Finding Refuge in the Midst of Grief
By: Kysa Schaefer
My son Nathan Marcus and my daughter Faith Marie were given 59 days from conception to their blessed reunion with the Lord their God. In those 59 days I didn’t see them and I didn’t carry them, but my heart overflows with love for them. My husband and I failed to conceive a child after years of trying, so we pursued IVF. Nathan and Faith were two of our precious embryos, and we sadly lost them in part due to serious chromosomal abnormalities and in part due to a miscommunication with our fertility clinic.
Wrestling with Grief
I could write a novel on all of my thoughts and emotions surrounding our grief. I suppose all of us in the child loss community could. I have such complex questions and feelings about the loss of Nathan and Faith — imposter syndrome, self-blame, wishing death wasn’t a reality we had to face, the ever present ache of knowing I’ll never see what their little faces would have looked like in this life, the pain of knowing they never got to be cozy inside my very own womb.
Finding Anchors in God’s Word
Thankfully, the most amazing and helpful grief book already exists, the Holy Bible. God’s words to us, laid out so poetically and beautifully, are relevant, sustaining, and life-giving in the context of our grief and in regard to each and every struggle arising from the loss of a child. One of my many anchors through this grief is Psalm 139:14-16“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” God’s Word is full of promises that tether me to love, light, hope, and everything else I need to put one foot in front of the other.
God’s Word says that He made Nathan and Faith fearfully and wonderfully. God’s Word says that their 59 days were ordained. God gave them a purpose in those days, which turned out to be, among other purposes I may only find out about when I join them in heaven, a change in forms and protocols at our clinic. God’s Word says that He saw them and surrounded them each of the days they were here, and that He has always known that those specific days were coming. That is such a comfort to me, especially since I wasn’t able to physically be with them during their 59 days or during their passage into heaven. God’s Word says that He is to be praised for creating them. While it is difficult to be full of praise during loss, praise doesn’t need to look like happy singing and dancing and rejoicing. Praise can simply be, like it often is for me, a “Thank you for giving me this child.” during a good cry. God is indeed worthy of praise for each miraculous life He has created.
Exchanging My Pain for His Peace
God’s Word covers, quite literally, each and every regret, doubt, guilt, fear, and pain that I have over my losses. In exchange for my heavy baggage, He gives me His light yoke and His peace.
Precious bereaved parents, my prayer for you and my plea to you is to turn to this most amazing grief book in your hurt and in your struggle. Take refuge there. Find comfort for your heart in knowing that God loved your priceless child each and every day they were on this earth. Dare to find joy as you are reassured about the blessed reunion and perfect healing your child is experiencing right this very instant with the Lord in heaven. Praise Him for fearfully and wonderfully making your amazing child, and for ordaining each and every moment of your child’s life. Let peace wash over you as you feel God’s warm embrace through His encouraging Word.
Kysa is a mom who has been carried by the Lord through infertility, child loss, and the birth of two beautiful twin boys. She also volunteers as a grant writer with Praying Through Ministries.