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Threads of Hope

,
Pieces of Joy
A Pregnancy Loss Bible Study
For group or individual use
by
Teale Fackler & Gwen Kik
Threads of Hope,
Pieces of Joy
You can order a paperback copy from:
www.amazon.com
or
Loving and Caring
1905 Olde Homestead Ln.
Lancaster, PA 17601
(717) 293-3230
www.lovingandcaring.org
Threads of Hope,
Pieces of Joy

A Pregnancy Loss Bible Study

Teale Fackler
Gwen Kik
B
Benjamin Books
THREADS OF HOPE, PIECES OF JOY. © Copyright 1999 by Teale Fackler and Gwen Kik. All rights
reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any
form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written
permission from the authors. Revised 8/99.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV. © Copyright 1973,
1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights
reserved.
We appreciate the contribution of the authors we have quoted. An attempt has been made to gain permission.
The quilt on the cover was made for Hope Broadbent Kik by her grandmother and great-grandmother.
You may contact the authors at: threadsofhope@yahoo.com.
Photography:
Barbara Yonts Photography
Madisonville, Kentucky
Printing:
American Printing Company
Madisonville, Kentucky
This study is dedicated in loving memory of:
Baby Grace Fackler
Benjamin Paul Fackler
Hope Broadbent Kik
A Special Thanks to:
Our husbands, David and Brett,
for your support and encouragement
Donna Stum, for the title
Sharon Wells, for proofing
and being so supportive of us
Martha Stevenson, for proof reading
and loving suggestions
Donna Scott, for sharing your personal insight
Janet Walker, for seeing potential
in “The Quilt Story”
Daire, and the millions like you,
who have inspired us every step along the way
All of our friends and family
who have supported us through our losses,
our hope and our joy!
Table of Contents
Preface 7
About the Authors 9
A Quilt Story 13
So Many Questions 17
This Can’t Be Happening 27
Why Me? 37
How Can I Go On? 49
I’ve Got To Get Better Soon 61
Moving On To Acceptance 69
Learning To Let Go 79
Finding Joy 89
Memorial 97
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Preface
This Bible study has been written for those who have experienced the
loss of a child during pregnancy or shortly thereafter. Although the study
has been written by women and primarily for women, we hope that it
could be used by men or couples who are working through their grief.
The ideal format for this study is a small group, consisting of 4-6 mem-
bers, with two co-leaders presiding over the meetings. Ideally, the leaders
would have already worked through the study previously, thus allowing
them to minister freely to those participating in the group. Group rules
should be clear, with confidentiality being a priority. The group setting is
inappropriate for members who are currently expecting another child, as
that might be upsetting to other group participants.
The study may also be used by individuals working alone. We suggest
that you choose someone outside of your family as a partner, perhaps
a minister or spiritual counselor. Meeting weekly will cause you to be
accountable to complete your work and allows you a medium for discussing
your progress.
Either way, as a group or individually, the study should be completed
one chapter per week for nine weeks, the last being a memorial to your
child. Symbolically, this represents one week for each month of a full-term
pregnancy. Practically, it gives you a reasonable time frame, while keeping
you on task as you work toward healing.
May God bless you as you discover His hope for your future.
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Teale’s Story
My husband Dave and I married young. We dreamed of having a
family some day and settled on having three children. We celebrated our
third anniversary and one month later welcomed our first son into our
home. Within three years we had two more sons. With such a full house
we thought we were through having babies. Nine years later I discovered
that I was pregnant. I was shocked and elated at the same time. Dave
was not overjoyed but grew to accept the idea. At ten weeks I went for a
routine visit and no heartbeat could be heard. Not really concerned, the
doctor asked me to come back in two weeks. I wasn’t concerned either,
since everything seemed to be fine. At twelve weeks I went back and still
no heartbeat could be detected. An ultrasound revealed that there was no
baby in my uterus. A mass resembling a cluster of grapes was all that could
be seen. Numb with disbelief, I went into the hospital for a DNC that very
afternoon. I later learned that I had experienced a molar pregnancy.
As the weeks went by I recovered and tried to accept what had hap-
pened so mysteriously to me. The whole experience only intensified my
desire to be a mother again. I prayed that God would allow me to conceive
again or take away this strong desire to have another baby. We weren’t
intentional about trying to conceive. But exactly one year after we lost our
baby, I became pregnant again.
Scared beyond measure, I prayed for a healthy child. At nine weeks
an ultrasound was performed just to be sure and we were delighted to see
a normal baby with a beating heart! At 13 weeks a heartbeat was heard
in the exam room. We were thrilled. As my belly grew and I began to feel
About the Authors
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movement my fear subsided somewhat. At 18 weeks, no heartbeat could be
heard during another routine visit. An ultrasound revealed a perfect baby
in a perfect sac with no heartbeat. The doctor said our son had just died.
Because the sac was so normal and the fluid levels were good the doctor gave
me a few hours to see if the machine could be wrong. He laid his hands
on my belly and prayed for life. If I have ever prayed believing God would
answer, it was on that day. I knew that machine could not be right.
Later, we returned to see a drastically different sac with almost no fluid.
The doctors admitted me to the hospital the next morning and induced
labor. After nine hours our son, Benjamin Paul, was born. It was the worst
moment of my life. How could God have allowed our son to die? We learned
later that there was a problem with the cord, which was the cause of death.
I believed that God was in control of all things and this alone kept me going
through the terrible months that followed.
When Gwen asked me to help write this Bible study I knew that this
would be the instrument for my healing. From our exhaustive search of
the Scripture we found the help we needed and the reassurance that God is
always there. And maybe most importantly, that we would see our babies
again. I was able to see how He can use even the awful things in our walk
with Him to bring us closer to Him and to give Him glory. Our prayer
is that this study will help you to find healing and to find God in and
through your loss.
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Gwen’s Story
Hope is my middle name. It has influenced my life in many ways,
often giving me perseverance when I was in need of it. Perhaps because
of this, Romans 5:3-5 has been my favorite scripture since I was fourteen,
promising, “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we
know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and
character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured
out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.”
When my husband and I found out we were expecting, we wanted to
give our first child a name that signified the joining of our lives. For a
girl, we chose my middle name along with his, Hope Broadbent.
My pregnancy was exciting and my check-ups normal until my seventh
month. I had been experiencing some mild contractions and an ultrasound
was performed. I’ll never forget how hot and panicky I felt as I watched
the face of the ultrasound technician. Something was wrong with my baby.
At the time, they believed that it was a diaphragmatic hernia, which is
life threatening, but could possibly be repaired immediately after birth.
Further testing revealed, however, that it was much more serious. My baby
had a “fatal” genetic disorder called Trisomy 18. I was told there would
be numerous birth defects, that there was little chance she would be born
alive, and absolutely no chance that she could live outside my womb.
I remember feeling her kick, and being amazed that anyone could call
her formation, “incompatible with life.” My training and occupation had
been as a counselor and director for a crisis pregnancy center. This knowl-
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edge helped immensely, for I knew that God had formed her in my womb
and that the only option I had was to trust Him. At the same time, it was
painful to remember the numerous women I had counseled who hadn’t
wanted their babies, when I wanted to keep mine so very badly. One night
in the shower I cried out to God, “Why?” I felt a quiet answer in my heart,
“You were chosen because I knew you would love her anyway.”
On October 11, 1994, Hope was born into the world. Not only was
she alive, but there were no visible defects and she looked just like her sweet
father. He held me as I held her and prayed, “Lord, may her life be used
for your glory.” I feel that at that moment she went straight from my arms
into the arms of our Father.
The impact of her life continues to amaze me. Donations given in her
memory were used to start a pregnancy care center in my home town. Door
of Hope opened its doors less than a year after her death and continues to
help hundreds of women facing crisis pregnancies. I served as director
there for two years, until retiring to dedicate myself solely to my job as a
wife and mother because God has now blessed me with two more precious
little girls, Hannah Lauren and Abby Elisabeth, and two sons, Jett Isaac
and Robert Graham.
Unable to find a Bible study written about pregnancy loss, Teale and I
have spent the last year and a half in tears and prayer building the study
you hold in your hand. May God once again use the lives of our little ones
for His good, blessing you and offering you His true hope.
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One
AQuilt Story
Once upon a time there was a family with seven daughters. All were
charming and fair and very close to their family, especially their grand-
mother. She was a wise, delightful woman who had taken the time to be
with each granddaughter and loved each one immensely.
When the eldest daughter turned twenty, the grandmother showed up
early in the day to greet her with a beautiful package—a large box covered
in white shiny paper and a sparkling gold bow. The granddaughter ripped
open the package hastily and uncovered a priceless treasure. Underneath
the tissue was a linen quilt, hand-stitched with homemade lace, appliqué,
and with her name embroidered in silk. All of the daughters were amazed
and the birthday girl cried as she hugged her grandmother who had put so
much time and love into this masterpiece.
As the years passed, each girl received a quilt on her 20th birthday. Most
of the granddaughters cherished the gift but several took it for granted and
neglected to care for it as they should. But the next to the youngest daugh-
ter, who had quite a special relationship with her grandmother, longed for
the day she turned twenty. She had spent hours dreaming of her quilt and
sharing her plans with her grandmother. She planned to save her gift for
her wedding day and then to use it on her first bed. Later she would pass
it on to her children and they would pass it on to the next generation.
Finally the big day arrived, her 20th birthday. Sure enough the
doorbell rang and in walked her beloved grandparent. But instead of a
big beautiful box, she had something unexpected in her arms... two long
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wooden beams and a stack of material. With a warm hug, she whispered to
the child, “I have something extra special for you!” The granddaughter felt
her face flush and her heart sink - where was her quilt? The grandmother
explained, “I want to teach you so many things, not just about quilting but
I want this time together to share with you the wisdom of my years. Let’s
work on this together.” The young girl feigned appreciation, took the gift,
and quickly went to her room where she sobbed uncontrollably. She was
so angry and disappointed. She threw the quilt frame and scraps into the
corner, covered them with an old blanket and vowed that she would never
accept this.
There were so many questions running through her mind. Why did her
grandmother pick on her? She hadn’t made the others work for their quilt.
Did she really consider this a gift? And the other sisters- ugh. It seemed
they would all feel sorry for her now. Why? Why? Why? When she was the
one who had taken care of her grandmother last spring? Why, when one of
her sisters had even lost her gift at college last year? Worse yet, as the days
wore on, no one seemed to understand and she avoided it all - the items
under the blanket in the corner and her grandmother, who visited often
asking her when they could get started...
There is no ending - yet. It is up to you. The moral of the story is that
many women receive the beautiful gift of a child and take it for granted or
even abuse it. When we conceive it is natural to expect what everyone else
receives, a healthy child. But for whatever reason we were chosen. You
were chosen to be the mother of your child. God is offering you not only
the gift of a child but also a time of intimate training, guided by His loving
hand. He wants you to sit down with Him and the scraps and He’ll show
you how to piece them together.
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Your Story
For our first lesson, please share your story, either verbally with a partner or
group, or in writing. As you describe the loss of your baby, some information you
might include is:
-Cause of death
-Seeing your baby or not seeing your baby
-Your hospital experience
-Arrangements made for the baby
-Memorial service
“The Wondrous Story”
I was bruised, but Jesus healed me;
Faint was I from many a fall;
Sight was gone and fears possessed me;
But He freed me from them all.
Days of darkness still come o’er me,
Sorrow’s paths I often tread,
But the Savior still is with me;
By His hand I’m safely led.
He will keep me till the river
Rolls its waters at my feet;
Then He’ll bear me safely over,
Where the loved ones I shall meet.
Yes, I’ll sing the wondrous story,
Of the Christ who died for me,
Sing it with the saints in glory,
Gathered by the crystal sea.
Fiaxcis H. Rowiiy (18¡a-1o¡:)
O
L
Lissox Oxi
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Two
So Many Questions
Why did her grandmother pick on her?
Did she really consider this a gift?
Why, when one of her other sisters had even lost her gift at college?
Truly there were so many questions...and so few answers. For days she
shut herself up in her room, trying to sleep off the disappointment. At first
her sisters were sympathetic, and she felt free to share her pain with them.
But eventually everyone else got on with their life and she was left with her
wondering thoughts. Sometimes she would try to talk to one of her sisters
about the quilt and her disappointment, but usually she was given a trite
answer or else she was told to ‘get on with it.’ Obviously people were tired
of hearing her talk about her grief.
She knew who she needed to approach to settle her questions, but her
pain was too great. Her grandmother came by everyday and made a point
to come upstairs and attempt to see her. At first her grandmother tried to
encourage her to work on the quilt, but eventually she gave up, talking only
of other things, waiting until her granddaughter was ready.
She tried to talk to her grandmother, but it was difficult making small
talk with this issue between them. At the same time, she could not bring
herself to question her grandmother’s actions. It made her want to avoid
her grandmother altogether, but day after day there she was …
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T
L
Losing a child brings up many questions, both spiritual and philosophical,
concerning the meaning of life. In this lesson we will pose some of these questions
and allow you to search for the truth in their answers.
Prayer:
Dear God,
Please help me to see the truth about you and about my baby. Give me
strength and understanding as I seek answers to my questions.
Question #1: Where do I go to find out the truth?
What resources helped you initially as you tried to understand your loss?
How did you feel about their ability to help?

