Mixed Messages

This is by no means a commentary on my specific church; rather, it’s an observation about the Church at large, from experiences at many different congregations upon the observance of All Saints’ Day.

The Church, (at least the LC-MS), is staunchly pro-life. This is great news! From the pregnancy that is hours old, to the most elderly person, we recognize that only God has the right to decide the length of our days. And so, we realize that it is not our job to act in His stead and force those kinds of decisions, regardless of the circumstances.

The Church also has a history of reassuring parents that have lost children in utero that they can hope to see that child in Heaven someday. Do we know for certain that children, lost before they had the chance to make it to the waters of Holy Baptism, are in Heaven? I suppose not–not any more than we can guarantee that any specific person is in Heaven–only God knows for sure. But we are a people of hope, and that hope is usually shared with parents grieving the loss of a child following a miscarriage or stillbirth.

So then, why the mixed message that is sent on All Saints’ Day? In all of the churches I’ve been to, I’ve never heard mention of children lost before they have drawn their first breath when the year’s faithful departed are named. But if we are to share and believe in that hope of eternal life, even for children miscarried, and if we believe, as we should, that they were people from the moment of their conception, shouldn’t they be numbered with the Saints in Heaven?

I realize that this is a daunting task. Many children lost at such a young gestational age are never given names; many of the losses are never even shared publicly or recognized. And in a large congregation, remembering every such loss, (because according to the statistics, there are a lot of them), could be time-consuming. But even a blanket remembrance of those lost, a mention of those babies miscarried, would be a comfort to grieving parents, a reassurance that they can hope to see their child in Heaven someday, and a way of acknowledging to parents that their children are never forgotten.


Ryan’s parents were kind enough to come for a quick visit to help us while I had a D&C, and they were very thoughtful, and brought me some flowers to cheer me up. Despite my best efforts, (I have a reputation as a flower killer), the flowers opened beautifully, and thrived for over a week. Even during a sad time, these flowers brought a smile to my face.

Life Goes On

Today marks exactly one month since we learned we had lost our baby. It has also been exactly one week since I had the D&C because the miscarriage didn’t complete on its own.

Not really a stellar day for me, but as they say, “Life goes on.”

I doubt we’ll every completely get over it, and I don’t really think we’re supposed to. Yes, life has pretty much returned to normal. Daily tasks are being accomplished–the house is clean (more or less), laundry is done, school has been taught, meals have been cooked. But the knowledge is there, and will always be there, that someone is missing from our family. As long as we are on this earth, there will also be an empty seat at our table, so to speak.

But, we are a people of hope. And so we hope for a joyous reunion in Heaven someday, when we will be reunited with Jesse, as well as other family members that have already gone before us, and together we will all worship at the foot of Jesus’s throne.

Yes, life goes on. And we do have hope, but that doesn’t mean that the hurt isn’t still there, while we are still here.

God’s Timing or “Why I’m Grateful for ‘Issues, Etc. 24′”

I love Issues, Etc. Fantastic, Lutheran radio show. I’ve never regretted listening to it, and I learn something new every time I do. I have to admit, though, I don’t often get to listen live, because life, (and noisy children), tend to get in the way.

I do get excited every year, (all right, all both of them so far), however, when it’s time for Issues, Etc. 24, and I make sure to listen live, for as much of the 24 hours as I can. It’s like a radiothon (is that even a thing?) that isn’t cheesy, but instead gives me new insight into Scripture and strengthens my faith.

And the timing of both of these extended-length programs blows my mind. Last year, I was pretty sick when it was on, and couldn’t sleep much because I was so congested. And so, I listened all night, and most of the surrounding days as well. If you’re going to have to be sick, you might as well learn more about the Bible from some great pastors, right? And it sure beats watching infomercials at three a.m.!

This year, in a sad turn of events, I’ve been recovering from yesterday’s D&C, (to take care of an incomplete miscarriage), while Issues, Etc. 24 is on. While I really wish I wasn’t going through this at all, I’m glad I have the Word to listen to, especially since sleep has not come easily, as this whole situation weighs heavily on my mind. This year’s event has been an even greater blessing than last year, when I was simply sick and uncomfortable.

I’m very thankful for God’s timing in these situations–only He would have known when the show was scheduled how needed it would be by me right at those moments. I’m also thankful for everyone who is involved in putting this show together, and encouraging the listeners to learn more about God’s Word!

