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The Journey of Childlessness

The Journey of Childlessness

The pain of multiple miscarriages changed my perspective about God and faith.
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My gynecologist's certainty gave me confidence: In a booming voice, incongruously deep for his small stature, he assured me that my baby was well, and I needn't be worried over an earlier miscarriage. So my husband, Clay, and I joyfully celebrated the three-month milestone marking the pregnancy as safe.

It seemed life was unfolding just as we'd hoped: We'd married, Clay had completed seminary, and soon after his graduation, he was offered an associate pastorate. With a baby on the way, we once again had reason to celebrate.

A week after that prenatal visit, we headed to a beach-front hotel for a church staff conference. After a laughter-filled dinner full of excited chatter and congratulations over expecting our first child, I excused myself and sleepily returned to the hotel room. There, sitting in a stark white bathroom, I stared in shock at a bright red streak.

No, no—this couldn't be happening.

The unfamiliar room, with its too perfectly arranged furniture and jarringly cheerful seascapes, amplified my disbelief. Mechanically, I crawled into the strange bed. I tugged at the cold sheet and foreign blanket, desperate for any bit of comfort, then pulled my Bible near.

"God, you know I've begged you to protect this baby," I prayed. "God, please! I can't cope with another miscarriage. Please heal my body and stop the bleeding. Please, don't let me lose my baby."

A couple hours later, Clay came in. He saw the anxiety in my expression and wrapped me in warm arms.

In the morning, we quietly drove home. By evening, labor began and I fought with everything in me to stop it. But by daylight, the battle was lost.

Difficult years followed, as my dream of motherhood shifted from joyous hope, to desperate pleading, to the grief of impossibility—and finally, to settled acceptance that it wasn't to be. Looking back, I can see that contentment with childlessness was a journey with four major milestones. It began with changing what I mistakenly believed was a faith-filled response to difficulties.

Milestone 1: Developing an "open-eyed" faith
Like many Christians, I'd memorized verses such as "all things work together for good" (Romans 8:28) and "give thanks in all circumstances" (1 Thessalonians 5:18). When bad things happened, I'd quote these verses, express my gratitude that God would eventually make everything right, and push away my questions. Trying to trust God, I did something akin to closing my eyes, putting my hands over my ears, and saying, "Lalalala—just have faith—lalalala."

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Violet

July 24, 2014  5:29am

Hi Jean, Today of all days, I was full of questions to God for this condition of mine. Looking out for answers, I ended in Internet :), wherein I happened to read your experience. I understand each and every word you say, as more-or-less, I am going through a similar situation. I am really touched and your words gives me consolation. God is using you as an angel to many of us. I really admire your faith. Though this has been a few years from your posting, may be your situation has changed, yet I pray that your are truly blessed in a very special way, very soon.

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Kayla

January 01, 2014  10:42pm

Thank you for this! I am currently going through my fourth miscarriage right now and I am feeling so many things that it's becoming overwhelming. I have a 2 year old daughter that I am so thankful for but always yearned to have a house full of kids. I always say that my faith is absolutely in Jesus Christ, but after reading this I can relate to so many feelings that you talked about before you made your milestones. So, am I fully relying on God? I don't believe that I am. Though it is so tough to go through these things, I am so thankful that I am not alone. Thank you for your testimony, it has brought me great insight as to what I need to do now, which is to work on my relationship with God and to learn how to leave my burdens at His feet. He is the ultimate healer!

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Delana H. Stewart

December 12, 2013  1:32am

Beautiful article! In a different way, I also experienced what it is like to express hurt and anger to God...and also to find peace in Him in the midst of the pain. http://nineyearpregnancy.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/heartsong-one-wind ows-to-the-soul/ Here is another post your readers might enjoy-- http://nineyearpregnancy.wordpress.com/2013/03/24/another-friends- baby-shower-is-it-okay-to-be-angry/. Blessings, Delana

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