Months of planning had gone into one little camping trip with friends. It seems so silly to plan months in advance to sleep outside on the dirt, but Alaskan summers are something we long for, and time off from work is much desired during the season where the sun doesn’t set. If you want to take a day off in the summer time, you must ask long ahead of time, otherwise you’ll blink and it will be dark and snowy again. A two hour drive, deep into the woods was on our agenda, and I looked forward to nothing more than a raging bonfire, and s’mores shared with some of the best people I have ever know. There’s just something about quality time spent with incredible people around a fire, that renews my soul.
It was the weekend before our big camping trip when I started to miscarry. Suddenly this trip we had planned so far ahead of time, seemed a little less ideal for me. I didn’t want to deal with that out in the middle of the woods. I didn’t want to be a mess physically or emotionally in front of anyone. I didn’t want to be away from home. My home is my safe place to fall. My bed is my shelter and refuge when life gets hard, and I wanted nothing more than to stay tucked safely in my own bed, as I mourned the loss of our child.
My husband grieved differently than I did during that time. He felt the magnitude of our loss differently because not only did he lose a child, but he had to watch his wife fall apart in ways that are hard to explain in words. Knowing there was nothing he could do to fix my pain, added to the multitude of his own heartache. It wasn’t just the loss of our baby, and all of the hopes and dreams that precious life represented, it was seeing his wife so incredibly broken that shook him to his core. My husband is is my protector, and always has been. He has loved me and taken care of me so differently than anyone I have ever known, but this time in our lives was a time he couldn’t protect me. There was nothing he could do to take my pain away, all he could do was love me through it, and keep carrying me back to the One that could.
During the early days after the loss of our baby, my husband needed to be busy to help his own heart. He needed to be around people that spoke life and joy into his heart. He needed to laugh and enjoy what was still good about this life we have been given.. but not me. I needed to be home where I felt safe and comfortable as the storm of grief raged all around me. I needed a quiet place to try and make sense of the sea of thoughts that threatened to drown me.
When the time came for our camping trip, we agreed that it would be good for my husband and the kids to get out of the house and enjoy this time with our closest friends. This was something they had spent months looking forward to, and some fun in the midst of sorrow seemed like the perfect recipe for mending their hearts. I gave them my blessing and told them to go on ahead without me. I reassured them I would be ok without them. I reminded them that I would be safe in bed where things were clean and comfortable, and I would see them in a few days when the trip was done. I told them not to worry about me, that I had plenty of support and people to check on me at home, and I would be ok until they returned. They needed the time away, just as much as I needed to be home. I kissed them goodbye, and on the road they went. It wasn’t until my family hit the road that I realized, home wasn’t home without them.
Home is my safe place and my refuge, because my family is there.
When I realized how desperately I needed to be with my husband, regardless of my physical circumstances, I packed everything I could possibly need, and loaded myself into the car alone. I was going to drive those several hours to get to him, even if going through the few days that followed were going to be ugly. I needed him. He is my safe place when life is falling apart.
I cried the entire drive there.
The whole way.
All two hours.
All. Of. It.
And I also prayed and sang praise and worship music at the very top of my lungs the entire two hour drive. It’s likely I sang louder, and prayed more honestly than I have ever praised and prayed in all my life. I poured out the rawness of my heart right into God’s open arms, and it was the most powerful and defining moment I’ve ever experienced. If you have ever cried out to God, in complete brokenness, you know what I’m talking about.
During my prayer I cried out to God and asked Him an honest question “Does it break Your heart to see my heart broken like this?! Sometimes we do things we’re not supposed to. Sometimes our own decisions and actions lead to natural consequences that break our own hearts…but not this. I didn’t do anything to cause this. Does it break your heart that my heart is broken?!” and I continued to weep, praise, and drive.
(If you saw a distraught, crazy woman, sobbing while driving down the Glenn Highway in August 2014, it was me…don’t worry, I didn’t wreck nor cause any accidents.)
Suddenly a song started playing, and in the midst of singing a song I’ve sang probably a hundred times before, it all finally made sense. Not the death of our baby, not the heartbreak and greatest pain I have ever known, but Jesus. During that drive, the sacrifice of Jesus finally made sense to me.
The lyrics to the song say:
“So I’ll stand
With arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the One who gave it all
My soul Lord to You surrendered
All I am is Yours…”
God understands how it feels for my heart to be completely broken over the death of my baby, because His baby died for me on a cross called Calvary. He is the One who truly gave it all.
For God made Christ, who never sinned,
to be the offering for our sin,
so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:22 NLT
His perfect baby, was betrayed by those He called His friends. He was mocked for telling them the truth, that He was the Messiah. He was spat upon and beaten. They stripped Him, and whipped Him, and even ripped out the beard from His face. They kicked Him, and forced a crown of thorns upon His head. They forced His tattered body to carry a cross until His body literally collapsed under the weight of it, and could go no further. Then they nailed Him by His innocent hands and feet; the same hands and feet that reached into the multitudes to pour out love. The same hands and feet that performed miracles, were nailed to a cross where He bled and died, for me. God sacrificed His one and only PERFECT son, for me…knowing I may never love Him in return.
In the suffering of my own broken heart, God was present. I felt His presence during that time in my life, more than I have ever felt Him before. Because in that moment, Jesus finally made sense to me. I have loved Jesus for a long time, but I didn’t fully grasp the sacrifice of His death on the cross, and the miracle of His resurrection until my own baby died. What an unexplainable sorrow.
For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.
John 3:16 GNT
With just a few song lyrics, God answered my question. He understood the depth of my broken heart. He knows what it’s like to lose a baby, because His baby died for me…
And for you.
In His Love,