Hours before the appointment at which I was told that our baby had died in my womb, I threw up. The nausea that accompanied this pregnancy came on strongly around five weeks, and I continued to throw up for weeks after the baby had left my body. I had forged ahead through all of the vomiting in the weeks prior, telling myself, “It will all be worth it in the end.” But the end had come much sooner than I expected, and there was no baby. Instead, there was just a bloated belly and lingering symptoms—symptoms that felt pointless, and even cruel.
I’ve heard this frustration expressed by many women walking through miscarriage. With no baby to bring into the world to raise and love, they feel as if their money, time, and pain have been wasted.
Has Anything Left You Wondering, “What’s the Point?”
Perhaps it’s the energy you put into preparing for this baby. The money you spent on doctor visits, ultrasounds, or infertility treatments. The maternity clothes you bought. It might be the time you spent trying to conceive or the time that is passing now while you wait to be able to try again. Maybe it’s the weekend you spent recovering instead of hanging out with friends. Or the painful symptoms you got from the medication that didn’t work and left you still in need of the D&C you wanted to avoid.
Sometimes we work harder to trust God with the bigger things, like death and tragedy, than we do with the details. The seemingly tangential things which, like flea bites, just leave us cynically swatting and frustrated.
I wonder if David may have been wrestling with this thought as he wrote Psalm 139:16:
“Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”
He could have just stated that God ordained the days that were formed for him and left it at that, but instead, he adds the aside: “every one of them.”
God is sovereign over every detail
The complete sovereignty of God is a comfort to us in this place where we feel as if certain days or details have no purpose. Romans 8 helps us remember not only God’s purposes for our pain but also the parameters of those purposes. God works all things together—from the most bitter and painful to the seemingly pointless—for good (Romans 8:28–30). No day, no detail occurs outside of the scope of his redemptive purposes.
You’re not alone if you’ve been asking this question from a place of fatigue and cynicism. After all of their suffering, Job and Jeremiah both went as far as questioning why they were even alive, cursing the days that they were born (Job 3:3–10; Jeremiah 15:10). But their lives were not a mistake. God used them amid their suffering not only to communicate his character to their contemporaries but also to form whole books of Scripture. Through both of their lives, God displayed his glory. He is doing the same thing with your life.
God’s purpose gives us perspective
An understanding of God’s purpose and plan brings comfort to us in our pain because it brings perspective.
In 2 Corinthians 4:17, Paul uses the words “light” and “momentary” to describe his own (extensive) suffering. These are probably not words you would reach for to describe the hardship you are currently enduring—those weeks I spent throwing up because of a pregnancy that had already ended certainly didn’t feel light or momentary—but Paul doesn’t use those words to say that his suffering is insignificant. We know this because in Romans 8 he has been talking about those same “sufferings of this present time” (verse 18) when he states that God works all things together for good (verse 28).
No, nothing is wasted or insignificant: not the life of your baby, not your lingering symptoms, not the time that’s passing—none of it. Paul’s use of the words “light” and “momentary” are not intended to minimize our pain but to lift our gaze within it. Earthly afflictions feel heavy now, but they are nothing compared with the eternal glory we are being prepared for.
God Is Using Every Detail
God is using every detail of your experience surrounding miscarriage for your good and for his glory. When we consider this truth, the difficulty that has felt endless and pointless starts to feel purposeful and easier to bear, as we embrace the knowledge that, somehow, it will enhance our future joy.
When you doubt this, think of the story of Joseph. His older brothers despised him, sought to kill him, and ended up selling him into slavery. Then he was thrown into prison for a crime he didn’t commit. The story is heart-wrenching. But in the end, Joseph boldly stood before the brothers who had betrayed him and declared, “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good” (Genesis 50:20).
No day of Joseph’s life was outside of God’s control, and every detail was used by God for his own glory and for Joseph’s good. Joseph ended up in a powerful position within Pharaoh’s court; more significantly, God used this to preserve his people through a famine. In doing so, he ultimately guaranteed the survival of the family line that would one day lead to Christ, the One who will bring us to glory.
Assurance for Your Weary Soul
Your pregnancy may have ended in death rather than birth, but it was not “all for nothing.” Every detail is being used for good—your greatest good. I don’t pretend to understand exactly how this works, but somehow, God’s redemptive purposes for your life are being accomplished through the suffering you’re currently enduring.
He’s getting glory from it, and you’re being prepared for glory by it. So the next time your weary soul asks, “What’s the point?” answer the mystery with this assurance: “Even this. Even this, God is using for my good and his glory.”
**This is an adapted excerpt from Held: 31 Biblical Reflections on God's Comfort and Care in the Sorrow of Miscarriage by Abbey Wedgeworth. The 31 biblical reflections in this beautiful and comforting book remind grieving women that God sees them, knows them, loves them, and is actively caring for them.
Meet the Author:
Abbey Wedgeworth a wife, mother, writer, and speaker located on the South Carolina coastline. She is passionate about Bible literacy and discipleship and loves to see how the gospel transforms how people think and live. Abbey is the author of Held: 31 Biblical Reflections on God’s Comfort and Care in the Sorrow of Miscarriage, the host of the Held podcast, and the curator of the annual Gentle Leading Advent Devotional for Moms. You can find more from Abbey at abbeywedgeworth.com.