Splendor in Suffering

Broken HeartThe pain was so deep I couldn’t utter my own name.  I longed to dig deep in Scripture to see what God had to say about all this.  What was His plan in miscarriage?  I remember the faces of those who came to offer comfort and the tears that fell.  Some shared personal stories of loss and heartache.  The love and encouragement these few precious friends offered was a treasured blessing. Years later, these memories are still etched vividly in my mind.

Shortly after our loss, I shared the following words of encouragement with a friend whose daughter had miscarried.  Every word still holds true today, several years later.  Perhaps in sharing, it will lend insight, perspective, and hope.

“Even though our losses are intangible, they are painful, powerful, and will leave us changed people – hopefully for the better – stronger in Christ.  One passage that calmed my heart, comforted me, inspired me, and reassured me that God has a plan – a wonderful plan is this:

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners…
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion –
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.
~ Isaiah 61:1b, 2b-3

We who mourn will be called oaks of righteousness.  We have been chosen to display the splendor of God in the midst of our suffering.  Yes, our circumstance is rotten and painful, but we have what many do not:  Jesus.  And we have Him in the darkest of hours as we do in the brightest of days.

During the last week, my eyes have been opened to a new harvest – one of hurting women who suffer in silence…because of guilt, shame, or isolation because others simply don’t know what to say.  I think of how many times I have read Moses’ arguing about being sent, Philip’s going without any question or hesitation, and Isaiah’s excitement as he said, “Here am I.  Send me!”  How many times I have hoped I would be an Isaiah or Philip and not a Moses.  Now is that time…

And much like Elisha’s servant, my eyes have been opened to the chariots surrounding us in prayer, ready to defend my family and escort us through this journey.  And I have confidence, that just as in that story, although nothing has gone as planned, God has gone before us.

I hope your family finds a little encouragement, hope, and strength in God’s Word.  I pray that all of you are surrounded in prayer, that God will hold His shield high for you when you don’t have the strength to hold it yourselves, and that He will carry your daughter and her family.  We are blessed to have an interactive and loving God who pursues us and will one day wipe our tears.”


May we seek You, Lord, in the heartaches of life.  Thank You for Your faithfulness and healing.  Please keep our eyes open so we can come alongside those with empty arms, ready to wrap them in prayer and compassionately encourage them.  Let us not sit silently, paralyzed by fear of saying the wrong thing, but trusting You to give us the words.  Let us truly celebrate life and sorrow in loss.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen

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