A Mother’s Greatest Fear

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As I sat down today, I was planning on writing a post on recipe organization.  However, I couldn’t get in the frame of mind.  A friend of ours just lost a good friend in a car wreck this Sunday and it’s gotten me thinking about other things.

I’d like to share a snippet of an email I received after mentioning my miscarriage in my Low-Maintenance Memory Keeping series.

“I’ve had miscarriages and stillbirths on my mind a lot for a while now, and I’m trying to prepare myself for if I should ever experience something like that. Child death is one of my greatest fears.”

Ah, yes.  Mine too.  Isn’t it yours?  As a mother, nothing strikes terror into the heart more than imagining something happening to our little ones.  Or perhaps to our husband.  Or to ourselves.  Okay, so the idea of anyone we love dying hurts enough that we like to push it from our minds as soon as possible.  But let’s face it.  We live in a mortal world and nobody here is going to live for ever.  The chances of you or your loved ones dying someday are pretty near 100%.

Oh, Kelsey.  I hear you saying.  Stop it.  I’m getting depressed already.  I come here for home organization tips and practical-how-to’s, not for a look at our inevitable end.

Ah, but here is where I gently remind you that I have ‘Mom Encouragement’ written on the banner beneath my blog’s title.  And believe it or not, for a post on death, I’m hoping this will actually be one of my more liberating and encouraging posts.

I’m going to use my miscarriage as a reference point, since that’s been my closest interaction with a loss.  The principles are the same, however, whether you’re afraid of dying yourself or losing one of your fully-grown children.  We as Christians should not be overcome by the fear of death, for death itself has already been overcome.

I’ll state up front that my miscarriage was a first-trimester loss.  I only knew I was pregnant for a total of 2 months.  I never knew this child’s gender or whether I had an Aaron or an Erin growing inside me.  I know that there are many other mothers out there who have lost babies later on than I, babies with decided-on names and pink or blue painted nurseries.  I know that the longer you know someone, the harder it’s going to hurt to lose them.  So perhaps the loss of my child didn’t ‘hit me as hard’, but as a Christian who believes in life at conception, I know we both lost children.  I just didn’t know mine as well.

Okay, so how in the world is this supposed to be encouraging?

Let’s take a look at death for a bit, shall we…  I’m going to ask a somewhat of an out-of-the-box question.  Just why is death so bad?

Well, according to what mainstream thought tells us nowadays, that answer’s easy.

  • Because you’re parted from your loved ones indefinitely.  Who knows if you’ll ever see them again?
  • Because what was once life is now just dirt.

Yes, those seem like legitimate reasons for being depressed to me.

But for the Christian, our answers change.

  • We are parted only for a time.
  • What was mortal, fallen, and incapable is transformed, beautified, and glorified. (1 Corinthians 15)

Now that’s not so bad, is it?

So as I look forward to getting pregnant again, and that familiar fear of miscarrying again grips me…  Or when I start fretting about that nightmare car-wreck scenario that plays itself through in my mind from start to finish, leaving me a widow or childless or just gone myself, depending on the variation…  Then it’s helpful to reflect that death has been conquered.

And you know what?  I know the guy who conquered it.

And you know what’s even better?  He likes me.

Yeah, it’s true.  The most powerful being in the universe has told me that I’m his beloved child and friend.  He’s got the whole world, every sparrow, and me in his hand to boot.

So again, I ask…  Why am I afraid?

If I know anything about Him, it’s that he is faithful, compassionate, and gracious to his children (Exodus 34:6), He works all things for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28), and He longs to give good gifts to his children (Matthew 7:11).  God is GOOD and his love endures FOREVER (Psalm 100:5).  To which of his children will he give a snake when they ask for fish, or a stone when they ask for bread (Matthew 7:9, Luke 11:11)?

Now, I get that the unknown scares us.  We know this world.  We have a place here.  Heaven sounds nice and all, but there’s so much we don’t know about it that we’d like to postphone our trip there as long as possible.

But that brings me to my second point, a simple word we often forget about.  Or we say it in passing, without fully thinking of its connotations.  That word is ETERNITY.

As Christians, if we believe we are going to spend ETERNITY in heaven with Christ, what exactly are these measly 70-90 years we might have on this earth but a blink of an eye, a mini introduction to the real living that’s yet to come?  Let’s not get so caught up in the preface that we forget about the never ending, much more exciting novel that’s ahead!  How’s that for perspective?

We like to put God in a box and say…  “If you want to be good to me Lord, it’s gotta be now.  Right here.  In this life.”  But the life we were created for is so much more.  These are just the years of our infancy.

Sure, I’d rather ‘live-out’ this introduction to its full length.  I hope to be blessed enough to see my children’s children and die peacefully at a ripe old age BEFORE my children do.  But ultimately, I don’t get to decide those things.  I’ve got my job description and it involves doing the best with what I’ve been given while I’m here.  It also involves doing my best by my children while they are here.  And if that’s only 9 weeks in the womb, then those are going to be the most love-filled, grateful-to-be-pregnant-weeks (morning sick as I may be) that I can muster.  That’s my job.  Trying to control who leaves this world when is above my pay grade.

So to summarize, I think that if my miscarriage reminded me anything it was that death is not as scary as we think it is.  We Christians shouldn’t fear what the rest of the world fears since we have a hope the rest of the world does not.  I have great plans of spending countless hours getting to know King David, Martin Luther, and C. S. Lewis in person (I’m sure the lines will be long, but I’ll have time on my side).  Yes, heaven really is a history-buff’s dream come true!  What’s more, I’ll get to meet my child and find out if he really is an Aaron like his father says he is or an Erin like I secretly hope she is.

And that doesn’t sound so bad to me.

23 thoughts on “A Mother’s Greatest Fear

  1. Ariel says:

    Hi Kelsey! I just want to say that this IS very encouraging. But I do have to disagree on one point. No matter how “long” you’ve known your child it still hurts all the same. I had a miscarriage before my first child and I only knew one day before it started. The bleeding, the pain, the anguish of losing your beloved baby. If it had been longer I don’t think it would have hurt any worse. It was the worst thing that had ever happened to me and 2 lovely children later it still hurts. But maybe that’s just me. I know I will meet my baby someday and that’s the only thing that gives me peace about it. I always feel that pain anytime I hear of a mother that’s gone through the same thing. Only a mother will understand how strong the love you feel from the moment you see the positive test. So I’m truly sorry for anyone that had to go through that but we will be with all our children one day and you have to hold on to that cause that will give you peace. Thank you for your encouraging words. Sorry for such a long comment but thought I should share. And I love your blog btw! Been following since almost the beginning 🙂

    • I'm Kelsey! says:

      Thank you for your kind comment and for following this long, Ariel! After my miscarriage, it took a good three months or so before I began feeling like a normal person again. I still think of him or her often, but it’s not with the same pain. I can’t imagine life returning to normal for me as quickly if I lost my three year old, though, since there’s so much more history and relationship to recover from. That’s what I meant, and I was in no way trying to belittle the loss of the ‘younger ones’. Hugs your way!

      • Ariel says:

        Oh yes I understand. I’m sorry I guess I meant only with pregnancy. Before you actually “meet” your little one. Oh I agree completely though. I can’t imagine the pain of losing a child after he/she is born. But I’m sure it’s so much worse. Sorry for the confusion.

    • Christina says:

      I had the same experience you did. I still remember everything about it, the due date, how I felt. I ask myself, what if I had done more to try to prevent it. But then I have 3 wonderful children whom I might not have had, if I would have had that blessing. I do think that knowing we will one day meet helps. You are right, it hurts. The due date is approaching & it is a rough day. God had a plan though & who am I to question it? He has blessed me so much more than I deserve.

