"For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb...
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them."
Those words never affected me as much as they did last Tuesday when I read them through my tears. Over and over. In Your book they all were written...when as yet there were none of them. None of them. None of them.
While you were reading my post about the Life of Jesus Christ, thinking how strong I was, how life seemed to be so perfect for me, I felt torn in two. It was first time I had ever experienced loss.
Living on a farm, I've gone through the deaths of many beloved pets. Day-old lambs and goats who died in the midst of the frozen snow before we knew they existed. Long-time dogs who were older than I was; companions who had only one desire - to be caressed, loved, and petted. So many other dear animals have been taken away from us. It's just a fact of life.
But when it's a person—a real human being—the loss is so much deeper.
Last Tuesday, God chose to take my unborn sibling, Kalem, into heaven to live with Him forever in a place with no tears, no pain, and no fear. Our 61-day old baby was miscarried before we ever had the chance to see him.
It was hard. It was painful. It was emotionally draining. That day, it was all I could do to keep the tears at bay and try to be strong. I felt so empty. How can you love someone you've never seen, never even spoken to? How can they break your heart so?
But even during the loss, I learned so, so much. And now, I can honestly say that I wouldn't have traded Kalem's short life for anything. The tears of joy, the smiles, the long nights spent dreaming about him...it was worth the pain of losing him. Kalem’s short life brought so much joy into mine and into many others around me.
This post isn't about me. It isn't about last Tuesday. No, what I really want is just to share what I learned through this trial. The things God showed me. I can only hope that if you are going through a similar valley, these thoughts will encourage you to press on. No matter how painful, heartbreaking, or devastating it might feel.
This is what I learned. This is what Kalem's short life taught me.
He is always with us. Always. As I sat with my Bible after receiving the news, one verse stood out in particular to me.
"Jesus wept."—John 11:35
This is the shortest and probably one of the least appreciated passages in the Bible. Jesus wept. He cried. He felt pain deep inside of Him and had to let it out. He knows what it feels like to lose someone close to your heart. He knows what it feels like to have tears pour down your cheeks. He understands. He is always with us. Let Jesus carry that burden. Sometimes, it's just too heavy to carry yourself.
This verse also shows another truth: it's okay to mourn. In fact, it's good for us. Sometimes, we just need to let our feelings out and be weak, vulnerable, and open. Even the strongest person goes through hard times. It's okay.
I can't even begin to say how priceless the treasure of friends and family is. Everyone was always there for me. Loving, encouraging, praying...the list goes on and on. I got so many emails, so much love, that I was overwhelmed by the great blessing of friendship. They sent me uplifting songs. I received dozens of Bible verses showing God's deep love. They cried with me.
If you are going through a hard time, don't let it get between you and those you love. Instead be open. Share your pain. If they are true friends, they won't be upset that you are a "real person with real troubles." Instead, they will love you and walk with you through the valleys.
I know that millions of families have experienced the loss of an unborn child. Even so, it doesn't seem to make the pain lessen. But as you go through the trial, remember that you are not alone. Ever. People have been where you are. They know what it feels like. Jesus knows what it feels like. Don't push away from them. Extend your arms around them. Be willing to accept their love, prayers, and encouragement.
Don't hang onto the pain. Let it go and embrace Jesus' love. Push on, even when the future looks bleak. Even when the storm seems to drown out the sound of His voice, press on. Keep your eyes fixed on the heavenly prize. Yes, you may have lost someone you love. But they are now in Jesus' arms. Forever. You will see them again.
"I will never leave you nor forsake you."
"I have loved you with an everlasting love."
"Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
"Neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
As one of my favorite songs says,
"So you think He don't know what He's doing
You think He ain't by your side
Well, God knows when you're broken
And He's loving you, He's holding you
So, so tight
So let the rain fall, He'll be standing there
Getting wet with you
You might get cold but you won't be there alone "
—Mandisa Leave it in the Valley
I hope these thoughts helped you to realize the immense love God has for you. I hope now you will be able to honestly say,
"The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
We are all human, and we will all go through difficult circumstances. We will all be weak and vulnerable at times. Instead of falling apart, why don't we stand up with each other and encourage, uplift, and love? Why don't we turn our eyes to Jesus, the Giver of all peace?
Are you going through a hard time? Remember that He won't ever let you down. Ever. And that's a promise.
Have you been through a valley, or are you in one right now? How can I be your friend and pray for you? Comment Below!