Thursday, June 5, 2008

How this ministry began

In the summer of 2006, my husband and I were very excited to learn that we were going to have a baby. It was not long, however, before that excitement was replaced with grief as the pregnancy ended in miscarriage. I was not at all prepared to deal with the huge range of emotions that followed. It seemed that I didn’t really have anyone to walk with me through that season. While I didn’t know exactly what I wanted or needed from another person, I knew that I felt very alone, and very sad.

As people learned of our loss, they offered well-intentioned words. However, instead of bringing comfort, many of those words seemed to dismiss my pain, sadness, anger, despair, guilt, and doubt. I felt as though I was expected to move on, be thankful for what I had, view the loss as a blessing in disguise, and simply “trust God.” Many of the comments had truth in them, but they were not offered in the right way or at the right time. I think that is often the case with other losses as well; in general, we are uncomfortable seeing people in pain, and we seek to say or do something to alleviate their pain -- and our discomfort. Looking back, I see that I needed a hug, time to process through the loss, permission to grieve and ask hard questions, and the grace to doubt God and have ugly days.

I understand that it is difficult for people to support a person through a miscarriage, in part because they never met the baby who died, never held him or her, never had a personal connection similar to what they may have had with others who pass away. Often there is not a body to bury, nor any rituals to carry out that we associate with death. Yet the loss is the same. Many people do not realize that as many as 1 in 4 women experience miscarriage. There is a great need for support. Out of my experience, as well as the experiences of many others who have graciously shared their stories, a new ministry has begun.

Glory Babies is a new ministry, here to partner with women who experience miscarriage. We don’t pretend to have all the answers; we are here to pray, listen, support, encourage, and walk with women on their journey toward healing. We have a wonderful group of women who are available and ready to meet with women one on one, talk on the phone, or email. We also have a precious group of women who pray for each pair of partners.

The pain of miscarriage can last for a long time, especially for women who never felt the freedom to truly grieve, or who did not have a sense of closure after the loss. Glory Babies is here for anyone, whether the loss was very recent or many years ago. Already we have found that women feel a sense of relief when they are given the opportunity to talk about their loss and how it impacted them – to know that they are not alone, not crazy, and not wrong for how they feel. While the focus of this ministry is on women, we acknowledge that men are also impacted by miscarriage, and in time we plan to expand the ministry to include things that would be beneficial for them.

Please pray for this new ministry. Pray that we will have wisdom as we talk with women. Pray that women will find strength in the Lord and not believe the lies of the enemy. Pray that we will continue to find partners who have a heart for this ministry.

No comments: