(The words you find below are the ones that first found me when we lost our baby in the summer of 2017. They are raw and unfiltered. They include the F word. But they speak to the strength of God to hold our deepest suffering. And while I only have vague ideas about why now, the time seems right for sharing just these first few, most honest words.
So if you’re weeping now, I pray you’ll know that Jesus is too.)
Any idea why this is happening? No. No, and yes.
No, I’m not bleeding out our second child because of my age, necessarily, or that it’s a subsequent pregnancy. It’s not a hormone deficiency or lacking vitamin or the glass of wine I had last week before I knew.
No, I don’t know why. But also, yes. I know exactly why.
Because Eve took the fucking apple off the tree of the knowledge of evil. Maybe if it had been called the tree of the knowledge of bleeding out your very heart she would’ve thought twice.
Because Adam just stood there and let his wife find out about utter destruction and jumped in after her.
That’s why my baby won’t live. That’s why this Eve-like body won’t do every right thing every single time. That’s why one in four pregnancies end this way. Just blood. No baby. Just pads and pantyliners and oceans of tears to cradle hope deferred.
30. That’s how many women I can name who know this grief. Some of them know it more than once. More than twice. More than half a dozen times.
Chances are I can name 30 more who will know eventually.
These are the sad statistics. Countless souls straight sent to the arms of Jesus. Glory baby.
It’s horrific, really. How I can mindlessly tap on instagram or facebook even in the midst of mind-crushing grief. How I can scroll and “like” and consume and forget and hate myself for forgetting all at once.
The words. The words. If I have to say the words one more time...I just can’t. I’m pregnant, but. Those words.
And yet they’re the words I have. They’re the words that fit this story You’re writing. The words that fit reality.
I lost will soon be the words. I lost and Jesus knew. You know right now.
And somehow my words will help another find her words and it’s by all these words, the words of our testimony that the ancient serpent will be defeated. The one who peddled the fucking apple will hear the words resounding from the mouths of the ones made in the image of the Word and redeemed by the blood of the Word, and he’ll shrivel burning into the pit along with death and the grave. Forever.
Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come.
Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man.
And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
And every mother who bled out tissues and heartbeats and vessels of clay will weep greater agony over the Lamb who was slain, pour out her finest oil and nard on the Son the Father sent to die for her, treasure the Gift of the Father a little more deeply, a little more differently than all the rest of the world.
Maybe our sufferings give us the most crystal clear vision of the God who has not held suffering at arm’s length, who did not lock elbows straight resisting the havoc and heartache of humanity, but who let elbows hang limp, suspended on the cross, surrendered to the slavery we deserve.
Yeah, that fucking apple. Now’s the time for cursing and hatred of all that’s gone wrong in the world. Now’s the time to recognize we needed the brutality of that Roman execution 2000 years ago to wash away our sin and stains and sadness. It couldn’t have been a clean and lovely patchwork job.
God himself had to bleed, had to bleed all the way out until there was no life left.
It was the only way He could also weep with the mamas who bleed all the way out and also promise to make even the worst things new.
Now He weeps with me.
Once for all the perfect sacrifice was made.
Once for all His perfect love for us displayed.
The Lamb was slain for all my sin and shame,
Once for all, Amen.
It is finished, It’s finished, our God has made a way
It’s accomplished, King Jesus has risen from the grave
It is finished, It is finished, the veil’s been torn away
Come ye sinners, unworthy, come one, come all to sing!
These are the words I’ve sung, bawled, clung to in the otherwise quiet moments I’ve had to myself. This is the truth I’ve had to hold, loved to hold.
The most horrendous act and the most redemptive act happened all at once, and once for all.
The bleeding out of losing baby, the empty ache of a womb swollen yet abandoned, it’s still horrendous, but it has nothing to do with sin and shame anymore. Once for all time, the punishment of sin rested on Jesus instead of on me. Once for all time, He took the very worst the Fall could do upon His own shoulders and He dragged my death up the hill and crucified it there.
The world still aches, still hurts from the Fall. Bodies fail and hearts grow weary. But weakened, bloody Jesus is the strength of my heart. He only is the very real life in my soul in valley of the shadow of death. And where He walks with me, I know: death will not win. Even in the moment when evil and suffering blare obnoxious, pompous peels of screeching laughter, I sing ONCE FOR ALL and death’s sting recoils, crushed.