Sometimes We Have to Touch the Darkness



I wasn’t going to write about having a miscarriage. I really wasn’t. It’s such a sad topic and it’s hard to shed real light on what it’s like without being graphic, super depressing, sobbing while you write all the words and avoiding the phrase “dead baby” when those are the words that keep echoing in your mind. No one wants to hear that. I wasn’t going to write about having a miscarriage.

But then I had two. Back-to-back. One baby lost at 7 weeks. No period in between. Pregnant again. Another baby lost at 12 weeks. And every time I sit down at my computer to write about teens, marriage, finances, prayer life… there is nothing. Nothing but what I’ve been through in the last five months. Finally, I acknowledged that maybe God is echoing the words in my mind so I can write them down. Because maybe one person needs to hear them. Because if you don’t want to read about miscarriage, you can just stop reading. Because maybe it’ll give me some peace and I could always use more of that.

The thing I’ve learned through this process, the inescapable truth that I have to confront every time I tell someone what happened is that I am not strong. Sterling is not strong. People keep telling me I am. I even have moments when I think they’re right. But the truth is that I’m human. I’m broken and I’m very weak. The only strength that you see me have is strength that I’ve borrowed from Jesus.

If you could see inside my mind and if you could see how I really feel, I’d be lying on the kitchen floor in a puddle of tears and screaming, “Why did this happen? Why can’t I please just have my baby back?” But the only reason I don’t look like that is because I believe in Christ. I believe in what He did for me. I believe in the words of the bible. I trust Him and His timing.

You’ll hear me say that a lot. Trust Him and His timing. It’s easy to say that when you’re talking to 15 year-old girls who are worried about boys and college. It’s easy to say that to recent graduates looking for a new job. It’s a lot harder to stare into the face of a woman who has just lost her baby and tell her that it’s okay. But it’s still the same truth. This truth is timeless. It transcends situation. And it’s genuinely what I believe. I believe that God has a plan for me. I believe that He knows what’s best for me and He wants that best plan for me. I believe that I will learn something from this and become closer to the person He wants me to become.

If I only believed in the comfort of these words when things were going well for me, then it wouldn’t really be the same thing as truly believing. So I do look strong. I’m making plans for the future. I’m holding my girls tight and reading them more books. I’m going on dates with my husband and trying to learn how to play the piano. I’m enjoying a few glasses of wine and eating sushi because I can. I even feel strong for most of the day.

Then I’ll see a picture of me from two months ago. Or I’ll pass by a restaurant that made me so sick a few weeks ago. I’ll start cramping, again, because that lasts a long time. I put “Christmas” into Pinterest to get started on handmade gifts as a distraction but then I remembered I might have had a baby for Christmas. I’ll put on my maternity pants because I look like I’m 4 months pregnant. I catch people smiling at my baby tummy. Those are the times I lose it.

That’s when I start to let go of Jesus and grab onto myself. I sink into my human nature, my brokenness, my doubt and my short-sighted idea that what I want is probably what’s best. That’s when I start to want my baby instead of His plan. I forget about His love and His timing and slip into darkness. During one of these moments I was telling my husband, “I just can’t stand the not knowing. Not knowing if I’ll be pregnant 2 more times or 10 more times. Not knowing if we’ll always have little kids around. Not being able to plan for something so important like how many kids we’ll have. I mean it’s a significant life event, I just want to be prepared!”

Then he gently reminded me that we don’t get to prepare for most significant life events. Death. Being laid off. Natural disasters. Falling in love. We can’t plan for these things and yet, they significantly change our lives and often affect us for the rest of our lives. And that’s how my husband helps lead me back to Jesus. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it’s bad to have these moments. I don’t think it’s wrong to be human and weak. I think it’s good to touch the darkness so we remember why we need Jesus. But that’s what we have to do in those moments.

We need to turn to the light. We have to stop holding ourselves and reach out for Him. This is where we’ll find the strength we need, the strength we’re looking for, the strength that pulls us away from  dwelling on the “what ifs.” I honestly don’t spend a lot of time wondering about “what if” I was able to have this baby. Clearly it was not in the plans for me. I don’t need God to tell me why. I trust Him. I feel peace more than I feel sadness.

