WHEN THE WOMB IS EMPTY

Posted: December 10, 2012 in baby, birth, Daily Life, Daily Living, Marriage, miscarriage, Parenting, pregnancy, still birth, Uncategorized

loss

Pastor to Pastor:  Coming alongside those who experience a miscarriage, stillbirth, and/or abortion.

Many women, many couples experience the loss of a child or children through miscarriages and stillbirths. We need to help them find and feel the freedom to grieve the loss of the child they will not hold until heaven. Often they remain silent in their loss, either not fully understanding it themselves, or fearing the unkind and insensitive comments of people who respond to their loss. The result is emotional, social, and even physical isolation.

Life begins at conception. Conception occurs in the fallopian tube even prior to implantation in the uterine wall. When a child is lost from the womb for any reason we need to understand that a child has indeed died and the parent(s) will experience extreme loss and grief. Often the father cannot “feel” the loss as much as the mother whose fullness of heart and womb is now replaced with emptiness.

 Teach your people about the sanctity of life.Here are a few of the essentials that I believe and teach from the Scriptures:
o Life does begin at conception. The baby is alive.
o Life belongs to God.
o The “embryo” is a baby complete with soul and spirit.
o The child is in the image of God.
o Children who die in miscarriage or stillbirth are in heaven with Jesus.

 Create an atmosphere of acceptance that encourages disclosure.Realize that once this type of loss occurs, no future pregnancy will ever be the same again. Fear of another loss will always be there. Do you do child dedications? Then perhaps on days like that or on Mother’s Day (and Father’s Day) you could have a bouquet of white roses in honor of those who have lost children and in honor of the children.
Educate your people on what not to say. A book could be written about the insensitive things people say. If you do not know what they are, then spend time with a couples who have lost a child this way and with those who have struggled with conceiving a child. Kenny, the list of right things to say is short: “I am sorry for your loss. I am praying for you.” Send cards with those sentiments of love and go no further in your comments.

 Spend time as Christ would with the parent(s) who have lost a child.Be there for them. Often this can drive a couple apart rather than bringing them together. Help them heal and pray together. You already know that your presence means more than your words. Be Jesus to them.

 Encourage them to give their child a name.One of the most helpful practices I have engaged in is to encourage the parent(s) to name their child. Some have heard the heart beat or have seen an ultrasound. Their child (I believe) is in heaven.
But what if they do not know the gender of the child? Without meaning to be presumptuous, pray with them and ask our God to show them their child in their mind. He always has honored that prayer. Often the mom knows from the heart rate, etc.

One courageous couple, Derric and Kara, who have struggled for five years to conceive a child only to then lose two in the same year, have taught me much about this process of healing. They lost a daughter four months into the pregnancy and then a son, Koen Job, shortly into another. This is what they wrote about and to their daughter:

A Tribute to Our Daughter: Moriah Faith God is my teacher to trust
[used with permission]
Moriah, you were such a joy, even if it was for a short moment of our lives. Your tiny body fills my mind and makes me smile. You are our first child, yet we never got to hold you. I am jealous of those angels that carry you, and I wish you were here. I would never change having you inside me even though I never got to kiss you.
After you left I was so broken that I had no reason to live. I just wanted to go to heaven and be a mommy. I didn’t know how to go on or what there was to go on for. Even though you are in heaven and I am here, you see me. I want to make you proud. I want to do the will of God, and I needed to let go of you and release you to Him. It sounds so silly but you were still mine until I surrendered you.
So we named you. Your name means “God is my teacher to trust.” I think of you always, and I needed your meaning to be important. Even though I will probably never understand why God took you, He is a good God.
I needed to learn from your life and share it with others. You have taught your mommy so much my darling girl. You have taught me that fear doesn’t change reality and having true faith is the only way to really live. I learned to have hope always; without hope we have nothing. Life is so fragile and short, and I learned to live instead of exist. I learned that God does love me, He loves ME the way I am, just as I love you. I have learned to understand grief on a whole different level. I have learned to take risks even when I don’t have control of the outcome.
Who thinks they will outlive their children? It is every parent’s fear and so many people try and minimize others pain in the loss of a child. I pray that I will be compassionate to others in their distress.
Moriah, thank you for allowing me to learn so many lessons through your life. I miss my lovely girl forever, and I will never forget you. I will hold you someday. I will braid your curly dark hair and stare into your blue eyes. I want to make you proud until we meet in heaven.
All my love, Mommy

Names have meaning and bring genuine hope to hurting people. People (we) need to understand and embrace the truth that their children are in heaven awaiting the day they will be united with their parents. The mystery is great. Do they grow up in heaven and to what age? We do not know. What we do know is they are alive and with Christ awaiting the New Heaven and the New earth.


