NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Monday, October 29th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from member-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. J.C. Derrick now on loss; a particular type of loss more common than many of us may know.
J.C. DERRICK, MANAGING EDITOR: This month a church in Dallas hosted an event for grieving mothers. It was put on by the group MEND. That’s an acronym for Mommies Enduring Neonatal Death.
The event featured a walk of remembrance, a guest speaker, and a balloon release. Organizers also read the names of all 335 children the crowd of more than 1,200 came to remember.
Those numbers may sound surprising, but miscarriage is shockingly common. WebMD reports that as many as 50 percent of all pregnancies end in miscarriage—although most occur before the pregnancy is known. Still, 15 to 20 percent of recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage.
Now, you might be wondering why this event took place in October. It’s because three decades ago President Ronald Reagan declared this month Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month.
You also might be wondering why I was there—since I have two healthy boys and I’m not a mother. Well, we went first to support our friends, who experienced a miscarriage at 33 weeks this summer. It was their third in three years.
But we also went for ourselves, because we experienced a miscarriage two months ago.
Amy and I have known many people who experienced miscarriage and infant loss over the years. But needless to say, experiencing it first-hand was an eye-opening experience.
I can’t say that I was excited to go to the MEND event, but in the end I was glad we went. Our son Rowan repeatedly declared it a “very special day to remember our baby.”
When it came time for the balloon release, Rowan wanted to write, “We will come to you” on his. It was a surprisingly Biblical statement for a 4-year-old—echoing the words of King David in 2nd Samuel 12.
My heart ached for those in the crowd who didn’t have that same gospel hope.
My heart also ached for those who endured more difficult circumstances than we did. We had not yet heard the heartbeat. We didn’t have a child to hold. And it only happened once.
Recently I heard from WORLD Radio listeners who have experienced three miscarriages in the last year. Almost five combined months of pregnancy with no baby.
In a powerful Facebook post, this mother wrote that the pain causes ugly characteristics to surface, like anxiety, doubt, and low confidence.
But—quoting now—“it also makes us realize that when our strength is failing under crushing burdens, the answer is not within. God gives power to the faint and increases the strength of the weak.” End quote.
She found solace in the words of Psalm 34: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those whose spirits are crushed. The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.”
May those words be a reality for each one who has experienced such loss.
For WORLD Radio, I’m J.C. Derrick.