How did you feel about your answers?
While many resources can give us information, only one source, God’s Word, can
give us the ultimate truth. Look up the following scriptures and write out what
you learn about the Bible:

Ps. 19:7-10
II Tim. 3:16-17
Lissox Two
20
Heb. 4:12
According to these verses, why would we use the Bible as the source book for
ultimate truth?
Question #2: Where does life come from?
Perhaps we may understand the biology of human conception. But what of the
soul? What role does God play in our lives and the lives of our children?
Gen. 2:7

Deut. 32:39
Ps. 139:13-16
List the four things God does for us as written in Is. 46:3-4 :
How long will He do these things?
At what point was God upholding your baby?
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After Mary conceived Jesus, she went to stay with her cousin Elisabeth, who was
pregnant with John the Baptist. Read Luke 1:26-46 and write out what happened
when Mary greeted her cousin:
In verse 41, what caused John to leap within his mother’s womb?
How could John have known the child Mary was carrying was his Savior?
Jer. 1:5
Who formed your baby within your womb?
“...our spirits - the essence of our life- exist from
conception & beyond for our eternal lifetime.”
Jacx Hayioio, I’ii Hoio You ix Hiavix (1o8o)
What does this quote mean to you?
Write the words to the song “Jesus Loves Me” below:
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“They are weak, but He is strong...” Your child may have been weak physically, but
your baby was formed by God!
Question #3: Why was my baby too weak to live?
Read the story in John 9:1-11 about a blind man and note the reason for his
blindness:
How were his parents responsible? How does this relate to your loss?
What is your initial reaction to the idea of mud made of dirt and saliva being
spread upon your eyes?
What tools has God used for healing in your life that you dislike?
What do these scriptures say about being born in weakness?
II Cor. 12:9
Mt. 18:8b
According to this verse, which is more important to God, the physical or the eternal?
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Question #4: Where is my child now?
According to these scriptures, what provision has God made for little ones?
Mt. 18:10
Mt. 19:14
What do these verses say about those who die?
II Cor. 5:8
I Thess. 4:14
Look up II Sam. 12:15-23 and write out David’s response to the loss of his child:
In what way would David go to his child?
How might you be reunited with your child?

