by Anna Kettle
It was December 2017 when my family plans were first turned upside down by a sudden and unexpected miscarriage. My son Ben was two and a half, and settling into preschool well, so it felt like the perfect time to expand our family.
We got pregnant straight away and everything was unfolding fine… until I discovered some bleeding somewhere around 8 weeks.
Experiencing a miscarriage felt so hard and unexpected. Although I knew the experience was common, I never dreamed it would happen to me. I guess no one ever really does. But as that first miscarriage gradually developed into a series of recurrent miscarriages, loss layered on top of loss and left me feeling angry, anxious and undone.
From a young age, I’d always imagined myself in a home filled with several kids, but suddenly nothing about that future was certain, and it left me feeling completely crushed and let down by God. I couldn’t understand how He could let something like this happen to me and my husband – not just once, but again and again.
Did He see what was happening to us? Why wasn’t He answering our prayers? Why did He seem so silent? Did He even care about us at all? I had no answers at all.
Did God Cause My Miscarriage?
It wasn’t exactly that I was blaming God for my miscarriages. Deep down, I didn’t believe He had actually caused them, but He didn’t exactly step in and stop them either. And He definitely didn’t seem in any rush to fix it by giving us that rainbow baby we so longed for.
I knew God was able to do all these things and more, so when He didn’t do them for us, that really stung. Suddenly I found myself unable to go to church and sing songs of worship, or even pray in the ways I always had before. The words would just stick in my throat, as tears of frustration and disappointment rolled down my face.
At times I wondered if my faith was unravelling completely. Did I even believe in God anymore? The truth was I needed time to process my grief, and space to explore a theology around all that loss.
In the months that followed, I found myself endlessly reading and journaling and blogging and wrestling with scripture, in the face of all my questions and doubts. It took some time, but slowly I began to excavate the truths I needed to know in order to heal and move forwards in my faith.
5 Life-Changing Truths About Miscarriage Grief
1.God didn’t cause my miscarriage.
People can use the strangest cliches when someone has experienced a miscarriage. Some of the most common I’ve heard include, “Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be,” “Just trust in God’s timing” or “Perhaps God has a better plan.”
While I know comments like this are well-meaning and intended to offer solace, they are unhelpful and unbiblical. If God is the creator of all things and nothing exists except from Him (John 1:3), then how can a pregnancy ever be described as “not His plan?”
Would God create a brand-new life, only to snuff it out just a few weeks later? Was it all part of a spiritual lesson He wanted to teach that poor mother?
Scripture is clear that miscarriage was never a part of God’s design for our lives. Like all forms of sickness and death, it’s a direct result of the fall. In fact, pain in childbearing is directly referenced as one of the consequences of Adam’s and Eve’s disobedience (Genesis 3:16, ESV), and sadly for many women, that pain is far more severe and long-lasting than mere birth contractions.
It’s easy to blame God when we’re hurting—but miscarriage does not originate with the author of life. Instead, it’s a part of the curse of sin He sent Jesus to remove.
2. God is okay with our questions about loss.
Loss often raises big spiritual questions about who God is, and how He feels about us. As uncomfortable as it might feel, we should never be tempted to ignore them or to hide them away.
God can handle our big questions and raw emotions. The Bible says He already knows all of our thoughts from afar (Psalm 139:2). He isn’t shocked or surprised by them at all.
Just look at some of the Old Testament books of the Bible like Psalms, Lamentations or Job if you’re not convinced this is true! These books are full of lament and complaint towards God in the face of their author’s struggles. None of these writers held back their feelings before God—and neither should we either.
Even Jesus experienced moments of lament when He walked on earth. As He hung on the cross, contemplating His own death and separation from God, He uttered these words: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)
What an incredible and reassuring thought that even the divine would question the divine in the face of His human pain and suffering.
3. God draws near to us in our loss.
Not only does the Bible show God never wanted death to be part of our human experience, it also reassures us He cares about our grief and pain. And not in some distant or disconnected way either. He promises to be our comfort and draw near to us in our grief.
Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves all those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 56:8 states, “You keep track of all my sorrows.You have collected all my tears in your bottle,” a beautiful picture of how intimately God cares about our loss.
Perhaps the greatest reassurance we have that God never abandons us in the midst of our loss and grief is found in John 11:35. Written about the death of His close friend Lazarus, it simply says that “Jesus wept.”
What an incredible reminder that in Jesus we have a Saviour who doesn’t just sympathise with our pain from afar. We have assurance that Jesus fully understands because He has walked this same path of grief too—and He beckons us, “Come, follow me.”
4. God offers us hope in our loss.
In the baby loss community, hope is often holding a rainbow baby. Even in churches and faith communities, hope is understood in terms of answered prayers and healing.
Where does this leave those who never get the outcome hoped for—at least not in this lifetime? The grieving need a hope in more than hoped-for outcomes. They need a hope that’s certain, a hope that stretches beyond the grave.
The good news is as a Christian, it’s possible to know this kind of hope and peace even in the midst of the darkest grief—a hope that comes from knowing death is not the final ending to our stories. He promises to make all things new again (Revelations 21:5, ESV).
Of course, that doesn’t make losses any less painful in the here and now. We can’t by-pass that grief because we still miss our babies and long for them to be with us. But there is also incredible comfort in looking forwards to heaven, and knowing we will hold our babies someday in eternity.
5. God is able to redeem our loss.
Although miscarriage and grief are not things anyone would choose as part of their story, what we do with them is a choice. We have two options—take our pain to God, or allow it to push us away.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 describes “the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” Since my own miscarriages, I have met so many brave moms and dads who have chosen to do exactly that after loss.
If we allow God to meet us and heal us in our grief, it has a multiplying effect. Through my own loss journey I’ve discovered an empathy for other grieving moms I would never have had before. So much so, that last year I helped set up a miscarriage network with a couple of friends to support other moms struggling with similar things.
I would never have chosen recurrent miscarriage to be a part of my story. But I also know if I had never walked through all of that grief and loss, there would be parts of God’s character I would never have experienced either.
Anna Kettle is an author, podcaster, speaker, award-winning marketing professional and co-founder of SPACE, a miscarriage and infertility support network. Her first book is Sand Between Your Toes: Inspirations for a Slower, Simpler, More Soulful Life. Anna writes and speaks about miscarriage, infertility, grief and hope. She lives in Liverpool, England with husband Andy and son Ben. www.annakettle.com IG@annakettlewrites.