Elizabeth Eno, Guest Writer
Why should I fast when [the child] is dead? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me.
2 Samuel 12:23
In my journal I wrote:
It has been ONE month since we said hello and goodbye to Promise - our baby girl who was born through a miscarriage at nearly twenty-two weeks.
The world has gone on, and strangely, so have we.
What else can we do?
I shared last night with Jason about how sometimes the emotions of missing Promise and all that was lost are overwhelming. Every time I see a “big sister” or “little sister” shirt, I feel something I didn’t use to feel. Every time I see two girls playing together, I think about our 15-month-old daughter, Lily, and the fun she would have had with little Promise. Every time I think about all the TIME that was lost in trying to conceive and in the pregnancy itself, I feel like a big chunk of my life was just omitted, with nothing to show for it. I get frustrated sometimes, but mostly just grieve all over again.
But honestly, the rest of the time, I’m okay.
I told Jason that I actually feel guilty that I am not more sad, or stuck in a room somewhere overcome by tears.
As I went on, upset by the fact that I was not more upset, finally Jason said to me, “Do you remember when we went to the ultrasound when we found out there was no heartbeat?”
I said, “Yes.”
I then said: “That was the worst moment of my life. I would rather go through the whole night of awkward and excruciating labor again than have to re-live hearing that life-halting message from the doctor.”
He said, “Do you remember what you did when you heard there was no heartbeat?”
Yes. Jason and I both remember: My whole body crumpled, responding in complete collapse at the worst grief I could have imagined.
He went on: “We have grieved. We will still grieve, but we have to remember what King David said when he lost his son. He said: ‘Why should I fast when [the child] is dead? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me.’ We are sad and we do miss Promise…but God is giving us the strength to continue in life, to move forward. It doesn’t mean that somehow we haven’t or aren’t grieving enough.”
God is providing space to grieve when we remember Promise, but also the courage to not be overcome by the reality of her death. This is a gift – and I want to embrace it, rather than look for ways that it might not be right.
Jason reminded me too that in the past, I have often allowed my joy to be squashed by feeling guilty about something that I shouldn’t feel guilty about.
I fully anticipate hard moments or days of tears and longing to come in the future. but for now, I am going to try to let myself be okay when I do feel joyful, or when I laugh. These acts do not deny or minimize reality but are instead good gifts from the Lord in the midst of heartache.
It’s my hope that as I share this intimate season of our lives, that one of the fruits will be that the Lord will encourage and give hope to others who face sudden loss and struggle to trust the Lord, too.
Lord, You alone are the author of life, and You know that there is a time to grieve, especially when we lose someone. Thank you for being with me when I mourn, and thank you for helping me to my feet even in the midst of the sadness. Help me look for Your blessings and mercies that accompany every single day You give me life. No day is without its special gifts from You. Amen.
Elizabeth Eno has worked for Wycliffe Bible Translators since 2004. She initially lived in South Asia facilitating Chronological Bible storytelling projects for more than 18 Bibleless people groups. Today, Elizabeth serves as Wycliffe's Volunteer & Intern Placement Team Leader. Elizabeth currently lives in Florida with her husband, Jason, and their 18 month old daughter, Lily. In her free time, Elizabeth enjoys being with her family and especially likes watching Lily learn and experience the world for the first time! Elizabeth writes periodically at www.elizabethstories.blogspot.com. Elizabeth's writings about her infertility and miscarriage journey can be found here: www.itisaprocess.wordpress.com.
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