There is New Life in Me

It took me by surprise.

I hadn’t been to my mom’s group in a few weeks. A work meeting, a rough bout with illness that cycled through our family, and a speaking gig in a nearby town had kept me away from my usual Tuesday morning meet-up with other mom friends in the area. I had missed being there, I love the community we have together.

As I was feeding my toddler the last bits of his breakfast, I saw my friend Gina from across the room. Her back was to me as she unfolded a tablecloth and set out the name tags. I smiled, I really enjoy Gina and hadn’t seen her at book club or happy hour lately.

In fact, the last time I saw her was the week I found out I was pregnant, when I was still absorbing the news. We’d stood in line together with our kids at the pumpkin patch. As we’d made small talk, her daughter mentioned something about her baby and I’d raised my eyebrows, smiling.

There is new life in me...on learning to hope again after loss.

“Are you expecting?” I’d asked.

“Yes, I’m about 5 weeks along,” she’d said shyly. “We haven’t really told anyone yet.”

“Me too,” I told her, still feeling the strangeness of that reality as I said it.

Her eyes lit up and we hugged, sharing a realization that we would have these babies together.

Three weeks later, my pregnancy ended in an unexpected miscarriage. And in the month since then, I’ve cried and healed and shared our loss with family and friends. I’ve felt sadness, thick and hard to push through and I’ve felt it loosen, dissipate, lift. If you’d asked me this morning how I felt about everything, I might have told you that things are back to normal.

Then Gina turned around and I saw that underneath her darling dress she was sporting a sweet little baby bump.  I had already lifted my hand to wave hello, but stopped, frozen at the sight of her swollen middle. She came over, smiling, unaware of the out of control way my heart was pounding or the growing lump in my throat. We said hello and caught up briefly, I tried not to look at her midsection.

After she walked away, the tears began to come. A few quiet ones at first, followed by a flood I wasn’t expecting.

“There’s no new life in me.”

I saw Gina’s baby bump in my head and kept thinking this strange sad thought:

“There’s no new life in me.”

I muddled through the rest of the morning – mom’s group, followed by a work meeting and lunch with a friend. I fought back against the lump that made it hard to swallow, the waves of sadness I thought I’d already addressed.

That’s the thing about grief. It’s not neat, not easily contained. You don’t get to decide when it starts or stops. It doesn’t wait a requisite three weeks and then move on. It hovers, floats. Sometimes it comes in gently, a cloud of remembrance, a longing. Other times it hangs heavy, cloaking everything else in the weight of loss.

This afternoon, as I prepared to put my boys down for a nap, the phone rang. It was Mary Carole, my mentor from my Bible study group. She asked about my day and I recounted the whole story, ending with my surprise at how unsettling it had been to react to Gina this way.

“Perhaps unsettling is exactly what you need,” she replied. “Maybe this unsettling is God’s way of showing you that you’re not settled with all of this yet, that there’s more healing to be had, more recovering to be done. I think the best thing you could do is to take all of this to Jesus and just sit with it awhile.”

So I did.

And as more tears welled up and my heart began to ache again, I invited Jesus to sit with me in it. There, in the quiet, I sensed this sweet correction.

“There IS new life in you Lindsey. I am the Life.”

What words of grace. I’ve been thinking on them all day.

There is new life in me, and that life will last forever.

There is new life in me. It gives me hope here in my sadness.

There is new life in me, even in my grief, my loss, my feelings of failure and inadequacy. There’s new life because He is making all things new. He’s growing Gina’s baby and He’s growing my ability to trust Him. I don’t understand it, but I know it to be true.

There is new life in me.

 

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Lindsey Smallwood

Lindsey Smallwood

Lindsey Smallwood is good at relationships and bad at dancing. A former pastor and teacher, these days she works, writes and raises her babies in Boulder, Colorado.
Lindsey Smallwood

Latest posts by Lindsey Smallwood (see all)

  • Sasha Maples Johns

    Oh Lindsey. A subject close to my heart. Love you friend.

  • Christine Cox

    Very touching story. I am sorry for your loss, but know there are good days to come!

  • Kimberly Cox

    *hugs* Thank you for sharing your heart about this. Such amazing courage to share something so personal.

  • ❤️ I am sharing this with someone who needs it today. Thank you!

  • CouponDivaAndi

    there is new life thru Jesus Christ – what a touching story

  • Maggie May’s Gifts

    I’m so sorry for your loss. You told your story beautifully and I love the advice from your mentor. She sounds wise, as do you. Thank you for sharing. xo

    • Yes, I’m so grateful for Mary Carole, she is wise! Thanks for reading Maggie.

  • Woh lady. This blew me away. “There is new life in you. I am the life.” He is doing great and new things in you all the time.

    • Thanks be to God. And thank you for your encouragement, your card is sitting on my kitchen counter, I’m so thankful for your words.

  • I’m aching for you. Both my sisters have experienced miscarriages. One earlier this year. She is now pregnant again, after months of prayer. We are all praying and holding our breath for this new life, but we all grieve those other babies too. Thank you for sharing how this feels. I never got to be pregnant, so my grief is different, but still present as a mom who never got to carry a baby. It is a good reminder that this pain isn’t neat, or easy, and doesn’t leave on some set schedule. Praying that God continues to speak His healing and comfort into your heart.

    • Thanks for your prayers Jen, and your own story, the ache and hurt and hope and bravery there. And thanks to God who does speak comfort again and again, for all of us who will listen.

  • Carissa

    Wow, so powerful! I know how all of this feels. Even two years later simple things bring the pain back and it catches me by surprise.

    • Grief is funny that way. I miscarried three years ago as well, and sometimes that loss comes back in unexpected ways.

  • Shann Eva

    I’m so sorry for your loss. This really is a beautiful, honest, heartbreaking, yet uplifting post.

  • Brianna George

    These are powerful words. I understand these words, these feelings. Even after 5 years and a son after, the pain of this still gets me.

  • This post brought me to tears. We haven’t experienced miscarriage, but we have been trying for over 2 years to get pregnant with no baby yet. I’ve had similar moments of unexpected grief at baby announcements or pregnant friends from time to time this past year. “There is new life in me, even in my grief, my loss, my feelings of failure and inadequacy. There’s new life because He is making all things new.” I so needed to hear this tonight as yet another monthly cycle has come with an empty womb. Thank you for sharing this beautiful post.

    • Oh man Stephanie, my heart is heavy with you. Thank for sharing that part of your story with me, I can relate. Thanking God that He’s at work even when the days seem so long and the dream so far away.

  • Meredith@MommyAtoZ

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Healing is a process and filled with setbacks. Years ago, after my own miscarriage, I was feeling OK and then a friend asked if I wanted to see her nursery for her baby, which she was expecting in a month. My loss came flooding back to me in that moment, totally unexpected and paralyzing. The scar is always there, but the wound stops hurting eventually and hopefully you go to have the family you want and deserve. My thoughts are with you!

  • Sam Gould

    wow such a well written post and I could feel your pain and loss. I have wanted kids for over 10 years and we are still working on it, with many disappointments. It never gets easier, but having faith always helps.

    • So sorry for your hard story Sam, and so glad that your faith is a source of help, that’s been true for me too.

  • Pingback: What if I tell Jesus what I really want? | Middle Places()

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