Dear Grieving Mom –
by Adriel Booker
Maybe your grief is fresh and raw and you’re still reeling from the suffocating blow of a recent miscarriage. Or maybe you’ve long ago buried a secret grief but something within is probing you to lean in closer to the pain once again. Let me be as straightforward as possible with you: I can’t answer the cosmic “why” of your miscarriage, but I can validate and help you understand your pain and grief as we look together toward the day when Jesus makes all things new.
I discovered something in the early days after my first miscarriage, when grief came pounding with incredible force: If I didn’t dive deep, the waves of grief would absolutely pummel me. In surfing, this is called a “duck dive.” The apostle Paul calls it being “hidden with Christ” (Col. 3:3).
I call it survival.
As I began to practice my own deep dive after losing our daughter, Scarlett Grace, to miscarriage, I discovered this was actually more than survival. It was an invitation: Would I find Jesus in the deep?
It’s normal to be filled with questions when experiencing personal trauma. What have I done to deserve this? Is this my fault? Why would God let this happen? Is he punishing me for something? How can I go on with life as I once knew it? Is God—or his goodness—even real? What if my whole faith is a sham?
Because the grief of miscarriage often goes unspoken, these types of questions can eat away at the soul and confidence of a woman as she tries to shoulder the burden of them in secret. The power of grief can sweep us off our feet. But we can learn how to breathe under the deep. We can grieve with hope. We may be brokenhearted or even crushed, but we will not be destroyed. We might even find that, in our weakness, we’re stronger than we think.
Scarlett can lead to grace—a grace I would need as two more miscarriages followed my first.
My husband, Ryan, and I have six children, only three of whom share our dinner table. Motherhood has been a brilliant teacher, exposing the paradox contained within the experience of my grief: Suffering and joy can coexist.
Grief is wild like the sea, but it doesn’t need to destroy us. We can’t conquer it, but we can navigate it, and we can find Jesus there too.
May you grant yourself permission to feel, to wrestle, and to be fully awake to your suffering. May your soul be nurtured. May you take your time and breathe deeply. May you use your last bit of strength to dive below the surface when you see those wild waves approaching. Will you let your Scarlett—your own personal pain—be a gateway for God’s grace?
When you look toward the goodness of God, dear heart, I promise you’ll see it.
Adriel Booker, Grace Like Scarlett, Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, © 2019. Used by permission.
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