Holy Grieving in Miscarriage

“As in all sweetest music, a tinge of sadness was in every note. Nor do we know how much of the pleasures of life we owe to the intermingled sorrows. Joy cannot unfold the deepest truths, although deepest truth must be deepest joy. Cometh white-robed Sorrow, stooping and wan, and flingeth wide the doors she may not enter.”
George MacDonald, Phantastes

“Sorrow herself will reveal one day that she was only the beneficent shadow of Joy.”
George MacDonald, Alec Forbes of Howglen

~

The silence pulsed, a looming dread of something terrible yet unmet.

My heart pounded as I lay on the cold bed of the emergency room. I willed myself not to shake, get a grip, trying to unclench the knot in my belly as I looked up at the late night doctor-on-call as she frowned at the ultrasound monitor.

The monitor was turned away, the doctor wouldn’t say a word to me… and as 2 more doctors were called in, my heart began to sink with the dawning realization that a “let’s check, just in case”  hospital run had turned into something much worse than we’d expected.

The next 48 hours were a series of doctors’ consultation, phone calls, holding on to faith, and crushing devastation: our baby’s heart had stopped beating. We had miscarried. Through the blur of hours of contractions and so much bleeding, I gave birth to our baby 6 months too early. We were worn out and in so much pain physically, emotionally, spiritually.

Miscarriage was not a foreign word to me but it had always seemed like a concept far removed from my reality – like something I’d read or hear about, but which experience would never touch my world.

Then that reality careened into mine and I was not prepared for the anguish.

I didn’t know that a miscarriage was just like giving birth, complete with hours of painful contractions and giving birth to our baby… except with a different outcome: Our baby was dead. There was no baby to hold to make the pain of childbirth worthwhile, only a sense of loss and emptiness. We wouldn’t get to take our baby Justice home, breathe in his new baby smell, dress him in the cute Mickey Mouse onesie we’d bought with so much joy & anticipation.

I didn’t know we’d grieve our unborn first child like a parent would grieve the loss of their child. I didn’t expect how much we’d love our baby before having met him. In the 3 months of our baby Justice’s life in my womb, Alex & I talked so much about his destiny, how he would change the world, and all the amazing prophecies that people received about his destiny. While he was in the womb, we had seen his whole life and how special he would be.

The conception of our baby Justice Wiraatmaja had been foretold by so many prophets this year. Upon conception, we received yet more prophecies around the world of his prophetic destiny. He was called to fight for justice, especially children with special needs, and be an intercessor forerunner & prophet to his generation. We were in the midst of an intense prayer shield with our partners championing the Heartbeat Bill in USA (intercession for justice for children, all the things he was called for) when our baby’s own heart stopped beating. We couldn’t understand why.

My body is on the mend, and our hearts have grieved these past two weeks.

We grieved over our unborn child as people grieve over a person’s death.. because he was a person. He had a whole life, a full life of possibilities, that we had seen clear as day. Just as we celebrated his new life, we mourned his death.

I wanted to honor the precious life of our baby by grieving him instead of sweeping the loss of him under the rug of christian platitudes. Holy grieving can be worship to God. Holy sorrow leads to holy joy, and we can’t short-circuit the process but neither should we linger more than we should.

The following are some things I’ve arrived at in the process of moving from mourning to dancing, sorrow to joy.

“David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth on the ground. The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them.

On the seventh day the child died. David’s attendants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, ‘While the child was still living, he wouldn’t listen to us when we spoke to him. How can we now tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate.’

David noticed that his attendants were whispering among themselves, and he realized the child was dead. ‘Is the child dead?’ he asked.

‘Yes,’ they replied, ‘he is dead.’

Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate.” – 2 Samuel 12

Worship God with our questions.

In grieving these 2 weeks, I’ve experienced the range of emotions of the stages of grief: denial, anger, depression, etc. They’ve come & gone in waves, and the intensity of those waves are abating now. But the thing that most threatened to engulf and drag me down to the darkness were my questions. I had, still have, so many.

About God: Why did God allow this? Why would He give so much promise for our baby’s life only to take that life away? Is He angry with me?

About me: Did I do something wrong? Did I make a mistake and cost my baby his life? Was it because I was going to be a bad mother, so God took him to a better place?

