"Finding Purpose in Miscarriages" by Kayla Ruhl
Hi, friends. I want to start off by saying, this is in no way a sad story! It's emotional, yes, it's raw at points, but it is also so full of purpose, hope, joy, and growth. And it's an honor to share this piece of our lives with you all.
We had our first miscarriage back in 2015 when our oldest son, Harvey, was just eleven months old. We found out we were pregnant when I was about four weeks along, but unfortunately, started showing signs of a miscarriage at just six weeks. That first miscarriage hit me like a ton of bricks. I had no idea that losing a baby I only knew existed for two weeks could hurt so bad. But it did... It rocked my world.
I'd like to say that I did my best at grieving and leaning into God through the pain of that miscarriage, but honestly? I was a hot mess. I ignored the hurt as much as I could. I did NOT want to share this part of my life with anyone, and I definitely did not want to go to God to find healing in it all. I wanted to be left alone, to be sad until I felt like I had been sad long enough and could move on.
I handled things my way that time around—eventually, reluctantly, giving in to my husband's wise words that one day I would be happy for her that she gets to be with Jesus.
And then, very quickly afterward, we got pregnant again.
We made it to our twelve-week appointment and found out that, once again, the baby had passed at about nine weeks gestation. Once again, we were devastated.
But man, the Lord was near and good to me in that time.
I remember sitting in the ultrasound room and just claiming His peace over my heart and mind over and over again. I swear His peace was real and thick all over me in such a surreal way—a massive blessing to experience that from my God.
I handled this second miscarriage very differently than I did the first. I had been through the storm once and had tried to keep my head above water on my own, and I just knew I couldn't do it again. I wouldn't make it on my own. I knew my only hope was Jesus.
I spent a lot of time with the Lord in those coming months, being honest with Him about what my feelings were, how I was confused that this had to happen, how I missed my babies and wanted them back. I cried and vented to Him, and He was kind to me and allowed me the right to grieve while also filling me with so much truth through His Holy Spirit. He wasn't just "with me" in a general sense. He was very real, very practical, and very intentional with me, and it was in that season that I grew to know my God as truly trustworthy, no matter what.
Having come out of those several months of pain and heartache and depression—having eventually turned my eyes to Jesus and found solace in Him—I understand what James meant when He said "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds" (James 1:2). I can honestly say that I consider those months pure joy to have literally been forced to need my Jesus in an actual, tangible way, and for Him to have met me there, right in the mess, and show me the purpose He had for writing this story for me. I wouldn't take it all back. As crazy as that sounds.
Because the way I came to know and understand my God through it all is just too precious to me.
Don't hear me say any of this was easy. I know it's incredibly, incredibly hard to lose a baby no matter what stage of pregnancy or afterward. I still miss my two babes at times and get emotional sharing our story—sad because I don't get to meet them in this life. Because it just is: It's sad and really hard.
But I've seen the other side, and if I can offer any encouragement to you at all, let it be simply that God knows what He's doing. He's writing your story on purpose, for a purpose.
John Piper described it as the difference between going to the ER after being wounded in an accident versus allowing a surgeon skillfully, purposefully to create an incision for your betterment and healing. The incision might hurt like crazy and the recovery painful, and it may seem like Satan is winning for a time, but nothing is outside of God's sovereign hand for His kids who love Him and are called His own. And ultimately healing and strength will follow.
I love so much what God says to His people in Jeremiah 29:11—in the midst of dire situations, in the midst of hopelessness and confusion that He allowed:
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
And then, even better, He goes on to say in verses 12 and 13:
"Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
It's like He was encouraging His people, "I know this seems so bad right now, but I've got a plan for this! I see the end of the story! Stay close to me, and I promise I'll meet you right there."
God totally gets that losing someone we love—even if we've only loved them for a short time—is super hard for us. But He is tender toward our hurting hearts, and wants to meet us right there. Because He loves us, He truly longs to care for us. He knows that with Him through the trial is the very best place for us, and He desires to walk with us, minister to our hearts, and bring about His good work in us for the sake of our own good and His ultimate glory.
It's amazing to me that He is able to work good out of the crappiest things like miscarriage and infant loss... But, He is God after all, right? And bringing good from the crap is literally, exactly what He does. All the time.
Kayla Ruhl is a wife to Ben and mama to two super-sweet little boys, Harvey (4) and Amos Wilder (2). As a family, they love bike rides, Chipotle (like, they really love Chipotle), AFV, and random dance parties. When she's got some time to herself, Kayla loves to read, chat over coffee with friends, or find some creative outlet like sewing, painting, or redecorating.
Writing, for Kayla, has always been a way for her to connect with God and the ways He is teaching and guiding her. She uses writing as a way to grasp the truths He is revealing to her and to solidify them in her heart—for the good of herself and also for her readers. She hopes those who read her blog will also see God as more real, intentional and near through the words and stories she shares.