“As I stood there in that suddenly empty room, I was sud-
denly swept with a tide of absolute knowing that (she) still
was. I do not mean that I thought her body might still live;
I knew it didn’t. But past faith and belief, I knew quite
overwhelmingly that she herself - her soul- still was.”
Suiioox VaxAuxix, A Siviii Miicy (1o¬¬)
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Question #5: Can I ever understand WHY?
List some of your ‘WHY’ questions below:
Many times we struggle to understand why a crisis occurs. What do these scrip-
tures say about that process?
Ecc. 11: 5
Is. 55: 8-9
“When I lay these questions before God I get no answer.
But a rather special sort of ‘No answer.’ It is not the locked door.
It is more like a silent, certainly not uncompassionate, gaze.
As though He shook His head not in refusal but in waiving
the question. Like, ‘Peace, Child; you don’t understand.’”
C.S. Liwis, A Giiii Onsiivio (1oo1)
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Question #6: How can God help me deal
with losing my baby?
For each of the following scriptures, list at least one way that God will help you:
Jn. 14:15-18
II Cor. 1:3-4
Rev. 21: 4
How did you experience God’s comfort at the time of your loss?
Who was involved in bringing comfort to you?
How would you like to be comforted now?
“Surely He did see our path.
Surely He did know her before she was conceived.
Surely He has been glorified.”
Gwix Kix, Ocronii :¡, 1ooa
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Hope Scriptures
Romans 5:3-5
Romans 15:4
Notes:
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Three
This Can’t Be Happening
It had been several weeks since her grandmother had mentioned the
quilt. Perhaps it had been a joke, she thought. Maybe at Christmas a
bright, beautiful package would be under the tree and her grandmother
would say, “Surprise, just testing you!” Or maybe her grandmother just
hadn’t completed her quilt in time and was embarrassed to tell her. That
must be it. Everyone must be in on the joke and soon they would tell her
the truth.
She garnered courage to ask her eldest sister about it after supper one
night. “You’re still going on about that quilt?! Can you not accept that
you’re NOT GETTING one, at least not one like ours.” The words stung
as the truth sunk in: I am not getting my beautiful quilt. There is no
quilt, except what I might make of those scraps. Why bother?
Embarrassed that she had exposed her foolish thought, she struggled
thereafter to keep a happy face, especially when the subject came up. She
knew that everyone was watching for a response and she must not give any
hint of what she felt inside.
Sometimes she wanted to sleep all day and at other times she was
unable to rest at all. One night as she lay awake, she noticed the moon-
light streaming into her window, shedding a soft glow on the corner of the
room...the beams propped in the corner, an old blanket covering the quilt
scraps underneath. She ventured over to the heap and uncovered the pile.
What she found was a variety of shapes, colors and textures. How could
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she ever make anything beautiful out of this? Some of the pieces were actu-
ally ugly. Others had potential, but still...there was so much work to do
and she didn’t really have the energy or vision for such a huge task. As she
continued to look, she found a small piece of paper with a note...could that
be her grandmother’s writing? It said, “You can do it. You are not alone.
I will help you.”
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T
L
Lissox Tuiii
Grief comes in all shapes and sizes. Although your experience is unique, often
the stages of grief occur in a recognizable pattern. Many times our first response
to losing a loved one is shock. Shortly afterward we begin to deny reality - both
our circumstance and the depth of our pain.
Prayer:
God of all comfort,
Shed new light on the truth for me. Help me to face the pain in my
heart from losing my baby.
Grief is a process that happens in stages. Ultimately, by God’s grace and design,
this process can end in healing and restoration. There are many examples of grief
in the Bible. In this section we will examine the experiences of Joseph and Job.
Biblical Example #1: Joseph
The book of Genesis in chapters 37-50 tells the story of Joseph, who is betrayed
by his brothers and what follows are heart-wrenching verses portraying the human
condition in the midst of grief.
Note Joseph’s father’s response:
Gen. 37:31-35
Gen. 43:14b
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Note the brothers’ response:
Gen. 42:28b
Note Joseph’s response:
Gen. 50:19-21
What was your initial response to your loss?
Biblical Example #2: Job
Job was a godly man who, in a matter of days, lost his seven sons and three daugh-
ters as well as all of his worldly possessions and his health.
Note Job’s wife’s response:
Job 2:9
Why do you think she responded this way?
When have you seen this response to grief?
Note Job’s response:
Job 1:20
31
Job 3:25-26
Job 6:1-2
Job 10:1
In these last two verses, note Job’s ultimate conclusion:
Job 13:15
Job 42:1-3
Note God’s response to Job:
Job 42:10,12
How do you relate to Job’s experience?
To which scriptures do you relate the most? Why?
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The following is a chart reflecting the stages of grief. Mark where you feel you are
emotionally, being sure to note today’s date. Periodically, return to this chart and
mark your progress.
LOSS LOSS ADJUSTMENT
RELIEF LETTING GO
DENIAL HOPE
GUILT ACCEPTANCE
ANGER BUSY-NESS
DEPRESSION
Relief
Some initially feel relieved when the immediate crisis is over. This is a natural
response to grief, although not everyone experiences this particular stage.
At what point, if any, did you experience relief?
How did you feel about this?
Denial
When could you no longer deny your loss?
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Make a list of the many small losses you have encountered by losing your baby:
Facing the truth is difficult, but John 8:32 promises:
The hardest thing to face about my loss is:
What does I Corinthians 13:12 promise?
At what point will you fully understand your loss?
Sometimes grief itself can be overwhelming. We can only see our pain and not our
current growth. C.S. Lewis, after the death of his wife, wrote:
“I live each day thinking about living each day in grief.”
Facing Your Loss
When did you first sense that something was wrong with your pregnancy?
How did you deny what was happening?
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What action did you take to shield yourself from pain? To shield others?
What pressures were you feeling that may have caused you to deny the reality of
your experience?
What other losses have you experienced in your life before and since losing your
baby? (e.g. a divorce, a move, death of a loved one, etc.)
Include on this time line the major events of your life, including any losses:
1 ___________________________________________________________________________
5 ___________________________________________________________________________
10 ___________________________________________________________________________
15 ___________________________________________________________________________
17 ___________________________________________________________________________
19 ___________________________________________________________________________
21 ___________________________________________________________________________
23 ___________________________________________________________________________
25 ___________________________________________________________________________
27 ___________________________________________________________________________
29 ___________________________________________________________________________
31 ___________________________________________________________________________
33 ___________________________________________________________________________
35 ___________________________________________________________________________
37 ___________________________________________________________________________
39 ___________________________________________________________________________
41 ___________________________________________________________________________
43 ___________________________________________________________________________
45 ___________________________________________________________________________
50 ___________________________________________________________________________
55 ___________________________________________________________________________
60 ___________________________________________________________________________
65+ __________________________________________________________________________
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How have you dealt with each of these losses?
Read I Peter 5:6-11 and answer the following questions:
What six commands are given for you in these verses?
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
List the four things God promises to do for you when you come to Him in
your suffering:
1.
2.
3.
4.
Which of these things do you need to work on?
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The Promise
Write out Romans 8:28:
How does this promise make you feel?
“The best is perhaps what we understand least.”
C.S. Liwis, A Giiii Onsiivio (1oo1)
Pray and ask God to show you some positive things that have resulted from your
baby’s life. Write them here:
Take a moment to thank Him for each of these things.
“Praising God is the key to letting Him get on with the job.”
Caruiiixi Maisuaii
Hope Scriptures
Romans 8:24-25
Jeremiah 29:11

