle with your faith – I can’t imagine either, since I’ve as yet to experience pregnancy in my life and am not myself religious. But I can relate to the frustration and even anger when you think about all the undeserving people who pop out babies left and right – think nothing of it, abuse and neglect them. Why? Why does this happen? Sometimes I even find myself getting annoyed with people who have a lot of children because I think, why are you so greedy – and maybe there’s some kind of universal imbalance where they’ve taken all the babies and there’s none left for the rest of us. Whatever the reason, we have to believe that we are not meant to remain childless – that, one way or another, our arms are not destined to remain empty. Sending you much love!
This was so beautifully written. I really hope you have been blessed with your rainbow baby by now since this was written several years ago. I stumbled upon your blog after literally googling “why so crackheads have healthy babies?” We had a 2nd trimester miscarriage two and a half months ago and it has eaten me alive and taken so many things that are happy from my life. We are so blessed with love, and laughter, morals and finances. It just seems very unfair and I’m not probably not coping well but I want to scream every time someone says “it’s all part of God’s plan.” I can safely say, going from a super sweet, blissfully happy pregnant lady to a bitter, cold, nervous, angry, paranoid woman who cries over their lost child every day has not been an improvement to my life. I know I’m going to panic for my entire next pregnancy and not be able to breathe easy. I will probably be that psychotic mother that won’t let their child do the monkey bars on the playground. Don’t get me wrong – I loved your post. It’s so great and I’m so happy that you are able to pull apart this horrible thing that has happened to you and find something positive but it has deeply affected my faith. Not so much my belief in God but my wanting to worship and dedicate my life to someone who would take a sweet, innocent, baby from a loving family and give one to someone who is abusive. I dropped alcohol, pork, cheese, deli meat, caffine…. restricted myself to sleeping on my left side, gave the microwave the boot…. for goodness sake, I had a thermometer in my shower that made sure my water didn’t go above 98 degrees. A week before I lost the baby, my midwife and I were looking at a bouncing, healthy baby on the ultrasound. When I see a woman pregnant and smoking, I want to rage. I really hope in a year, I’m holding our baby and have discovered some meaningful purpose for God taking our healthy baby girl from us but I’m just not there yet.
My rainbow baby is actually 18 months old now! I am so incredibly sorry that you lost your baby girl. I want you to know that you losing your baby wasn’t God’s original plan. I remember when I first found out that my pregnancy with Lucy might be high risk I called my pastor because I wanted to get the word out so everyone could be praying for the baby. His first words were, “I’m so sorry. We live in a fallen world.” I thought it was kind of an odd thing to say but it has brought me so much comfort. Yes, this world is fallen. It isn’t the original world God designed. The world God designed did not include death or tragedy or anything like that. It was only after Adam and Eve sinned that death became a part of the world. That’s what God tried to warn them about, but they didn’t listen. God was and is devastated at this fallen world of His. He was devastated when you lost your girl. When one of my children is hurt and broken, I promise you I am hurting even more because I love them so much. That’s how God felt when you lost your daughter, He hates death and He hates to see you hurt. He loves you like you love your children. Thankfully He does promise to bring good out of our tragedies and even thought your daughter died, that does not mean her influence on this world died, it doesn’t mean that her life wasn’t meaningful. God can use her short life to do amazing things, especially if you continue to trust Him. And I totally understand what you mean when you say this has deeply affected your faith. The same thing happened to me. For a long time I couldn’t even read the Bible because I was so hurt by God and so angry. It was hard to pray. It helped to be honest and say to Him, “I’m angry because you could have saved Lucy but you didn’t. I’m so, so hurt by you. I don’t understand you. I don’t know how to trust you. I don’t feel your love for me right now, it feels like you’ve turned your back on me.” God is big enough to handle our true feelings (He knows how you feel anyway.) Tell Him exactly how you feel but don’t abandon Him either. Feelings are not to be trusted. They are real, they are strong, they can sweep you off your feet, but your faith in God is a decision and it doesn’t have to be based on how you are feeling. I would say, “I’m angry at you God, I’m hurt and I’m scared of you. I don’t know what you’re going to allow in my life next, but I am deciding to trust you. I trust you.” You will get through this, your girl will never fade in your heart, even as your grief eases and joy returns. Joy will return, by the way, and your trust in God will grow even stronger after this. Every day you get through it one day closer to healing, one day closer to heaven, one day closer to your daughter.