Monday, March 12, 2012
Have you ever heard of such a thing...or experienced one? On a recent Sunday morning, I had just such an appointment. The headache I developed that day was turning into more than just an uncomfortable inconvenience. As I stood in the front of the church, leading music alongside my daughter and our worship leader, my head began to hurt. By the time the music had finished, I went straight to my husbands office to get into quiet surroundings and give the discomfort every opportunity to leave the premises of my head before I needed to teach Sunday school. Even though I hurt during class, the lesson went rather well but I decided not to be part of the worship music team in late service because of my pounding head. I waited till my husband stood up to deliver his sermon, slipped into my regular spot in the back pew right next to my hairdresser Kirk (who is one of my best ‘girlfriends’). As Joe started speaking, I looked at Kirk and told him there was no way I could “sit through this.” No, I wasn’t under conviction...I was just in pain.
I sat in a chair just outside our sanctuary where the sound was much easier to bear and listened to my pastor. About five minutes into the sermon, a young woman appeared in the hallway. I hadn’t seen her for weeks because she is in a job that keeps her away from our little town quite a lot.
She asked if we could talk and I realized right away that she was on the verge of tears as she looked at me. Her first words were, “I think you're the only one who can understand how I’m hurting...” as her words gave way to tears. I spoke her name and asked if she’d had a miscarriage. She nodded, held up two fingers, and then we just hugged and cried.
It was as if God had allowed that headache. I know He didn’t cause it, but He certainly used it. Had I not been sitting there, my precious hurting friend would not have had someone there who knew exactly how she felt. We were having a ‘divine appointment’ right there in the hall of our church! At the moment I’m writing this blog, I’m thankful for that awful headache!
I took my friend into my husband’s office where we could have some privacy. This dear girl had two miscarriages in the last year. She knew that I’d experienced multiple miscarriages and felt that I could help her. I certainly pray that I did...
People want so much to be able to say something to one who has experienced this kind of loss. Words like “at least you know you can get pregnant” or “something must have been wrong with the baby” might make the person feel as though they are comforting the hurting parent. But in my experience, nothing could be further from the truth! Many times over, other women who have experienced lost pregnancies have agreed with me. Let me put it to you this way: Would you go through a line at the funeral home and tell a grieving widow, “at least you know you had a husband” or “there must have been something wrong with him” and that’s why she doesn’t have him anymore?!? Of course not.
In my opinion, this is still a life that ended too soon. Don’t try to smooth things over in an attempt to comfort. It doesn’t help. We don’t need someone to try to smooth things over, we just need someone to listen, hug us and cry with us. There isn’t a single thing, in my opinion, that can make that experience easier to cope with. No, that life didn’t stay around long enough to grow and be born, named and held...but that life was still important. It had a beating heart.
I didn’t try to say anything profound that would make my friend feel better. Instead, we shared a box of tissues as she told me how she was feeling inside and that she was angry with God for letting this happen...not once but twice. I told her that I got angry with God, too. And I stayed mad at Him for a while. I even told Him how angry I was with Him. And when I did, no lightening struck and turned me into a greasy spot on the floor. I was like an upset little girl who couldn’t get what she wanted and made sure that the person who was preventing it would know exactly how I felt. Yes, I even stomped my feet a few times as I cried. I still don’t understand why God allowed me to carry those children under my heart only to NOT allow me to carry them in my arms. I have one wonderful daughter who was a joy to raise and I would have loved every one of her siblings just the same as I did her...but it wasn’t to be. I don’t know why. But I had finally come to the place where I could tell God: “I’m not mad at You anymore. I don’t understand why all this happened but I trust You. I don’t like any of this, but I love You.”
Those are the words I shared with my friend. I hope it helped her find a way to express her feelings freely with her Heavenly Father. He already knows how she feels. After all, His Son died...
Always remember that if you have a pulse, you have a purpose. Make your life count!