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Four
Why Me?
“It’s just not fair,” she kept thinking. “It’s not fair and I’m mad about
it. I’m mad and I have a right to be mad. I’m not going to humiliate
myself by setting up that stupid quilt frame when I’ll never be able to finish
it anyway. How could my grandmother put me in this position?”
She found herself short-tempered and drifting away from all of her
relationships. She resented all of her sisters who had already gotten their
quilts and even resented the younger one who hadn’t. And worst of all, her
little sister’s birthday was coming up and she was constantly dreaming of
her quilt to come.
How could she do that to me? Even her grandmother had mentioned
the special stitch-work she was putting into this new quilt. It was more
painful than she could bear.
What kind of grandmother would do this to her? Didn’t she know how
much it hurt to hear such things? Had they forgotten the pain she had
been through so recently? They acted as if nothing had ever happened. She
found herself wanting to make rude comments and say, “Well, if it’s a quilt
you want, I’ve got plenty of scraps in my bedroom floor. Here, have at it.”
But mostly she remained silent, resenting them all, especially the one who
had caused the whole ordeal.
Maybe it’s my fault, she thought. Maybe I’ve done something to offend
her and this is her way of punishing me. I guess I should have visited her
more when she was in the hospital, but I was so busy. If I had been a bet-
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ter granddaughter this wouldn’t have happened, but no one else has done
much better than me! Why, then? Why me?
She began to lock her door when she saw her grandmother pull up. She
wanted nothing to do with her, and she wanted her to know how angry
she really was. Her grandmother still approached her door daily, quietly
knocking and softly saying, “Please let me in.” She made excuses or said
nothing at all. Eventually the old woman would make her way downstairs
and silently leave.
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When something happens that is beyond our control we often get angry.
Unexpressed anger can cause inner turmoil and even illness. Anger expressed
inappropriately can be devastating to our relationships. Anger expressed appro-
priately, however, can deepen our relationships, leading to personal growth. In
this lesson we want to identify any unresolved anger and learn how to manage our
angry feelings.
Prayer:
Lord of Peace,
Come now and settle my heart. Help me to identify any anger that I
may harbor within. Show me how to give it to You and to be at peace.
Our Response to Anger
How was anger expressed in your home when you were a child?
How do you express anger now?
How did Jesus express His anger in John 2:13-16?
How do you feel about His response?
What do you suppose Jesus was thinking as He was making the whip of cords?
F
L
Lissox Foui
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What three warnings did God give concerning our anger in Ephesians 4:26-27?
How long have you been angry? How has it affected you?
One word for anger is the Greek word orge’, meaning an intense anger that comes
as a reaction against injustice. This is sometimes called “righteous anger.” Losing
a baby feels very unjust and often parents become angry. Our feelings of anger
are not sin, but our expression of that anger can be. A proper response to this
type of anger:
“Must be controlled, not a heated, nor unrestrained passion...
Second, there must be no hatred, malice, or resentment...
Third... its motivation is unselfish... it is directed against
wrong deeds or situations, not against people... Our anger ought
to lead to positive and constructive action to right and wrong.”
H. Noixax Wiicur, Tui Cuiisriax Usi oi Exorioxai Powii (1o¬a)

What makes you most angry about your loss?
How have you expressed this anger? With whom?

41
It is important to talk about your anger, first to God and then to others who sup-
port you and will keep your confidence. Many times our anger is focused toward
others, ourselves, God or a combination of these three. Next, we will explore each
of these areas in detail. A chart is shown below to help you visualize your anger.
Beside each area write out any anger you might feel.

Anger With Others
Using the list of others you made on the above chart, write out how you have
responded to your anger with each person. Spend some time assessing how your
feelings have impacted your relationships with these people.
If not listed above, write out how your partner has responded to losing your child:
GOD
MYSELF OTHERS
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Explore any lingering resentment you may have been feeling.
Look up the following:
Eph. 4:31-32
James 1:19-20
Ps. 37:8
Did your anger lead to evil, even if only in your heart? If so, how can you receive
forgiveness for such thoughts or actions?
Ps. 32:1-5
I Jn.1:9
Is there anyone with whom you are still angry?
How does God want you to respond?
I Pet. 3:9
43
Using Mt. 6:9-13, write out the Lord’s Prayer:
Mt. 6:14-15

What is necessary in order for you to be forgiven of your sin?
Anger With Ourselves
It is rare for a parent’s actions to be the physical cause of miscarriage or infant
death. Regrets, however, are not uncommon. Make a list of your “what ifs”,
“should have beens”, and “if onlys”:
What feelings have you experienced regarding your physical body and its ability or
seeming inability to reproduce?
How has your loss changed your self-image?
44
Look up Ps. 139:15-16. Write out these verses below as it applies to your baby:
(Example, “Hope’s frame was not hidden from God when she was formed...”)
According to the above verses, how might you have affected the length of your
baby’s life?
Look up Mark 12:28-31:
What does it mean to love your neighbor as yourself? What does it mean to love
yourself?
We have studied that we are to forgive others. How do you think God would have
us deal with our anger against ourselves?
Anger With God
“Talk to me about the truth of religion and I will listen gladly.
Talk to me about the duty of religion and I will listen
submissively. But don’t come talking to me about the
consolations of religion or I shall suspect you don’t understand.”
C. S. Liwis, A Giiii Onsiivio (1oo1)
45
When someone dies our philosophical and spiritual foundations are shaken.
Many times we question the role God played in our loss.
Look up John 11:1-44 and note how you think Lazarus’ sisters felt in verses 6, 21,
and 32:
What is the difference between Mary and Martha’s response?
To which sister do you most relate?
Knowing Lazarus would rise from the dead (v.11), what moved Jesus to tears in
verse 35?
How does Jesus feel about your weeping (See verse 33b)?
In Genesis 22 Abraham is asked by God to sacrifice his only son. Read this chap-
ter and note the main idea of the verses below:

Gen. 22:7-8
Gen. 22:12
46
At the last moment, God provided a ram to take Isaac’s place. After losing her
baby, Gwen wrote in her anger:

“I offered her up to Him and He took her.
The ram never appeared...” and then a revelation,
“...or maybe He did, 2000 years ago. He took her place
and mine, too. He was someone’s only child.
He was a first-born Son. I’m sure His mother cried.”
Gwix Kix, Ocr. ¡1, 1ooa
Look up the following:
Jn. 3:16
What “ram” was provided for us?
What did we gain as a result of the suffering of God’s only Son?
Christ Himself suffered on the cross, questioning the Father. Read the story of the
crucifixion in Matthew 27:32-46 and answer the questions below:
How was Christ tortured before His crucifixion?
How do you think Jesus felt in verse 46?
How do you think Mary, his mother, felt as she watched Him dying?
47
How do you think God felt?
How do you relate to this?
Why didn’t God rescue Jesus from the cross?
What part do you feel God played in your loss?
How do you feel about this?
How has it affected your relationship with Him and trust in Him?
“The glory of God’s will for us means absolute trust.”
Eiisaniru Eiiior, Gioiy oi Goo’s Wiii (1o8:)
Look up the following verses on trust:
Jer. 17:5-7
II Tim. 1:12
48
Where should we place our trust?
We are to trust in WHO God is, even when we do not understand His ways.
My life is but a weaving
Between my Lord and me,
I cannot choose the colors -
He worketh steadily.
Ofttimes He weaveth sorrow,
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I, the underside.
Not till the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.
-Giaxr Coiiax Tuiiai
Are you still angry? Confess it to God and ask Him to help you forgive. Has your
anger caused you to sin? Pray now and ask for God’s forgiveness. He is faithful
to hear our prayers.
Hope Scriptures
Job 13:15a
Romans 15:4
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Five
How Can I Go On?
She stayed in her room more now. It hurt less to be alone. She even
missed the big birthday party last week, but of course heard how beautiful
her sister’s quilt had been. The family chastised her for “hiding out in her
room,” during the party, but what did they expect? She was too tired to
care what they thought.
The only time she felt any peace was when she was sleeping. Many
times she even refused to come to meals, avoiding the family discussion.
Because of this her weight was dropping and people were beginning to
notice. It was only another thing for them to scold her about. What did
she care? It didn’t matter anyway, she figured.
The worst part of this time was the loneliness. No one seemed to under-
stand how she felt. It hurt to be alone, but it hurt much more to be with
people; people who were happy and hopeful and full of life.
To what could she look forward? Certainly there was no enthusiasm
about those scraps in the corner. Every time she glanced in that direction
she felt a pang of the old hurt. She wanted to take the whole pile and
throw it in the garbage to make the hurt go away...but something kept her
from it.
Her grandmother kept visiting, but usually her sleep was so deep that
she didn’t hear her calling. What she didn’t know is that often her sweet
grandmother would let herself in the door and quietly make her way to the
bed. Softly stroking her hair, she would say a prayer and whisper in her
50
ear, “Awake, my child, to the gift I have for you.”
Hours later, she would awaken with a renewed sense of hope. Then she
would remember...
51
F
L
Lissox Fivi
When the full reality of our loss is revealed, we may be overwhelmed with our
grief and sink into depression. Being depressed about losing your baby is a normal
part of the grief process. We must allow ourselves to grieve, which will help us
move on to healing.
Prayer:
Dear Lord,
My heart can become heavy when I miss my child. Help me to learn
how to bring my hurt to You. Release me from the bondage of depression.
Biblical Examples of Depression
Look up the following examples of depression as expressed in the Bible. Write next
to each verse how grief was expressed.
Esther 4:1,3
II Cor. 1:8b-9

How have you expressed your grief since your baby died?
52
Did you allow yourself to be sad initially? Have you allowed yourself now? If
not, why?
Depression
Feelings of depression are often expressed in various physical behaviors, such as
altered sleeping or eating patterns. How can you tell when you are depressed?
What physical manifestations of grief have occurred in your experience (e.g.
insomnia, weight loss/gain, etc.)?
Record what these verses tell us about grieving:
Ps. 6:6
Ps. 56:8
Ps. 126:6
Does God see our tears? How will He respond to them?
53
What do you think Ps. 126:6 means by “carrying seed to sow”? About “carrying
sheaves”?
What must you do in order to “return with songs of joy?”

