How To Bear With Loss … And The Waiting

by Kristen Gilles

in Coping With Miscarriage/Stillbirth/Death

“I don’t like losing things!” I playfully shouted to Bobby on a recent evening after misplacing a new tube of Chapstick.  And then my heart came pouring out unexpectedly as I uttered,

“I don’t like losing babies and I don’t like losing my Chapstick!”

Tragic losses make little losses more difficult. I’ve felt the same way about plants withering and dying under my care.  “I can’t even keep this plant alive.  My son died in my care; it’s no wonder this plant did too.”  I’ve been tempted to believe this lie many times since our son Parker was stillborn In 2012.

Tragic loss changes the way you relate to everything.  There is nothing in my life that is not presently touched by the absence of my son.  I am reminded at least 100 times a day (it seems) that I am separated from my son, that my womb is empty, that something is missing in my life here. Conversely, every found object and every flourishing plant greatly encourages my heart.  In light of the tragic loss, these little victories are a much bigger deal than they normally would be.

But I’m tempted to credit myself for these wins, in the same way that I incorrectly attribute the losses to my inability to sustain life. When I forget God — that He holds everything together and has written all of our days in His book before a single day ever passes — and when I forget that He is the Author and Giver of Life, I’m tempted to think that I can and should hold everything together.

  • I’m tempted to believe that I failed as a mother to give my son life. 
  • I’m tempted to believe that I didn’t measure up as a mom and that’s why my son isn’t here and why my womb is still empty. 
  • I’m tempted to fret and worry about the outcome of my life and the future of my family. 
  • And I’m tempted to believe the lie that God is not for me and working everything together for my good.

But when I remember God — that He holds everything together, and that He authored Parker’s life and saw him before he was born, and that He carried him safely to live forever in heaven — then every reminder of Parker’s absence here becomes a signpost of the salvation God has accomplished and the redemption and renewal that He has promised.  Every resemblance of the loss reflects the reality of Heaven and the life that we have now and forever in Christ.

He has taken my son to live forever with Him there.  He has promised to return and take me home too. This is why and how we praise the Lord who keeps track of all of our sorrows, treasures our tears and makes us fruitful in this land of suffering.  God is with us.  God is for us.  God has promised to keep us ever in His care.  God has promised to return for us.  God has promised to make everything new.

So while we’re tempted to believe the lies of our enemy as we groan and wait in this dying world, we must remember our God, who cannot lie and who will not fail to prove all of His words true.  We must remember God, our help in ages past and our hope for years to come!

Losing someone you love is hard. Waiting to be reunited with them is harder. We have all lost something precious, and we all long and wait for restoration, redemption and rejoicing.  We can’t control what we’re given or what we lose.  We can’t control how long we wait for such gifts to be given, for wrongs to be righted, for Christ to return.  We are not the Author of life.  We are not sovereign.  But we are carried by the Sovereign God, the Author of life, the Giver of all good gifts.

We have been carried by Him from before we were born.  We will be carried by Him until the day He wipes away all of our tears.

I don’t like losing things.  But I’m thankful for what God allows us to gain through loss.  As I think about tragic loss, as I’m reminded of my son’s absence at every turn, I also think about gaining fellowship with Christ and experiencing the power of His resurrection.  When I think about losing my life, I will think about finding it in Christ.

I will think of Jesus who for the joy set before Him gave up His life and endured the cross, despising its shame, for me.  I will think of the Good Shepherd who seeks and finds lost sheep and promises not to lose any of those God has given to Him.  And as I ponder all of these things, I will praise the Lord who carries me and holds everything together by His Word.

“Listen to Me . . . I have cared for you since you were born.  Yes, I carried you before you were born.  I will be your God throughout your lifetime – until your hair is white with age.  I made you, and I will care for you.  I will carry you along and save you. . . . Do not forget this!  Keep it in mind! . . . Remember the things I have done in the past.  For I alone am God!  I am God and there is none like Me.  Only I can tell you the future before it even happens.  Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish.”  (Isaiah 46:3-4; 8-10)


Lynette Myers August 6, 2013 at 10:37 am

Thank out for this post. In have found myself in many if these moments since losing madilyne. I don’t know if you have gotten your hands on the book “Safe in the arms if God,” but I would highly recommend it. So encouraging.

Praying for you on the journey God has you on. Thankful for others that understand the journey purely for the support and understanding it offers. Wish no one knew this journey at all. Thankful that many know the hope of Jesus.

Kristen Gilles August 6, 2013 at 1:46 pm

Hi Lynette!
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts here. Bobby and I have read Safe In the Arms of God and referred many others to it as we’ve also been tremendously encouraged by God’s Truth expounded on by John MacArthur in this book. Thank you for your prayers as we journey together. I agree with your thanks to the Lord for the hope that many people have found in Jesus! Those who hope in the Lord will never be put to shame and never be disappointed! Praise God for giving us Jesus!

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