What do you think of when you hear the word “redemption”? This word I think can mean different things to different people based on their experiences, hurts, and journey in life. For me it has always brought me to a place of reflection. What Jesus did on the cross for me, that I’ve been rescued from my former sinful nature because of His redemptive love. Up until a year ago, that’s pretty much where it ended. Just some vague reference to Jesus and love, it had almost gotten to the point where it felt a bit robotic. Growing up in church I had heard those words my whole life. It wasn’t until I went through a rather traumatic miscarriage experience 7 years ago that I stopped and questioned what redemption really was. I had big questions for God. If you really loved me, why did you allow this? If you have redeemed me from the grave, then why does this hurt so deeply? Big questions like, how can I ever trust You again? I’m being honest and a bit raw today because now that I’ve come through that and have healed I can look at the scar and see the good that it has brought. When God takes the pain, the hurt and the yuck of this life and holds us as we walk through it so that we can see His glory in the midst of it, that is redemption.
Redemptive love holds you and whispers, “it will be ok, I won’t ever leave.” Even when you are pushing away with all your might because it hurts. Redemptive love says, “I understand you don’t want to trust me right now, that’s ok.” Redemptive love, never gives up. Miscarriage is hard. In my case we had 5 completely perfect and healthy pregnancies and births before the miscarriage. I thought I had dodged the bullet and that statistics of 1 in 5 pregnancies ending in miscarriage don’t apply to me. Having had 5 babies previously I was well versed in all things pregnancy and birth and the unborn. I also knew the methods of early abortions and was well versed in how an abortion is carried out at all stages of pregnancy. In our experience we ended up in the E.R. after I passed out from blood loss during the miscarriage. I was given a drug to help the process. I later found out this was the same drug given to women in the first trimester who have elective abortions. The next day, when the drug did little to help things along we went in to see my Dr. She took one look at me and immediately decided I needed a D &C. She promptly found an open O.R. and reserved it for just that. Before I knew it I was being prepped for this out-patient procedure, again a procedure that is also used in early second trimester abortions. I went home that day empty and broken. As a dear friend who recently wrote about this topic so eloquently put it, “Part of a sisterhood that I never asked to join”.
Empty and Broken, angry at God, and confused about how any good at all could possibly come of such a terrible experience. But God. As I’ve healed over the past seven years I gained a perspective of that experience that allows me to see that there can be good from even the most painful of experiences. I asked God to show me a promise in His word, something, anything I could grab onto and not let go of to get me through. He drew me to Psalm 126. Specifically verses 5 and 6. “Those who sow in tears, will reap a harvest of Joy.” These two verses have sustained me through my darkest days, and have been a source of comfort when doubt creeps in. This promise in God’s word is what I clung to with all my might during the pregnancy following the miscarriage. It was the promise I prayed into as we were waiting for our baby girl who joined our family through the amazing gift of adoption. Psalm 126 is why our son’s middle name means, “joy” and why our daughter’s middle name is Joy.
Joy comes in the morning. My heart has grown and changed in these 7 years. I am not the same person I was before the experience of loss. I believe in that experience, God in His kindness and mercy did answer my prayer. He did take something horrible, and used it for His glory. A cry of my heart for years has been, “Lord, give me your heart for the unborn. I want my heart to break with the things that break yours.” This is one of those dangerous prayers that you pray thinking God will answer one way, but in the end He carries you through something so heavy and difficult that you come out on the other side a completely different person. Prior to experiencing the loss of a child I would pray for life, I would stand on the sidewalk outside abortion clinics and I would ask God to show me how He felt about the issue of abortion, but I never (not once) shed a single tear. It’s a heavy topic. I was confused and thought as a woman, as a mother, that there was something wrong with me. Why didn’t this grieve me to the point of tears? I believe part of it was that I didn’t fully grasp what it was to walk through loss. Going through that season was like an opening of the flood gates, literally. I cried all the time, sometimes I wasn’t even sure why. I would find myself suddenly overwhelmed with emotion, and grief. It was part of my healing process, but it was also part of the way God was using the terrible, horrible of personal loss to answer my hearts cry to know His heart.
This loss has been bitter sweet for the past seven years. While I could look at the end result and see how my faith has grown through it, there is still someone missing from our family. For me this loss was a double whamy in that we went through this during the spring, arguably my favorite season. Where once this season brought only good memories and happy thoughts of warmer days, these past seven years those good things also remind me of the pain of loss. If you had told me 7 years ago that this was the story God would write I wouldn’t have believed you, but God writes the most amazing stories! 1 year ago a brave and amazing momma choose us to parent her beautiful baby girl. She has shown a depth of love and sacrifice that still leaves me breathless, but it gets better; our court date to finalize was almost exactly 7 years after I had the D&C procedure. This is redemption.
This is God taking your mourning and turning it into dancing. This is what rejoicing in the Lord’s goodness looks like. This is Redemptive Love. We’ve walked through the pain of loss, we’ve leaned into Jesus, the only one who can truly heal our hearts, and we have our Joy in the morning.