An Open Letter to Fear, Miscarriage, and Loss

Fear, you’ve come with some force this time. You tried to catch me off guard with your manipulative ways. As soon as I took the pregnancy test and saw two lines, joy and hope filled my heart, but I could sense your presence. You reminded me of my previous miscarriage. You threw fear-filled questions at me as if they were darts.

Nonetheless, I chose hope and freedom over you. I shook off the agreements we’ve made and uninvited you.

My husband and I decided to walk by faith, to hold on to the promise. Immediately, we started to celebrate this gift from God. Even though you made me hesitate a few times, we began to discuss names, nursery ideas, and everything in between. We kicked you off our path on this journey, and it felt good.

Then, it was time to see our doctor for our “confirmation” visit. So with our worship playlist on shuffle, we drove along the countryside and praised God in advance for good news. With anticipation and joy, we saw the mighty heartbeat of our baby! It was pounding away, and with that, fear you were no longer in sight.

We began to envision how our lives would change. How joy and laughter will fill our new home but in a much different way. We began to discuss ideas on how to deliver the news to our family, who have been waiting for this news for quite some time.

During our second check up, we saw our baby again. Except this time we noticed something different, there wasn’t movement. In a soft and tender voice, the doctor said: “There’s no longer a heartbeat.” It felt as if she took a sledgehammer to my heart. Miscarriage, you decided to pay us another visit. Even though one in four pregnancies meet you, I didn’t want to see you again. After a few minutes, the doctor said to come back later in the week to check once more, so hope and light remained in my shattered heart.

On our way home, my husband must have seen the tears pouring down my face because he pulled over at our favorite vista point. The views highlight the raw beauty found in Colorado. He then played, God of Miracles by Chris McClarney, which instantly became our anthem. We got out of the car, and with windows down, we praised God. It was the only thing we knew to do.

No words. Just praise. It felt like a battle cry. A battle we didn’t want to fight, but one we geared up for anyway.

While we waited for our next visit, we invited close friends to believe and pray with us. Every night we fought for our unborn baby’s heart to beat once again.

Fear, you made me question if I was strong enough, but I reminded you of who my God is. A God of miracles. A God that is much greater than you. A God that will never leave me nor forsake me. No matter the outcome, He is the same God.

But you still kept knocking on the door of my heart; throwing every dart you could to pierce and paralyze me. You whispered, “What if your God doesn’t come through for you this time? Protect yourself and give up.” However, as I told you then, and I’ll declare it again, “I will praise my God whether I receive good news or bad news. I choose to stand with Him on the peaks and in the valleys.”

At our follow-up appointment, the doctor said “I’m so sorry, but there’s no heartbeat. You will have a miscarriage. I’ll give you some space to process.” There I stood, my husband and my mother by my side, as silent tears began to flow once again.

I’ve been here before. The first time knocked me down for a while but I told myself that this time would be different. This time I would kick the enemy in the face, and go against the urges of solitude.

Fear, miscarriage, and lost. You don’t have the victory. You’re a part of life, and that I cannot change, but you won’t win. You won’t touch my identity, and you won’t steal my joy. I won’t allow you to derail my mission. I stand to support other women even more because of you.

And yes, although I feel strong, broken, and tired all at the same time, I will get through this valley and hope will continue to rise.

A woman on a mission,
Charlena

 


 

I write this letter with tears rolling down my face to invite you into the hard places of my journey. I believe there is a purpose to be found in the pain, and the enemy chose to mess with the wrong one. Yes, many times we need space to heal, to then tell of our story. But what if we stopped faking fine and let our community into the real and raw parts of our story?

It’s in the valley where it’s easy to get lost. It’s a place that we don’t want to find ourselves in. A place that can literally make us lose our mind. A place that shakes us to our core. A place that beckons us to be real and raw with God. A place that causes us to question everything.

My hope with this letter is to invite you into my messy story, but most importantly to let you know that you’re not alone in the valley. There are many of us here. Lamentation is a part of life, but being vulnerable in it makes us stronger.

Photography: Jonathan Caliguire

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  • Syliece McBroom

    I had an ectopic pregnancy last month and it was my first child. I prayed for that child for tweleve years and this loss broke me apart. I have decided to not be silent about it and speak on my truth. I know who my God is and I know I’m not in this alone. Hills and valley’s is the song I’m holding onto until my promise comes. Charlena you and your hubby are in my prayers. One day we will have a mega baby shower for all of us!

