We were devastated. I remember staring at the screen. Where was the heartbeat? It had to be there. We had prayed for this baby for so long. What had I done wrong?
October is Infant Loss Awareness Month. Tragically, 1 in 4 pregnancies end in loss. Either early pregnancy loss, stillbirth, or newborn loss. Maybe you or someone you know has experienced this terrible loss. It is difficult to understand the emotional impact of such a loss. I would like to share our story to bring awareness to this experience that is so often grieved in silence.
Our baby was only 8 weeks old in utero. I was bereft. I was angry at God. I didn’t want to pray. It was most definitely the darkest time in my life. But I knew God loved me. I knew he didn’t want me to stay in this dark place. The Holy Spirit lead me to write down how I felt.
I wrote: I have failed, my heart is sad, I don’t know how to go forward, I am being punished. Then I wrote verses alongside each feeling. Psalm 143:10- You lead me on level ground, Isaiah 26:3-4 the Lord is the rock eternal, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 My grace is sufficient for you. Through this process a beautiful picture emerged. A picture of the gospel, a picture of God’s grace, of His love. A prayer picture.
It was powerful, therapeutic, and profoundingly healing to go through this process. It validated my grief for this beautiful short life. Something about seeing my darkest, ugliest feelings on paper surrounded by God’s word was encouraging. Somehow without realizing it, I was praying. I knew God was near, and I could feel his presence. He reassured me that I hadn’t failed, I wasn’t being punished. On the other side of this terrible loss, I can honestly say this is the one experience in my life that has strengthened my faith the most. I am so grateful.
I keep this prayer picture in my bible to remind me that even at my lowest point, God was there. I have done many other pictures over the years for myself and for others, and I always feel closer to God after they are completed.
So chances are you or someone you know has experienced this loss. I encourage you to pray. Prayer can take on many different forms. Be real with God. Show him your feelings. He is big enough to handle them all.
Monica Crolle and her family came to Trinity Park in 2018. She serves as the director of children’s ministry and loves craft of anykind, especially if it involves glitter.