A Kind of Fatih That Breaks the Heart
 Empty Chair photo by Andrew Hale.  Used with permission.

We sat in a circle, ladies sharing our hearts after a talk about having faith.  My sweet friend shared her fears, talked of the crucible of faith that had become her heart these sixteen weeks. Spoke of the faith that grew in her heart as the child grew, sixteen weeks day by day, in her womb.

This was no easy faith.  Twice before, you see, at sixteen weeks my friend had known the grief of losing tiny sons, the babies she had longed to hold, to mother.  Twice before.  There was no reason, there was no explanation, only emptiness and grief.

And so this faith, it was not the ordinary kind.  Oh, we long so much to have that ordinary reassurance, to have the child-like faith that everything will turn out, just like we want it to.  To have the comfortable, blind, naive assurance that a good God, a fair God, would never let such terrible things happen.  Not to a family who has had them happen already twice in a row.  Not to a family whose little children have been praying, each day, for the baby in Mommy’s tummy to live this time.  Oh, please, not again.

My friend, she knows a deeper kind of faith.  A kind of faith that breaks the heart, a kind of faith that walks blindly in the darkness of that brokenness and weeps, yet still knows that the hand of God cups ’round, embraces, heals with ways and plans beyond all understanding.  I have to have faith, she said, not that this baby will make it, but that God is good and is in control no matter what happens.

So much, we wanted to see that faith rewarded with a perfect outcome.  So much, we wanted this time to be different, this time for her to bring that child home in her arms and for the glory of God to be shown by the miracle of a child’s safe birth.  But it was not to be.  Just days after we prayed in that circle, the nightmare began a third time.  One more tiny, perfect son, lost.  One more devastating night in the hospital, one more crushing loss.  This time, they almost lost her.  This time, the bleeding wouldn’t stop.  And when she woke up, confused by the doctors saying they’d saved her life, that she was lucky to be alive, she knew the loss was even more final:  no more pregnancies, the risk is too great.  She walked out with empty arms and an emptiness in her heart that no words can justly describe.

In such devastating grief, even the strongest Christian begs to know….Where was God?  

He knew about this.  He allowed it.  He had the power to stop it and He chose not to.  Why?

And this is where the faith comes in, the messy faith, the ugly faith, the heart-breaking faith that defies all earthly reason.  This, now, is where faith seems to be lost and the empty heart seems to swallow the soul and the broken pieces seem too shattered to make sense of, too scattered to even start to put back together.  This is where the broken-hearted faith stumbles, wounded and bleeding and crying out to God in pain, in grief, and yes…in rage and where the soul rends and the strength fails and hope seems far away.  Where faith is just a thread, is a frayed and knotted rope you didn’t realize you were holding on to, where faith is a path cut through the tangled weeds and briers that you didn’t realize you were walking on until you look back, see it cut its way through the impossible darkness, winding ’round the hidden pits and snares. It is where you say the words, God is good, in all things and you don’t understand them and sometimes you don’t even want them and yet they stand, they pull you through, they pull you through.

 Friends, will you pray with me for my friend?  For her family?  I know many of you have suffered similar losses, if you feel led to will you email me or leave a link in the comment box…any words of wisdom, any thoughts or stories that might help would be appreciated.  

holy experience

13 thoughts on “A Kind of Fatih That Breaks the Heart

  • October 27, 2010 at 3:33 pm


    And can you share a name or an initial?

    Amid this crushing sadness you wrote in such a way that shines Christ. Beauty in the ashes. Grace in the sadness.


  • October 27, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    quieted here too.

    my husband was born to his mama who wasn’t suppose to be trying for more… I think about this now and wonder what I would do. life is such a mystery. peace to your friend in this.

  • October 27, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    praying. My heart hurts for her. I too lost a son at 16 weeks. So hard. Each time I lost a baby it was harder than the time before.

    No answers for her, just lots of prayer!


  • October 27, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    Oh yes, yes, praying…

    We lost two little ones, one right after another. I found comfort in the song by Watermark, “Glory Baby.” Here’s Christy Nockels singing it:

  • October 28, 2010 at 4:12 am

    Powerful, sorrowful, painful. And then this:

    “I have to have faith, she said, not that this baby will make it, but that God is good and is in control no matter what happens.”

    Yeah …

    That right there. Wow.

  • October 28, 2010 at 4:18 am

    In tears yet again for our beautiful friend. My prayers have been pouring out for her. I have no sage advice just a heart overflowing for her loss and for their family.

  • October 28, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Country Girl, thank you…T.V.

    The photo was taken years ago by my husband. He read the post from work and called and suggested I use it.

    Thank you for the prayers and, Monica, I will go listen to that song and pass it on.

  • October 28, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    Hi Erica – I linked over to your blog from your comment on (in)courage today. Your writing is powerful and your heart shines brightly. I’m so sorry for the devastating loss your friend is facing and I’m challenged by the faith lived through it.

  • October 29, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    This is beautiful and my heart aches with your friend…I have known so many loved ones who never were able to have–so many who have gone through such pain…

    I wrote on grief, though the loss of a mature life (my mom from cancer) and don’t know if there is something, but perhaps there is…


    will be praying for your friend…

    thank you for your heart…abby

  • October 30, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    She and her family are in my thoughts and prayers….

    I lost a son at approximately 14 weeks; I just can’t fathom the pain of going through this over and over again.


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