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I wish there was a manual on moving forward after a miscarriage. Sure, there’s a lot of information out there on what to do and what not to do, and the pamphlet they send you home with at the hospital talks about doing lots of nice things for yourself, like buying yourself small things and getting regular massages. (Really? I mean, it would be nice, but it seems like you’re milking it, rather than processing through your feelings.) Without a doubt, writing about miscarriage is strange. I’m sure there are many readers who have skipped these posts because they make them uncomfortable or they don’t think they have anything to do with their lives. I was like that, too, thinking miscarriage was just something that happened to other people once in a while, until I was that person and it happened to me. Twice. And then I couldn’t get enough of the personal stories and blog posts on grieving and processing and moving forward.

As I sat in church a few Sundays ago, God made me painfully aware of the hurt that is happening in the church as it relates to miscarriage and infertility. There was the woman across the room who has struggled with secondary infertility for years, unable to have a second child. I only know of her story secondhand, but I feel her pain just the same. There’s was couple a few rows behind us who I know first hand has struggled to conceive and feels like they are at the end of their rope. There’s the family friend back home who gave birth to a stillborn baby and then had a miscarriage a few months ago. I’m sure those stories are just the tip of the iceberg.

When I went to the doctor’s office for our 12 week appointment, I told my mom that if there was anything wrong with this pregnancy there was absolutely no way that I was going to be okay. It was too much, I told her, to see my sister-in-laws and friends go on being pregnant while I got “left behind.” If it happened, I would be devoid of hope, destroyed, broken into a thousand pieces, distrusting of God.

And then something funny happened. Well, not exactly funny, but you know what I’m saying. We went to the doctor and got that bad news and had our heart broken into a thousand pieces, but I was okay, and so was Joe. I faced what I had been so fearful of all along and lived to tell the tale. And now, a few weeks removed, I’m experiencing something I never though was possible, something only possible by the grace of God.

I feel peace right where I am today, and I’m not just saying it because it’s the “Christian” answer. In fact it may sound strange, but I feel like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be at this moment, right where God’s hand is holding me temporarily. Not pregnant, in the “valley” if you will, experiencing sadness but also an enormous amount of peace, too.

The first time we miscarried, I couldn’t wait to move on and get pregnant again. It was an almost frantic need to move forward, to put this chapter behind us and have a healthy baby. This time I don’t feel that same frantic need to move beyond this. Sure, I do hope that this is just a season and that we move forward eventually and have the family that we so desire, I am cherishing being part of this community of hurting, humbled women. (Miscarriage, by the way, humbles you in ways I never thought possible.) Before our second miscarriage, being part of the “infertility club” as I called it scared me to death. It was a club I wanted nothing to do with. That was not me and not my story! But it is me and it is part of my story, for however long God wants it to last, and I feel peace in the valley, in the waiting, in the not knowing.

A blog reader and new found friend said that she and her hubby read Lamentations 3 a lot while they were going through their infertility journey. The other day I sat outside on our patio furniture in the sunshine while Joe worked in the yard and read those words over and over again, letting God wash me in His beautiful truths:

22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”

25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
27 It is good for a man to bear the yoke
while he is young.

28 Let him sit alone in silence,
for the Lord has laid it on him.
29 Let him bury his face in the dust—
there may yet be hope.
30 Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him,
and let him be filled with disgrace.

31 For no one is cast off
by the Lord forever.
32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
so great is his unfailing love.
33 For he does not willingly bring affliction
or grief to anyone.

What a beautiful reminder, no? The Lord is good to those who hope in Him! My greatest fear through this experience has been that I would loose hope and would be discouraged and fearful about our future. When friends have asked me how they can be praying, I have responded almost every time with, “Pray that I wouldn’t lose hope, that I would continue to feel encouraged about the future for our family and God’s plan for our life.” I have no idea what the future will hold, but I’m trusting and hoping in God and His great plan.

My prayer for each of you who are going through the valley is that you, too, would be encouraged and feel peace that surpasses all human understanding. I welcome each and every e-mail from anyone who is going through this experience and would love to be praying for you and your own journey.

Madison

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  • Chris

    Love this post, love your faith, and love your openess with all of us. I will pray for your future family and for your strength through Christ.

    • MadisonMayberry

      Thank you so much, Chris! It’s amazing how God can come in and change your heart and your mind when you really open yourself up and allow Him to. I appreciate your prayers!

  • http://foodloveswriting.com/ Shanna

    YES to everything in this one.

    • MadisonMayberry

      Love to you, my dear friend. :)

  • Amy Schleif Lund

    I have been a quiet follower of yours for a little while now, I was a floormate of Amber’s at Bethel. I somehow found my way to your story. Your candid writing is refreshing and brings me hope. I’ve experienced two miscarriages amid a struggle with infertility. Your words provide strength and hope through an experience that often feels hopeless

    • MadisonMayberry

      Amy, so nice to “e-meet” you. And thank you for your comment and kind words. I will be thinking of you, too, and sending prayers your way. It’s so wonderful to be able to connect with other women who are experiencing these same struggles, even though I hate that we have to have this sadness in common. I pray that God will give you that little one(s) you so desire. His timing is so perfect, and I know he’ll be faithful to us if we remain faithful to Him during these rocky times.

  • http://www.manysparrows.me/ Kayla

    Beautiful, Madison! There is so much power in sharing our stories — thank you for transparently + gracefully sharing yours.