At first I wondered if I was in some sort of denial about what had happened. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that when I walk with Him (by going to Mass, reading my bible, sending up my prayers,) I feel His peace. It’s like a blanket that’s wrapped around me and it protects me, mostly from myself. I will always love and remember the babies I’ve lost. It will always bring a tinge of sadness knowing that I didn’t get to see them grow up. But I believe I’ll see them in Heaven and that their lives were no less meaningful for not having passed years on this Earth. I believe that I can find peace and happiness whether I have five more kids or if I’m never able to have another baby.

When you look at me and you think I’m strong, you’re right, you do sense strength in me. I can take on really difficult situations and push through. I can be positive throughout terrible times. I do have a lot of strength but it’s not mine. It all comes from God. It comes from my deep faith. If I didn’t have Him, I wouldn’t have that strength or those smiles. I would be crying on the floor. We all need Jesus. He gets us through the hard times and His truth promises that everything we go through is for a reason, for a plan and for something better than we could ever hope to experience here on Earth.

If you’re going through something difficult, are you holding onto yourself or are you holding onto Jesus? How can you let Him in so He can begin to give you healing?

Copyright 2015 Sterling Jaquith
Image Credit: Sad Girl by Michael Dorokhov (2011) via Flickr, CC


About Author

Sterling Jaquith is a wife and mama to three girls under 5, lives in Boise, Idaho and is the host of the Coffee & Pearls show. As an adult convert, she had to discover Catholicism on her own. She is so in love with the truth and tradition of the Church that she dedicates her life to helping lukewarm Catholics discover the passion and joy of our great faith! She writes at


  1. Cassie Guenther on

    Sterling, what a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing and being so vulnerable; especially in an area we don’t like to talk about! Our stories are quite similar. I had two boys, very healthy normal pregnancies. Followed by two miscarriages, “Baby August” at 8 weeks, closely followed by another pregnancy and the loss of “Baby October” at 12 weeks. The desperation of wanting to carry a baby, and the despair that your body hasn’t been able to carry a baby; are both so overwhelming. And YES, the planning and excitement you once had all come crashing down, and it all hits you, when you least expect it. Which is maybe the hardest part. But you are right again, in that we will meet our children one day in heaven. They will be there to greet us and show us around. What a beautiful thought and motivation to work towards holiness here on earth! We are blessed to have a family doctor who could refer us to a wonderful, good, and holy place that respects life more than I knew possible in the medical field. Pope Paul VI Institute in Omaha, NE has helped us maintain two healthy pregnancies since our miscarriages through the use of supplemented progesterone. Apparently my body can’t make enough to keep the baby growing and thriving through the first trimester. We have been blessed with two amazing daughters through this Institute’s care and research. If you are wanting some hope and some help when/if you are blessed with another life within; seek them out! They help women all across the nation as they work with the hospital lab near you 🙂 AMAZING doctors at work there; who value tiny little life to the FULL!!! My family will be praying for yours. Thanks again for sharing.

    • Thank you Cassie, for sharing your own story. Yes, we also worked with the Pope Paul VI Institute for our last pregnancy, which is now my sweet 3 month old baby Violet! They are so amazing and they give so much hope to Catholic women that someone out there cares about these little souls the moment we conceive them. I was very happy with my experience there!

  2. Sterling, you took the words right out of my mouth. When I was going through my divorce, I kept questioning whether or not I really cared because I wasn’t a mess or curled up in the corner, paralyzed. But it was all through the strength God was giving me that I was able to make it. I think we all underestimate the value of praying for peace. Thank you for that reminder. Blessings to you and your family.

    • Abby, I’m so glad you posted this comment. There are so many situations that we feel we could never bounce back from, we’re too hurt, too scarred, too broken… but that is like saying, “God, I don’t think you’re powerful enough to handle me.” And of course He is, and of course He wants to handle it and of course He’ll always love us!

  3. I am so sorry for your losses, Sterling. I will pray for your healing. I wish I knew what more to say to bring you comfort, but I will pray that Jesus can do that for you.

  4. Wow, this article speaks perfectly to me and my story. It’s very similar. I was able to sink myself in Jesus before myself took control. Thank you for this article I can share with my friends and family!

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