It’s staggering to learn that nearly 1 in 3 pregnancies in the US ends in loss*. Did you know that? According to recent statistics, approximately 2 million babies are lost every year out of about 6 million. Frankly, most people don’t give it too much thought. You’re mostly not supposed to talk about it – are you? I sure didn’t used to. Just forget it and move on for goodness’ sake.

But for me, our son Nathan changed everything.

I’m definitely not a ’cause’ type person by nature. You don’t see me out there rallying with my clever sign, forwarding radical emails and lobbying to get everyone to sign on to this or that. And I don’t intend to start now. However, my hope is that by sharing from the heart now and then, albeit unconventionally – whether it be The Story of Nathan, or some other way, the value of each precious human life rises in your eyes.

I include yours without apology.

So just how do nearly 2 million pregnancies end in loss? The majority (60%) are through termination (abortion), yet the next most (30%) are lost through miscarriage. Then there are those lost through ectopic (abnormally placed) pregnancy, stillbirth  and molar pregnancy (degeneration).

What’s any of that got to do with you, especially if you have never personally encountered any of these things? That’s a good question. But let’s focus on the millions who have been affected by one or more losses. Besides, it’s about a third of the population and someone you know WELL has been dramatically affected, trust me. (When we started sharing the Story of Nathan, one of the most amazing things has been the way people start to share their own stories. Dozens and dozens and dozens have contacted us to relay their own experiences from as far back as over 40 years ago. Some had barely told a soul, yet many still felt pain sharing.)

Frequently, those touched by one of these situations aren’t sure how to handle it. We weren’t. Our loss was so unexpected, so horrific, what were we to do? Suddenly we were firsthand witnesses of a tragic event (full term stillbirth) that would forever alter our lives.

But the reality is that somewhere in the US it’s happening to someone, in fact many, right now.

Often loss doesn’t set in right away. Some who have terminated one, or even multiple pregnancies, later come to believe that in fact the fetus was a person with a destiny and a soul. When that belief hits them, they are usually  overcome with grief, at least temporarily. So wouldn’t it be easier and better to not think like that?

Here’s what one of the nurses told us about the medical team, parents and families they interact with almost daily: NO ONE seems to know how to handle it right off, emotionally or spiritually. Some just discard the life as if it never was one and go out for tea and scones, laughing and joking as if it’s just another day. Others rush to bury the memory so fast they later regret how they handled it. Others grieve so deeply they seem to never get past the loss. Still others cope in numerous different ways. We’ve heard all kinds. I’m not here to tell you what’s best. However, many approaches leave pain and unanswered questions growing hurt somewhere deep inside, which is still waiting to explode one day.

Questions flood your mind. I mean, if you have a miscarriage or stillborn, are you supposed to have a funeral? Well what if the child was less than 20 weeks? Less than 10 weeks? Do you remember them on their birthday? How? Was there anything that could have been done differently? Was the whole thing a mistake? Why did this happen to me? Surely there couldn’t be a God if He would let my child die. Am I a bad person?

I know there are lots of questions, because I’ve had many of them myself. But rather than go on in more detail as may seem fitting, I simply want to leave you with this:

  1. I want you to know that each and every child past conception is a tremendously valuable life – just like yours.
  2. I want you to know that if you have lost a child, intentionally or otherwise, it’s going to be okay, and if you follow the Way to heaven you will see them again.
  3. I want you to know that life is a precious opportunity, your destiny is amazing and your future can unfold in a brave new direction if you are willing to step into it.
  4. I want you to know that a deadly Giant roams about trying to steal precious lives and convince people life has little value – and – one day this Giant will fall.
  5. I want you to know that if you have unresolved hurt concerning loss it’s healing to share and you’ll help others while you’re at it.
* Source: http://www.americanpregnancy.org
Posted in Abortion, Coping With Loss, Destiny, Miscarriage, Nathan, Stillbirth, Stillborn | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Here I am, closing in on three years from the death of my dear son Nathan.  He would probably be quite a handful right now.

Much to be thankful for

Clara looking at Nathan's memorial necklace.

But, as a friend of mine so sweetly says, “Better to have hand’s full than empty.”  I am sure many of you have heard a hundred times, “Don’t worry. Time heals“.  I guess that’s the only comforting thing that some people know to say, and in one sense, it’s true.  As time goes on, there are fewer daggers of pain that catch you off guard and less time that your mind spends wondering and wishing your child was there with you, but does time heal, really?

I think time is God’s tender mercy that allows healing to take place, but really God’s love is what heals.  If time itself truly healed, many of us would be walking in a much more victorious place.  Unfortunately, that is not always the case.

I have met many families now who have been affected by tragedies such as this, and I can tell you first hand that some have allowed time to make them bitter.  At God, towards people, at life in general.  Some to the extreme point of allowing that sense we all have that we might go crazy to take over their minds and literally ruin their lives.  Broken marriages, broken families, lost jobs, even leaving their living children… you name it.We have to choose to meet God in the deepest part of our pain as time passes.  When the pain is at the worst, we must engage it, meet it head on, and feel it all over again.

The key is going there with God.  If you don’t go there with God, you are going by yourself.  You don’t have the equipment you need to make the real healing happen.  You would never go into surgery with all the breathing apparatus, scalpels, tools, even nurses, but no surgeon.  The surgeon is the one who knows your body and knows how to use the tools.  He is an expert.  So is God.  You need Him with you. Trust Him in the loneliest, darkest places.

Ps 23:4

4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
ESV
Posted in Coping With Loss | 4 Comments