  • Elena

    Hi Madison, I’ve posted in response to one of your other posts, but because you said you found healing in reading the stories of others, I wanted to include a link to the post I recently wrote about our losses, and our current pregnancy. I hope it is helpful to you, and just know that I am absolutely believing for you and your future family.

    http://ballamadventures.wordpress.com/2014/04/14/timing/

    • MadisonMayberry

      Elena, thank you so much for your comment and for sharing your own story. I went to read it right after I read your comment and was so encouraged to hear your faith story and story of God’s faithfulness to you and your family after quite a bit of sadness and heartbreak. Thank you, thank you. You encouraged me so much!

  • Kelly

    Wow, Madison, this was a wonderful bit to read. I suffered a miscarriage as well and everything that you wrote was spot on. I know it can be difficult to talk about but thank you for taking the time to share your feelings and experience. It is wonderful to know I’m not alone in these feelings and your post definitely inspired me to stay positive and know this is God’s plan right now. Very well done!

    • MadisonMayberry

      Kelly, you are absolutely not alone. It’s amazing how much more compassionate you become to other’s heartaches after a miscarriage, isn’t it? I pray that you, too, will feel God’s peace and know that you are loved deeply by our creator. I believe so strongly that God’s going to use these sad times we are experiencing for good eventually, even if we can’t see it right now. Praying for you and your future family right now! xo

  • Sarah Crosby

    You’re heart is pure gold sister. I know the Lord will be faithful to you – as He already has in the peace that you are displaying through your writing. As someone who has been down the road of losing a baby way too soon – I can tell you that you will be blessed beyond measure for your obedience to Him and your leaning into His promises. My miscarriage is a huge part of my testimony now. The Lord revealed more of himself to me in that season of pain than I can ever imagine. Know that you are loved and being prayed for – not just thought of, but a genuine pleading to God on you and your families behalf.

    • MadisonMayberry

      Oh He has been faithful! What answered prayers that I can write these things today and truly feel joy and peace despite hard times and great sadness. I was so terribly afraid that this experience would make me bitter or jealous or hopeless. But instead I’ve been so encouraged and uplifted by sharing my story and hearing the stories of others who have walked this path. Thank you so much for the prayers. I know that you truly mean that when you say you are praying and I’m to thankful for those prayers. They are felt, every single one of them.

  • Krista O

    Thank you so much Madison for touching people with your heart ache. We lost a little one a year ago and were also amazed at all the stories people told us. So sorry for your pain, but praise the Lord you have the comfort of Jesus with you. We miss you guys and will be praying for hope and joy to be poured out in your life. His promises never fail!

    • MadisonMayberry

      Oh Krista, thank you for your comment and kind words. I am so sorry to hear of your loss, too, but know that God has shown such faithfulness to you in the family that you have and your newest little one. I miss you guys, too, and hope that you will let us know next time you are in Minneapolis. It would be great to see you!

  • http://thoughtsbynatalie.com/ Natalie Lynn Borton

    What a beautiful scripture, Madison. Although I haven’t experienced the loss of miscarriage, I know many women who have (including my own mom, twice), and will certainly pass this post along to anyone I know who needs spiritual encouragement. Thank you for your honest and vulnerability through this—it’s so beautiful to hear your heart.

    • MadisonMayberry

      Thank you, Natalie, your words mean so much. I hope that this experience doesn’t go to waste, and that others can be encouraged when they go through something similar. It’s a hard place to be, but God’s goodness and graciousness is so evident even in our sadness and heartache.

  • http://www.dessertfortwo.com/ DessertForTwo

    Oh, Madison. I shed a tear every time I read your posts on miscarriage. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful passage. It’s so great to hear you have peace. You surely know the Lord is listening and our prayers are being heard xo

    • MadisonMayberry

      You are so incredibly kind, dear friend. More than anything, this experience has shown me so much how the Lord love us and cares for us, even when we go through rocky and difficult times. Thank you for your support and friendship, it’s so appreciated!

  • http://livefaithfully.blogspot.com/ Urban Wife

    I love this post so much. That passage in Lamentations, it’s amazing and brings so much healing. Praying for you continually..
    xo

    • MadisonMayberry

      Doesn’t it?! it’s such a beautiful passage and I’m thankful it was passed along to me. It’s been such a source of encouragement when I need to remind myself what is real and true.

  • http://www.wowwholehearted.com Alicia Economos

    What a beautiful, heart-felt message. Thanks for sharing your genuine feelings, as well as your hope. With our kids now 26 and 22 I don’t often reflect back, but we had major infertility issues when trying to have a family. At that time there were hardly any options and it certainly wasn’t something people talked about. So thankful that is no longer the case. I pray that someday in the future, you can look back at these challenges, while smiling at your kiddos and seeing God’s amazing plans unfold for your life. Sending prayers your way.

  • http://realhomeliving.blogspot.com/ Laura Britton

    Thank you for sharing what God is teaching you, Madison. You are being amazingly strong through this whole thing, and I know it’s because of the Lord! You are so wise to choose peace in this trying situation and let God shape and mold you through it. I think of you often and am praying for you!

  • Brindi B

    So heart-felt, and I know this post on this season you are going through is touching someone! My prayers and thoughts go out to you.

  • Jolene L

    I stumbled onto your site via instagram.. Thank you so much for this post. Having had our first miscarriage 3 months ago and dealing with all the heart break and knowing I need to let go and move on has been tremendously difficult. I’m so sorry for your loss and the pain you’ve gone through.. And it’s good to hear encouragement from someone who has experienced something similar as we have.. Thank you.