Limping Through Loss

It’s been three whole years since I’ve felt brave enough to hit publish on something and send it out into the world.

Much has changed in those three years, but here are some things that have not:

  • We live in a world full of people fighting for their voices to be heard
  • Sin is real
  • Grief is relentless

Sometimes it’s our own voices that need silencing so that we can better hear the Lord’s, and I’ve enjoyed learning that I don’t have to be the loudest voice in the room to have an impact (though I am, sadly, sometimes still the loudest voice in the room).

Two years ago, Jordan lost a nephew, and shortly after, we lost a baby. Grief was like a thick fog that still hasn’t fully subsided. Miscarriage, the oh-so-common, yet oh-so-painful and lonely kind of grief that you just can’t describe – it struck us hard and we weren’t prepared. This summer, it struck again, this time a little less blindsiding and a lot more discouraging. People say the words and ask the questions that stop you dead in your tracks. You begin to ask some questions of the Lord in the quiet of your heart that are equally as shocking.

At the end of summer, we were pregnant again. Things were looking good, heartbeat was strong, and then it wasn’t. As quickly as hope returned, it vanished again, and last month, I had surgery to remove our lifeless baby girl.

Maybe someday I’ll have the words to describe the kind of pain it is to walk through three consecutive losses, but today is not that day.

Last week, Jarod Lovekamp went suddenly to be with Jesus. I think I’ve known the Lovekamp’s for most of my life, but I really got to know Jarod when he joined the cgroup I helped lead, the same one where I met Amzie.

Jarod impacted so many people – many of them I love, many of them I have never met. There is deep pain and collective hurt amongst our community, and it’s heavy.

I’ve realized that so many people around me are hurting, and it has pushed me to not shy away from sharing my own pain and loss.

I wrote something that I wanted to share here in an attempt to put language to what I’ve been wrestling through. I admit, poetry is not my craft, but if this elementary little piece of writing can bring encouragement to but one person, then it is worth the risk of embarrassment and vulnerability.

White walls canvas an empty room
That shares a wall with mine
My head, it hits the pillow
And I realize I’m not fine

How will I feel peace again? Hopeful or excited?
When motherhood’s a party to which I was not invited 

People ask me how I’m doing
and if I’m feeling better
as if somehow life weren’t replaced by death
and I was just under the weather

Days roll by that feel like years
when your mind is under attack
and nothing seems to halt the tears
when I remember what I lack

“Take it a day at a time,” they say
But I can barely make it an hour 
And most days I assign victory
to brushed teeth and a shower

Grief, it only seems to grow with every passing date
Sorrow, like a mountain, and I’m crushed beneath the weight
My weakness overwhelms me as summer turns to fall
And I realize sometimes empty arms are the heaviest of all

But I entrust my empty arms to strong and mighty hands (Psalm 136:12)
The mover of the mountains, a God who understands (Micah 1:4)
Maybe it is grace to us that You turn summer into fall (Daniel 2:21)
That no season lasts forever, and you’re Lord over them all (Colossians 1:15-18)

It’s quite alright to recognize 
I need you every hour (Psalm 46:1-2)
For I know that in my weakness,
Jesus, you have perfect power (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Though you will silence all my fears (Psalm 34:4)
it’s still okay to cry (Psalm 34:17)
You bottle up all of my tears (Psalm 56:8-9)
and allow me to ask you, “why?” (Matthew 27:46)

So when I feel alone and isolated by my loss
I know I need not look any further than the cross (Isaiah 43, Psalm 23)
Oh God, you know the bitter sting of life replaced by death (John 3:16)
But Jesus took away death’s power with His final breath (1 Corinthians 15:55)

So that’s how I’ll feel peace again-
its what you left for me (John 14:27)
And I will choose to let what I know
govern what I choose to see (2 Corinthians 5:7)

So I’ll look not at white walls
inside an empty room
I’ll look instead on Jesus
and the power of an empty tomb. (Luke 24)