I imagine a girl.
I picture strawberry blonde curls bouncing off small, rounded shoulders and a dimpled smile that lights up a room.
I envision a smattering of freckles dancing across cheeks the color of buttercream.
Sadly, all I have is my imagination. I never had the opportunity to hold my baby or to breathe in deeply the sweet scent of a child. I miscarried at 12 weeks.
The summer I turned eighteen I found out I was pregnant. I had just graduated from high school and was preparing to leave for college at the end of August. My future was wide open and I had lofty plans.
Not part of my plans? A baby.
I was a child myself and had no idea how I would be a mother. I vacillated between terrified and in shock. It all felt surreal.
Once the miscarriage began, I knew it was too late. I struggled to understand it all in my teenaged mind. I had no one to turn to (I hadn’t yet confided in anyone) and couldn’t sort out all of my feelings.
I experienced pain both physical and emotional that I had never experienced before. I ached with a hollowness that couldn’t be filled. I was devastated. I was riddled with shame for being pregnant before marriage and with the erroneous notion that I had somehow caused the miscarriage by not wanting the baby in the first place. I couldn’t make sense of all that I was feeling and I couldn’t understand how I could grieve someone I had never met.
I moved through life without ever facing all of my feelings, and, instead, I allowed them to simmer below the surface. It wasn’t until years later after I had divorced and remarried more than once that I began to face all the turmoil I was holding inside.
As my relationship with Jesus grew and I experienced His unconditional love, I finally felt free to unpack the feelings of loss and guilt. I was—finally—able to allow myself to feel forgiven.
“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,” Acts 3:19
I realized that only when I confessed my sin to God would I be refreshed. Once I put it all out on the table and brought the secret into light could I find healing.
“The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him;”
For so long I had carried the shame of rebelling and the grief my heart felt over losing my child. Because I felt so guilty for rebelling as a teenager I never allowed myself to work through my grief. As a result, I built walls and turned bitter.
Once Jesus met me in the middle of my pain and reminded me that He bore the burden of my sins, I was able let go of my shame and face my pain.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3
He truly has healed my broken heart and bound up my wounds. I can look back at my life now without the weight of shame. I can acknowledge my part and move on knowing I am free and forgiven. I am a new person created in His image and made in His likeness. My past does not define me. And the child I never got to hold will be waiting for me one day.
Jesus is faithful. He will never leave me of forsake me. His Word promises that. Even when my loss felt unsurmountable, He was the One who brought me through it—and walked every step of the journey with me.
Mandy and her husband Joe live in the Pittsburgh Pennsylvania area with their six children. Mandy is a homeschool mom and also freelances, blogs, speaks, and leads ministries. Her story is an amazing example of God’s extravagant love and forgiveness.
Mandy has blogged her heart out for the past 6 years at SuburbanStereotype.com where she shares her heart about being a wife, mom, and ministry leader. She is authentic in what she shares and hopes to reach others with the love of Jesus.
Mandy Has an EBook that you can download for free
The Anxious Mom http://www.suburbanstereotype.com/p/the-anxious-mom.html