Loss & Marriage
You get that life shattering phone call in the middle of the night or face the reality that shatters your plans, and life around you seems like it was hit my a major earthquake, dislodging everything that previously held you together.
My job offers me a front row seat, to see how loss impacts marriage. Communication is gone. Intimacy is a thing of the past. Grief happens in different ways, extinguishing the unity candle that two people, once full of excitement for the future, lit on their wedding day.
My husband is the care pastor at our church, so we often seen families and marriage crumble under the pressure of how to press on another day. Dilemmas over the distribution of money, their final resting place or who gets to take care of mom and dad, pierce the heart of the family, leaving it's members, raw, exposed and broken.
Whoever said that marriage is work was right. Society gives that a negative connotation demeaning the purity of marriage communicating it's worse than their job, which they also hate. Let's step away from that view of marriage. Instead, it takes work on both part while struggling through whatever circumstances to maintain intimacy, communication and unity. That's work. That's worthwhile, marriage sustaining, kingdom advancing, God honoring work.
Our work started as the ultrasound tech turned off the monitor and I put the gown in the waste basket. Somehow, in just a few seconds, our life changed. Our baby's beating heart had stopped inexplicably, and it felt like mine was going to, too. Hope was extinguished while loss introduced itself in all of its ugliness.
Words didn't need to be spoken about how difficult the road ahead would be. Leaving the room and facing the world seemed just as daunting as staying in the room to avoid reality.
After a long embrace still void of too many words, my husband grabbed my face and made me promise this wouldn't change us. That we would fight, not just to conceive again; but, fight for our marriage, acknowledging the obstacles on the road ahead.
You don't have to look far around us to see marriages falling - or fallen - apart by loss and grief. Chances are, my friend, your own marriage has probably faced some kind of similar circumstance. If you're hanging on, let me commend me. If you're fighting, you'll never regret it. If you've come out the other side, congratulations...now cherish each other even more.
Walking through our own grief and loss, it's been rare that we've been on the same page. All people deal with grief and loss differently; however, when you're experiencing infertility and miscarriage, it's often difficult for the man to relate. He doesn't feel the beautifully welcomed nausea in the first trimester, nor can he feel the fear when those feelings all of a sudden go away. While he may be physically present with you in the process, he doesn't feel and experience the loss of the baby in the same way. He probably doesn't count days with such precision or have the roller coaster of emotions every month with high highs and low lows depending on where you are in your cycle. It's hard to be on the same page. Even though you may find yourselves on different pages, you're part of the same story that God is redeeming in your marriage.
If you're reading this and shuddering a silent amen, sister, let me encourage you to talk to your husband and express to him what you're feeling. At the same time, forgive your husband for not understanding what it is that you're going through; because, you may be asking him to empathize with a process that he is not wired to understand.
Wherever you are in loss, healing in marriage and unity in the process are possible. But here's this word that we all try to avoid: WORK. Working to grow your marriage in the midst of your struggle will never leave you lonely or disappointed. It'll be the best job you ever do and I believe God will honor it.
My prayer for you, my fellow traveller, is that you would entrust God with the responsibility of healing your heart, and that you would trust Him to redeem your story and that He would reproduce intimacy and unity where the enemy has tried to sabotage it.
Blessings to you, sister!