ON LOSS, GRIEF, HOPE, AND JOY
About a year ago, December of 2020, I received a text from my wife that would change our lives forever. She wanted me to come home. Fear and dread began to well up within me. I was pretty sure what was about to transpire. My wife was 19 weeks pregnant with our second child. A couple days before she had experienced a tiny bit of bleeding. I Googled everything regarding bleeding and pregnancy. I tried to stay calm and get some rest, but my mind raced…anxiety, fear, dread…of what might be…of what may already be. The next day I was headed to go have lunch with some missionaries when I got the text to come home. I turned my car around and headed back to our house. I walked into the door, she walked into the door. I could see it all over her face. We had lost the baby. That sounds so strange doesn’t it? “We lost the baby.” We didn’t lose a baby. Our baby had died. Oh, the soft language we create to try to sweeten a bitter cup and soften a heavy blow. How could this be? Maybe the doctor was wrong. Maybe the sonogram machine was broken. Surely, my baby could not be gone. We had prayed for him and God had answered our prayers. The Bible says children are a gift from the Lord. How could this gift be gone? All the hopes and dreams I had for this child had been snatched from me in the blink of an eye. “So many people don’t want their children,” I thought to myself, “this isn’t fair.” I want my children. How can this happen to us?
It is now December of 2021. My wife just gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, Jack Foster Bozarth. We prayed for him and God has answered our prayers. I’ve been thinking a lot about our loss last year and our beautiful gift this year. I’m still trying to figure out how to deal with the tension between grief and joy, disappointment and hope. The questions surrounding such tragic situations are largely unanswerable. I don’t understand how God sovereignly works in the affairs of man, but I trust Him. He has a purpose for everything. If we had not lost our son last year in a late miscarriage, our newborn son could not have existed. The timing would not have worked. How do I reconcile the purposes of God for my son who is gone with the purposes of God for my son who lives? I can never know the answer to such things on this side of heaven, but I do think about them…wrestle with them. The Apostle Paul says in Romans 8:28, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” But of course, knowing something to be true and feeling something to be true can be two different things. I can intellectually acknowledge a Truth, but the feelings of pain and sorrow do not just magically disappear. Grief is a process. Hope is a process.
Life is filled with loss, grief, hope, and joy. In this world we will have tribulation. Some people seem to have more of one than the other, but who really knows the tears someone else has cried before laying their head down to sleep? We do not have the grace to walk in someone else’s shoes. God gives us the grace to walk out the path He has laid for us. His grace is sufficient. Each one’s path will undoubtedly be filled with loss and grief, but thanks be to God for the rays of sun that pierce through even the darkest of nights.
No matter what you may be going through today, do not despair. We serve a God who is able to turn our mourning into dancing. I can’t begin to explain the ways of God. Again, Paul in Romans says, “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” God does give and take away, and I will bless His Name. I thank God for Jack Foster. He is our miracle baby. And one day we will meet his brother in heaven. Blessed be the Name of the Lord.