Holding Loosely to Grief and Hope

As Adriel shared her story, I could barely comprehend her words—6 pregnancies, 3 ending prematurely with miscarriages. The grief seems so unbearable. How could she endure so much loss? Can grief and hope exist simultaneously?

At first glance my little world was seemingly spared from such pain. Shortly after college a dear friend lost a baby very early in pregnancy, but only she came to mind. Even now, I don’t recall her pregnancy announcement, but I remember the call after she discovered they were losing their child. From the outside, she seemed to move on quickly. Years later, as she reached the end of her cancer battle, we talked again about her baby and her excitement to be reunited.

As time passed, more women came to mind—cousins, friends, acquaintances—all of whom had suffered loss or infertility. How can it be that so many women were touched by loss but they didn’t come to mind? Maybe I was out of touch or they were too hurt to share. Either way, from the outside their lives seemed to move forward. Now, I know differently.

Grief changes everyone

Although she shared her story of consecutive miscarriages, Adriel’s words revealed a deeper truth. We are all connected by the reality of grief. Maybe her story of loss corresponds to your own, you both yearn for one more moment with a son or daughter. Quite possibly, you’re still mourning a mother, father, brother, sister, or friend whose life was taken much too soon.

Loss, of any kind, must be grieved. So many women around me suffered in relative silence, their stories told only in hushed whispers. In our efforts to lessen their pain, we make it worse and isolate them further our friends. Our grief needs permission to be shared and experienced.

“Grief changes a person…The essence of who we are is still intact, but the way we absorb what we see around us is now filtered through eyes that have seen the underside of sorrow.” 
Adriel Booker, Grace Like Scarlett

I don’t understand the pain of losing a child, but other things in my life have slipped away. Relationships lost to harsh words, leaving only wounds. A friend taken too soon, leaving behind years’ worth of missed opportunities from a season of busyness. Sitting in a hospital, not knowing if my father would live, praying God would save his life. Have your dreams, work, or plans slipped away? Watching helplessly as the dreams of someone you love so dearly slip away is unbearable. If only we could take away their pain.

Grief doesn’t play favorites. In big and little ways, pain and loss are part of our stories.

Faith gives space for grief and hope

To say hope exists in the middle of your most desperate times feels insensitive, possibly naïve. Adriel’s story and the memories flooding back remind me of God’s truth. In the middle of your crushing pain, loss, and isolation, God’s hope is holding you.

“It might seem impossible, but you can do this. You can lose and grieve and hope.” 
Adriel Booker, Grace Like Scarlett

I won’t insult you by saying I understand your pain. Nor will I deny my own questions in the moments I though our world was falling apart. Why didn’t God just fix it all? At times I’ve questioned everything I say I believe. But, as I watched my friend preach God’s goodness to me as she so gracefully fought cancer, faith was revealed in a different light. Faith doesn’t reflect the comfort of our circumstances, it reflects the goodness of a God who is with us always.

“It did seem as if our world was falling apart, but we were only beginning to catch glimpses of the new one. We felt the movements toward a certain kind of coming of age of our faith—realizing that God’s goodness was not dependent on our assessment of our circumstances or the metrics we tend to use when life is comfortable.” 
Adriel Booker, Grace Like Scarlett

How God uses immense loss for good is nothing short of amazing. Embrace the full range of your emotions—both the hope for what is yet to be and the pain of what has been lost. Our God is big enough to handle it all. He can transform your grief and you.

The gift of transformation

I often wonder if closure ever really occurs. More than a decade later, my friend still spoke of her child in heaven. The memories of those you lost are always with you—a song, a story, a familiar food or smell.

Maybe the pain lessens over time, but the scars remain. A scar no longer hurts, but it reminds you of your story. Do you believe God can transform you and your grief? When we share our stories and reveal our scars we become the gift of hope for someone else who suffers in silence.

“The more I’m willing to give voice to the work of God within me, the more others open up and give voice to the work of God in their lives. Story begets story. Vulnerability begets vulnerability. Declarations of hope beget hope. Offerings of love beget love. And as that happens, our stories—bathed in the sacrifice of Jesus—do the actual work of overcoming the darkness.”
Adriel Booker, Grace Like Scarlett

The transformative work of Jesus allows us to hold loosely to our grief and hope, as he carries us through.

Thank you Adriel for bravely sharing Scarlett, Oliver, and Ruby’s stories. Our conversation begins today.

If you are struggling to find hope in the midst of your grief, or love someone who is, please consider reading Adriel’s full story. In her book, Grace Like Scarlett , she helps you begin the process of healing.

Motherhood is hard. Just when we think we’re doing it right, something happens to make us doubt ourselves. I hope you find encouragement in every post and realize just how great you are already. Do you have a friend who needs some encouragement too? Share this post with her and then signup to get new posts by email.

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