About our baby: Did he suffer? How did he feel as his heart slowed to a stop? Was he scared? Was he in pain? Did he feel alone? Did he know he was loved, wanted, precious?

“Why” from the bottom of my heart, I was so desperate for God to answer me. But He didn’t, not this time. There’ve only been a few other seasons in my life with pain that rivals this one, and most of those times God has shown up to speak & answer me.

But this time, in these weeks of mourning, God has remained silent. Not absent, but silent. He has sat with me in my pain, the tears on my face mirroring the tears running down his. He has held my hand and wept with me. He has given me no answers to tranquilize my grief, and somehow that has given a dignity to the process.

Our mentor told Alex & I that there are some things we just will not understand on this earth, and will only see in full clarity in eternity. I won’t deny my questions, but I will worship God in spite of them.

Be honest with God…

How can He meet us face-to-face until we take off our masks and have faces?

I’m an introvert and while grieving I didn’t want to meet/talk to anyone. I wanted to be left alone to process my thoughts & feelings. I wanted to have my thoughts processed before I said anything.

But here’s the thing with intimacy: we don’t obtain it with clean, processed niceties. We arrive at intimacy when we allow someone else to look into our souls, naked, raw, messy. The pinnacle of human intimacy was Jesus on the cross – undressed, bloody, sweat and tears on display.

God wasn’t ashamed of my weakness. He didn’t flinch at my pain. He didn’t need me to “have it all together” or have the right answers. He just needed me to let my guard down and let Him be the strong one in the relationship, let Him be the perfect one.

The healing process requires our souls bared to the Healer. To have our hearts cleansed & healed, we need to be honest with Him in our pain, anger, wrong thoughts… there is no shame in His presence. He can take it and He will fix it.

… but remember He is God

While we can be fully confident in the goodness of God, we must remember also the reverent fear of the Lord. We cannot approach Him as entitled orphans, but as children to a Father. We can speak our minds to Him, but we must let His speak too. Wait and hear His response. God is not our rubbish bin. He is holy, He is God.

When we let God be God, we honor Him for who He is. And that invites the active power of God into our lives.

Identify with the pain…

Sit with it and embrace the pain because that begins the process of healing. Don’t trivialize it, ignore it, nor spiritualize it. Face your giants because you were meant to vanquish them. Embracing pain means that we choose to accept that pain is an inevitable, necessary part of success and growth. Without pain there is no growth, no triumph, no victory. Don’t fear pain. It’s inevitable. And when it does come, walk through it with an open mind and heart, instead of running from it.

… but don’t let pain be your identity

We don’t let pain become our identity and resign ourselves to a life of misery.

“In life I have found two kinds of people to be the most uninteresting (Is it ok to admit that there are people who are uninteresting?).

The first is the person who has never suffered. It is still surprising to me, but I have met people who have told me they have never suffered, they have never failed; they have lived a life absolutely devoid of pain and disappointment.

Living as long as I have, I have discovered that people who live these Teflon lives have only managed that outcome by living a life without risk, passion, or love. We cannot love deeply or risk greatly and never know failure or disappointment. Not even God was able to pull that one off. Love never comes without wounds; faith never comes without failure.

But there is another kind of uninteresting person. It is the person who has suffered, and that suffering is all they know. They are trapped in their pain; they wallow in their despair; they are all wounds and no scars. All they can talk about is their pain.

Life is suffering, and the suffering does not make them empathetic. They have no room for the pain of others. Their pain fills their entire universe… As uninteresting as the person who has never suffered may be, this second person wins the prize. It’s hard to tell a great story if we remain stuck in chapter one.” – Erwin McManus, The Artisan Soul

Photo 27-10-16, 11 38 24 AM

Alex & I are healing and moving forward. God has taken care of us so well. Our love for each other has also been strengthened through this season of pain. He has shown us His love in many ways this season, and I am thankful.

Pain still meets us at unexpected times like when we walk past a Dim Sum restaurant (Justice loved Xiao Long Baos) or anything that reminds us of him. We miss him, and I don’t think we will stop missing him till we meet him again in heaven. I’m coming to understand that God doesn’t want to fix our pain or get rid of it like it’s a problem to be solved. He wants to be invited into it. He wants to walk with us like He did with Adam in the cool of the Garden. Healing is the process that acquaints us with the Healer.

