Good Grief

Working from home has its ups & downs. I can wear the same comfy outfit every day and only my husband knows, but I also have to be self-motivated since no one is here to notice when I’m not working.

Recently, I’ve been extra grateful to have a flexible schedule and be at home. Tragedy struck, and I didn’t have to have a “can I please leave right now” conversation with my boss. In fact, I was able to quietly hide at home and skip a day or two of work with no questions asked. God knew that was exactly what I needed.

I know this isn’t a personal blog, but I’m going to break that rule for now. As you’ll see, sometimes the personal and business line blurs. My passion for visual art means that sometimes I process things in my personal life through the same skills I use in my business.

One month ago, I couldn’t wait for May. Dan and I had been carrying around a happy little secret and May would mean we could “safely” share it with more people! I could finally tell my friends why I hadn’t been drinking at game nights or book club: we were expecting a baby in November.

As it turns out, we were never going to make it to the “safe(r) zone.”

I’m so grateful that the day we found out our baby had stopped growing and we were miscarrying, I didn’t have to tell anyone why I wasn’t coming back to work that afternoon. I’m so grateful that no one asked any questions when I reported minimal hours the next day. I’m so grateful that I didn’t have to bottle up my emotions to get through a day at the office, but instead could stay in my pajamas and cry with my husband. I’m so grateful that a week later, when my body “did its thing” and miscarried our child, I was home and not trying to hide frequent trips to the bathroom with tears streaming down my face. I’m so grateful that it didn’t really matter that I missed a day or two of marketing my business on social media. My work was still there, ready when I would be.

What can be good about grief?

Lately I’ve been hearing messages about how suffering draws us closer to God and makes our faith more real. But we don’t know exactly why God allows suffering.

I’ve certainly been spending more time in prayer–and lament. But I can’t help but ask God, did it really take this? If suffering draws us closer, and You want a relationship with us, is that why my baby miscarried? Is this fragile life really worth taking away so that I would follow You more intently?

Is experiencing this level of grief a requirement of living on earth? If my faith does become more real, does that make this tragedy good?

I don’t know.

I do know that God can handle my anger. He can handle my confusion and lamentations. Whether I want Him to comfort me or not, He is here. And, as much as it doesn’t feel like it right now, He is good.

I need to hold onto that: God is good.

Several weeks ago, when I was anxious about caring for a baby growing inside me because I knew there’s only so much I could do, I wanted to trust that God would keep this baby healthy and growing. I knew that God doesn’t promise this, but I wanted to think He did. I had been praying every day, but God doesn’t promise to answer every prayer with “yes.” And when we found out that, for several weeks already, the baby HADN’T been healthy and growing, I was angry. God already knew! And yet I had been praying! Was it all in vain?

God DOES promise that He is good and that He works for our good.

I don’t understand how this can be working for good. But that’s faith, right? Trusting in what we can’t see.

Clearly I still have a lot of processing to do. Journaling helps, getting back into routine helps, talking with friends helps, and reminding myself that I really was pregnant with a child of God–because sometimes it feels like that never happened–helps.

Two physical things are helping me remember: a necklace and a framed print.

I put together a simple design to display at home so that Dan and I will be encouraged that, even when it doesn’t feel like it, God is still good.

This text is a paraphrase from the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the furnace. They trusted God–not that He would rescue them from the furnace, but that even if He didn’t, He was still good. I’m trying to have a faith like that.

I’d love to share this design (with or without a custom date at the top) with others who may find it helpful in the midst of hard times. Let me know if you’re interested and I can give you more details.

I also decided to order a necklace as another reminder. Alicia at Simple Sisters Handmade was amazing and figured out how to get a lot of text on a simple necklace. She hand-stamped this pewter bar and hung a citrine gem, the November birthstone, next to it.

We prayed for a baby, and then we prayed for that baby to be delivered safely in November. And even if not, we are called to believe, He is still good.

/// Ahna

6 thoughts on “Good Grief”

  1. Ahna, thank you so much for sharing. Your post brings me to tears, and to my knees. Although our situations are different, so much of what you said is exactly the process that I have been going through with the loss of my brother. I would love to order a couple of prints from you, one for myself and one for my sister-in-law.
    I will be praying for you and Dan as you navigate this together.


  2. Ahna, I am so sorry for your loss. This I did not know as I talked to you and Dan recently on your front porch, but could sense something was affecting you. Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your thoughts and feelings as you struggle with questions, anger and profound grief. I’ll be praying for you and Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Absolutely beautiful! Thank you, thank you for being vulnerable about a topic that is still “taboo” in many Christian circles, yet affects SO many couples. Thank you for letting God use you and your experience to comfort others (namely me) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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