One thought I had repeatedly in the early, foggy weeks of sorrow as this year began was that I wanted this experience to change me. I remember telling my husband several times, “I don’t want this to be wasted. I don’t want to just go back to living life as if this never happened. I want it to change me.”
Inevitably trials change us one way or the other. The motto we hear often is that “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” But what I’m learning is that hard times do not automatically make you stronger; it is not the default outcome of suffering.
The pain of sorrow is immense and can come in many forms. The death of a loved one. The separation of a family. An unexpected diagnosis from the doctor. There is no making light of what people are walking through.
The unhelpful “encouragement” from others that “everything will be ok,” “you can do this,” or “just keep moving forward,” often leave the sufferers in further agony, as they think they just need to get it together and try harder.
Some turn to extreme measures to cope (or rather evade coping) with their pain–drugs, alcohol, unhealthy relationships. We likely all have witnessed someone taking this route, or perhaps we even have ourselves.
As followers of Christ, we are told that our suffering will lead to perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope (Romans 5:3-4). So in this, we can be comforted that our suffering won’t utterly destroy us–if we cling to the Lord and walk through this with him, in dependence on him, not other things.
Honestly, it would be easier in some ways to just give in to the sorrow and want to throw in the towel on life. It takes less effort and no dependence on the Lord to turn to something that just numbs the pain.
But it takes diligence and a choosing every morning we wake up to say, “Lord, I need you. Fill me today, Holy Spirit. The weight of this burden is too much for me to bear alone. Thank you that you are with me. Help me walk by faith today, to rest in your unchanging goodness, unfailing grace and your sovereignty over all things.”
As I’ve walked through the grief of our miscarriage, I see that there is no returning to what life was like before it happened. And I don’t want to.