      • I'm Kelsey! says:

        Thanks for sharing, Christina! Make that day special somehow and know that you have another child in heaven, just as real as your other three. 🙂 Hugs!

  2. dmdeluca17 says:

    Great that you can have an eternal perspective on such a loss. I think most women of faith get there, it just may take them longer than expected.

    It certainly took longer for me.

    Blessings,

    Dani

  3. joysturn.com says:

    Excellent blog Kelsey! I agree with everything you said. I lost my older sister to cancer five years ago, she was 44. Knowing she is in heaven with the Lord, alive & well, gives me such a sweeter feeling on eternity and heaven. It is what has gotten me through the pain of losing her. The day she died I told her I wouldn’t say goodbye, but see ya later! I can’t wait to see her again!

  4. Jen says:

    Beautiful post and spot-on. Thank you for sharing! As someone who has dealt with miscarriages and fertility issues, I totally agree. It’s something we need to remind ourselves more often, not just as comfort after losing a loved one, but on an every-day level, when comparing our homes, our clothes, our cars, our jobs, etc. with others. WHY do we spend so much time wishing for and working for the latest iPhones or skinny-jeans bodies when we should be spending more time wishing for and working for a closer relationship with our Savior. That relationship is what will really matter, both in this life (especially when tragedy strikes) and in the life to come. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Melissa s says:

    Thank you for this post! So much truth in the words you have written!

  6. Shayna says:

    I spotted this while scrolling thru my newsfeed in fb & immediately had to click & read the story! I myself have never been faced with miscarriage or the loss of a child but have had many friends & family go thru such tragic loss. I have recently loss my brother & your post has comforted me in my time of lossing him! I also fear the loss of my children or husband & pray constantly about this topic. I have a newly 2 yr old & an almost 4 yr old & happily married to a farmer 🙂 for almost 5 yrs now!! It seems I have seen more & more tragic stories of the loss of children, sick babies or farm accidents lately that have instilled such a fear of death in me!! This post has given me peace over the issue!! We serve an awesome God!!

    • I'm Kelsey! says:

      We definitely do! I’m glad the post brought some comfort. It’s a fear we all have to face at some point. Thank you for stopping by and for the encouraging words! God bless, Shayna!

  7. thegoodenoughmama says:

    Hi Kelsey! I have known the pain of 2 miscarriages, as well as the joy of delivering 2 full term babies. I am currently 11 weeks pregnant. Although I’ve had my share of worries during this first trimester, God prepared me for this pregnancy by having me study Esther just a few months ago. Esther went forward to the king, knowing that most likely he would kill her for coming to him without being summoned. She said “If I perish, I perish.” It seems she meant “If I perish, then God.” If I perish, God is still good.

    And that is how I am trying to trust God now: if my baby perishes, then God. If my whole world comes to an end, then God. This way, I am not delusional enough to think that bad things never happen, but I am trusting that if they do, I will be able to keep going not because of me, but because I serve a good God who is still worthy of praise.

  8. Valerie says:

    “I know that the longer you know someone, the harder it’s going to hurt to lose them. So perhaps the loss of my child didn’t ‘hit me as hard’, but as a Christian who believes in life at conception, I know we both lost children. I just didn’t know mine as well.” – Very true! I think it’s interesting that I found it a complete shock to my system when I had my first miscarriage, after only knowing for two days, but by the time I had my third miscarriage, it wasn’t as hard. Maybe I don’t allow myself to FEEL as connected until they’re born now because of that first loss. ??

    • I'm Kelsey! says:

      🙁 I can imagine it only getting harder after having one miscarriage after the other. I’m sure I’d be inclined to start distancing myself as well. Right now, I’m trying to resolve to throw myself into and appreciate each pregnancy from Day 1, while simultaneously realizing I may only have a few weeks with them. Hugs your way!

  9. tena paz says:

    Your blog was beautiful! I lost my 19 year old son in an auto accident and must admit have not been the same since. Must say your words did bring my heart some relief. Thank you, Sweetie.

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