Little did I know when I began working on this book, that we hope to have published in the next 12 months, that our lives would continue to provide experiences and events that would give a new meaning and new perspective to the journey from surviving to thriving and ultimately overcoming pain and adversity in our lives. Sadly, as many know, we lost our second child last week at 11 weeks, through miscarriage. This experience, as painful as it has been, is, and will continue to, make us better people, through God’s grace and our own choices in living through it. Here is a brief glimpse into how our child’s life and our loss of him is shaping us thus far, and how we hope to help others as a result:
An excerpt from ‘Surviving to Thriving, the Journey in Overcoming’:
The funny thing or maybe, more correctly, the not so funny thing about the journey in surviving, thriving and overcoming is that it isn’t a one-time event. It’s a process, and in reality, our lives are full of experiences and events that will challenge us, provide opportunities for emotional, mental, physical, relational and spiritual growth, and through God’s grace and our personal choices in those moments of adversity, we can overcome them and in doing so, become better people.
Even though I had been working on this book for some time, I didn’t truly understand this concept until November of 2011, when we lost our second child through a miscarriage at 11 weeks. Although I have survived, thrived in the face of, and ultimately overcome many adversities in my life, I had, what I realize now in hindsight, taken for granted that a new and often even more painful experience or event is just around the corner, no matter how many storms we have weathered in the past, no matter how deep our relationship with Christ or how strong our faith.
I knew the statistics—1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage, but never once in my life had I thought that I would be the statistic. That only happens to “other people,” right? I’ve been through more than my fair share of pain and loss—that one wasn’t meant for me, or so I wanted to think. If I can be one of just a handful of abortion survivors out of tens of millions of lives lost, however, I can certainly be any other statistic, including that of miscarriage. As I’ve said, over and over again, the Lord never promised that this life would be easy, and He never guaranteed we’d be comfortable in this earthly world, but I’m sure, like me, when faced with an obstacle or painful experience, you’ve often thought, ‘why me? Why me AGAIN? Haven’t I experienced enough? Haven’t I hurt enough? Why not ‘so and so’ (fill in the blank with whoever comes to mind) with their seemingly perfect life this time and not me?’ As I watched, in horror, as my child’s life seemed to end before my eyes (in reality, their life had ended at just a few weeks gestation, due to a chromosomal abnormality, and my body was slow in catching on, or maybe, like my own spirit, didn’t want to believe that they were gone) and my body began the painful process of miscarriage over a course of a number of weeks, I vacillated between hope and despair, believing in God’s infinite wisdom in His plans for our child and our family, and questioning why, yet again, I was faced with what felt like insurmountable pain and suffering.
I knew, in my heart, that the Lord did not give us our precious child, made in His own image, just to take him so abruptly away, (I believe our young child was a boy, who I have named Gabriel, moved by the Holy Spirit to thus name him—‘God is my strength’-our mighty guardian angel), but in His redeeming grace, intervened in the midst of our crisis, and is using our Gabriel, and our pain in losing him, for great and mighty things. Who knows how many people will experience the opportunity to survive, thrive, and overcome their own losses as a result of this very book, and our son’s short life?! Great and mighty things, indeed. Knowing this brings me a sense of peace and joy, but it most certainly does not take away what we experienced in losing him, and does not take away our pain. It is up to us to work through the pain, to have our eyes opened, our hearts widened, and our love and faith deepened, with the help of the Lord, to ultimately come out on the other side of the tunnel of pain and sadness, to a life that will never be the same, but one that is transformed for the better.