by Rachel Lohman
Sophia is the Greek word for Wisdom, and Propel Sophia seeks out the voices of truly wise women and asks them to share worked examples of how they express faith in daily life. Pull up a chair at Sophia’s table, won’t you? There’s plenty of space.
It was my first pregnancy. I spent seven weeks in giddy gender debates with my husband, building lists of names, and even starting to browse the baby aisles at Target.
I spent no time in those seven weeks considering the possibility that my pregnancy would end in any other way than with a healthy, living child in my arms. I knew that things like miscarriage existed, but that was far off of my radar, like statistics from a distant reality. I went from the blissful expectation of new life on a Thursday evening to shock and sorrow on a Friday afternoon as I lay on a cold exam table in the E.R., receiving confirmation that my first pregnancy was ending in miscarriage.
My miscarriage shifted so many things in my life and identity, but what my miscarriage altered most was my faith. In the months of grief that followed my baby’s death, I slowly began to realize I had miscarried more than just my longed-for child; I had also lost a significant sense of my hope, my dreams of motherhood, and my relationship with God as I had known it.
Walking through suffering felt like holding a mirror up to my faith: it revealed the core of my beliefs about who God really was in my life. It wasn’t a reflection I entirely liked. For nearly three decades, I had walked with an unchecked assumption that serving God and doing the “right thing” would spare me from deep suffering. I had been living life with God like an equation to be calculated, not a relationship to be savored.
With the underpinnings of my faith shaken, I spent an entire summer sifting through my anger, doubts, and endless questions for God. Could I really trust Him with my future dreams of motherhood? How on earth would something this tragic encounter redemption? Would I be able to fully hope in God again?
As I trenched through suffering and grief, God met me profoundly. My miscarriage showed me these truths about God.
1. God is not the author of evil. After my baby died, many people told me things like “everything happens for a reason,” or “God needed another angel,” as if to suggest God had crafted up my miscarriage. There’s a pivotal distinction between God creating evil and pain versus allowing it. And while I won’t know this side of Heaven the reasons God allowed my miscarriage, I’ve found peace knowing God is the creator of light, and not darkness (1 John 1:5).
2. God knows what to do with the broken chapters of my story – even when I don’t. I continue to experience God’s redemption from a chapter that once felt entirely broken and hopeless. He’s given me a new perspective on motherhood, a deepened appreciation for my living children, and a beautiful space to minister to moms currently walking through infant loss. None of these redemptive blessings erase the pain of losing my first child, but they’ve been a powerful reminder that God really does turn the enemy’s evils to His good (Genesis 50:20).
3. God uses suffering to deeply form us. God made use of my suffering to help me grow more into the image of Jesus. My miscarriage developed in me deeper empathy, more compassion for others who suffer, and a gritty perseverance and hope—the fruit of suffering the Apostle Paul describes (Romans 5:3-4). Even the hardest chapters of your story are not wasted.
4. God knows grief personally. The prophet Isaiah describes Jesus as a “man of sorrows” who was “acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3). This isn’t the typical characterization we get of Jesus in the Western Church, but this is who our God is—a suffering Savior, and one who is intimately with us in the familiar trenches of grief.
5. Resurrection hope changes grief. Without realizing it, I had misplaced so much of my hope in other things: my body, my relationships, and modern medicine to name a few. These are all good things, but none could carry me through miscarriage grief like the hope I’ve re-discovered in Jesus. Hope placed in God is a sturdy, tested hope—it has already defeated death. “Grieving with hope” feels like an oxymoron until you grieve with the hope of the promises of the resurrection. (1 Thessalonians 4:13).
If you’re walking through a season of suffering like infant loss, take comfort in knowing God is not far off in your pain. He’s grieving beside you, already at work to birth some future redemption from the painful ashes you carry today.
@Rachel Lohman's heart beats to help hurting women find hope again. She is a pastor, speaker, and founder of @HopeAgainCollective, a handmade earring line that shares the stories of miscarriage and stillbirth moms. She and her husband currently lead The Bridge, a bilingual church outside of Los Angeles. Her first book Miscarried Hope: Journeying with Jesus through Pregnancy and Infant Loss releases August 2023.