    • Hi Syliece,

      Amen! Continuing to hope with you for a child and continuing to pray for peace, joy and strength in this healing process.

      With Hope,
      Charlena

  • Charlena – thank you so much for sharing this story; I’m sure it wasn’t easy to write. I experienced a miscarriage earlier this year, and I’m still trying to find the words to write. Mine was at 10 weeks, so very similar in learning the news at our second doctor’s appointment after having already seen the heartbeat. Too often we hear the stories of pain and loss, particularly when it comes to fertility, after the victory has been won. People write things like, “after 2 years of trying,” or “after a miscarriage last year, we’re happy to announce…” They try to give a window into the loss, but it’s so much more powerful to bear witness to the loss and the grief before there’s triumph. To not rush that part of the story, where there’s fear, uncertainty, a hope to trust God. What’s beautiful is you give voice to the reasons to trust God in the times when it really matters — when it’s difficult and not so easy to understand. I pray that your hope and trust in God will be renewed, and I’ve commented before, but I’m so grateful for the heart God has given you, which so clearly reveals your desire for women to love God and live courageously.

    • Hello Jessica,

      Thank you for sharing your story. Praying for continued healing, peace, hope and courage to try again. It was very difficult to write but I knew that God was inviting me to be courageous. I almost lost it after the first line was typed up on my computer. But I told my husband I will write this post even if I have tears rolling down my face. I seen it as an opportunity to kick the enemy his is face by revealing the lies he’s been whispering to us as women.

      I am grateful for you and your prayers!

      xo,
      Charlena

  • Yarmirama Grace Ashama

    Praying for you Charlena for God’s strength and comfort, for a surprising testimony, for laughter and joy and for your desire to come into fulfillment. God is with you

    • Hi Yarmirama,

      Yes & Amen! Thankful for you and your prayers!

      With Hope,
      Charlena

  • Jessica Gilbert

    This is a topic that I know speaks to so many women and also to me. Thank you for bravely pouring out your heart for us and sharing about how you are holding on to God and his character in this season of grief. We need more models to show us what walking through grief looks like. You give me encouragement to keep praising God in my own grief. I love how you recognize fear, miscarriage, and loss as very real enemies but ones that don’t measure up to our victorious God. Praying for you Charlena!

    • Hi Jessica,
      So sorry for your loss. We are stronger together as we share with vulnerability. It’s possible to be broken and strong all at once. Praying for peace, joy and strength for you!

      Carry Hope,
      Charlena

  • Sarah Elizabeth

    This is the 3rd story I have read about miscarriages and infertility from people I know within the last few months. My prayers go out to you and know that someday you will be comforted with great joy! God has a plan for you and your family. Even though this is the worst pain any woman and her husband can endure, know that God knows what he is doing and will have an epic plan for you and Roberto’s life! Thank you so much for sharing your story!

    • Hi Sarah,
      Thank you for your prayers and my prayers go out to those you know who also are hurting as a result of a miscarriage(s) or infertility.

      With Hope,
      Charlena

  • MaryAnn Kasper

    So, so sorry for your loss. A book I’m reading that might be a good resource for you is When God says Wait by Elizabeth Laing Thompson. Much Love.

  • Alicia Spangler

    I feel just as you have written… raw. Although it has been many years ago your article made me remember the pain. It was both mental and physical. I’m so sorry that you had to go through this great loss. Alicia Spangler

  • Shayla Courtney

    Praying for you and your husband!

  • Chioma

    When I didn’t get a newsletter from you last week I did wonder if all was well and said a prayer for you. I’m so sorry for your loss but joyful for the strength, grace and hope you have in Christ. I pray for you and your husband, that you will experience comfort and greater strength. Thanks for sharing your heart, struggle and strength. You are an inspiration!

    • Hi Chioma,
      Amen and know that your prayers in my absent is appreciated more than you know. Thank You! 😉

      With Hope,
      Charlena

  • Trudy Raito

    I just realised that I was being selfish when your absence hurt me. I prayed that you hadn’t stopped and that you hadn’t forgotten about me, about the hope and the light you ignite in me since I have been sitting in the valley. Today I understand and apologise for my selfishness. I pray for you and your husband and I pray that the Lord uses you to show the devil who he really is. Thank you for being the light and the salt of the earth. You are a wonderful gift. I will never ever stop praying for you and your husband, but I will remove selfish thoughts out of my head. You are victorious Charlena, for the victorious God lives in you. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • OhTrudy!
      Thank you for being honest. And know that as longs as I have breathe in my lungs I won’t give up on what God has called me to. I may take a break but I’ll be back. lol Big Hug! Thank you for your heart and commitment to pray for Roberto and I know that I am also standing with you and our Abba Father will bring you more joy, peace and guidance while you journey through your valley.

