Yesterday Dale and I were watching a video about a baby who slipped the bonds of this earth 99 days after his birth. You may have seen the video called 99 balloons. [If you haven’t click on this link.] All of a sudden Dale started to cry and did not realize at first, why. The reason our tears started was because today is the 18th year anniversary of my miscarriage. On December 14, 1991, I found out that we were expecting our third child. But our life was very busy at the time. It was during the Christmas season and we were involved with every event you could think of at church. I was recovering from a car accident. The week of Christmas the doctor put me on bed rest. As you can imagine with two preschoolers, this was very difficult. I tried to stay on bed the best I could, but as much as I tried a day before New Year’s Eve, I started bleeding. I went to the doctor and a couple hours later we got the news that the baby was not developing the way it should be. There was no way we could save the baby. I lost it on New Year’s Eve. The pain and the loss I felt and Dale felt were incredible. It was hard because, except for our parents and family and our pastors, nobody really knew what happened. Since I had just discovered I was pregnant, nobody knew, except for those we had told. Just imagine losing a baby that you could never, ever hold in your arms. Each New Year’s Eve is a time of mourning for the little one I lost. Perhaps that is one of the reasons that the Christmas season is so difficult for me. It seems that there are many difficult things that have happened during the Christmas season. There are even certain Christmas songs that I try to avoid, “Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas” is one of those, because of the memories that they stir up.
Paul writes in his second letter to the church at Corinth:
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. 4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 5 For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. 6 Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. 7 We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us.
Today is a sad day for Dale and I. We could dwell on that fact alone, but the scriptures give us a reason for hope – God can comfort us through our deepest trials. When we have walked through that trial, we can use the comfort that God gave us to help others. We have been able to tell this story several times. Each time God has used this story to help others in similar circumstances. The first time we told our story; there was a young lady who was thinking of aborting her baby. After hearing our story she kept her daughter and today she is a pastor’s wife. There have been others who have experienced similar pain and disappointment in their lives. They were told, “Don’t get emotional over it – just act like it didn’t happen.” I know it sounds crazy, but people have said that to me about things that have happened in my life. As we remember this anniversary today, our hearts are sad, and yes, we will get emotional about it. In telling our story, others have found the strength to overcome their own hurt and they have found healing in the God of All Comfort. It is ok to cry when the memories hurt. That’s what being part of the body of Christ is all about – providing a place to comfort others who are in trouble.
While it is still a sad anniversary, I know that God has put it our lives to help others.