Loneliness
“Recovery is in essence a solo journey. It is softened by the
loving presence of others, survived by the sustaining hand of
Grace, but it is a passage we each must discover on our own.”
Lixoa Ziiixxa, Ax Uxrixiiy Loss (1ooo)
As no two crystal goblets shatter in exactly the same pattern, no two people grieve in
the same manner. This, too, can be a source of loneliness as we seek out others for
comfort. Even those with similar experiences may not be able to relate to our loss.
Who did you hope could help you overcome your grief?
How have they met or failed to meet your needs?
How does that make you feel?
Read Luke 22:39-44 and answer the following:
What did Jesus pray?
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How might He have been feeling as He prayed?
Who strengthened Him (v. 43)?
How far is a stone’s throw (v.41)? Might the disciples have been able to see Jesus’
agony as He prayed?
What kept them from ministering to Him and praying with Him (v.45)?
Who else was in sorrow because of your loss? How did this keep them from min-
istering to you?
What sort of temptation might Jesus have meant in v. 46?
How might our grief be a temptation to turn away from God completely?
This same story is found in Matthew 26:36-45. Note the following verses and
elaborate on Jesus’ emotions:
Mt. 26:38


Lk. 5:16
55
What did Christ know of loneliness?
How was being in a lonely place beneficial to Christ? How might being in a lonely
place strengthen you?
What did Jesus know of grief?
Is. 53:3-5
Heb. 5:7-9
How do you think He feels about your loss?
Who is there for us in times of loneliness and grief?
Deut. 31:8
Ps. 73:23-26
Jn. 16:32
Rom. 8:35-39

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Have you allowed Christ to comfort you or have you sought the comfort of
others instead?
Guilt
Have you found yourself feeling guilty about your loss? If so, about what
specifically?
How have you dealt with these feelings?
According to the following verses, where might these feelings come from?
I Pet. 5:8
Rev. 12:10-11
“I’m convinced that guilt is a natural part of the grief cycle. It’s
a human response of trying to find a logical, explainable answer
for every tragedy. Yet the ramifications of unresolved guilt are
profound... Rest your guilt-driven grief on God’s grace. Please in
Jesus’ name, lay aside those feelings of guilt.”
Jacx Hayioio, I’ii Hoio You ix Hiavix (1o8o)
What do these verses say about a guilty conscience?
Rom. 8:1-2
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Heb. 10:22
According to the following verses, how might we conquer the temptation to har-
bor feelings of guilt?
Heb. 2:14-18
James 4:7-8
Fear

“Fear of what? Of more danger, of more calamity —
of the world. I fear the world and its happenings.”
Gwix Kix, Dic. o, 1ooa
What fears do you have now that you didn’t have before?
What thoughts or questions repeatedly plague you?
What helps you when you are anxious?
58
How does God comfort us in times of fear?
Is. 41:10,13
Ps. 23:4-5
Rom. 8:15
II Tim. 1:7
When I find myself depressed I plan to:
One new way I’ve learned to deal with my anxiety is:
Hope Scriptures
Psalms 42:5
II Corinthians 1:10
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While some level of depression is normal after the loss of a child, prolonged
depression can affect our ability to cope with life’s daily demands. Some possible
warning signs of major depressive disorder are:
1. Abnormal depressive mood
2. Abnormal loss of all interest and pleasure
3. Appetite or weight disturbances
4. Sleep disturbances
5. Activity disturbances
6. Abnormal fatigue
7. Abnormal self-reproach
8. Abnormal or poor concentration
9. Abnormal morbid thoughts of death
Symptoms like these that persist for more than three months after your loss should
be examined by a professional. If you are having suicidal thoughts at any time,
please contact professional help and spiritual counsel immediately.
Some common sense measures that you can take to remedy depression are: getting
involved in an activity outside the home, regular exercise, eating a balanced diet,
prayer, seeking spiritual guidance and simply having a routine that will help you
get started every morning.
Notes:
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S ix
I’ve Got To Get Better Soon
After weeks, or was it months, of sleeping her life away, she knew that
she needed to get out of the bed. She had to get on with her life, but how?
I need a project, she thought. I need something to keep me busy. The
quilt? Heavens no, she couldn’t bear to think of it. Her grandmother had
approached her again, but she decided to just buy a new quilt, picking out
the perfect one for her room, sparing no expense.
What she needed was a new hobby. She thought maybe she would take
up gardening. It was to her sisters’ delight that she emerged from her room.
They were beginning to get worried, and were relieved that perhaps she
was coming out of it. She had a quick breakfast and headed to the store
for supplies: seeds, shovels, etc.
She found the perfect spot in the corner of the back yard and got started.
It felt good to expend some energy for a change. She took delight in covering
up the tiny seeds and watching them grow. Daily, she worked, dusk until
dawn...it seemed to take her mind off of things, and she felt a tremendous
sense of accomplishment as the vegetables ripened. She couldn’t wait until
they were ready and she could have her first meal, grown all by herself.
Finally the day came when she picked her precious veggies and prepared
a huge supper for everyone in her family. The food was wonderful, the
flavors delicious. Everyone seemed to enjoy it immensely. She was full of
pride as she skipped up the stairs afterwards. She rounded the corner into
her room and there stood the beams in the corner, silently calling to her.
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Would they nag her forever? She had thought that gardening would
make them go away. Gardening had been good to get her out of the house,
to restore her sense of accomplishment. Weren’t the vegetables wonderful?
Hadn’t her family given her numerous compliments? Why then, did she
still feel empty inside?
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S
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Lissox Six
After a period of intense depression there is, at some point, a determination of
will to move on, whether or not our grief is resolved. Often we bury ourselves in
activity – anything to keep our mind occupied. Unfortunately, our busyness does
not rid us of our grief, and eventually we must quiet ourselves before God.
Prayer:
Lord of all Creation,
I come before You now, laying aside everything in my life except You —
all of my activities, my work, my family and friends. Help me to face the
reality of my loss and learn to walk each day, with my sadness, by Your side.
Your Activities
What are some of the things that you did initially to make yourself feel better?
What are some of the ways others have tried to help you ‘move on’ with grieving?
How did this make you feel?
“I fell into bed each night exhausted, and sleep came rapidly.
I was grateful, for the quiet of bedtime offered too much time
to think without interruption. I preferred going to sleep
immediately without a moment to remember that our baby
died and how much I missed that child.”
Juoy Goioox Moiiow, Siiixr Ciaoii (1oo8)
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List here any activities that have helped you stay busy since your loss:
How have your activities helped or hindered your grieving process?
Look up Luke 10:38-42 and answer the following questions. The characters in
this story are the same Mary and Martha from Chapter Four who lost their brother
Lazarus. How do Mary and Martha differ in their response to the Lord?
In your healing, have you spent more time at the Lord’s feet or working in the
kitchen?
What is the “one thing” Jesus is referring to in this scripture?
Activity can be good, but not if it interrupts our relationship with God. How have
you let work get in the way of your time with God?
What are the fruits of sitting at His feet and having quietness before Him?
Ps. 46:10
Is. 30:15,18
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I Pet. 3:3-5
What changes do you need to make to find this quietness?
Your Parenting
If you have other children, how has your loss affected your parenting skills?
How do you feel about the possibility of having more children? What might keep
you from having more?
How do you think having another child (or the inability to have more children)
would affect your grieving?
“Still there is this question of whether I will ever have
another child. I must face that possibility. That reality would
be another death entirely to grieve - the death of a dream.”
Gwix Kix, Finiuaiy o, 1oo¡
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Genesis 15 and 16 tells the story of Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar. Use these chap-
ters to help you answer the following:
What was God’s promise to Abraham (15:4)?
How did Sarah try to ‘help God’ (16:2)? Why did she do it?
What was the result for Sarah (16:5)?
What was the result for Abraham’s descendants (v. 16:12b)?
What could Sarah have done to exercise her faith?
How have you tried to ‘help God’ with your healing? What motivated you?
What could you do to exercise your faith?
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Your Relationship to God
Sometimes when we are in crisis, we call out to God to rescue us, rather than trust-
ing Him and His promises, despite the outcome. In this process, we may make
promises to God hoping He will fulfill our desires.
What promises, if any, did you make to God during your suffering? How have
you kept them?
What promises did you make to yourself?
How have these promises impacted your life today?
What promises has God made to you?
Is. 43:2
Jn. 14:1-4
Heb. 6:13-20
Rev. 7:17