I needed to write this story because writing is healing to me and helps me process experiences. If that writing helps someone else to heal, praise God for that.

If you are walking through a season of pain or loss, I’m linking the prophetic 40-day devotional I wrote a few years back after I’d come out of a season of deep pain. The Lord told me to write it because He wants to heal hearts and help His children begin the jourey of walking out of their pain and into wholeness.

Miscarriage Recovery Community

In my recovery process, I realised that miscarriage is seldom talked about and therefore little understood. I did a poll on Instagram, and while 90% responded that either they or someone they personally knew had miscarried, only 37% actually had basic knowledge of miscarriage and its recovery process. I was shocked and felt like something had to be done. More conversations need to get going so that we are better educated & equipped on this subject. We need to blow this thing wide open because so many women (and their husbands too!) suffer this pain in silence and shame. Shame is not of God.

This topic needs to be laid out in the open so we as a Body can better represent God’s heart in this matter. I’ve started this “by community for community” place to get the conversation going and hopefully increase miscarriage-literacy. This is a place for people to ask questions on miscarriage (no question is taboo) and get them answered by others in community. This is for people who are looking for support in miscarriage recovery, and also for those who want to grow in understanding so they can help those who have miscarried.

miscarriagerecovery

(Click this button to go to the Miscarriage Recovery platform)

I  pray that this platform can play a part in getting us as a Body more engaged, we are called to bring healing to a hurting world. I pray that this platform supports people who’ve miscarried, helping them to grieve and heal. We honor our baby’s life when we grieve them well, and we honor God in our lives when our grief turns to crowns of beauty for His glory. If this resonates with you, welcome to join us at Miscarriage Recovery ♥️ Let your friends know, it’s a place for:

• those in recovery looking for support
• those who want to learn & understand how to help those who’ve miscarried
• those who want to grow in understanding on this subject
• those who’ve walked through miscarriage(s) and can share their wisdom & insight
• healthcare professionals

May we be known as a people who grieve well and whose sorrows lead to exceeding abundant joy.

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A Sign of the Times

In the first half of this year, the Lord spoke to me, “Watch the volcanoes in Indonesia, and large bodies of land & water near those volcanoes. Pay attention and watch their movement. When the dormant volcanoes of this land begin to move (erupt), it’s going to be sign of movement in the spiritual realm.”

Shortly after this word from the Lord, a string of volcanic eruptions began to occur across the Indonesian archipelago – Mount Merapi erupted several times in May, Mount Agung in June, Mount Krakatau in June, July & September. There has also been a line of tsunami and earthquakes in recent months.

As I pressed in to the Lord about what all of this meant, the Lord began to show me that the “awakening” of these volcanoes was a reflection of spiritual activity. One of those reasons was that the earth was groaning & crying out for the revealing of His sons & daughters. The Lord also began to reveal to us practical strategies that we needed to partner with Him in restoring the land of Indonesia to her destiny – the destiny the land was crying out for.

As I’ve sat on this over the past few months, I heard the Lord say that this was to be a sign to the rest of the world as well. The following is what I sense He had to say to nations.

Part 1: Land: A Living Prophecy

I heard the Lord say, “See where the sea flows, watch where the wind blows.”

The earth itself groans for the revealing of My sons & daughters (Romans 8:19). My children were meant to take dominion over land, to tend and nurture and lead as Kings on this earth. Because so many of My children have not recognized their authority & responsibility, there has been a mass abdication.. and in their silence the rocks are crying out.

The time is now. My children must arise and take ownership of the destiny of their nation.

The movement of land, sea, and wind is a testament to you: The earth cries out for My sons & daughters to take their rightful place. If they will not do it, even the stones will not stay silent.

The land cries out to see her destiny fulfilled, and this applies to every nation on this earth. Every nation has her unique destiny, and her people have their unique responsibility to disciple their nation into the purposes of God.

Watch your land, carefully observe the movements in the earth of your nation. These movements will be living prophecies to you. Seek the Lord to be like the sons of Issachar, who knew the times & seasons AND knew what they had to do in their generation!

