I have been a Dad three times yet I’ve never met one of my children.
No, I didn’t put them up for adoption or fall out with their mother. I have been through three miscarriages, and the latest is still quite raw.
One of the things I have noticed in this process is how often this subject is taboo, how often we don’t talk about it.
It’s not until you miscarry that you realise that many others have been in the same boat as you. One in four pregnancies end in miscarriage. Although the likelihood of recurrent miscarriage (three or more) is low at 1%, and while there are options available should there be medical reasons for miscarriages, there is still little that can be done for the emotional pain it brings.
I write this in the knowledge that there are others out there going through the same pain and frustration, and in the hope that we can journey together. If that happens to be you, please know that you will get through this. There is light in the dark and there is still hope.
I'll be honest with you: I have cried out to God, asked him 'why am I praying for one thing and being given another? Your word says when a child asks his father for bread he doesn’t give him a scorpion (Luke 11), yet I have asked for a child and you seem to be taking them from us. I have sat there in tears as I think about all the times people have said what a good dad I would make, yet God you seem to be holding this back.'
I have prayed for my wife who has been battered by the pain of loss and disappointment. I have even watched her miscarry our child on the side of the road. I can’t tell you how painful it is to watch the one you love in such pain and have no control over it.
It's OK to feel this way, it's OK to ask God 'why?', and it's OK as a man to cry
I have shaken my fists, listened to countless stories of others who have ‘made it’, and received the awkward look as people realise you have miscarried again. Please don’t mistake this for a rant of self-pity (though I've been there too). Please hear this as an honest account of emotions and frustrations in the hope that that someone out there will resonate and know it's OK... it's OK to feel this way, it's OK to ask God 'why?', and it's OK as a man to cry.
But through it all I also believe I have heard God’s still small voice say ‘its OK, I have you and Kate’. He has guided me to the cross, and as I’ve looked he has helped me realise that he knows the pain of loss, he himself knows the pain of losing a Son.
As I have sat there at the cross I have seen Jesus, who entered into the pain of death, into loss, into futility and hurt. He has not stayed far off or simply told me to 'man up and get on with it'. He says 'never will I leave you nor forsake you'. This is not condemnation. Your suffering is producing something far greater in you than you can imagine. Suffering is not futile. It has purpose and he is going to walk with us through it.
It makes me smile to think that my three children are waiting for me in heaven, that I am a father, I’m just yet to meet them. When I do meet them, I will be their father forever and God will be our father forever, always loving us even in the mess. I look forward to seeing him face to face, to feeling his hand as it wipes away the tears and all will make sense. Until that time I refuse to give up hope and keep fighting the good fight of faith.
George Osborn is the Pastoral Co-ordinator of The Lighthouse in Woking. This post originally appeared at luminaministries.com/miscarriage
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