      With Hope,
      Charlena

  • Lee Estrada

    I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing yourself with us. I am praying for you and your family.
    Lee

    • Hello Lee,
      I am grateful for your support through prayer!

      With Hope,
      Charlena

  • You’ve written so beautifully about such a difficult time. Thank you.

  • jasmine

    So very, very sorry for your loss, my friends. Praying God’s peace is present and tangible as you walk through this season of grief.

    • Hi Jasmine,
      I can say that I am a witness to His perfect peace. Peace that I can’t explain. Your prayers matter. Thank You!
      xo,
      Charlena

  • andrea anderson

    Praying for you, Charlena. And praising God that He promises beauty for ashes.

    • Amen! And still holding onto His promises. Thank you for your prayers Andrea!

      xo,
      Charlena

  • Teodora

    I’m sorry to hear this Charlena. I admire your strength to share and support other women through your story. Sending love

    • I am thankful for your support as well as our community. Thank You
      xo,
      Charlena

  • Sherry Browne

    You are truly an inspiration! Thank you for allowing God to use you even during this difficult time. I pray that you continue to trust in Him and rest in Him! I pray that you feel the presence of His Love and that He comforts you and your husband during this very difficult time in Jesus name I pray!

    • Hello Sherry,
      I appreciate your prayers. And yes through this difficult time His love never fails. My heart is full of His love for us. Thank You.

  • Andrea Smith

    Thank you for sharing this! As a mom who just went through this literally the past couple of days, I feel hopeful and the peace of God over our (us a women) lives. He truly has us in the palm of His hands. He doesn’t give us more than what we can handle, and He has nor never will forsake us. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Hi Andrea,
      Amen, keep holding on to the Word of God. He also promise to keep us in perfect peace if we keep our eyes on Him. Isaiah 3:26. Praying with you! xo, Charlena

  • Sive Swartbooi

    I love this story! You know i was patiently waiting for that part when you were going to say “and God blessed us with the baby we’ve been praying for!!” I know He will but I love that you didn’t wait for that “happy ending” before you shared your story. You trust him now even in the valley and you sing his praises even before your prayer has been answered! thank you! and God bless you 🙂

    • Thank You Sive. I was inspired to write about my valley because I know many women are also in the middle of their storm. It’s not always about the destiny but about the journey.
      xo,
      Charlena

  • Yes & Amen! Thank you for your prayers and words of encouragement. I am grateful for you Porsha!
    Xo,
    Charlena

  • Oh Tina,
    When I read your message I immediately started praying for you. I am well familiar with those feeling of fear to try again. Give yourself grace, let’s continue to carry hope at all stages of the process, and trust that whatever may come God is with us, He’s our comforter and our healer.
    I appreciate your prayers more than you know!

    In due time we have to try again! 😉

    Big Hug,
    Charlena

    • Tina Moreno

      ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

      Thank you for replying, I was a little shocked. Thank you for the prayers, my husband and I are going to try for baby #3. Just trusting in Him, no matter what happens. Your post was a part of taking some courage to do that. Keep on writing, you are truly touching women’s lives Charlene!

  • Hey Christina,
    Amen sister! I am thankful for your prayers.

    Xo,
    Charlena

  • Shellsy Malveaux

    Charlena, you are an amazing woman of God….first off! Grit and Virtue, along with your transparency, is refreshing to my spirit! In this world surrounded by people, especially in my career field, I can feel so alone and I have a constant battle with depression. Constantly finding “quick fixes”, but there is one thing, one answer…that is GOD! Continue to spread your passion and purpose around the world, I’m a testament to the thousands of women that you are reaching!! Thank you, thank you, thank you. Showers of blessings and favor to you and your family!

  • Erica M. Baker

    Charlena, I completely understand your feelings. I too had a miscarriage 11 years ago. I didn’t quite get it then but I did the processing. Realizing that little angel wasn’t quite ready to be here and they are spiritually snuggled with us always. I now have a 10 year old boy, who is my joy of life and laughter. He definitely has his sibling angel watching over him. You will have the opportunity to have the experience of motherhood, you now have two little angels to help you snuggle, love and watch over, when it’s time. With these little rascals these days your gonna need them.