Part 2: End Time Army: Fight The Nephilim

The movement of the earth is meant to awaken My children and shake My church from her slumber. I have sounded the clarion call for My end time army to assemble. Who will hear Me? Who will say “yes”?

“After being made alive, He (Jesus) went and made PROCLAMATION to the imprisoned spirits – to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah.” – 1 Peter 3: 19 & 20

The spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus. The testimony of Jesus is the proclamation of His death, resurrection, and victory!

This is going to be so needed in the last days. As the days get darker, My children will shine brighter. In the days of the nephilim, there was much evil, debauchery, idolatry, and demonic activity… but in those days I raised up My son Noah, who was righteous in His generation and triumphed over all the evil in his land.

These are like the days of Noah, with many giving themselves to feasting, drinking, and satisfying the flesh. The fear of the Lord is heard little of. But I am raising an end time army to defeat the Nephilim once more!

You are living testaments of Jesus. You are living prophecies! As you go about your daily life, your footsteps around your city are literally proclaiming the testimony of Jesus. Oh, that more of My children would realize the tremendous power they hold to bring good to their land!

My children, be conscious about proclaiming the testimony of Jesus – His death, resurrection, and victory – in your daily life.

Where the enemy has planted fear, you must seed faith. Where there is apathy, you must seed truth and fire. Where there has been unrighteousness, sow righteousness and love. Do not tire of doing good, for you will reap a harvest in due time if you do not give up.

Every conversation, every thought, every choice you make, every relationship you have.. let it be a proclamation of My glory in your sphere of earth.

The 1) prophecy of the land must give rise to 2) the testimony of Jesus.

This is how My end time army will fight and win!

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Things That Last

Hi friends, how’ve you been? Long time no see. I haven’t posted much in the public space (here, instagram, elijah list, etc) over the past year, and I thought some explanation was fitting before I share anything else. Just to lay your minds at ease, Alex and I are doing well! God has been very good.

(I know I still owe you guys the complete story of how we met, I’m working on that!)

Over the past year or so, the Lord has kept me in a place of incubation & hiddenness before Him. I haven’t been allowed to share or post much about my revelation and experiences in the secret place, and I know that the Lord wants these things to be kept sacred… for a time, maybe for all time, I don’t know but I’m just trusting & obeying.

It’s been a season of learning, unlearning, relearning, healing, waiting, waiting… and waiting. And of course, a season of much grace, abundant blessing, and much of HIM. If I had to choose one analogy for this season, it would undoubtedly have to be the process of pregnancy and the nesting period leading up to birth. I feel like God has literally gone into full-blast nesting mode over my life this past year,  clearing out the unnecessary things, removing clutter, realigning priorities, feeding me with the good stuff, preparing me to be His womb on this earth. And that’s the job of true intercessors, isn’t it? To be His womb on this earth, birthing His will and plans.

That’s about all I can share of my past year. I know it’s not much, but I hope it did give some sort of account for my relative silence. Now that that’s been said, there is one thing I’m allowed to share and that’s what I’m going to be writing to you today.

I know we’ve stepped into a shift in God’s calendar, and we’re now called to faith & pressing-in while we’re here between the-now-and-the-not-yet. I believe each one of us is called to a realignment in our lives this season.

One of the key thoughts I’ve had through this is: “What can I invest in that’s eternal?” The words of King Solomon keep coming back to me as I take stock on what we spend our time, money, energy, mind & heart space, on. Vanity, vanity, all is vanity. We spend most of our lives on things that only last a lifetime, and once we’re gone it’s gone. Is life really meant to chase after such futility? What’s the point of living, of even trying, then? Is this the eternal life Jesus died for?

Holy discontent is good, for it pushes us out of comfort/complacency and into a journey into the mysteries of God to seek the so-much-more. I’ve prayed, waited on (wrestled with) God, had many conversations with Alex, and read the book of Ecclesiastes. I’ve found much comfort in the book of Ecclesiastes as I’ve wrangled with the questions & thoughts on eternity and how that impacts life on earth… or perhaps how life on earth intersects with the eternal. I don’t think I have it even remotely figured out, but I do feel like I’m starting to find some peace and I wanted to share some simple thoughts here.

