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Mental Health Counseling from a Biblical Perspective for Teens, Young Adults, Adults, and Couples in the Redmond and NewCastle areas. Seattle Christian Counseling for Teens & Adults emphasizing God's word with Joshua Loy, MA LMHC and Gabe Davis, M.Div, M.S., LMFT.

Did My Baby Go to Heaven? | 5 Things I Learned In Miscarriage

Blog | New Ground Counseling | Addiction Counselor

Blog posts from Joshua Loy, MA LMHC and Gabe Davis MS, MDiv, LMFT. New Ground Counseling focuses on Bible-based, Mental Health Counseling for Teens in the Redmond, Bellevue and greater Seattle area.  Emphasizing the power of God's Word in Biblical Counseling with Teens and Young Adults.

Did My Baby Go to Heaven? | 5 Things I Learned In Miscarriage

Joshua Loy

Two years ago I was racing to a doctor’s office where my wife lay on a medical bed.  The staff were moving quickly and as the minutes went by, they spoke less.  They were searching for our baby’s heartbeat.  During that car ride, I had some of the most honest, desperate prayers I’ve ever had.  Please don’t take my baby.  God, please.  Please don’t take my child.

That was the day we lost Avery. 

Avery.  She was beautiful.  I say “she,” because I had dreams about her.  Vivid dreams.  So real that one night I walked to the girls’ room to see if she lay sleeping, with blonde hair like her sisters.  I really thought I might find her there.

But she wasn’t.  And she wouldn’t ever be.  We were devastated. 

Is My Baby with God?  Or Somewhere Else?

When we lost Avery, I couldn’t mourn.  I was too scared.  I needed answers.  I had frantic and desperate questions.  Is my baby with God?  Or somewhere else?  Where is she?  Will I ever see her?  Will we ever know her?

And I needed to hear these answers from God.  No one could comfort me.  No amount of “I’m sorry for your loss” or “They are in a better place” could console my heart.  It had to come from Him, because the answers had to be real.  I couldn’t settle with what I wanted to believe.  I needed the Author of life to tell me the truth: “Is my baby there?  Do you see my Avery right now?  Is she with you?”

That first week all I did was sleep, cry, and rifle through pages of the Bible.  In all that searching, as I collected passages and gathered them onto paper, I finally found some respite.  There were answers.  I saw David’s expectation to see his lost son in heaven (2 Sam 12:23); God’s deep, special love for children (Matt. 18:1-6; 19:13-15); the display His character, gracious and merciful (Psalm 86:15), condemning only those who willfully reject God “without excuse” (Romans 1:18-20); and more.

God had so much to say about Avery.  He also had words for my suffering.  And when I found these things, I clung desperately to every word:

1) She Was Real.  She Was Known.

We had spent months talking about Avery, praying for her, waiting for her.  It almost felt like we knew her.  And yet the terrible truth was, we didn’t know her, and we wouldn’t know her.  However, Avery was known:

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb… I am fearfully and wonderfully made… My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in the secret place, when I was woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body…” (Psalm 139:13-16a)

God knew Avery.  He knew her deeply.  He knew her before time.  His eyes beheld her.  He saw her clearly, far beyond what any ultrasound could ever display.  And in that seeing, He loved her.  She was a person beloved and wonderfully made. 

2) Her Days Were Written Before Time

The shock of miscarriage is paralyzing.  Pregnant parents are told the arrival day: “Your baby will arrive on [insert promised date].”  And when that day never comes, grieving parents are instead given two days to mourn—the date their child passed and the date they were supposed to arrive.  There is an overwhelming sense of disbelief:  How could this happen?  It’s not supposed to be this way.  Yet when I went to Scripture, I found this to be untrue.  God had authored Avery’s life and his pen did not slip:

“Your eyes saw my unformed body; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” (Psalm 139: 16)

God had already written out her days.  He was not shocked as we were.  He was sad (Ez. 18:32), but not surprised.  His arrival date was not ours.

3) God Was Near.

The grief overcame us.  The pain seemed to swallow up the hours and days.  We were thinking about what Avery could have been.  We were imagining memories that would never be realized.  We were waiting for her to pass from Kindal’s body.  But God promised to be near:

You saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul. (Ps. 31:7-8). 

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Ps. 34:18)

For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in His dwelling; He will hide me in the shelter of His tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. (Ps. 27)

He tends His flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart. (Isa. 40:11) 

God intimately knew the desperation and sadness of our souls.  He saw me and knew me in my anguish.  He wanted to be close to me and be my Refuge.  So my prayers became, “I need a shelter right now.  Be my Shelter.  Keep me safe.”

4) She Is In His Presence

I couldn’t shake the desire to be with Avery.  I even had feelings like, “Please let me die and be with her.”  But this is also where I found true comfort. 

I stopped and considered God’s presence: “What is it like?  What is she experiencing right now?”

“In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16)   

“He will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with singing.”  (Zeph. 3:17)

“One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord. (Psalm 27:4)

“My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.” (Phil. 1:23)

5) Avery Wasn’t Lost

Right now Avery is in His presence.  How wonderful that must be.  Our story, man’s story, is about getting back to the presence of God.  And that’s where the story ends.  When I counsel people now, I tell them to write a letter to their child.  This portion of my letter to Avery describes this:

And in these moments I’m tempted to feel we’ve lost you
You were lost.  We lost you.
But this isn’t true at all, because you were found
The moment that you left your mother’s womb
You knew the true meaning of a Father’s gaze

You knew the presence of love and great Love
You were not a stranger, nor lost
You were caught up with Him
In all His greatness, glory, and majesty.
In all His tenderness, care, and loving kindness
In all His peace, security, and finality

You knew love greater than your father’s touch.
You knew love greater than your mother’s smile.
Greater than these memories never realized
You knew your Creator, King, and Savior.

And his embrace was bigger than my arms could be
His sweet words more comforting than your mother’s
And that song in my head; what He may have said,

“Sweet child, don’t be afraid
I have known you and I have loved you for a thousand years
And I will love you for thousands more”

We will see you there,
At the gate or in the sky.
We will find you there.
Your mother, whose beauty you did not know
Your father, whose embrace you did not know

And I’m dying every day
To see your face, to hold your frame
And tomorrow morning I’m
One step closer