“I’m sorry, there’s no heartbeat.”
My heart skipped a beat. A miscarriage landed me in the bed with low back pain and abdominal discomfort. The same as birth bangs when my daughter was born. Except there’s no baby to hold or name or take home.
The doctor described this three-day nightmare as a natural way the ten-week-old fetus continued to exit my body. He even said this was the best case scenario to avoid a medical procedure to clear anything left behind. But I just cared about what had happened to my unborn baby and the unseen scars left behind.
My womb not only emptied itself of the baby I dreamt would be our second child, but I also felt an undeniable emptiness—a hollow space with an echo of loss.
Months after, my empty womb threatened to rob my joy as a woman and as a mother. Sadness crept in while explaining it to my two-year-old daughter every time she asked, “Is the baby in your tummy, Mommy?” Even telling my co-workers and friends seemed daunting. And the waiting period before attempting another pregnancy seemed like forever.
So when my womb was full of life again, fear of “what if” cast a shadow on the good news and celebration. I insisted to my husband we not tell a soul. Not until I reached the end of the first trimester, and moved past the point of anxiety to a place of hope.
But supercharged panic set in at the ten-week mark. Pain coupled with blood screamed, You’re losing the baby again!
Relieved is an understatement when the ultrasound found a strong heart beating to the rhythm of life. My baby boy made his appearance to the world thirty weeks later.
While I grieved the child who died in utero, the Lord helped me move past the past with a promise: life begins at conception, I will see this child again in heaven or when the Lord returns.
No doubt, you are familiar with your own empty. Maybe you know what it’s like to walk through miscarriage. Or your womb has never been full of life, and it has haunted you. Perhaps your emptiness was left behind from addiction, sexual violation, a failed marriage, lost career aspirations or death of a loved one.
Because we can almost always mark a moment when empty made an entry point in our story. Still, empty doesn’t define who we are, we were misinformed by the enemy of our souls.
3 Ways To Let Empty Refine You And Not Define You
Stop Bearing The Weight Of Empty
Mary’s womb was supernaturally filled. Her baby boy, God’s Son, made His appearance to the world—His heart beating to the rhythm of eternal life. Jesus willingly emptied himself on a cross to not only take on our sins, but to also carry our sorrows. We were never meant to bear empty.
“Who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:6-8, ESV)
“Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.” (Isaiah 53:4, ESV)
Start Healing Through Jesus’ Scars
If we were never lost, we wouldn’t need a Savior. And if we were never empty, we wouldn’t appreciate God’s fullness. The Father uses the suffering from empty to refine us and make us more like Christ. At Calvary, pain coupled with blood screamed, I died to give you eternal and abundant life…to heal your scars…to restore what empty cost you.
“He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5, NIV)
Stay Living In Victory Through Resurrection Power
Here’s the best Good News to tell every living soul: Jesus Christ rose from the dead, leaving behind an empty tomb, so that we can leave behind empty. Christ overcame an empty tomb, so that we can overcome emptiness. Christ brings resurrection power into every circumstance we face.
“And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of His Spirit who lives in you.” (Romans 8:11, NIV)
Something beautiful happens when we let God use empty to refine us. It has the ability to turn our life in to something more than we ever imagined.
Empty was never meant to define me, but to refine me to resemble Christ.
Karen Friday is a pastor’s wife passionate about the local church, women’s ministry, speaking, and sacred callings. Known as Girl Friday in the writing and blogging world, she founded the award-winning, online community, Hope is Among Us at Karen Girl Friday. The Friday clan includes two grown children and two grandchildren. The entire family is found of the expression, “TGIF: Thank God it’s Friday.” They owe Monday an apology.
The Refined Series
Fire refines. First God, breaks our pride into tiny pieces. Then, He melts away our impurities in a crucible of affliction. Every fleck of fleshy fluff rises to the surface and is removed until we reveal His image.
This year, I want to stop fearing the fire and pray:
Lord, refine me through the flame.
For 2018, I asked God to give me a word to guide my year, and He whispered the word “Refine.” For the next 10 months, Bruce and I walked through the fire and tried to not resist the refining work He is doing in us.
I am a very slow learner, and recently it occurred to me I should step aside and create more space to listen and learn during this refining season. I long to sit down for a heart-to-heart chat with a wise friend who will remind me the fire has a grander purpose. Thankfully, I am blessed to know several women who’ve walked through the fire and emerged beautifully refined, and I’ve invited them to share their story here with the Wildfire Faith Community once a month.
God has promised that the fire will not consume us, but transform us.
Sign up today as a member of the Wildfire Faith Community and grab a copy of the Refined Manifesto our Faith Fuel Library.
If you are visiting from Karen’s today,
welcome to my little space on the web!
Here you will find fuel for a wildfire faith to help you
- LOVE DEEP: Fervently extend God’s kindness and grace to pesky people.
- PRAY BIG: Go down fighting on your knees with fire in your bones.
- HOPE FULL: Stay tethered to a confident anticipation that keeps your heart ablaze.
- STAND STRONG: Rest courageously on God’s promises with red-hot resolve.
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ARE YOU STRUGGLING TO LIVE LIFE BASED ON YOUR VALUES RATHER THAN OTHER PEOPLE’S EXPECTATIONS? I CAN PARTNER WITH YOU TO HELP YOU CLARIFY THE CALLING GOD UNIQUELY CREATED YOU TO FULFILL.
CHECK OUT MY COACHING SERVICES TO START WORKING ON A PLAN TO REFINE YOUR PASSION AND PURPOSE.
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