 Help them grieve.
Whenever we grieve, we need to grieve specifically, naming the specifics that have been lost to us: a child’s touch, live birth, the future, and all that they can name. Grieve specifically and God will heal specifically. Help them connect with others who have gone through similar losses. Empathy is more helpful than sympathy.

Help them live.
Encourage them. Realize that efforts to conceive and any pregnancy that follows will be difficult and different than before. Someone said we should live by faith, be known for our love, and be the voice of hope. Some will be afraid to try. That is okay, but help them find the courage to trust God and His goodness through it all.

 Learn from them.Here is an excerpt from an interview with Derric and Kara that was shared with our church. These are some of the comments they made at the end when I asked them to share with those who were brokenhearted:
o There are a lot of questions that will only be answered in heaven. Try not to answer all of them here on earth because then you could be focusing on something that will never be productive for growth and for living. Don’t try and answer others’ questions because you don’t know the answers that only God knows.
o We have been grieving for five years now and since our babies have gone to heaven, the grief is intense this year. There are so many emotions that you go through: shock, denial, anger, sadness, depression. It is easy to feel guilty about feeling these things and wish they would go away. God doesn’t want us to do that, He wants us to cry out to Him, to be totally honest with Him. He is our Father and He wants to hold and comfort His children.
o Satan is ruthless and likes to kick you when you are down. I believed
many things about myself that weren’t true, that were all lies that were paralyzing my ability to live the way God wants me to. These false beliefs still pop their ugly head in, but I am now able to see the false beliefs faster and replace them with the Lord’s truth.
o We cannot control our circumstances. All I can do is make the best with what I have been given. God wants to see how I will respond to my circumstances but it doesn’t mean He is happy I am in them. This fallen world will never be fair, I guess that is why it isn’t heaven.
o God is not punishing you.
This same couple sent me the lyrics to a Casting Crown’s song as a thank you. It also has a beautiful message for both the healer and the hurting.


Love Them Like Jesus
The love of her life is drifting away; They’re losing the fight for another day
The life that she’s known is falling apart; A fatherless home, a child’s broken heart
You’re holding her hand, you’re straining for words
You’re trying to make sense of it all
She’s desperate for hope, darkness clouding her view; She’s looking to you
Just love her like Jesus, carry her to Him; His yoke is easy, His burden is light
You don’t need the answers to all of life’s questions
Just know that He loves her and stay by her side
Love her like Jesus; Love her like Jesus
The gifts lie in wait, in a room painted blue
Little blessing from Heaven would be there soon
Hope fades in the night, blue skies turn to gray as the little one slips away
You’re holding their hand, you’re straining for words
You’re trying to make sense of it all
They’re desperate for hope, darkness clouding their view; They’re looking to you
Just love them like Jesus, carry them to Him ; His yoke is easy, His burden is light
You don’t need the answers to all of life’s questions
Just know that He loves them and stay by their side; Love them like Jesus
Lord of all creation holds our lives in His hands
The God of all the nations holds our lives in His hands
The Rock of our salvation holds our lives in His hands
He cares for them just as He cares for you
So love them like Jesus, love them like Jesus
You don’t need the answers to all of life’s questions
Just know that He loves them and stay by their side
Love them like Jesus; Love them like Jesus
Mark Hall: ©2005 Club 20 Music [BMI];
[Adm. by EMI CMG Publishing / Word Music LLC (ASCAP)
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NOTES:

Comments
  1. Reblogged this on Real Life Ministries USA and commented:

    Because of the huge interest and the great importance of the topic and information provided we are re-posting When The Womb Is Empty

  2. Re-blogging because of the need and desires of those who have experienced the loss of a precious child.