The grief due dates bring – miscarriage.

This past Thursday I shared a little bit of my heart on my Instagram concerning my baby’s due date quickly approaching. The first time I had a miscarriage I thought, “Once the due date rolls around I’ll be doing better.” For some reason, I thought that by then I would have dealt with my emotions. However, the months went by and the pain didn’t really go away; the pain was as loud and intense as it had ever been. Here’s the thing: Grief comes in waves, therefore when that due date comes, so does a big wave of emotions and grief. If I am completely honest, there is no way to avoid it.

As I’ve shared before, I’ve had two miscarriages. Both of my angel baby’s, due dates, are just a couple months apart, so you can imagine that the grief sticks around for quite some time. Although over the years I’ve learned better ways to deal with it, it doesn’t mean that it won’t come. The desire to hold my babies in my arms is still very real every single day. I long for that, and I know that will never go away.

“Today we would have been 20 days away from meeting our baby. July has a lot of emotions tangled up in there — I know that this month we would have been able to hold our baby in our arms.

But here’s the thing that I’ve learned this year. God is with us through all of those emotions. Even in the hardest times, we’ve learned to rejoice. When times our joyful we have been able to enjoy our time and still smile and find joy in the mundane.

I’ve spoken a lot about miscarriages, and one of the reasons why is because until you haven’t experienced the pain, you don’t know what it’s like. Miscarriage isn’t just something that disappears after you have one, it’s something that stays with you for the rest of your life. You count every due date, every birthday, every heartbeat.

Today, I’m grateful for everything this baby taught me. You taught me to love and cherish my days even more. July 21st should have been one of the happiest days of our lives, and now it’ll look a little different. We rejoice that our baby is dwelling in the presence of God, and we long for the day we’ll get to hold you. I’m grateful for the memories I hold and for the love, I was able to experience through my angel baby.”

I really want to encourage all those mommas out there that are currently experiencing this grief. Whether your angel baby’s due date is soon or still a few months away, I want to tell you that I’m here for you. When you first get pregnant, the first thing you typically calculate is the due date because it is supposed to be the day your life changes; the happiest day of your life. But what I’ve learned is that the day my life actually changed was when I saw those two little pink lines. Why you might ask? Because this is the day I gave my all to this baby, I waited patiently for that due date, and when it didn’t happen, my life had already changed. The pain that we have to endure as mothers is heartbreaking. Please, know that you are not alone.

I patiently wait for the day I will get to hold my babies, however, I am so grateful to have the hope of knowing they are with there Savior. There are many things I’ve learned throughout these last few years, and one thing has been that if God is taking care of me, how would He not do the same for my babies? Remember that this day can be full of sorrow, but also know that God will one day wipe those tears away. I won’t get to meet my babies on this side of eternity, but man I cannot wait to meet them in the presence of God.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Psalms 23:1-4, 6 ESV



Bianca Ritter

Hear My Cries

“Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth, I call to you; I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:1-2 
  My anguished wails carried to the far corners of our home, my keening erupting from my horror’s depths, reaching my husband two floors away. He ran, shaken and afraid, to that unfamiliar sound, finding me curled up sitting on the toilet’s lid. Uncontrollable tears streamed from my eyes as he held me, seeking to comfort me. I burrowed into his chest, seeking out relief. I could not be comforted. I longed to reach into the darkness and yank sweet Aaron out of the Grim Reaper’s clutches. But he was gone.
I had just received the news that Aaron, my stepson of over 17 years, had taken his own life the night before. He slit his arteries all over his body after putting a bag over his head, ultimately dying of suffocation. He was gone. Too late to ask, “Why?” Too late to beg him not to. Too late to hold him safe on this side of the veil. Too late.
As I write, I am cutting open a vein, bleeding, and sharing the torment of losing an adult child to suicide. I cannot share the heartache without entering back into it. And it hurts. The agony still lingers—so many unanswered questions. Time seems to stand still even though the wind blows, and the birds sing. Memories of his life remain all over our home like shadows left behind from a long-forgotten light. Little art projects hanging on the refrigerator from decades ago. Every picture frame and a hand-drawn picture. Sweet and precious memories.
There is an ache that attends his absence. I miss him. However, the agony of my moment was not sorrowing for where he wasn’t but fear for where he might be. Could he have foolishly tried to escape his guilt by adding to it? Could he have sought release from his agony, only to enter a deeper and inescapable one?
My husband reminded me of the hope that restrains our mourning. Over the years, I had spoken to Aaron of Jesus, His perfect life, His atoning death, and His victory over the tomb. Aaron had, as a child, confessed his sins and his dependence on God’s grace in Jesus. He had been such a gentle and sweet-tempered child. His conscience was tender. Was the Spirit at work in him all those years?
Had he forgotten? Had that word fallen on rocky soil and sprung up quickly only to be extinguished by the things of this world? Could it be, like the thief on the cross, as his last breath escaped his body that he remembered, that in his dying despair, he turned again to the One who put death to death?
It has been almost three years now. We grieve a loss that doesn’t go away. We hope to see him again one day. Our only assurance is resting in the promises of God, who answers us in our distresses. Who, when we have no answers, gives us peace and rest for our weary souls. From us and to us, our only message is the message of the gospel, that Jesus came into this world to save sinners. Sinners who sin the most grievous of sins, even those who have taken their own lives.
The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” 1 Corinthians 15:55-58.
The Lord Jesus has taken away the sting of death through His resurrection. Believers know that for all who are in union with Jesus, their spirits will unite to Christ after death, and they anticipate the sure and certain hope of the resurrection, given by the resurrection of the Lord. The sting is gone! The last enemy is defeated! Death has no victory over the believer!
All of this is true—death has lost its sting, victory over death! Death no longer holds us captive. Death and the trials and sorrow surrounding it have stings that catch many families by surprise. We never know when we will be called out of this life. Middle-aged men die; children die; older people die. Unless Jesus returns, we will all die. There will be mourning. But trust me in this—if you are in Christ, the mourning will be only here on earth; you will one day be face-to-face with your precious Savior, Jesus Christ. This present suffering isn’t worthy of being compared to the eternal weight of glory.
Remember, grieving is a process; there’s no one-time solution to fix what you’re feeling. God allows pain and grieving for His good reasons, but this doesn’t mean He doesn’t care. There are lessons to be learned. Cry out to God; you will find hope, joy, and peace once again.
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever,” – Psalm 73:26
In those times, when you’re at your weakest, you may not have enough strength to fight the negative feelings. If you need the strength to let go and move on, there’s no better source of power than the Lord.
When someone you love passes away or if you’ve just ended the long-term relationship with someone you genuinely love, you will feel defeated. Life is that way sometimes, and believe or not; this is all part of God’s plan for you. Don’t believe that old aphorism that God will never give you more than you can handle. He does all the time. He will not, however, give you more than He can handle. He will be with you through every valley and every mountain peak.

