October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month.
According to the stats, 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage.
It’s historically been a topic associated with much shame and secrecy. I remember hearing, when I was a teenager, for the first time that my mom had experienced a miscarriage. I remember feeling shocked. Maybe because it was something we’d never talked about, or I’d just never thought about it before, but it seemed like a big deal, but I didn’t know why.
Through the years, watching family, then friends, then myself, struggle and battle through loss, has given a single word - miscarriage - much more significant meaning. It’s not just a medical term, or an illness, it envelopes so much more than that.
So, I’m very grateful to present Liz Mannegren’s book “Embrace: Clinging to Christ Through the Pain of Pregnancy Loss.” I was able to review her book and want to share it with you. Perhaps for yourself, if you have experienced loss, or if you know someone who has. This book is for moms, for grandparents, for friends, who just want to gain some bearings underneath them as they walk the journey of grief.
Liz is an honest, compassionate friend, who guides us through that journey, walking through the effects on our marriages, our other children, and the raw honest emotions that we feel. She leads us back to Christ, to His goodness and His love.
She draws on the experiences of other women around her, who have also experienced loss, and brings a rounded perspective to the struggle. Not everyone grieves the same way, each one of us will have a different situation, yet the thread of grief remains the same.
Liz writes with so much passion as she shares her story. She says, “In these dark caves of depression, we find light and hope to cling to when all else seems lost. Even when you don’t understand why you have to walk this road, when you’re hurting and dirt-smeared and broken, choose to embrace the story that He’s given you as a way to understand Him better.” Walking in our grief and seeing Jesus can be so hard, because the darkness begins to cloud over. Yet she encourages us to look to Jesus, to remember His light, and His story.
One of my favourite aspects of this book is the journaling section at the end of each chapter. This gives us the opportunity to really look upon our loss, and answer questions honestly, which so often reveals underlying truths that we’ve hidden in our processing. Writing out our thoughts, our prayers and our journey helps put words to all that we are feeling, and even when it’s hard, it gives us permission to feel and to grieve.
The journey is hard, and it can be long. Yet, “in our pain, let us never shy away from an opportunity to draw nearer to God.”
I encourage you to pick up this book, as a gift for someone you know, for yourself, or for the moment that someone around you is going to need an encouraging touch. If you’ve not experienced pregnancy or infant loss, it’s also a really great tool to help you understand some of the emotions and challenges that women face. Let’s continue to stand with each other, as friends, as family, and as sisters in Christ, who all walk our own unique journeys and need a helping hand along the way.
What has helped you through the grief of pregnancy loss?
**Liz is the 2019 winner of the Women's Journey of Faith Contest by Word Alive Press.