Since I got married later in life, I knew it might be difficult for my husband and me to have a child. But when I became pregnant right away, we were ecstatic — only to be crushed by the loss of our child through a miscarriage. When I became pregnant again, our joy was short-lived as we lost this child through a miscarriage too. I was devastated; we were devastated.
The emotional and spiritual pain took its toll on me, and I went through a crisis of faith. I felt as if God had left me during the time when I needed God the most. I felt hopelessly alone. Not many of our family members and friends knew the pain we were suffering. As a missionary, I experienced feelings of guilt. I was supposed to bring people to faith or encourage them in their faith. How could I do this if I was struggling to believe in the God of love that I advocated?
One afternoon, I just couldn’t take it anymore; I was too angry with God. I went back to my room and started writing, spilling out in words my pain and brokenness. Holding nothing back, I was brutally honest with God. I can’t say that I felt anything miraculous or groundbreaking that afternoon, but it did mark the start of my healing and of my restoration of faith.
As life went on, I started reading First Samuel 1 over and over. I was drawn to the story of Hannah as it appears in The Message, especially verse 19: “God began making the necessary arrangements in response to what she had asked.” Taking comfort in Hannah’s story, I still had no idea what would happen to us in the future, but I trusted God to be with us.
My husband and I eventually went on to have not one child but two — happy twin girls. Our despair was turned into joy, and we are grateful to God beyond measure. But I know that this is not the case for many couples who desperately desire to have a child. Perhaps this is you, and you are wondering where God is in your pain. God may appear to be silent and aloof, but God has not abandoned you; God is weeping with you.
For many women, Mother’s Day is a dreaded occasion. The celebration of motherhood can be deeply painful for women who desperately want a child and cannot have one, women who have given a child up for adoption, women whose children are estranged from them, or women who have lost a child. I was one of those women.
I hope my story will encourage other parents who have suffered the loss of a child to open up about their experiences. As the body of Christ, we can find healing and hope in knowing that we are not alone in our pain, that others have been there and have gotten through with God’s grace.
To all women: I wish you the happiest of Mother’s Days. Regardless of whether you have a child of your own, if you have played a role in a child’s life — I celebrate you on Mother’s Day. May the day also remind us of God’s love that surpasses that of any mother or father on earth.
1. When have you felt abandoned by God? In what unlikely place did you see a reminder of God’s love?
2. Whom can you confide in during times of trouble? How does that relationship bring you peace?
3. Are you holding on to anger toward God? What steps can you take to release this anger? Find a way to be honest with God. Write or paint out your anger, yell, or find another creative way to express your feelings. God loves you and can take your anger. God already knows your pain, but often being honest with God is the gateway to healing.
Nicole Corlew Curtis is the Communications Manager for The Upper Room and is the mother of Sarah Grace and Anna Elizabeth, who are named after those three extraordinary women in the Bible and God’s all-encompassing grace.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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