When I had my miscarriage, people told me all sorts of stupid stuff. I don’t think they realize it. And I know they didn’t mean it. I wasn’t upset by it, not a bit though. I realized at some point that people say the things that they need to hear, the things they need to believe. I was okay with that much to the astonishment of my friends. In fact, I was talking to one of my good friends and told her that people were telling that a. God works all things together for good. b. I should have gone to a doctor rather than a mid-wife and c. it’s okay because I can have another. “It’s bullshit!” She yelled. And she’s not much of a curser. What really set her off was the references to God. And that’s what really set me off too. I wasn’t mad at the people, no, they were trying to help but I was mad at God. But that’s the thing, acknowledging that God has a plan that involves taking my child away was an impossible thought. Is an impossible thought. Why would I worship a God like that? I couldn’t.
Today I was talking to another friend who had pointed out that I was a bit more cheerful and less heavy than last time she’d seen me. “Well,” I told her, “we haven’t been going to church and that helps.” We both started laughing at the absurdness of the thought. Two Christian women understanding completely the reluctance to go to church when we’re depressed. But we’re supposed to find succor in the fold aren’t we? We both agreed that we’d never heard God whisper or feel our cares magically float away when praying about our hardships. We also agreed that people telling us to lean in God was less than helpful. It’s almost like you’re not allowed to be depressed if you’re Christian. People are always telling you that God has a plan with this, that if you lean on God your troubles will melt away. It’s all bullshit. If you need that, fine. I don’t want to take your solace from you, but for me; it’s bullshit.
Why do I think it’s all bullshit? First, I could never worship a God who planned to cause me pain, who planned to take my child from me. No, that is not the God I will ever worship. Second, Jesus is our ultimate example and He cried out “My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me?”He is our intercessor. Why shouldn’t we have the right to follow His example in this as well. If anyone understands the feeling of abandonment, the loss of feeling close to God; it’s Jesus. But let me tell you, no one wants to hear any of that when they are there. It’s all truth and lacking grace. No one wants to be related to when they are at their wits end. They want to be misunderstood, they want to feel as if their pain is pain no one has felt before. So let them cry out, God why are you doing this?! When I was doing that, my faith was not in danger. I wasn’t walking away from God. When I didn’t and I bought the bullshit that God had planned this, that God had a purpose in it: that’s when I turned to run.
There’s nothing wrong with being sad. And if you’re looking for something to say to someone who’s grieving and can’t find the words; don’t. Just tell them that you mourn with them and that you love them. The most comforting responses I got were just that; I love you and I feel for you and I don’t know what else to say. If you’re grieving, I say; I love you and I mourn with you and there’s nothing left to say, but I assure you it was not God’s plan.