Since I often talk about the importance of getting into the Word, I started a series where I share one scripture or passage of scripture each Wednesday and talk about why it has meant so much to me. I hope it encourages you to get into the Word and to use these scriptures as starting points perhaps, but to also find meaningful things in the Bible on your own as well.
Ever since my first miscarriage I feel like I've been on a roller coaster; highs and lows that I feel are out of my control. But I've noticed there is one thing that keeps me stable, and that is God's Word. Hebrews 4:12 says that it is ALIVE, meaning that we can interact and engage with it! When you open His Word with an open mind, He will fill it as you read and you will walk away feeling encouraged, challenged, peaceful, and joyful no matter your earthly circumstances!
Blessed are they that mourn:
for they shall be comforted.
| MATTHEW 5:4 |
Before my first miscarriage in November 2015 I had never really mourned deeply over anything. I was very close to my grandmother and when she died I grieved that loss, but she was sick and I was genuinely thankful that she was no longer suffering even though I still miss her so much. Plus losing your grandmother is expected, losing your baby is not. When I found out our baby was no longer with us, my heart shattered for the very first time.
I had never experienced a broken heart, therefore all of the scriptures about mourning had always just been words on a page. Several years earlier I had memorized the Beatitudes and had barely given any thought towards verse four because I had no idea what it meant to mourn. I had no need to be comforted.
But on November 15th, 2015 I had many reasons to mourn. My first miscarriage occurred naturally (unlike my second where I had a D&C) and I've never been through anything more traumatic. Aside from the physical pain, I felt so many emotions at once and had no idea how to process any of them. I texted two friends that night on my way home from the hospital to let them know what had happened. The only reason I texted them was because they knew I left church to go to the hospital and were waiting to hear how I was. I couldn't even tell my parents, I made Michael call them because I knew I couldn't get the words out on my own.
After texting my two friends the news I turned my phone off because I didn't want to talk to anyone. Over the next few days I slowly told more people about what had happened and finally we made an announcement on Facebook (since we had already announced our pregnancy on social media). Even though it was painful to share the news, God's comfort met us right in the midst of it all in ways I never would have expected.
Up until that point in my life I literally couldn't even grasp what it meant for God to comfort me. Five days after my loss I posted the picture of Matthew 5:4 handlettered above on Instagram with this caption:
"I used to read this verse and I always thought that this was referencing God's peace that surpasses our understanding. But in these last few days I've come to learn that God uses many different things to comfort you as you mourn. I'm so thankful for the peace that seems to unexplainably settle over you when you need it the most. But it also comes in ways that I didn't expect, like the perfect text message at the perfect time or a card in the mail. God has used some of my best friends to comfort me by giving them the perfect thing to say at the perfect time and I am so, so thankful."
My eyes were opened to an entirely new realm of the way God works. He uses what He knows will comfort us the most when we need it the most. After my first miscarriage I grew in ways that are only possible through suffering and God used His children so often to comfort me; it was truly amazing! The first few weeks after my loss, my sisters in Christ are what kept me afloat!
So after my second miscarriage I expected something similar to happen. I felt like many of my friends had never stopped walking by my side since my first loss, and they were all there for me. But I felt lonely and isolated and for some reason God was not comforting me the way He had the first time. It took me a really long time to figure out that He was still comforting me, but He was comforting me in new ways; ways that He knew were good for me and what I needed. But I mistakenly thought that if He wasn't comforting me the same way He always had then He must not be comforting me.
As humans we often equate pain's presence as God's absence; we associate comfort with relief from pain, but that is not how God defines it. God's way of comforting us is by being near to us in the pain. He may use all sorts of methods to accomplish this, but it all boils down to His presence. His presence is what fills the voids, goes deeper than pain, and comforts us. As I grew spiritually He was no longer just going to hand His comfort to me on a silver platter, He wanted me to learn that my comfort was found in Him (not people or things) and to go to Him.
It kind of felt like tough love. But I slowly and quite painfully learned that God wasn't being silent and withholding His comfort from me, He was trying to show me that if I would just go to Him and read the Word that He has breathed out, I would find endless comfort. And it's true, every time I open that great Book I hear from Him and He gives me just what I need to get through another day.
Remember to check out what my friend Anne Marie is doing over at The Loved Bible Project! She wrote this sweet post about Wednesdays In The Word and how we are teaming up! Each week I will continue to post about a scripture that has helped me in my time of loss and Anne Marie is going to make a free printable that you can find in her Resources page! We encourage you to print it out and spend time soaking in God's Word as you decorate it and then include it in your own Bible or start working on a Loved Bible!