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August 1, 2022 10:00 pm
"My wife had a miscarriage. Why do I feel so lost?" Eric Schumacher recounts the grief in his own marriage and how ultimately, trauma brought them closer.
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Going to the doctor together you doing the exam.
So the need to do this procedure is considered, you're welcome to sit in this room if you'd like to and for the reason out. I just started to feel a bit lightheaded and sausage and Emily need to leave and so I got up and left the room and I went out and sat in the waiting room and just thinking you know that I was a failure as a man and as a husband because I didn't have the physical strength that time to stay in the room welcome to family life today where we want to help you pursue the relationship and I'm Dave Wilson and you can find firstname.lastname@example.org or on our family life. Family life today, so heavy traffic okay is one of those you better fasten your seatbelt and I just got my Kleenex box to get it out. I read some talk about what you think about grief for trauma hitting a marriage like what percentage of marriages cannot survive a a really heavy trauma, you know.
So what percentage ends up in divorce. Is that what you're asking out of the hundred maybe 30 status been quoted often is 80%. Did some research to find out that a book was written in divorce.
80% now. Let me just say this woman name Harriet Schiff wrote a book called the bereaved parent in the 70s and she quoted even close to 90% that's been debated and made could be as low as 20%. But either way it's like wow when want to marriage goes through something really dramatic and today rings about losing a child millionaire image that's a trauma that a lot of marriages may not survive unless they have a plan you can have a plan to survive any kind of trauma. This is no doubt you have a plan and so we've we got her to make it back in the studio. We very talk to you little bit about your loss and in four miscarriages. But Eric welcome back things from you yesterday. We talked about you and your wife Jenny walk-through for miscarriages, which again if you missed yesterday. Just listen to a good man cry cry but it was so helpful to hear you navigate how you guys a walk-through that you've written a book to men I devotional yeah about how to walk through miscarriages called hours biblical comfort for men grieving miscarriage and so you you give them a 31 day which is great because I know many of you like I can't read 60 days that I could do 31 to help them walk through that, but you're walking through the book of Luke, yes, talk to us about how that grief and trauma impacts America's you've lived it. I feel like for Jenny and me. It brought us closer together. I felt like we had a lot of suffering.
I think intermarriage and some of it has been tension between us you know in how that goes in there just five.
Can we have fun yes yeah faster counsel I have on the school and you were to lead worship and there's some LCC's on your mother-in-law came to live with you. Yes you go you will.
She helps out stress in your life you so I felt like each of Lorber live births. Each miscarriage brought us closer together because there's that's sends at least we had your there and this is an intimate thing between the two of you to to know about this pregnancy and you're anticipating this child together. And if you need to go to the hospital the doctors office site and I went Jenny to see the sonograms and in all that your heartbeat sends so it was a loss that two of us together could only grieve as deeply as we did you know but I know it can be a struggle for men to know what we do as a husband and as a father now that we've had this miscarriage and that it's a loss both parents have lost a child. But this does affect the woman, the mother physically in ways that the father obviously is not affected and so she may have cramping and all the various issues that can go with the miscarriage and you're not having those and so you're in a place where you can use your health and strength to be able to care for her in different ways. I've heard some women say that they watch their husbands and it appears to them as they're watching her husband that he grieving and so then she's judging that sanctity not care. Did you guys go through that. I don't recall is ever going to that, but I've heard that yeah a number of times, and there could be various things going on there. On the one hand, it could be a father who doesn't know how to grieve and is not a show is grief. Maybe the family grew up and you didn't even show grief always trying to be strong for her and so you won't think that's the other thing is because we think of miscarriage is primarily a woman's matter, then he may even feel guilt for grieving. He feels like because she carried the pregnancy yeah this is more her miscarriage than it is mine.
That's part of what the title the book at set hours. This is our miscarriage together and he might be afraid. You know, if I talk about my grief if I talk about how sad I am that I'm a mess inside that I can't deal with things might sound like I'm undercutting her grief the legitimacy and the seriousness of it and so I'm just gonna stuff it down and be the guy who cares for her and that's not healthy. I find that most mothers in miscarriage want their husbands to grieve with them and alongside them, even if that impacts of the husband can serve them in that time because you suffered a loss and it's not wrong for you to ask friends to be good neighbors to you and to help out with chores, childcare meals, although sorts of things.
That's not just for mom.
You two need to grieve together and you know your home is a place that came about by you getting married to each other because he was a husband need a life that's why God gave her to you and to try to manage the household as one when it's supposed to be to that's not healthy for you as well.
I'm thinking back at one of our sons and what and his wife had three miscarriages before they had any kids. And so after my those miscarriages. They called me and I said could you just come and be here and now, as I'm listening to you Eric because they wanted to grief together and all I did. I stayed out of the way I cooked I clean and sell many of those hours where they were in the bedroom with the door closed grieving. You and what you're saying is that's really important it is. You're also saying because I think the way I'm wired. Yeah well I can't deal I we have not gone through this, but I I can picture myself trying to comfort and be there for her and she carried the baby.
