By: Gracie K. Harold
Trigger Word Warning: miscarriage, grief. ***Kudos to V.I.Pets for allowing me to photograph the crickets***
A cricket was in my bathroom the other day. I was busy, and caught its leaping out of the corner of my eye. I was the only person home at the time, so I quickly grabbed an empty vinegar bottle, trapped the cricket underneath it, and went about my business. I was so intently preoccupied with other things that I completely pushed all thoughts of the cricket out of my mind…until today.
I wasn’t feeling very well, so I curled up in bed to take a nap. I was almost asleep when I heard the creepiest little scratching sound. I was perplexed for a few moments, and then I remembered the cricket. That poor critter! I had originally intended to catch and release that bug as soon as possible; and completely forgot all about it.
I pulled myself out of bed and found a jar to transport the cricket outside. When I took off the empty plastic jug, it didn’t even jump; it merely scooted into the jar. I brought the bug out to the garden and gently pushed it onto the ground. I returned inside, only to realize that the cricket is an allegory for how I handled my miscarriage.
I was in utter shock when it happened, and I surrendered to fear and worry. I didn’t tell James right away. I didn’t tell my Dr. Instead, I lived in denial. Finally, I couldn’t bear keeping the truth from my dear husband anymore. What a fool I was to fear his reaction. He has been so tenderhearted and kind and strong through everything.
Kind of like me trying to cover up a cricket with a plastic jug, huh? It is rather ridiculous. Honestly, so often I say to God, “Are you sure you still want to use me? I am so foolish….so often!” All I can say is thank God for His grace (and his sense of humor)!
On a more serious note, though, I think so often as Christians, we fall in to the same trap with our grief. We stick it down deep and refuse to face it or even admit how we are really feeling. Trust me; denial gets you nowhere. It will only cause more complications until the issue is dealt with.
It was so humbling and painful the night I told James what happened with the miscarriage and asked his forgiveness for not telling him sooner. What a merciful man to forgive me immediately. What a foolish thing for me not to trust him to handle this by God’s grace.
We have been so engulfed by love and thoughtfulness. So many have sent us encouraging notes, or hugged me, and prayed for us. Every single one of our children’s teachers individually let me know that they are praying for us. Some of the children’s friends have also encouraged us.
I’m learning that when I’m honest in my grief without letting it control me, I’m able to worship and trust through my pain. The other night I was hit hard by the loss of my expectations; we had been to a store and I was lamenting to James how we didn’t get to see our little boy toddle over to us, hear him coo, count his little baby toes, or smell his hair as he snuggled into our shoulders and fell asleep. James simply held me while I sobbed, and we wept. Then he was choked up and teary eyed as he said, “Do you know what God showed me today? We are so sad about everything we are missing with our son; but we are forgetting to rejoice in everything he is experiencing right now. No pain, no sickness, no sin…” He’s right.
Tears are healthy. They are strong. It takes courage to admit when we hurt, instead of stuffing our emotions like they are an inconvenient nuisance. Jesus wept. After Lazarus died, and Jesus saw the grief of those around him, Jesus wept. Jesus knew Lazarus was coming back to life, and he still cried. If the Savior and Creator of the Universe can cry when someone dies, we can also. However, Christ didn’t stay stuck in his grief. He didn’t let it consume him or control him. He still stayed intently focused on His purpose. He fulfilled His purpose while staying authentic and genuinely honest about his grief, sorrow and pain.
This morning I had a dream that James and I had our baby boy in a bassinet. We watched him sleep a little while, and then he started crying. We picked him up, and took turns holding him, resting his head on our shoulders, and just snuggling him. Then we placed him inside an old-fashioned buggy stroller, and we pushed it into this bright expanse of a room. Father God was on His throne, but He rose when we walked in, and he asked us, “What did you bring for me, my children?” Together, we said, “Here’s our son, Father. He’s yours.” He bent down to pick up our little baby. He held our baby, and He laughed adoringly after every happy coo that Samuel made.
I woke up this morning with an overwhelming peace. I miss my baby; I miss not being pregnant, and not being able to watch him grow up. I’m sure that certain things will trigger my grief and I’m positive that I’ll start crying again. That’s okay. I know that God has hold of my baby. I know that God’s big enough to have hold of me too. He’s big enough to hold you as well…why don’t you join us?
Tell him your pain. Be honest, trusting that He’s big enough to handle your grief. Remember, Jesus wept.
Give yourself permission to grieve. You are allowed to take time to heal. Just please don’t make my mistake by trying to hide a cricket under a plastic jug. Eventually, it will make itself known, and you’ll have to pull yourself out of bed to deal with it.