The Forgotten Grief of Miscarriage

Caring for friends who are walking through pregnancy loss can feel like walking through a minefield. We know even a small misstep can cause great pain. Fear and insecurity can lead to inaction.

But we’re not as helpless as we may feel.

Though the Word of God doesn’t explicitly detail how to care for people walking through miscarriage, its truths can and should prompt wise and compassionate responses to pregnancy loss.

Validate Grief
In a culture that denies the personhood of children in the womb, the church has a powerful opportunity to combat the shame many women feel while grieving miscarriage. God’s Word affirms the value of life in the womb and proclaims God’s intimate involvement and purpose in the creation of each life (Ps. 139:13–16).

God’s Word also makes us comfortable with weeping (Ps. 6:6). This enables us to minister to people in their grief without minimizing or hurrying it along for the sake of our own comfort (or the desire for theirs). Modeling the lament and sorrowful prayers we find in Scripture, we are equipped and ready to say, “This is really sad. And I’m sad with you.”

Modeling the lament and sorrowful prayers we find in Scripture, we are equipped and ready to say, ‘This is really sad. And I’m sad with you.’

We weep with those who weep (Rom. 12:15) and extend the true comfort we’ve received from God in our own suffering (2 Cor. 1:3–5) by acknowledging and entering into the suffering of others.

Serve and Help
The New Testament epistles repeatedly give “one another” commands that teach us how we are to treat our brothers and sisters. Specifically, Galatians instructs us to bear one another’s burdens and to serve one another (Gal. 5:13; 6:2).

Even if we don’t feel like we know what to say to grieving friends, we can serve by listening. We can bring meals or simple breakfast items. We can offer to care for a bereaved mother’s living children while she goes to follow-up appointments. We can offer to fold laundry, do dishes, or clean bathrooms while our sisters are weak and regaining strength.

Consider the needs of your grieving loved one, consider your gifts, and offer specific and practical help.

Consider the needs of your grieving loved one, consider your gifts, and offer specific and practical help.

Pray
The apostle Paul suggests to the church at Corinth that they help in the most practical sense by praying (2 Cor. 1:11). You can do the same.

Pray for her healing and physical strength (3 John 1:2). Pray for comfort as she grieves (Ps. 71:21). Pray for her spiritual protection as she is experiencing the effects of the fall in such an intensely personal way––death within their own body (Eph. 3:16).

Pray for the protection of her marriage as a husband and wife experience and grieve this type of loss differently. And then communicate that you are praying for them, and what you are praying for them.

Speak Truth
The world may offer the empty encouragement that another child will certainly come, or the fluffy falsehood that God needed another angel. But a biblical theology of suffering enables us to offer something more than dismissive statements or pat explanations.

A biblical theology of suffering enables us to offer something more than dismissive statements or pat explanations.

For believers, all of our “whys” lead us to the good Who (Job 42:5). Any mystery we may face causes us to cling to what is certain (Ps. 23:4).

Believers can speak truth to one another in sorrow—not as trite platitudes but as hopeful reassurances. We can affirm the presence (Isa. 43:1–7), purposes (Rom. 8:28–31), and preserving power of God (Jude 1:24) by simply saying, “I don’t know why this happened, and I hate that this happened, but I do know that God is with you, he is for you, and he is at work.”

In the face of earthly disappointment and death, we can hold out the hope of heaven, where God will wipe away every tear and where no babies will die (Rev. 21:4; Isa. 65:17–25). We can minister to feelings of guilt by pointing them to the cross, where Christ fully absorbed the wrath of God on their behalf (lest they think they are being punished), and where they are freed from shame and offered full forgiveness (lest they believe they are to blame).

You already know what to do when someone miscarries. God’s Word has equipped you to care for and minister to your friends facing pregnancy loss. Go forward in faith—comforting, weeping alongside, serving and helping, praying with and for, and telling the truth to your hurting friends.

We have no better healing balm.

ABBEY WEDGEWORTH

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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