I have to admit that I have not done well this week with praying about a certain subject matter. Yes, I have prayed without ceasing about many topics, but not my latest miscarriage, and that is the topic I have been avoiding with those closest to me, including (and especially) God. It’s not that I don’t want to talk about it – it’s that I can’t. I just don’t know what to say because the pain is too deep. I was only pregnant for a couple of weeks. In my mind, that seems to mean (erroneously) that I don’t have the right to take the time out of my busy schedule to mourn for a life lost. Somehow I have convinced myself on a superficial level that it is not okay to grieve, but deep down I know better. I cannot stop grieving and it is keeping me awake late into the night, considering what might have been, screaming silently into my pillow.
One of the lies I have continued to tell myself is that if I were a better mother, I would still be pregnant. In fact, I would never have had a miscarriage at all, ever. Medically, I know this to be untrue, but it is a lie that I have beaten myself up with for years. I wonder sometimes if God doesn’t get tired of this pity party, because really, that’s what it is.
My husband’s blood type is O+ and mine is A-, and therein lies our issue with carrying a baby to full term. Without a routine shot of RhoGAM, there is basically no chance of carrying a baby to full term. In layman’s terms, it means that my body is basically allergic to my baby due to the differing blood types, (especially since my husband’s blood type is more prominent than mine) and my body spits the alien life form out. You can read more about it here if you’re interested.
I have had more miscarriages than I have fingers on one hand, despite having been up to date on RhoGAM shots prior to this pregnancy. I wonder sometimes if there isn’t more that God wants me to take from this, but right now I just don’t know what it is. I suppose He is asking me to trust Him – something that comes easier with almost every other situation in my life, but not this one. This pain is hard to take to Him. It’s hard to speak about with anyone, let alone take to God. What if He were to change this situation or to cause me to grow from it? What then? I confess I fear that He will do nothing, but I know intellectually that is not true. Perhaps it is the unknown that is more frightening than anything.
The other day I was telling my girls something I felt was profound. “Prayer is the hand that moves the face of God.” It is something I have deeply believed and been moved by in years past, but recently that belief has been shattered by the writings of none other than respected Reformer RC Sproul. In his book, The Holiness of God, page 46, Sproul describes God’s transcendence in relation to His holiness. In the description, Sproul reminds us that God is” higher than the world. He has absolute power over the world. The world has no power over Him.” When I read that, my jaw dropped and I was reminded of what I’d told the girls just a day or two before. The world has no power over God? Not even in prayer? Then what, by golly, is the point of prayer? Especially for those of us who pray often? Could it be that prayer changes us, rather than prayer changing God? And could it also be said that prayer is more than a crutch, but rather a stretcher on which we lay, broken and bloodied while a Holy and perfect God cleanses us and removes our iniquities? Prayer does not move the face of God, rather it causes us to move our hands and feet as we face God and our problems with new insight and clarity. After all, God has been there all along. We see this in Genesis 1 and John 1.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Genesis 1:1 (Darby Bible Translation)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:1 (Holman Standard Christian Bible)
God knows exactly what is going on, and how we’re – I’m feeling. There isn’t anything we – I can hide from Him, despite our – my best efforts.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
I am certain that God knows our deepest secrets and loves us not in spite of them, but because of them. He knows our weaknesses, and brings us to a place where we embrace them and offer them to God instead of holding them back, nursing old wounds and worshipping them like the lame idols they are. Can one worship a wound? Absolutely! It is what I have spent this entire week doing, instead of praying about the pain I feel at having lost another child in early pregnancy. Do I need to continue to speak about this miscarriage? Perhaps, but more than that, I need to allow prayer to change me as I take this grievance to God, reaping from it what He will have me reap.
Prayer is not the hand that moves the face of God. No, it is the force that moves my hands and helps me to face what God has placed before me. In His arms will I rest.