It’s Better This Way?

UG Baby Jack

This time in May is hard since I always remember the birthday we should be celebrating, but aren’t.

It has been awhile; like most women who’ve miscarried, I can be far more specific about how long ago, but it probably wouldn’t interest anyone to know how many years, months, weeks, days and even hours. The point is it is still with me. I think about the baby I never got to hold, but I will always hold in my heart.

I’m honestly doing okay and I know God is good even when bad things happen. If I can easily trust Him in the good times, then I most certainly need to trust Him in the bad.

We rebel sometimes because we think somehow, God shouldn’t make us go through such miserable things if He is good. The truth is, we can be really uncomfortable with a god who inflicts or stands by and allows pain. It seems wrong, even if it is used for His glory. It doesn’t seem fair…

Fair. It wasn’t fair my baby died. But, when I say this, do I begrudge my friends who had babies who were born the same time mine should have been?

No, absolutely not! Their little ones are precious!

We tend to, wrongly, equate fairness with equality. It reduces everyone to the least common denominator and doesn’t address the heart of the issue: selfishness. If we are truly honest, whenever we demand something be “fair”, what we really mean is we aren’t happy someone else got more than we did.

We aren’t content with our blessings. I’m not sure why God’s plan for me included losing my little one, but I know there’s a reason. He doesn’t always tell us why, but asks us to trust Him and maybe one day I will know, but even if I don’t, it’s okay. I can be content in Him even in the struggle. That is what faith is. If I can trust God with my salvation, I can trust Him in this.

It took me a lot of processing and prayer to come to this place; years actually, but in those years something has been nagging at me.

We say we value life as Christians, but in practice, not so much. It hurts me to say this because I know it isn’t what God wants for us as His followers, but we collectively fail in this area.

“It’s better this way.”

Someone (who shall remain nameless) put a hand on my shoulder and said this trying to comfort me a few days after I lost my baby. I appreciate the concern, but honestly, it isn’t better this way. It’s a common sentiment and I know other parents have heard this one in response to their miscarriages, but it reveals what we value. We are uncomfortable with “defective” babies, kids, and people. We don’t like loss.

“As long as it’s healthy.”

I heard this all the time during my subsequent pregnancy after my miscarriage. Of course we all want the best for our kids and it isn’t wrong to want this, but it’s not always the case. Sometimes, things go wrong. Yes, it is a hard road to walk with special needs and health issues, but it doesn’t mean it’s better to lose these precious people before they are born. Their lives aren’t worth less. They aren’t second class citizens of this world because they are “defective”. There is a difference between being “defective” and having challenges. And we all have challenges.

Life is life.

We don’t get to be pro-life and say these kind of things; we can’t start making judgments about whose life is more valuable. No matter what.

That is why I wanted to talk about “fair”. It isn’t fair, in the human sense, that people are born with disabilities, but God has a plan with it. I speak from experience: I’ve struggled with a chronic illness. It makes life hard, but I’m valuable because I’m made in the image of God. I’m broken, but God uses me. We’re all broken somehow.

God isn’t fair, but He is good.

As humans, the best we can do for fairness is equality. God has done more for us; He gave us Jesus as a sacrifice to pay for our sins. Fair would have been death. He gave us life. Since God is God, He doesn’t have to give us a God-sized portion in life (although I’m sure we often think we deserve it); He is just, but still gave us grace. But, we still have to deal with the repercussions of our sinfulness.

Some paths are much harder to tread, but that doesn’t make them any less worthwhile. No matter what losses we endure, we can walk through them in faith, knowing that God is good. We need to value life, all life, as God does. When we start judging what is best according what is easiest or most comfortable, we impose our imperfect plan over God’s.  It’s not better that way: that is the biggest loss of all.

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2 thoughts on “It’s Better This Way?

  1. So sorry for your loss Sara. I have miscarried and had a tubal pregnancy and I remember some of the bizarre comments that stung but then just made me sad that they struggled for words. When we don’t know the pain so many times we don’t know what to say. I’ve been pondering ways that we CAN help & encourage others in trials and appreciate this post. I’d love to hear more about ways that you have found others helpful via words, presence & help if you’d care to email me. I’m hoping to collect stories and examples as an ebook to share insights into various trials. I wonder, could we spend a little time considering simple ways to show love to others in their pain? BTW- love the way you wrapped this up. Let us not assume our ways are better than His when they so often fall short. May our experiences bring us to His feet and His loving embrace.

  2. Sara and Jolene; my heart also breaks for your loss. I had to forbid my “extended family members” from mentioning or questioning me of my miscarriage because I knew that anything that they said would be inappropriate and hurtful. No one but my poor husband really got it. I was fortunate to be able to seek some counceling before I felt “safe” enough to try again. Recently, my beautiful 25 year old daughter realized that she has an older sibling in Heaven. There are times when “no words are appropriate,” and only sitting with; weeping with”, the suffering friend is the best one can do. Five years ago the Lord dropped a ministry in my lap. As the result of a class I was taking to be able to come alongside those who are suffering, one of the modules was about “When one comes home without a baby.” There was not a dry eye in the room. The “guest speaker” parents displayed a memory box with three tiny hats, three tiny shirts, hand prints; footprints, of the 23 week gestation, perfect triplets which would not survive. The air was sucked out of my lungs and I could barely breath. Immediately I knew what HE would have me do. I prayed Lord, “please equip and enable me to do this task without falling in a hole” knit tiny hats, crochet tiny (15 inch square) blankets that would keep these babies warm as they were placed in their mother’s arms. The hospital said no one wants to knit for the babies who won’t survive. As it turns out, I sometime later heard how blessed these families were by these items. The Moms and Grandmoms of the children touched by this care began knitting and crocheting themselves for these precious preterm babies, and the support and love they received they now pay forward. All the Glory be to Jesus!

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