Hope and Healing After Childbearing Loss
- Friday, January 25, 2013
Editor's note: This is the final installment of a 3-Part series on healing from pregnancy loss. Today's article is co-written by Kim Ketola and Teske Drake. In Part 1, Kim Ketola writes on the guilt and grief after abortion. In Part 2, Teske Drake writes on the miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss.
Grief is a language our hearts must learn if we ever want to find true peace as the parent of a child who has died before birth. But how can you mourn over someone you have never met or only met briefly? Thus is the case in situations of childbearing loss (abortion, miscarriage, stillbirth) or early infant loss. It takes faith to follow the Lord to a place of grief. And it takes courage to release the sorrow which may be the only reminder you have that your child ever existed, this ache of unrequited parental love.
Christ’s invincible love provides the bridge of heavenly hope. He is a faithful witness who is able by his love to redeem all sin in order to fit us for his kingdom in heaven (Revelation 1:5-6). This redemption finds fruition as we embrace our child’s memory in order to bid them goodbye.
From Kim’s Heart…
By attending a post-abortion Bible study support group, I gained so much. I found healing through:
- listening and leaning on each other, bringing hope
- praying to know the sex of our child
- naming our child--having a name confers honor and dignity
- paying tribute to their lives at a memorial service
My baby’s small heart has eternal meaning, because coming to terms with his life and death has made me a follower of Jesus Christ. My baby Immanuel’s ministry is to help people see the truth in abortion, beginning with me and now extended to you. His story has touched hundreds of lives. Though he only lived for those twelve short weeks within my womb, his spirit and life witness the eternal worth and value of each and every person God has created. He has taught me to love, and to trust, and to hope. I know I will see him in heaven, where the Bible says there will be no tears and where we will be one in Christ.
That beauty and new life and hope can be yours too. The apostle Paul said, “Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep [in other words, die], or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. . . . We will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). This is the purifying hope we have concerning our children right now: in their resurrection, they are already like Jesus, and therefore they love and have forgiven us, just as he loves and has forgiven us. And as Jesus cradles us in his love, he creates in us a pure heart (Psalms 51:10).
From Teske’s Heart…
The painful grief experienced amidst my daughter’s terminal prenatal diagnosis and subsequent death led me to a place of promise that I may have never embraced had I not known such grief. It was there, deep in the trenches, where God revealed Himself faithful and true. The God of all comfort planted in me a desire to comfort others with the same comfort that I was so blessed to receive from Him (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). Thus, a ministry born out of loss to reach other grieving women for Christ. Subsequent miscarriages refined my faith and caused me to cry out to my Heavenly Father, “You are still my God!” amidst the pain of grief and loss. I’ve found great joy in carrying on the legacy of my children in heaven by sharing their brief lives with others for the glory of God.
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