When I was first asked that question, I thought, “what a loaded question!” but if God knew this was going to happen then I knew instantly how I wanted to answer it. Most of you probably know but for those who don’t, I had a miscarriage last year. My specialist doctor confirmed this year that I most likely had one late 2015 as well. That was something that truly showed me how important my identity in Christ was, even though the discovery had been unfolding for years. There have been things in my life I have experienced, things that have been hard, but have broken me and shaped me. Even though I have had a few rough roads here and there including suffering from a deep depression, anxiety and at one point extreme suicidal thoughts. Losing a child has changed me forever. And without knowing who I was in God I would not have made it through.
To add a bit of background to this, I strongly believe that God has called me to be a mother; someday, somehow, in His timing. Whether or not it’s by natural birth or adoption, I know God will add to our family. The week before I found out I was pregnant, our very best friends had just told us they were pregnant. We had done life together for so long, engaged in the same year, married in the same year and now having babies together? The timing was perfect—at least that’s what I thought. But God had other plans.
A week later, seeing the Doctor and getting blood tests every second day, she told me that it was highly likely I would miscarry. When she told us that, I instantly got my faith on, praying for healing in my body, calling life into my body, over my baby and praying that God’s will be done. But can He please also just do what I want and make sure I don't miscarry? True story. I don't want to focus too much on the physical and emotional process of what losing life from your body feels like, it is indescribable and unlike anything I have been through before. But I want to emphasise that despite the pain in my heart and in my body, without a doubt, God was there, carrying me through it all. It was and still is my beautiful trial.
I have known God basically my whole life. My dad likes to tell anyone who will listen, “My daughter asked Jesus into her heart when she was 4 years old”. No joke. He tells everyone this. My entire life I have been in church, around church and thankful enough to know Christ. But it wasn't until I lost a baby that my foundations were so shaken and challenged. If it wasn't for my identity in Christ, a few years ago I probably would’ve committed suicide. If it wasn't for my identity in Christ, I would most likely be a crying heap on the floor, immersed in my pain and grief over the loss of a child.
It is still a process—grief is a process. I don't think it is ever over. But by spending time in prayer and my word, the two things that can be so simply taken for granted, I know I am called to trust Christ blindly.
My identity in Him is not someone He throws to the way side and He intentionally hurts. He does not forget about me, He experiences my hurts alongside me, He binds up my wounds, He heals my broken heart, He blesses my future children within me. That's how my identity in Christ has changed my life in the last year. In the hardest battle I have ever fought, in those horrible, gut wrenching, tear filling moments, there is a song that I would play over and over again. The lyrics say:
“Take this mountain weight
Take these ocean tears
Hold me through the trial
Come like hope again
Even when the fight seems lost
I'll praise you
Even when it hurts like hell
I'll praise you
Even when it makes no sense to sing
Louder then I'll sing your praise”
So even when I didn't want to praise Him, I did. My identity in Christ is not one that is a mistake and it is not meant for defeat. Even when I saw it as a defeat, my story is being used to help other people. It is not a defeat that my children are with my Heavenly Dad in heaven, it is not a defeat because even in my darkest hours it has caused me to rise up, fight for my family and future children. My identity in Christ is my hope and my strong hold. Even on those days when I see someone pregnant, and it catches me off guard, tears well up in my eyes and my heart does a little clench in my chest, I still praise Him and I still thank Him. He created me, this was not a surprise to Him, He created me in his image, to do His works on this earth.
My identity has been solidified in Christ. That I can be still and He will fight for me, that He has renewed the joy of my salvation. Pain and grief is never an easy burden to carry, and I will never dismiss it or make it look or sound easy. But that doesn't change Christ's love for me. I am adopted into an eternal family, with a God who has inscribed my name on his hands.
My beautiful trial has been a huge part of shaping my identity in Christ. He has carried me, been the breath in my lungs, allowed me to run to Him even when I didn't want to, and He calls to me and tells me you are a daughter of the most high King.
“Be brave, be courageous, you have a plan and purpose on this earth far behind what you can ever imagine, you have eternal rewards in Heaven, and I love you.“
My identity in Christ has helped me discover how to choose Him, despite it all, because He chooses me time and time and time again.