“You’ve had a miscarriage? Seriously? Speaking the truth in love here, you didn’t pray for that baby – and you’re not praying for the one you’re carrying now if you need anti-depressant medication. You just don’t trust God enough.”
Ten years ago, judgment showed up in the unsolicited phone call from a caring friend, who loved me, but had bad advice. I’ll call her, “Doris.”
I was due in a month with my third child. “Doris” called to invite me to a healing service at her church. In discussion the day before, I’d shared with her that I was starting the meds this time before delivery, so I didn’t have the horrifying hormonal crash that nearly ruined our lives with the first two births.
She thought she knew my circumstances.
She thought, because I’d struggled with post-partum depression with the first two children (and the miscarriage she found out about), that my faith “just wasn’t strong enough.” And that I didn’t know the Scripture about “faith of a mustard seed,” moving mountains…
“Doris” made sure she let me know how she had prayed for all of her children before they were born, and Satan hadn’t gotten his hands on any of them. She let me know how she prayed for her current pregnancy, and told me that I needed to do the same. She said that miscarriage was always a reflection of the level of faith of the mother.
What she didn’t know was that I’d already wrestled with God through those 3 periods of PPD. And that my experienced of Him wasn’t that He was Santa. I let her give me the lectures about God, prayer, my lack of faith. Then I thanked her for caring for me enough to call, and then said, “I just want you to know, in my experience, God doesn’t always say, ‘Yes.’ He’s not Santa, and sometimes, I operate outside His will, so He will say, ‘No,’ or ‘Wait,’ to me. And I trust that. There’s nothing in the Bible that directly equates my level of faith with miscarriage, either. So while I appreciate the invitation, my husband and I have done all the things you assumed we have not. We have prayed for healing from PPD. We sought prayer from others. We have prayed for these babies, even the one we lost, from conception. And He’s still allowed me to have PPD, and so I’m doing the next best thing, taking a med that keeps everyone at our house safe, and is safe for the baby these last few weeks.”
“Well, don’t be surprised if you go to hell over this. You should even doubt your faith in Jesus Christ – you probably aren’t even saved,” she said. “This is pearls before swine,” then she hung up on me.
The next day, I received a phone call from a mutual friend of ours letting me know “Doris” had suffered a miscarriage and lost her baby.
I couldn’t believe it.
I wept for her, and for the baby, and her husband and the siblings.
And then I remembered, God is God. Always has been and always will be. And He showed me that same judgment I experienced at her hand shows up in my mouth and my heart, too.
Sometimes I give well-meaning but unsolicited advice… inviting myself into someone else’s (my spouse, my teen, my mother, and yes, even a friend) relationship with God, attempting to be their Holy Spirit.
And I think that job’s already been taken…
“There is no one righteous, not even one.” Romans 3:10
Proverbs 29:11 says, “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.”
So today’s dares are thus:
And no, “I told you so’s.”
Just grace and compassion.
Double dog dare you to subscribe or share – and know I’m just so thankful to be on this journey with you!