II Cor. 1:20
68
How do these affect your grieving today?
Look up the following to determine how we receive these promises:
Rom. 4:16-17
Gal. 3:6-9
Eph. 2:8-10
Look up the definition of faith in a dictionary and write it below:
“Our Yes must be born of obedience; when by obedi-
ence we ratify a promise of God by saying, ‘Amen,’ or
‘So be it,’ then that promise becomes ours.”
Oswaio Cuaxniis, My Urxosr ioi His Hicuisr (1o¡¡)
Hope Scriptures
Romans 4:18
Hebrews 10:23
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Seven
Moving On To Acceptance
The emptiness seemed to grow the more she tried to fill it with activi-
ties. At last she realized that she must approach her grandmother if she
hoped to heal her heart. With much hesitation, she dialed the number and
asked her grandmother to come over.
When the old woman arrived, she came directly to the granddaughter’s
room. Sitting on the bed, she said gently, “I’ve been waiting a long time for
you to call on me.” The granddaughter began to cry laying her head in her
grandmother’s lap. They lost track of time as the granddaughter poured out
her heart to her beloved mentor. Her grandmother didn’t answer all of her
questions immediately, but gently comforted her in every need.
Finally, the grandmother went with her to approach the beams and
scraps. Pulling back the blanket that covered them, the granddaughter was
amazed and afraid at the same time. Many of the pieces were missing, and
the pile was not nearly as large as it had been. Had someone thrown some
of the pieces away? Had she lost them? The grandmother then opened her
satchel and pulled out the beginnings of what might some day be a quilt...
She explained that as the granddaughter had slept or worked in the garden,
she had sneaked into her room and had begun to work on the quilt pieces
at home. “You see, my dear one, I have already begun the work for you.
I will help you put the rest together.”
That day they set up the frame and began to work diligently. The
grandmother explained each piece as they patched the quilt...one piece was
from her grandfather’s work pants...another piece from her mother’s first
70
dress...a small white piece was from her christening gown. Each piece of
material they stitched had significance. As her grandmother explained their
story, each piece, no matter how unattractive, took on incredible value.
In time, their work took up more space and others came to join them.
The work was difficult at times, but with help they were putting the
pieces together.
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Lissox Sivix
When we experience loss, our initial reaction is to deny reality, as we studied
in Lesson Two. The final stage of grief is acceptance. Acceptance means facing
the full reality of the loss of your child. It is not the absence of pain, but learning
to live with the ongoing reminders of your loss.
Prayer:
Dear Father,
I know that I am just beginning to accept the loss of my child. Please
equip me for the days to come.
Our Cross to Bear
What does Luke 9:23-24 say we must do to save our life?
What does it mean to take up your cross daily?
Sometimes the weight of our burdens may feel as if we are carrying a cross. Our
joy and our hope is in knowing that Christ has already borne the Cross for us.
The primary weight you feel right now may be the loss of your child. Cross items
are those things that you have experienced which could weigh you down. Pray
about what your cross items may be. We are to take these items, place them on the
Cross, and crucify the power that might control us. He has already died to save us
from our own death and to destroy the power death would have in our life.
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What are your cross items? Fill in the cross below with your items.
Look up the following scriptures. What do these verses say about how we can
possibly bear the load of our suffering?
Is. 40:28-31
Mt. 11:28-30
Gal 2:20
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Paul wrote the following passage concerning his suffering and ministry. Where
did he get the energy to face his persecution?
Col. 1:24-27
What do the following Scriptures reveal about our struggle?
II Cor. 4:8-10
II Cor. 4:16-18
Rom. 8:24
How might we survive this trouble?
We are all called to put to death our self-designed visions of how our life should be.
Believe Him and His love for you in all that He allows for His glory and your good.
We Are Changed
“I was rather depressed today. Just being in Lexington, staying
with a house full of single hopefuls. They can imagine that only
the best is in store for them. Little do they know how tough life
can be. I was jealous of them, not for their lifestyle or their free-
dom, but for their peace of mind and naiveté. Not so long ago I
could relate to them in every way. Now we are light years apart.”
Gwix Kix, Fin. 11, 1oo¡
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Once you have experienced loss, you are never the same. After a period of intense
grief, life must go on. It is then that you choose your attitude and response to your
loss. You can look upon life as tough and grim or you can bear it willingly, as His
child, sharing with Him only a fraction of what He bore for you.
How has your loss changed you both positively and negatively?
Look up the following Scriptures on changing. Write out what they mean for you
personally.
Jn. 16:20-22
Jn. 16:33
Rom. 11:36-12:2
II Cor. 3:18
Eph. 4:22-24
What is the “pattern of the world” in regard to grief over a pregnancy loss?
75
How might we renew our mind?
How has your loss caused you to become more Christ-like? Or less Christ-like?
Facing the Future
Memories of your baby may bring sorrow, which is a natural consequence of child-
bearing loss. Feelings of grief are not wrong, but we must respond appropriately to
them. II Cor. 10:5 says we are to “take captive every thought to make it obedient
to Christ,” so that our actions are not based purely on our feelings or thoughts,
but filtered by the will of God.
Although it may seem cold to have a “plan” of response, we have found that it is
best to be prepared. We hope the following questions will help you decide how to
react to unexpected events or comments.
When confronted with painful memories what do you plan to do?
How will you answer the question, “How many children do you have?” or “Do
you have children?”
How will you respond when you meet a child born at the time of your loss or one
that would be the same age as your baby?
How will you celebrate Mother’s Day?
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What plan do you have for celebrating your child’s birthday or the anniversary of
your loss?
Finding Support
This story was written by a woman who had experienced a pregnancy loss:
“By September I was ready to host the women’s prayer league
from church. Cautiously, I admitted that I had miscarried in
spring. Their polite condolences I expected. But then came their
own heartbreaking stories, given tenderly as gifts...Their stories
carried bittersweet relief. I was not alone. Nor was I a new-
comer to this league. As women, I realized, we aren’t united by
pregnancy and childbirth, but by our buds of hope and sorrow.”
Jiax Sriiuiiir Pariicx, “Buooio ox Eairu,”
Oui Sroiiis oi Miscaiiiaci (1oo¬)
Who is presently supporting you in your loss?
How have your “buds of hope and sorrow” drawn you to other women?
Acceptance Without Shame
“Still there is no denying that in some sense I ‘feel better,’ and
with that comes at once a sort of shame, and a feeling that one
is under a sort of obligation to cherish and foment and prolong
one’s unhappiness.”
C.S. Liwis, A Giiii Onsiivio (1oo1)
What signs do you see in yourself that you are accepting your loss?
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How does this make you feel?
Is It Over Yet?
“For in grief nothing ‘stays put.’ One keeps on emerging from
a phase but it always recurs. Round and round. Everything
repeats. Am I going in circles or dare I hope I am on a spiral?”
C.S. Liwis, A Giiii Onsiivio (1oo1)
How do you find yourself re-experiencing the stages of grief?
If you are spiraling, is it up or down? Why do you think so?
At what point will you be finished with your grieving?
Hope Scriptures
Hosea 2:14-15
Colossians 1:27
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Notes:
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Eight
Learning To Let Go
As they worked on the quilt, the granddaughter would sometimes be
discouraged. She would begin to see a pattern, only to have it fade with
the next piece. Her skills were improving as she imitated her grandmother’s
stitches, but she tired easily and often wanted to give up.
One night she lay awake, thinking of her quilt and the new designs
that she and her grandmother would create the next day. She drifted off
to sleep, only to dream of the quilt that she had hoped for. When she woke
up the next day, the quilt frame seemed to mock her, reminding her of the
dream that would never come true. She rose to touch the different textures
and take in the mismatched colors...
Her grandmother came in suddenly and was surprised at the distracted
look on her face. “What could be the matter, dear?”
“I found myself dreaming again of white linen and lace...” she admit-
ted, holding back the tears.
“Oh my love, I know this gift is not what you expected, but look...in
this corner we were just beginning...I did the piecing and you helped me
put them together...and here in the middle you were learning to stitch for
yourself and gaining patience with the process...and over here, why look
at the beautiful stitches! Not only that, but we’ve covered a large part of
our family history, patching pieces of the legacy of your life with these old
fabrics. The result will be not only a beautiful quilt, but new skills and
perseverance. Do not give up, my child.”
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Lissox Eicur
What does it mean to let go? It is not the same as forgetting and it is not
simply “getting on with your life”. Letting go means releasing your child into the
hands of God. Letting go also means releasing your grief into the hands of God.
Even if our babies had lived, God would ask us to let go of them. This let-
ting go is gradual—the first steps, kindergarten, college, marriage. When a baby
dies, the letting go must happen all at once and it must be a choice of our will.
Emotionally we must choose to place this matter into the arms of our Father,
knowing He wants to fill our empty places with Himself.
Prayer:
Heavenly God,
Why does it seem easier to hold onto my pain instead of clinging to You?
Help me learn to let go and give me the strength to do it. Thank You, Lord,
for requiring this of me and thank You that I can rest in knowing that my
child is under Your watchful care.
Getting Out of the Pit
“There is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still.”
Coiiii Tix Boox
Gwen writes:
After Hope died I felt as if I were hanging in a pit. The only thing keeping me from
falling to the depths was my grasp. On the edge of the pit was our Lord, offering His
hand but I would not look at Him or reach for Him. I would only hold to the hem
of His robe. Some called that faith. I called it desperation. He was all that I had to
hold on to.
I hung there for many months before I had the courage to even look at Him. I
remember the day clearly that I climbed out of my pit, into His arms and had a good
cry. That was the beginning of my letting go.
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What picture do you have of your grief? Pray and ask God to show you.
Are you “in the pit”? If so, what keeps you there?
Teale writes:
When Gwen wrote her picture of the pit and then asked the question, “What pic-
ture do you have of your grief?” I really couldn’t answer. I didn’t have a picture. As I
prayed, God showed me a picture - that of a veil. My grief over our babies was like a
veil that I was wearing. I couldn’t see anything clearly. It covered my vision, clouding
how I saw every aspect of my life from my family to my career to my relationships with
others. It also affected how others saw me. Most people saw my grief but couldn’t see me
within it. I think of the story of Jacob and Leah in Genesis 29. Jacob didn’t see who
he was marrying because Leah was wearing a veil. Her veil was not the gauzy netting
our modern brides wear but a thicker fabric that she could barely see through.
Still, there was hope for Leah within the veil, hope for future children and the love
of her husband. Even so, we have hope within the veil.
Find Heb. 6:19-20 and describe that hope:
Jesus made the way to God for us figuratively by what action in Matt. 27:50-51?
There is no mistaking the importance of Jesus’ yielding up His spirit for this action
to take place. Therefore, what does II Cor. 3:16 say we must do in order for our
veil of grief to be removed?
What is the Lord’s reaction in vs. 16-18?
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On the Waters of Sorrow
O My child, I am coming to thee walking upon the waters
of the sorrows of thy life; yea, above the sounds of the storm ye shall
hear My voice calling thy name.
Ye are never alone, for I am at thy right hand. Never
despair, for I am watching over and caring for thee. Be not anx-
ious. What seemeth to thee to be at present a difficult situation
is all part of My planning, and I am working out the details of
circumstances to the end that I may bless thee and reveal Myself to
thee in a new way.
As I have opened thine eyes to see, so shall I open thine ears
to hear, and ye shall come to know Me even as did Moses, yea, in
a face-to-face relationship.
For I shall remove the veil that separates Me from thee
and ye shall know Me as thy dearest Friend and as thy truest
Comforter.
No darkness shall hide the shining of My face, for I shall be
to thee as a bright star in the night sky. Never let thy faith waver.
Reach out thy hand, and thou shalt touch the hem of My garment.
Fiaxcis Roniirs, Coxi Away My Biiovio (1o¬o)
Waiting for Resurrection
How did the disciples respond to Jesus’ impending death?
(See Mt.26: 56, Mk. 14:66-72)

