As I crumpled to the bathroom floor, my first thought was “don’t let them see you cry.” I wanted to protect their hearts at all costs, even if that meant hiding my own. The tears quickly turned into sobs I could not control and I knew I needed to tell them the truth somehow. I was losing the baby our family dreamed of, and I was utterly shattered.
As a parent, one of my greatest desires is to protect my children. I want to shield them from every
heartache I can, both theirs and mine, because sometimes the ugliness in life is hard to explain. How do you tell them the devastating things you can’t fathom yourself? How do you pick up the pieces of their hearts when you don’t even know where to look for the pieces of yours? What do you say when there truly are no words?
I know that I’m doing the greatest disservice to my children, and those around me when I hide heartache from them, because when I hide what hurts, I’m hiding the Healer.
I don’t remember what I said, or how I said it. I don’t fully remember how they reacted right away. I remember one child wept with us, and the other shut down. I remember it wasn’t until months later that it truly hit her and the devastation poured in like a flood. One child talks about the baby we named Ruby every single day. She includes her in the conversations about our family, the other child doesn’t want to talk about it at all.
I knew they needed to know there would be no baby, because eventually that would become obvious, but I also knew they needed to see the Lord carry us through this. They needed to see their daddy and me cry because our hearts were broken. They needed to see us on our knees at the edge of our bed calling out to Him. They needed to see the raw moments when we didn’t know how to explain anything in words. They needed to see the love that poured in during our grief. They needed to see Him. We can say anything and everything imaginable, but they need to SEE the Lord in us. They need to SEE us genuinely set before Him. Words often have no merit, genuine actions do.
When you’re in the darkest times of your life, that’s when faith gets real. It’s easy to love and praise the Lord when times are awesome! When your needs are met, when stress is at bay, when the fridge is full and everyone is healthy, when there’s enough money to go around, when the house is warm, it’s easy to give Him the glory. It’s easy to look at Him adoringly and sing His praises when you’re happy. When life gets hard, when life gets devastating, when you’re completely lost and have nowhere to turn, that’s when faith gets real. That’s when you see the Lord for who He is, and others see Him in your life.
I don’t doubt for a moment that people watched to see how we would react in our heartache. Those who don’t know the Lord often watch to see how believers deal with devastation.
“Do you still love him now that life is hard? Is it real now that you have nothing left?”
I know that God is good in ALL things. All things are not good, but God is, and He has carried us over and over again when we were too broken to stand. He has promised to mend my broken heart and to take care of the things that concern me, but He never said He would do it my way. That’s the beauty in faith.
“He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds. He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name. Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.”
Psalms 147:3-5 NKJV
“The LORD will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O LORD, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.”
Psalms 138:8 NKJV
I pray that as my children grow up, and eventually leave and are on their own, their faith will be real. I pray that the times life takes their breath away, they will know where to turn. It starts on our knees.
“From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
Psalms 61:2 NKJV
In His Love,