“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:12-13)
When life is good, pursuing God is difficult for my selfish heart. I am frequently putting other pursuits and indulgences above spending time with him. Pursuing God is a daily, intentional decision I have to make, with the help of the Holy Spirit.
The grief after the loss of my children made pursuing God a thousand times harder. Grief made it difficult to get out of bed and make myself food, let alone have my “normal” quiet time with the Lord. Burying my daughter made me question God’s goodness, and at times, even his existence. I quickly realized that my selfish nature was colliding with my grief and doubts. Maybe you can relate.
Yet, despite everything being stacked against me, I spent most days in God’s presence. This time spent with the God of the universe is the only thing that got me through the death of my daughter with grace, strength, and dignity. Because of this, I am passionate about helping other women pursue God after their losses.
In honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month (October), I wanted to share a few practical tips about how to pursue God in the midst of a pregnancy loss. Hopefully what I did can help create some ideas for you.
I created a prayer closet
I simply created a place where I could go to spend time with God. I decorated it the way I wanted and filled it with encouragement. And every day, I would go into my prayer closet, sob my heart out, tell God I was hurting, and ask for encouragement and comfort. For a long time, that’s all my relationship with God looked like, but it was the closest I have ever felt to Him. This is evident to me, because his word assures us that he “is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).
I changed my idea of prayer
After my losses, I found it so difficult to pray. Why should I ask God for anything? Every day, I prayed for my daughter to live and she still died. So, I found it really helpful to temporarily stop/limit supplication prayer (asking for things) and explore the other types of prayer — praising and thanking, just talking, asking for encouragement, etc. I was inspired by Job who said: “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised” (Job 1:21). Even when I struggled to understand what God was doing, I still praised him — and I saw the Lord begin to change my heart. Unfortunately, it took this experience of pain and suffering to realize that there is more to my relationship with God than just asking him for what I want.
I found some amazing resources
I had to admit the truth of Isaiah 55:8: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.” I had to admit that I didn’t understand how a good God could allow my daughter to die. And yet, I believe the Bible is true when it says that God is sovereign, in control over everything, and that He is good. I needed to understand what this good God had to say about my suffering in order to move forward with Him.
And through his Spirit, I finally understand enough — and as I have experienced more suffering since her death, I am able to take it in strides, confident that God is good and loving. But it was a journey to get there. I highly recommend “Walking with God through Pain and Suffering” by Timothy Keller and John Piper’s sermon series on Job. Both were instrumental in my understanding and growth as a grieving Christian.
I made a choice
If you been following me and my personal journey, you might know that I’ve experienced other trauma and suffering before my pregnancy losses. And during those times, I did not pursue God well, if at all. But after my daughter died, I made the conscious choice to pursue God, no matter what. It didn’t matter if I was angry, confused, hurt, apathetic, grieving, or doubting. I would pursue him and let him lead me along the way.
So I will leave you with this: pursuing God is a choice. No matter how many things stand in your way, no matter how much suffering you are currently going through or how many babies you have lost, no matter how many emotions you are feeling. The Bible tells us consistently that suffering is part of life in a fallen world, and to continue seeking God in the midst of it: “So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good” (1 Peter 4:19).
Time spent with God might look differently than what you’re used to and it might only be five minutes a day. But pursuit of God is a choice and it’s your choice to make — don’t wait.
Christy is the founder and host of the Pregnancy Loss Journey podcast. She has a bachelor’s in psychology and a master’s in counseling. She and her husband have been married for seven years; they have experienced a 9-week miscarriage and their daughter, Chloe, was stillborn at 28 weeks. Christy lives in the Midwest, loves all things healthy, enjoys gardening, and is passionate about her faith in Christ.
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