Below I have listed the things we chase after, and spend much of ourselves in pursuit of. There are 2 ways we chase after each item on the list: the vanity, and the eternal. Vanity is what is temporal, fleeting, fading. Eternal is what lasts forever.

I am not saying that we should just live in the eternal, self-care be damned. I do believe we need to take care of body, soul, and spirit. But what I am hoping to point us to is the focus, the priority, in our lives. Do we give ourselves more to the temporal? Are we investing in the eternal?

BEAUTY

Vanity:

  • Hair: A color job lasts a few month, tops. Hair treatments, hair cuts, hair styles, don’t last more than a few months, and then they have to be done all over again.
  • Skin: It changes from our teens, 20s, 30s, 50s.. the products, care, and treatments we need are ever changing and, dare I say it, ever growing.
  • Nails: How long does a manicure last before it needs to be done again? We cut our nails every week/every other week, and then we do it all over again. Perfect example of temporality and the futility of one’s actions.
  • Clothes: What impact does dressing well have in heaven? Does it matter, in the grand scheme of things, how many nice clothes & accessories we own? Does that impact earth or heaven in any good, long-term way?

(Note: again, I am not proposing that we all let ourselves go and turn back into cavement. I am simply attempting to highlight how much of our time and money go into things that really don’t last)

Eternal:

  • A gentle & quiet spirit: “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” 1 Peter 3
  • The fear of the Lord: “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31
  • Wisdom & good judgment: Story of Abigail & David, 1 Samuel 25

 

POWER

Vanity:

  • Fame & popularity: In this day and age, anyone gets their five-minutes of fame and anything goes viral… and is forgotten tomorrow. Fame is too unstable, temporal, and temperamental a promise to stake much of life upon.
  • Influence: The heart of man is fickle. Jesus would not entrust Himself to man because He knew what was in the heart of man (John 2). Even Julius Caesar noted that whose who cheer for you today can jeer at you tomorrow.
  • Control: Is an illusion. No man is control of anything or anyone, only God is. Those who go to war for power and control will spend the rest of their lives fighting to keep it.

Eternal:

  • Doing good to others, even those who hurt us: “To those who by perseverance in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality, He will give eternal life.” Romans 2
  • Jesus Christ: He is our eternal life (John 3:16, Romans 6:23). Invest in your intimate relationship with Him. “Martha, Martha… few things are needed – or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10
  • Being faithful to speak the truth, even when it’s unpopular: “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4

 

WEALTH/PLEASURE

Vanity:

  • Money
  • Material posessions
  • Luxury
  • Fun
  • Feeling good
  • Entertainment
  • Adventures & experiences

We all know how fleeting these things are. I don’t think I have to go deeper into how the pursuit of these have absolutely no impact on the eternal.

Eternal:

  • Being faithful to stay righteous, even amongst evil: “For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4
  • Love: For love never fails. Love remains. When we love God & others above ourselves, we invest in eternal crowns.

KNOWLEDGE

Vanity:

  • Intelligence
  • Learning
  • Discovery

Look, I have increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge. Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind.” Ecclesiastes 1

Eternal:

  • The word of God: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.” Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21
  • The Kingdom of God: “See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12

 

Clearly, the list is non-exhaustive. And each of us will focus on different aspects, according to the journey God has for us.

For me, I want to begin to intentionally invest in the following eternal things: the fear of the Lord, wisdom & good judgment, doing good to others even when it’s hard, righteousness, intimacy with Jesus, and the Kingdom of God.

I challenge you to sit before God over the next few days. Ask Him to reveal to you some of the eternal pursuits He would you have you spend your time, energy, and resources on. It is an important exercise for each child of God to have, especially as we are living in urgent days and we need to be building our lives on what is unshakable!

Praying for each one of you, I really do <3

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Idream of Eden. We were made for the Garden and the full pleasure of paradise. We got separated at Eden and we spend our whole lives searching for a way back into that secret paradise. All of life's pursuit + pain + questioning can be traced back to man's search for home. Our deepest instincts tell us that we are not home outside of this reality, and our souls will never stop searching until we return. Only there will we find rest and our true being. There, we begin to dream again the dreams that have laid asleep in our hearts all along.

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