When going through a dark season, especially right at its start, it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. In fact, it could appear to be such a dark situation that there might not seem to be a light at all.
Once we survive the first few days after receiving the devastating news, the shock tends to wear off and the magnitude of the situation sets in. We are now able to (attempt to) process what happened and what it means for the family and our future. We can spend this time looking for answers and/or blaming ourselves for the situation. I think it’s normal to go through these thoughts, but we must not dwell on them!
There are some situations where we will never find the answer. We can spend so much time and energy wondering what we could have changed to prevent the outcome, or what we could have done differently. We can keep asking “Why?”, but where will that get us?
If we knew that if we had changed something that would have presented a different outcome, would that bring peace? Or would that bring blame to ourselves, potentially make the situation even more depressing? It doesn’t matter how much we think about what we could have done differently (even though the thought may haunt us), it will make no difference. The situation has already happened, and as much as we would sometimes like to, we can’t go back in time to change it.
For me, I couldn’t shake the thought of “Why didn’t I stay at the hospital?”. I put a lot of the blame on my daughter’s death on myself. I ‘knew’ that if I had stayed, things would have been different. And I did let that thought haunt me a few times. I felt upset that I had a midwife who allowed me to make my own choices, because I now only had myself to blame. I so badly wanted to put the blame on someone else!
I quickly learned though, with talking to a few wise people, that the outcome might not have been different, and that this was a completely unpredictable and rare thing to have happened. I needed to stop blaming myself; besides, the more I did, the worse I felt!
If you’re wanting to find hope, you will have to look for it. Finding blame for the situation will not bring hope. Finding comfort and wisdom, will!
Where do we find comfort? Through certain people (you can read more on who to talk to here) and through God Himself.
As much as we sometimes want to blame Him for what happened, we need to seek Him for the comfort He is so good at giving. There is a reason for everything, and although we may not learn the reason for years or ever, He has big plans for us and our future’s. Perhaps this hardship is a stepping stone to bigger things. At the very least though, we can use what we’ve learned through our own storm to help others who are also going through it (2 Corinthians 1:4)
So what about the future? Is there hope that God will be there for us? Will this disaster happen again?
I don’t know that there is a definite answer to whether the situation will happen again. I know plenty of people who have lost several babies. Does that mean God wasn’t there for them? No. God will always be there. Sometimes things happen that aren’t always in His plan, but sometimes He will use these situations for His glory. For instance, for the person who has gone through several losses, but becomes a spokesperson of God’s goodness, she becomes a beacon of hope. For the person who lost a baby, and with the passion that came from the experience, started a fundraiser for others who have gone through losses, this person becomes a light or even an unexpected joy for those who are mourning. For the person who lost a baby but ends up donating all her breast milk for other babies in the NICU, she is saving lives and making them a little healthier. All these examples are displays of love, and ultimately God’s glory shines.
If we seek God for hope, though, I believe the closeness we experience with Him and the relationship that blossoms because of this life-changing event, is the most important thing we can achieve.
No situation of losing a baby seems particularly bright or hopeful, but I do believe there is hope. I believe that we just need to make the choice to have hope. We need to believe that there will be good days – even joyful days in our future. It is all a choice.
I asked my husband Franklin his opinion on the subject. I often go to him if I need some wisdom with something, and he gave me the simplest answer. It all comes down to… *drum roll please*… faith.
I can write a thousand words on what my opinion of the topic is, or try to explain how I feel it should be, but faith is all there is to it. We need to have faith that God will protect us. We need to have faith that we won’t lose another baby. We will never know what the outcome will be unless we take a risk, and that means taking a leap of faith.
There will always be a mystery when it comes to God and what He does, and it can be a little scary not being in full control, but that is part of the journey, and most often it is the journey that we learn and grow the most from rather than the destination.