It is my hope, that first and foremost, as I learn a little bit about this journey, that I am able to then pass that along so that the next person who comes along a few steps back can pick up that breadcrumb and continue stepping forward toward healing.
In this journey, books are life-giving to me.
I need to hear other peoples stories that echo my own and put into words things that I have not been able to figure out how to say yet. I need to see their broken and wounded hearts laid bare so that I am not afraid to continue laying mine open on this altar to the Lord and to you sweet Mama’s.
That is exactly what I feel like I got when I began reading this short (and really cheap) ebook on Amazon.
A Book Review: The Down and Dirty Truth about Miscarriages: On Letting Go of Control and Holding on to Hope by Emily Blackwell
I had spent the morning sitting alone in our little house talking to Jesus. I read aloud the book of Songs of Soloman as I am continually seeking to grow closer to the Lord and also working to grow closer to my husband and this little book is full of intimacy that my heart is craving.
Afterward, I felt like I needed to look at some of the books stored on my Kindle instead of the ones I had brought to read during my alone time. That is when I stumbled across this book again that I had not taken time to read.
The title (The Down and Dirty Truth about Miscarriages: On Letting Go of Control and Holding on to Hope) is the biggest thing that stuck out to me that morning. It was the second part that really hooked me into reading it. As a survivor of sexual abuse, I see that control is one of the biggest areas of struggle that I face.
As I scrolled through page after page of this book, I was absolutely riveted by the raw and real detail in which the author shared her story. Honestly, it takes a lot of guts to be real despite what the world may think of you. Trust me, I know…recovering chameleon here.
So to read this emotional story that I could absolutely relate to from my first two miscarriages was completely refreshing and what I needed so much that day.
About Her Marriage
One of the first areas I highlighted to remember was when she talked about how she wanted to be angry at her husband because she honestly just needed to be angry at someone. She said, “You have to fight the urge to blame him. You must choose to extend grace whether he gives you what you need or not. You must choose your marriage. It was there first – before any of this fell upon you. You chose him when you said ‘I do,’ but you must continue to choose him today. This moment in your marriage – it matters. Fight the urge to get so swept up in your grief that you cannot see that anymore.”
Those words were so life-giving to me. Somedays I do good choosing to remember how important my marriage is and other days I do not. I get downright ugly. I am going to remember these words each time and ask the Holy Spirit to help me choose my marriage before lashing out in pain.
My next big aha moment came as I read:
“Here’s what I came back to today – Jesus. He is all there is. All I need. All I want. He is all. And this life? I cannot understand it. Cannot control it. Cannot war against it. But I can count on victory. Because of Jesus.
Because of Jesus I can dream big and hurt big and love big and fail big. Because of Him I can.
God’s promises throughout His word are numerous and plentiful. In Isaiah 53-55 alone, He pours out promises by the buckets full – like He’s got plenty more where that came from. And just when your mind is a-rovin’ and your heart is a-dreamin’ of all the possibilities of things YOU could do and be…right in the middle of all those promises He throws in a sweet reminder:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts you’re your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth. It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:8-11 (NIV)
These verses were a game changer for me three years ago. They were the beginning of my choice to trust God regardless of whether or not I can understand what He is doing. And even when you cannot feel Jesus for a year or two or more, He is always there. Always all there is. When you make the decision to, like Abraham, just believe God – nothing more, nothing less – you find yourself set right with Him and living freely in a peace that cannot be expressed.”
Oh, praise Jesus…are those words not just fire-starting?!?! Even in the midst of the pain and the grief that has washed over me…these truths have tidal-waved me!
I have just a couple more things to share, but don’t want to give it all away…so, I will try to just keep it brief.
One of the points she mentions is that “maybe, this wasn’t about the sweet babies who never felt pain or heartache or life apart from Jesus, but that maybe it was about my sense of control being pried from my fingers.”
That hit home.
Like I mentioned, control is a very real struggle for me and a constant source of annoyance for my husband. I have felt SO greatly in all of this that giving up control is the number one thing that God wants for me through all of this heartache.
About Deeper Intimacy
Finally, to share what really brought the ugly tears as I read about a moment when the author shared a conversation with her friend. In that conversation, her friend explained that she yelled at God because her friend was going through this and prayed that He would fix it. But God came back with the most amazing reply. He said, “Don’t do that…(she) will know me in a different way than you ever will because of this. Don’t pray that away from her.”
Oh dear Jesus, to know you more intimately is worth all the heartache this world has to offer.
Dear Mama’s, no matter where you are in your stage of grief and journey toward healing, I pray that you will find resources that are just as life-giving. I pray that maybe if you do decide to check out this book then it will help you as much as it did me!