The Heart of a Mother – Part 4
By: Gracie K. Harold
Trigger Word Warning: miscarriage, grief, blended family
My last three posts have chronicled my journey into and through motherhood thus far. Today’s post will transparently bring you up to speed on our current “adjustments to normal”.
Not long ago, James and I were shocked to discover that I had miscarried. We thought we were done having kids. We were content with the children we have, and yet losing this child surprised me with the amount of grief I experienced.
How can you miss someone so much when you never even got to hold them? After my first miscarriage 15 years ago, I thought I had this grieving thing figured out. I don’t. I am learning that my grief sometimes reflects my fears and insecurities.
James loves me so purely, so tenderly, so compassionately; that sometimes I run emotionally in fear that he will reject me like my ex-husband did. Last night, I blew it with James. Horribly. The bottom line is instead of trusting his love for me; I feared his rejection and hatred of me, so I hurt him with words I can never take back. I love James more than any other man I have ever loved. Oh foolish heart! When will I learn to trust that I am loved? This is not my first marriage again. This is a new creation, a new wedding with a good man who loves me.
I am the bride of my beloved.
Even now, in this new grief and with the questions that I am wrestling with, I desire to unflinchingly look God in the eye and ask what in the world this will accomplish. I hurt. A baby was the last thing James and I were planning for, but now that this little person is gone; I just want to meet him and hold him.
This last weekend, James held me as I sobbed. Afterwards, I looked at him and asked, “A baby was the last thing we wanted right now. We already have 7 kids! But why on earth does it hurt so badly to lose him before we even got to know he was there? Why am I grieving so hard?” James was choked up as he said, “It’s because you have the heart of a mother.” I am sobbing all over again as I write this.
James’s grief is totally different from mine. I really have had a hard time with that. I thought that maybe he didn’t want a baby with me, or he was pulling away from me, or maybe even starting to despise me because I had gotten pregnant. This morning, I was pouring out my heart to God about it all. Last night my beloved husband reassured me that he loves me. He has no intention of leaving me. He loves all of our kids. He enjoys my companionship. God reminded me of all that James said and did last night to minister to me. Then God very clearly impressed the following on my soul:
A miscarriage isn’t the baby rejecting you as a mother, or God rejecting you as a mother. Your spouse/significant other may grieve differently than you do. Grieving differently doesn’t mean that he is rejecting you as a mother, or that he didn’t/doesn’t want to experience life beside you anymore. It just means that death is a painful part of life. When you grieve, Christ patiently holds you and walks beside you. Just don’t let your grief become the “boss of your life”, or the center of your focus.
BRING YOUR GRIEF TO THE CREATOR VULNERABLY & AUTHENTICALLY, TRUSTING THAT HE’S BIG ENOUGH TO HANDLE HOW TO NAVIGATE YOUR EMOTIONS WHEN YOUR HEART FEELS SHATTERED.
So that’s what we have been doing. James and I met with our pastor, and had a quiet baby dedication for our son. We named him Samuel Nathan. Samuel means, “Heard by God” and Nathan means “an unexpected gift of God”. Even as we grieve never getting to hold him, we know that God is holding him.
At first, I was hesitant to tell the children. A very close friend gently chided me to remember not to shield my kids unnecessarily. He pointed out that we naturally desire our lives to look glossy and smooth. He reminded me that my kids will learn how to grieve by seeing the honesty of their mother. He is right.
We sat the children down and told them about Samuel. I had purchased a balloon that said “baby boy”, and we all took turns writing on it in permanent marker. We cried, prayed and then went outside to release the balloon up into the sky.
We have days that are harder than others, and we have days that surprise us because they are easier than anticipated.
If my grief is calm and still, or if my grief is overwhelming, I know that either way, no matter what, I am still a mother…whether or not all my children are with me.
Thank God he gave me the heart of a mother!