Just how fully can we expect grief to be healed, anyway? Full disclosure, I've had two losses - two babies left my womb and went straight to heaven. The first loss was a still birth at 30 weeks, from a rare illness, and the second was at 8 weeks. The first one was especially traumatic, and one of the books I read about grief mentioned it could take seven years to "recover" or be able to act like life was "normal" again. From talking to other loss mothers, this seemed plausible. To be honest, I didn't know what a "healed heart" looked like, nor did I expect it to happen so quickly for me as it did. First, I want you to know that I don't consider either loss to be "worse" than the other, in the respect that both were babies, both were children that needed to be grieved. But there is something different about being able to hold your newborn in your arms who you'd also never seen take a breath. (What I'm saying is, pain should never be compared, and one life is never worth more than another's. Just that in my experience, the first loss was much harder to recover from.)
But when my sister in law, who was pregnant at the exact same time as I was with Hope, gave birth to a baby girl (we didn't know gender until the birth) - well, I nearly lost my mind. I wanted to die. I wanted somehow to live both in heaven with Hope and to not leave my first baby, Leah (age 2 1/2), behind. No joke - I hurt so bad, I thought I MIGHT die. (What a wondrous gift Leah is to me!)
Well, as with other aspects of my grief, I learned to deal with this development ... or thought I was learning to live with it, by forcing myself to follow everyone else's expectations for steps I could take to heal. Some of them were good, but most of them just made me hurt worse by forcing me to move along much faster than I was actually healing. I thought often, you wouldn't suggest to someone who had lost a limb, to suddenly learn how to live life without it, so why were they expecting me to do "all the things" SO SOON? I had lost part of my heart. I know now that the inside of us is the hardest part to heal. I think that's why Jesus liked to ask the question, which is easier to do, to heal (the physical), or to forgive sins?
God did a lot of comforting during that initial mourning period following Hope's passing. One of my favorite verses to cling to was Isaiah 43:2, which says this:
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
Praise Him, He kept me from burning in the fire or drowning until the real help, and complete healing, arrived. However, contrary to what many seem to think, grief does not come in neat little "stages" - instead it came in waves, some bigger than others, that each time felt like they might capsize me. I would be coming along better one day, and suddenly the next day, or even seconds later, a wave would come out of nowhere. During my pregnancy with Gideon, my "double rainbow," I felt especially disappointed in how far I'd come. It was as if I'd suddenly taken 5 steps backward. I will write about his story another day, but for now, I wanted to give a quick glimpse into where I was at when I began my appointments at church for inner healing. I really had "lost hope" in life being anything more than a constant struggle and tug of war between trying to enjoy what I had and feeling a deep sense of loss and brokenness over what I was missing.
Before I end this post, I just want you to know that the God of miracles really does wonderful work on hearts broken with grief. I didn't need to wait 7 years to feel somewhat "whole" again, and neither do you! In a matter of 2-3 months, he COMPLETELY healed my heart and he wants to do the same for you! Sister, if you are in a place where you need this kind of healing, please drop me a comment below and I will be glad to pray for you!