Make a list of emotions they might have felt during the three days after Jesus’
burial and before His resurrection?
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Which of these emotions are you feeling?
“This morning I woke up thinking about death, burial and
resurrection and how God is continually revealing Himself
through this cycle. He does it in nature, through attitudes,
beliefs, problems, and even physical death... ‘But there are
always those three days,’ the Voice says. Oh yeah, the three days
between burial and resurrection—the longing, the waiting, the
questioning. We usually do not understand when the resurrec-
tion is going to occur, or even how. But it is rarely instant...
Perhaps this interim of almost a year has been my three days...
Perhaps the winter has gone and the spring is coming!”
Gwix Kix, Siirixnii :¡, 1oo¬
Read John 20:1-18, where the women discover that Jesus has risen from the dead.
How did Mary react at the tomb (v.11)?
How did she react when she first saw Jesus (v.14)?
When did she recognize Him?
Write out Jesus’ words to Mary in verse 15:
What is your response to His question?
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Looking Heavenward
What hope do we have that our children are in heaven?
II Sam. 12:19-23
I Thess. 4:13-14
How can we know that we are going to heaven?
Jn. 14:6
Rom 10:9
What will our heavenly body be like?
I Cor. 15:40-44
Phil. 3:20
Look up Mt. 17:1-5. Given that Peter, James, and John lived many generations
after Moses and Elijah and there were no photographs, how did they recognize
Moses and Elijah?
86
What implications are there in these verses about how we might recognize our
children in heaven?
Jack Hayford writes, “The disciples had never before seen Elijah
and Moses and yet they knew immediately who they were.”
I’ii Hoio You ix Hiavix (1o8o)
Unresolved Issues
What mementos do you have of your child? Of your pregnancy?
What have you done with them?
If you have not named your baby, set aside a time to pray. Ask God to reveal to
you the name that He has chosen for your child.
My baby : ___________________________
This name means:
87
Take time to pray and then write a letter to God about your baby. You might
include some sentences like:
The thing that hurts the most is...
Some of the things I’ve missed doing with my baby are...
If I could talk to my baby, I would say...
When I am reunited with my baby in heaven...
What I need right now is...
Pour out your feelings to the Lord. He will bless you for it. Thank the Lord for
taking care of your baby.
Hope Scriptures
Isaiah 49:23b
Jeremiah 31:15-17
Notes:
89
Nine
Finding Joy
In the final days of their artistry, the two women chatted incessantly
with excitement as they worked. The other sisters often stood at the door-
way, amazed at the intimacy between the two. Their little sister had
grown immensely through this process. She had changed so much she was
hardly recognizable...or was she? Who did she remind them of suddenly?
She was finding true pleasure in their work together now. Sometimes
she still felt that old sadness and self-pity, but now she had someone to talk
to about it and could see how much she was growing. It gave her strength
to keep going, even when she became discouraged.
There was new confidence and true joy in her life now. She had
learned so much from her grandmother: about her grandmother’s life and
wisdom, about her own family and about herself. She knew that she could
not only complete this quilt, but she had plans for another one and various
new projects. She could look ahead, without fear, knowing that she could
make it.
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N
L
Lissox Nixi
Joy is a feeling that follows a choice. Our joy comes not as a result of circum-
stances or events but by choosing to trust God no matter what our circumstances.
Prayer:
Dear Holy Father,
Help me to find the joy You have for me. So often I focus on my needs
instead of on You. Forgive me and help me to choose Your joy.
The book of Ezra tells the story of God’s people returning to their homeland,
Jerusalem. What they find is a ghost town. What’s more, the heart of their
community, the temple, has been completely destroyed and plundered. Could
Jerusalem truly have a new beginning?
Read Ezra 3:10-13
Who wept aloud and why (v. 12)?
Why did many shout for joy? Who were they?
Which group do you relate to and why? Do you see a ghost town or a new city?
To what New City can we look forward?
Rev. 3:11-13
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Rev. 22:1-5
Sorrow looks behind,
Fear looks around,
Faith looks up.
Auruoi Uxxxowx
According to the previous quote, which way are you looking?
“How can I have praise God,” you may ask, “when I’ve lost my child! How can I
move on to something new when I am still so hurt over the past?” One poet in exile
from his home of Jerusalem, understood such feelings. He wrote Psalm 137:1-6.
Write what he said here:
Summarize Is. 43:18-19 in your own words:
Record below some of the “new things” God offers you:
Ps. 40:1-3

