By Jessalyn Hutto
There was a time when miscarriage seemed like a foreign concept to me. I was young, recently married and could see only beautiful, healthy babies in my future. Yes, I had heard scary stories of women experiencing miscarriage. I had even been discipled by a woman who experienced the pain of multiple pregnancy losses (one of which I was privileged to see her bravely grieve through). And yet, I never thought it would happen to me.
My rosy perceptions of pregnancy all too quickly fell to pieces when we lost our first baby and they were completely crushed several years later when we lost another precious child at 17 weeks. Miscarriage had unforeseeably become a part of my reproductive story, and more importantly my spiritual story.
As I remember these painful experiences, I find myself grateful for the faithful men and women who poured their knowledge of our God into me as a young Christian. The Lord placed wise and gracious mentors in my path who stressed the importance of having a solid theological foundation to build my life upon. It was this theological foundation-this knowledge of our loving God-that prepared me to walk through these unforeseen and seemingly unbearable trials.
Knowing the Sovereignty of God
No one plans to lose the baby they carry within them. On the contrary, when we find that life is growing within our wombs, we nurture not only the baby, but plans for their future, hopes for our families, and dreams for our lives together. When tragedy strikes these plans, hopes, and dreams are altogether crushed. It can be tempting to forget that the situation is not outside the Lord’s good providence.
The Bible does not paint God as a passive observer or an impotent demigod. No, this God we worship and have come to love through the saving work of Christ is the sovereign God of the universe! He upholds the sun and moon by the strength of his word and yet knows the exact number of hairs on your head at this very moment. We are told in Colossians 1:17 that Christ “is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Indeed, nothing comes to pass without the consent of our sovereign God including what occurs within our wombs. Consider this beloved passage from Psalm 139:
“For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them” (Psalm 139:13-16).
While it is often quoted for its beautiful description of the Lord’s handiwork in the creation of new life, this passage also teaches us that he is sovereign over the length of every life. Because of this truth, we can have confidence that our babies’ lives and deaths have purpose in God’s perfect plan. We can find comfort in his sovereignty over the situation.
Knowing the Goodness of God
The sovereignty of our Lord can only comfort us as we go through trials because he is also infinitely good. If we couldn’t trust him to do the best thing at all times, his power and control would be terrifying. A miscarriage is a terrible trial. Losing a baby who is growing within you is horrifying. Unless we can trust that the God who controls all things is doing good things, we will only find bitterness and anger as a result of knowing he is sovereign.
And yet the scriptures repeatedly tell us that the Lord is indeed good. “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him” (Psalm 34:8). His goodness means that he only does what is worthy of his compassionate, just, kind, wise and loving character. He cannot deny himself.
Not only is God the very definition of goodness, he also works all things together for our good (Romans 8:28). This includes even the worst of circumstances–even the passing of a baby who we’ve yet to cradle in our arms. Although it may make no sense to us and although we cannot possibly hope to fully understand it, we can have confidence that even while we are experiencing a miscarriage, God is good and does good (Psalm 119:68).
Knowing the Love of God
Of course there is nothing so comforting to the woman who miscarries as the knowledge of God’s perfect and boundless love (Psalm 13:5).
We can trust the providence of the Lord and have confidence in his good plan because we know how much he loves us. We are told in the scriptures that “God so loved the world [you and I], that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). While we were yet his enemies he set his love upon us and sacrificed his own eternal son for our sake (Romans 5:8).
Surely, the God who loved us to this extreme will not allow anything to happen that is not intended for good–even the death of a precious babe. Paul makes this exact point in Romans 8 when he says: “He who did not spare his own son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” He goes on to say:
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
For those who are in Christ nothing—including the painful experience of a miscarriage—can separate us from the incredible love of God. It is this love that comforts, steadies, and strengthens our souls when we feel the weight of such a devastating loss. As we lift our eyes from the pit of despair, we see our God who is loving, good, and sovereign. We see a savior we can trust and run to even in the darkest of times.
My experiences with miscarriage were, in all honesty, devastating. Yet, because of God’s perfect, holy character, I was not overwhelmed or destroyed by them. I have walked through those fiery trials not alone, but with my creator and savior, and he has made all the difference.
Jessalyn Hutto blogs regularly at Desiring Virtue (www.desiringvirtue.com) where she passionately encourages women to dig into the Word of God and apply it to their lives. Jessalyn lives in Texas with her husband, Richard, and three precious little boys: Elliot, Hudson, and Owen. You can connect with her on Twitter (https://twitter.com/
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