My Generosity Journey

There are countless examples of generosity in the Bible, and frankly, the opposite. There is nothing sharper than the shock of learning what you’re not supposed to do the hard way. Those lessons we find are valuable and necessary to learn more about Jesus and ourselves. In the process of going over some of those, this story along with some other sentiments bubbled up needing to be told.

With that preface, this isn’t going to be a lovely and touching story about that time when someone was so generous to me that it changed my life forever. I do have those experiences in my adult life. My husband has shockingly lost his job twice in our 16 years together. He is the hardest worker I know, but the world is harsh, and things don’t always go our way. In both of those instances, we have had kind people who reached out and helped our family in ways that I will never forget. I truly saw the love of Jesus through those who helped and I am forever grateful. What I want to share is about my journey in generosity; the real and raw that comes from honest self-reflection.

A little background about me will help you understand my journey. My parents divorced when I was 3, and I am their only child. I lived with my mother for most of my childhood, where I experienced alcoholism and sexual abuse. It wasn’t all bad, I gained two amazing step-brothers who are now great parents and husbands. But, we were poor in more ways than one and struggled a lot growing up. When I look back, I can’t remember one person who stepped out in generosity towards me. I am sure that there were, but I couldn’t see past the pain and hurt in my situation. If their generosity didn’t make all the craziness end, it didn’t enter into my view. I didn’t realize this until much later in life, so I grew up thinking that there were no generous people in the world. In fact, if there were, I would never know them. I became hard to the world, on people, and on myself.

Living with a hard heart worked for me until I became a parent. Having kids changed my point of view. I didn’t want to have a hard heart, especially to my children. I wanted to be sweet and kind and tender. My children deserved to have a mom who was a break in the generational chain of dysfunction. I wanted them to be kind and generous people, but how can I teach them without doing it myself?

Let me tell you, I am wired to be selfish. In some ways, we all are, but with my beginnings and the anger I had about my childhood, I couldn’t be who I wanted to be. In my heart, I wanted to be generous, but I was afraid, not a little afraid, a lot afraid. It makes me vulnerable with my heart, my mind, my time, and my finances. With my previous experiences, I thought for sure I would be taken advantage of.

Where do I start with all of this?

Luke 6:38 NIV “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Counseling! Because I had to get to the source of the issue. I won’t go into great detail about this since we are focusing on generosity, but know that this is often the place to start, and Peace Restored can help! I needed to reanalyze my relationship with Jesus, other people, and myself.

My counselor taught me generosity doesn’t have to come straight from me. Generosity comes from experiencing the generosity of Jesus. His forgiveness, grace, mercy, love, and understanding that provides me with what is necessary for me to be the kind of person I want to be and who my children deserve. If I relied on myself only, for a pool of generosity to draw from, I would come up empty every time. This is one of the many gifts that Jesus has given me! When you feel that unconditional pure love, your desire for others to feel it too becomes a reality. This is the core of generosity.

There are still times that I should have been more generous than I was. I am a work in progress. Being generous with your time and money takes trust. Trust that God is a part of our world and that your gift isn’t in vain. It takes learning to listen to the Holy Spirit and the gentle way he communicates with us. These both are learned habits just as generosity for some of us, is a learned habit.

This is sincere encouragement from myself to you. Examine what you do and where your finances go. Are they different from what you want it to be? Take the first step in changing that by reengaging with Jesus. Work on your relationship with Him and trust Him! Listen to the Holy Spirit’s gentleness in your life, in your head, and through others. There is a special place just for you, where your time and finances can make the biggest difference. And when you fall back from it, don’t beat yourself up, just restart the process. I love you big, and myself big, because Jesus loves us all BIG!