Lam. 3:19-24
II Cor. 5:17

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I Pet. 1:3-9
What are some of the “new things” that God is doing in your life?
As the new temple was being erected, Ezra 3:10 says that the Levites and priests
took their places of praise as directed by David. Look up I Chronicles 15:16 for
more information:
Were these men appointed to feel joyful and then praise? If not, what were they
appointed to do?
If we do not feel joyful and yet we praise God, it is indeed a sacrifice. What does
Heb. 13:14-15 say about a sacrifice of praise?
Remember Catherine Marshall’s quote from lesson two?
“Praising God is the key to letting Him get on with the job.”
Though we may move on to joy in our healing, we will never forget our babies.
Will God forget?
Is. 49:15-16
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What does God’s word say about our joy?
Job 33:23-26
Ps. 30:11-12
Ps. 126:5-6
Gal. 5:22-23
What does Is. 52:8-9 say is necessary for joy to come about? Who causes this?

How has the Lord comforted you?
“The Lord has comforted me by giving
my grief and experience a purpose.”
Tiaii Facxiii, May 1ooo
For what can you be joyful?
95
“The bitter water, the wilderness, the storm, the Cross – all are
transformed to sweetness, peace, and life out of death. God wills
to transform loss into gain, all shadow into radiance. I know He
wants to give you beauty for ashes. He’s given me the oil of joy for
mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.”
Eiisaniru Eiiior, Tui Gioiy oi Goo’s Wiii (1o8:)
Hope Scriptures
Psalm 71:14
Romans 15:13
Notes:
97
Ten
Memorial
What is a memorial? Webster’s dictionary defines a memorial as, “Anything meant
to help people remember some person or event.” Your memorial to your child
may be something private, like a song or a poem. It may, however, be something
public, like planting a tree or painting a picture in their memory.
Whether you are participating in this study with a group or on your own, please
do not neglect this vital step. It is a time to entrust your child to the Lord while
providing a tangible reminder of your little one.
Several important elements are:
• Praise - Thank God for the gift of your child. Give Him the praise for
the positive things that have resulted from your experience.
• Prayer - Share with God your emotions about your loss and prayerfully
place your child in His loving arms.
• Presentation - Ask God to show you what form your memorial should
take. Giving Him the praise, consider sharing your gift with someone you love.
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Conclusion
As she made her last stitch, she felt a hand on her shoulder. “I am
so proud of you, my precious one,” her grandmother said. “It has been a
long and difficult process, but you did it.”
The granddaughter felt a tremendous sense of pride, and at the same
time she knew that she could never have done it alone. “Without you,
grandmother, I would never have made it. I was so disappointed at first
that I didn’t want to go on, much less start such a difficult project like
this. I am amazed at what you have done. You took that stack of ugly
pieces and put them together in such a beautiful way. I never thought I
would say this, but thank you for my gift. I know now that you chose me
on purpose, that you meant this special blessing for me, and I am honored.
What was my nightmare, you made into a gorgeous heirloom. What was
my misery, you have turned to joy.”

When Jesus began His ministry and took twelve disciples for Himself, He explained that He was
to be “King of the Jews.” They took this literally and probably had visions of Jesus, robed in purple,
with a crown on His head. They imagined His throne, solid gold, embedded with priceless jewels.

They expected a crown of glory - He wore a crown of thorns.
They expected royal robes - lots were cast for His clothes.
They expected a golden throne - He got two long wooden beams.
The disciples and the granddaughter were faced with the same gift, two long wooden beams.
We dream of one thing and God gives us another. We dream of our own happiness and pleasure,
and God dreams of our best, which is not always pleasant.
The long wooden beams mean sacrifice for us, and the Ultimate Sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
He is the only One who can help us put the pieces back together after a loss. He will give us the
strength to face the pile in the corner and get to work, seeking Him to heal our hurt.

The joy we have is our hope for the future, when Christ shall come again in glory and we will
be with Him and our loved ones forever and ever.
Come, Lord Jesus. Amen.
101
Bibliography
Chambers, Oswald. My Utmost for His Highest (New York: Dodd, Mead and
Company, 1935) renewed 1963 by the Oswald Chambers Publications Assn.,
Ltd., and is used by permission of Discovery House Publishers, Box 3566,
Grand Rapids, MI 49501. All Rights Reserved.
Elliot, Elisabeth. The Glory of God’s Will (London: Pickering and Inglis, Ltd.,
1982).
Faldet, Rachel and Karen Fitton, eds. Our Stories of Miscarriage (Minneapolis:
Fairview Press, 1997).
Hayford, Jack. I’ll Hold You in Heaven (Ventura, Calif.: Regal Publishing Co.,
1986).
Lewis, C.S. A Grief Observed (London: Faber and Faber Limited, 1961).
Morrow, Judy. Silent Cradle (Indianapolis: Light and Life, Inc., 1998).
Roberts, Frances J. Come Away My Beloved (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.: The
King’s Press, 1970).
Vanauken, Sheldon. A Severe Mercy (New York: Harper and Row, 1977).
Wright, H. Norman. The Christian Use of Emotional Power (Old Tappan, New
Jersey: Fleming H. Revell, 1974).
Zelenka, Linda. An Untimely Loss (Mahwah, New Jersey: Paulist Press, 1996).
Permission to grieve
after pregnancy loss
T
hreads of Hope, Pieces of Joy, has been designed to sensitively minister
to the needs of individuals or groups who have experienced a pregnancy
loss through miscarriage, stillbirth or any form of early infant death.
This study was birthed as the authors themselves sought comfort in the midst
of their own pregnancy losses. Among many other related topics, the study uses
the Scripture to explore such questions as:
Where do I go to find the truth?
Where does life come from?
Why was my baby too weak to live?
Where is my child now?
Can I ever understand why?
How can God help me deal with losing my baby?

TEALE FACKLER is the wife of Pastor David Fackler, Grace Fellowship Ministries, located in
Madisonville, Kentucky. Teale graduated from Asbury College with a degree in Christian Education,
went on to receive her master’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of South Alabama
and taught for eight years. She is the mother of Joshua, Jonathan and Philip, as well as two children
in Heaven, Benjamin and Grace.
GWEN KIK helped found Door of Hope Pregnancy Care Center in Madisonville, Kentucky
where she was formerly director. She graduated from Transylvania University, with a major
in Psychology and a minor in Communication. She is the wife of Brett Kik, and the mother
of Hannah Lauren, Abby Elisabeth, Jett Isaac and also Hope Broadbent, who is with the Lord
Jesus.
B
Benjamin Books