Last July when I found out the baby I was expecting in November was going to have be delivered stillborn I went through a wide range of emotions. Shock, sadness, confusion, anger, and one I haven’t talked much about, shame. I felt inadequate as a woman. I wondered what was wrong with me. How did I mess this up?
I remember experiencing the same type of shameful feelings when we were trying to get pregnant with our first born. We tried off and on for about a year and a half and my body was just not cooperating. It’s a bit hard to conceive when ovulation is not occurring on a regular basis. I felt like less of a woman because I couldn’t do what women are supposed to be able to do… make babies. Glory to God, I finally got pregnant with my sweet little boy Gus! My confidence was back. I no longer felt like I had a defect… until that day at the doctor’s office last year when we found out our third baby’s heart was no longer beating.
I not only felt like I had failed as a woman, but as a Christian. I was embarrassed about having to tell people that we lost a baby. That something terrible had happened to us. I wondered what people would think. I worried they might assume we had done something bad to open the door to an attack from the devil. I didn’t want to be a smudge on God’s goodness masterpiece. I didn’t want people to doubt Him, because things didn’t go according to plan for me. I was ashamed.
I took a few weeks off from serving in the kid’s classes at my church and the first weekend back I was nervous that some of the parents who aren’t friends with me or my husband on Facebook and had not heard the news were going to ask about the baby. And rightly so. Several parents that day who had no idea what had happened, saw me and were excited that I was back and excited to hear about the new baby. I hated having to tell them the sad news. I felt like I was letting people down. My very wise, very wonderful husband came by to check on me and to see how things were going and he could tell I was having a hard time. He told me this was my chance to show people how good and gracious God has been. He said when someone asks, tell them we lost the baby, but tell them how God is miraculously healing our hearts. Give God more glory than the devil.
His little pep talked worked. I felt different. Instead of hoping no one asked me, I was hoping that if they did that I would be able to answer in a way that magnified God. I got my focus off of myself and what I thought people may think of me and fixed it on God and what I wanted people to think of Him.
Psalm 34:5 Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.
When I stopped looking at me and started looking at Him, shame left. None of it’s shadows darken my face today. I don’t feel embarrassed about what happened, I feel like sharing my story with as many people as I can, because God changed it from a sad story to a happy one, and there are people all over the world who are in the middle of their own sad story and need to know that God is a finisher and that He loves happily ever afters.
Whatever is causing you to feel ashamed- a miscarriage, unemployment, divorce, bankruptcy, an abortion, a weight problem, etc., look to Him for help. He will cause your face to be radiant with joy, instead of darkened by shameful shadows. Purpose to give God more glory than the devil. Purpose to get to your happy ending. Purpose to let God use what once caused you shame to help other people.
- My very wise, very wonderful husband.
- No shadow of shame darkens my face.
- I am radiant with joy!
- God can take what used to cause us shame and turn it around in such a way that it brings Him glory.
- God loves happily ever afters.
- I enjoy sharing my story now that I know it’s not a smudge on God’s goodness masterpiece, but that it brings out details in the masterpiece that people might have overlooked.
- Contact lenses. I threw away a pair last night thinking I had one more pair I could use before ordering a new box… I was wrong! Had to wear my glasses all day and I really, really missed my contacts.
- Glasses. If I didn’t have a pair of glasses I would have not been able to go anywhere or do anything today.
- Got to teach the 4 year olds at church about how God can take bad things and turn them into good things.
- Get to serve with some of the sweetest girls every week.
- Our preschool team is growing!
- A little boy was touching my baby belly after church while I was talking to someone and I heard Beau yell at him, “You stop touching my mammas tummy!” She’s feisty and I love it.
- Sunday afternoon nap.
- Cuddling and watching Ninja Turtles with Gussy.
- Chicken Express satisfied my mashed potatoes craving.
- Our key card to the neighborhood pool would not work so my friend Cheri told us we could use their neighborhood pool.
- Gus & Beau loved being at a different pool! They had so much fun.
- Pretty much had the pool to ourselves. It was very relaxing.
- Josh got home in time to eat dinner with us.
- Bubble Guppies. My kid’s new favorite show.
- Sunglasses. I really missed mine at the pool!
- Left overs for dinner.
- Beau said “ew, ew!” when she found out it was my night to read to her.
- Cuddling with Josh and watching some Food Network Star.
- Ice cream… in honor of ice cream day of course!
- Josh had me laughing so hard tonight I couldn’t breathe.
- Feeling sweet Sunny move around as I write this.