January 2008 was one of the lowest points I can remember having in my life. A few weeks after learning I was pregnant with our second child, I had a miscarriage. I was not prepared for the intense and deep grief I would experience because of that loss. In my grief, I did not want to hear words of comfort from any person, especially from people who had not experienced what I was going through. No one knew the right words to speak. In fact, many times what people intended to bring comfort only angered me more.
I vividly remember one afternoon when I went to get my 18 month-old out of his crib after his nap. He could tell I was upset, and he had the most concerned look on his face as he stood in his crib waiting for me to pick him up. He looked deep into my eyes and put his chubby little hand on my cheek as if to say, “It’s ok to cry, Momma.” I remember scooping him up, hugging him tightly, and weeping as I rocked him while he buried his head into my chest. As the tears continued to fall, I was comforted by the words of Psalm 147. I sat and read them to my toddler as I let the Scriptures minister to my soul.
1 Praise the Lord.
How good it is to sing praises to our God,
how pleasant and fitting to praise him!
2 The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the exiles of Israel.
3 He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
4 He determines the number of the stars
and calls them each by name.
5 Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
his understanding has no limit.
6 The Lord sustains the humble
but casts the wicked to the ground.
7 Sing to the Lord with grateful praise;
make music to our God on the harp.
Later that year, I was pregnant once again. While I was thrilled things were going well with the pregnancy, I still found myself grieving and anxious that the same thing could happen again. My husband and I had been scouring baby name books but hadn’t landed on any that we liked. We were leading a college ministry at the time, and I clearly recall one evening service during worship where I was lost in the moment and I felt something I had never experienced before and have not yet experienced again. I heard God speak to my spirit, “This child will bring praise!” It was in that moment that I could feel God healing my brokenheartedness. He was binding up my wounds.
We stumbled upon our middle child’s name, and we knew without a shadow of a doubt that if he was a boy, we’d name him Ranen, which means “to sing or be joyful.” God continued to bring healing as our little boy arrived exactly 2 weeks prior to the anniversary of my miscarriage. Not a year has gone by where I don’t think of that little one that we lost. However, every time I really think about the miracle that Ranen is, I can’t help but “sing to the Lord with grateful praise.” God has continued to remind me over the past 13 years that He alone can bind the wounds of my heart and indeed bring me JOY where there was once sorrow!
If you have found yourself in a season of deep grief, loss, or despair, my prayer is that you are able to hold onto the promise that God will heal your broken heart in his own personal, intimate way.