On a frigid January evening in Kansas, we found out that baby number four was on the way. Unbeknownst to us, God thoughtfully decided to place another arrow in our quiver. Psalm 127: 3-5 proclaims: "Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth.
Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!" And just like that we were a family of six, imagining life with our new baby: Adeline feeding and cradling, Lincoln eager to “go on dates” with his (hopefully) brother, and sweet Isla swooning over her real-life baby doll. I envisioned giving birth to our little island baby in Hawaii, after making our eleventh Army-related move this summer. He or she was precisely what we needed to complete our family--it was perfect.
And just as quickly as our tiny thrill ride took us to the sky, fueled by hope and love, it ended--shockingly, abruptly. It was over. When we made that slow, exhilarating climb right before the rapid fall, God lifted our baby to Heaven, while the rest of us remained strapped in for the descent. Our baby was gone. As we exited to the left, our family and friends waited eagerly behind the ropes. With my head spinning from the ride and my body disoriented, each one reached out to support me in a unique way. One of five ways to be exact.
In the book, The 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman explains the ways in which we communicate and receive love. I quickly realized that I was experiencing the five love languages through the lens of miscarriage, each friend supporting me in her own perfect way. A couple of ladies provided babysitting while we were at the hospital, a college friend sent gifts of remembrance, my family made me cards, many prayed for us, others sent comforting Scripture verses, a neighbor made us a meal, another had pizza delivered to our door, a Bible study friend sent a gift box, and several of my long-distance friends checked in on me daily via text. Each gesture of love was just as meaningful as the next!
It is almost inevitable that you will have the opportunity to employ one of the below love languages to comfort a friend or family member who has lost a child. My obstetrician stated the alarming fact that up to one in every three pregnancies result in a miscarriage. Pray to God about how he can use you to be the hands of feet of Jesus in the wake of a miscarriage. Use these Scripture verses to inspire you:
"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends." John 15:12-13
"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. " Proverbs 17:17
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God." 2 Corinthians 1: 3-4
Here are the five languages you can use to speak love into the grieving heart of a friend who has miscarried a child:
1. Gift Giving
(tangible symbols that reflect your thoughtfulness and effort)
A surprise treat
A gift set from Laurelbox
2. Words of Affirmation
(encourage, affirm, empathize, and listen actively)
Comforting Scripture verses
3. Quality Time
(focused one-on-one conversations)
Visit her at home
Plan a video chat if you're long distance
Go for a walk together
Take her out to eat
Meet for a coffee
Pray with her
4. Physical Touch
(body language and touch to emphasize love)
Holding her hand
5. Acts of Service
(any act that eases the burden of responsibility)
Make a meal
Order a meal for delivery
Babysitting during hospital visits, doctor appointments, and recovery
Help with household chores
Want to know your love language and that of your spouse? Click here to take the free quiz.
If you have experienced a miscarriage, tell us in the comments the ways in which you were supported or offer a suggestion for how we can love on women facing this tragedy.