Quote of the Day

I’ve been enjoying the “Triple Threat” series by Lis Wiehl. I’ve especially been able to relate to it lately. When I was reading the second book, just after I learned I was pregnant, one of the main characters had a miscarriage. Even though I know it doesn’t work that way, part of me thought to myself as I read, “I wonder if it’s ‘bad luck’ to read about someone having a miscarriage when I just learned that I’m pregnant.” No, I don’t really believe in luck, but the mind works in weird ways.

Anyway, after I found out that our baby had been lost, I realized I could relate to the series even more, especially this quote from the third book, and especially the part about the imaginary club (because I’ve learned only through this experience how true it is)–it really captured my feelings on this whole thing:

“A few weeks ago, Allison had miscarried, joining the imaginary club of Mothers Without Children. Only there was no color-coded ribbon to wear, no walkathon or T-shirt. Nobody talked about it. It was the kind of secret that women whispered to each other–if they said anything at all.” Lis Wiehl’s Heart of Ice

Two Weeks

We knew about our surprise baby for about two weeks before we found out that the pregnancy had ended.

It’s now been two weeks since we received that terrible news.

It’s funny how different the same length of time can seem, depending on your perspective.

Those first two weeks went by so quickly. We were full of plans and dreams and excitement. There were so many things to think about and talk about and hope for. For two fleeting weeks, we were, as a family, on top of the world. It was kind of like Christmas–no matter how much you want to slow down and enjoy it, the happiness just makes time fly by.

These last two weeks, in contrast, have been interminable. The weight of our sorrow, the disruption to our normal routine, the knowledge that someone will now always be missing from our family, have made time pass so very slowly. It’s like a bad dream you know you have to wake up from, and yet can’t escape as quickly as you want. Only this has been no dream, and no amount of waking up will make the hurt go away.

But, life does have to get back to normal. Routines need to be reestablished. Work has to be done. And we’ll carry on. But I imagine that ache will never totally go away, and that knowledge of our loved, but absent, family member will always be with us. There will still be moments of sadness, but the joy of everyday life will outnumber those moments. Just as spring always follows winter, bringing light and color and happiness, happiness will follow our sorrow. And we’ll continue to carry on.

I Have Called You By Name

The one thing that kept bothering me most during this painful process was not knowing who this baby was; not being able to give him or her a name. Until a friend suggested that we do just that–give the baby a name.

Sounds obvious, right? But in my grief, I kept getting hung up on the fact that we didn’t know if we were having a boy or a girl, so how could we possibly give the baby a name? But, my friend suggested that we give the baby a name that could have gone either way–and I instantly knew who this baby was.


Yes, I’m using the masculine spelling. I’m not really sure why. Maybe because deep down, I knew we were having a boy, after all. Maybe because Moose so desperately wanted this to be a “boy baby.” Maybe because the meaning is so appropriate to what we felt when we first found out we were expecting: “gift.” Or maybe because the name Jesse did actually come up when we were beginning our initial discussion of possible boy names.

It doesn’t really matter which spelling we use, or if the baby was a boy or girl, though. What matters is that our baby now has a name, which is a comfort to all of us. And, bittersweetly, every year during Advent when we set up our Jesse tree, we will remember this baby, and he or she, even though no longer with us, will still be a part of our Christmas preparations.

But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob,
He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1


Four previous pregnancies, and I’ve never had a miscarriage before.

It sucks.

One thing I have learned, though, is how many other people have suffered the same thing. I guess it’s just not something generally talked about–I know I wouldn’t want to remember or talk through this ordeal, unless I thought it might be of some comfort to someone else struggling. But once people know that you’re a member of the “club,” too, they open up and share their stories. And it is comforting, if also depressing, to know others have walked the same path.

The thing that bothers me most is that we didn’t make it far enough to know who this little person was. How can you give a child a name if you don’t even know its gender? So I guess we will always remember this baby simply as “Baby.”

This has also been particularly bothersome to Turkey. But we talked about it, and decided that even if we don’t know who Baby was, God does, and has given him or her the name he or she was supposed to have. And there’s some comfort in that. He has a reason for everything, after all, even when we can’t see it, and He knows all, when we don’t even have a clue.

The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the Name of the Lord.


God is Good

That’s what Bunny said to me tonight when we were talking over the events of this sad day: “God is good.” Her faith, I think, is stronger than mine, but I’m glad she’s willing to share it with me.

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 1:4

Quote of the Day

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:1-4