I didn't. She needs me. I need to be strong I need to be empathetic. I need to hold her and not be thinking about my own grief. I would just be is almost, almost like I'd put away partially denial take care if I have any grief. I go do it with my guys nice it would obviously your you've dealt with it in your writing to men to say and I remember reading somewhere in your devotional that you got so not nauseated. You walk out of the hospital room.
Yes that's all you're carrying this so that was during the one miscarriage we haven't talked about where Jenny had to have a D&C we going to the doctor together.
You done the exam set I need to do this procedure and he said Eric you're welcome to sit in this room if you'd like to and I watch the birth of all five children without getting lightheaded, nauseated.
That stuff doesn't get to me so I I have the option of like pulling my chair up next to her bed facing her and holding her hand during this and for whatever reason out.
I just started to feel a bit lightheaded and so I said almost sit back the room and then it kept continuing to get worse and I just a Jenny I'm a need to leave and so I got up and left the room and I went out and sat in the waiting room and that was another hard part that I look back on and go. Did I do the right thing. This little voice in my head was saying you call yourself a man, you are supposed to be the leader of the protector of the provider and you can't even sit with your wife you left her alone in that room by yourself going through this procedure.
Just thinking you know that I was a failure as a man and as a husband because I didn't have the physical strength that time to stay in the room EQ series and it is yeah I went out into the waiting room and found a place in the waiting room were nobody else was that because I wanted to be alone, but I felt like Satan sat down next to me and started whispering in my ear and it's not a sin to be weak.
In fact, it's the first requirement of being a Christian Jesus that I did not come to be served but to serve the entryway into the kingdom of God is by saying I need Jesus to serve me. You know you have to become like a child, and Jenny didn't think those things about me. She wasn't upset about that at all. But it's a matter of finding your identity in Jesus is and what the Bible actually says about what it means to be husbands and to care for your wife so Christ became just a great counselor and comfort to me in the midst of these these kind of situations. Yeah, I know that you just said it going to the word seeking his face. I mean you walk men through Luke and Ellen so you find comfort in Christ and obviously he went through loss is terrific.
That is, this three 1979. Yeah, Luke 1941 I can remember the day a few years ago standing on this road where Jesus was in looking into the city, trying to feel what he felt as he's you writing in celebrated as the King a week before his death, but in verse 41 says as he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said if you even you had only known on this day what would bring you peace but now it is hidden from your eyes. Any predicts what's to come, which I have no idea. And yet he knows in you.again, standing there I thought I sort of viscerally felt this emotion like what would that be like to have these hopes of what the future is and then as he's looking at the city.
He knows they do not realize what's about to happen.
And somehow that comforts you as your grieving.
Yeah, there are several things that can comfort me.
You know thing I think about right now.
When I read that passage and here it is. First of all we see Jesus weeping and then the next thing he does when he gets into Jerusalem to go straight to the temple and he cleansed the temple and so we see him driven by his anger at the way the temple is being mistreated in his father's house is being mistreated. A close friend of mine who was 43, died unexpectedly of a massive heart attack and I preached at his funeral, and it was a different passage. It was from John at Lazarus's tomb Jesus at Lazarus's tomb. Two things also come up there.
First is that Jesus weeps and he knows that Lazarus is going be raised from the dead, but this is real weeping and the word behind that in the Greek is for like burst into tears. This is like full body weeping like convulsions, not running from your nose saliva down your beard like ugly crying now and that's how Jesus felt about the loss of his friends and so he identifies with that sort of grieving that we do any other thing is, it says that Jesus, when he saw Mary weeping and the others with her weeping, he was disturbed in spirit and then when he could is brought to the tomb. It says that he was troubled and disturbed in spirit again and that word is a word that's used for like warhorses when they snort and so it's not like he was overcome with grief. This is intense rage and anger as he looks at the tomb and he sees and hates death. Those feelings here in Luke in this passage in Luke or what drives him, not just the temple but straight to the cross where he is determined to end our sin and death and raise us from the dead, as justified, children of God, forgiven of all of our sins. So as I think of myself sitting there in my own shame. I remember that Jesus hates the accuser who sitting next to me accusing me of being guilty of things that are not sin and his strength, Christ's strength and his rage has numbered the days of Satan and his guaranteed my eternal life and resurrection from the dead, and I would say the resurrection of my baby from the dead in Christ doesn't sit down next to a weeping father and say well your failure, man manhood, you know, this is why I looks like he came not as the unflinching leader.
He came as the suffering servant who is well acquainted with grief and sorrow.
He sits with weeping people and he hears them and sees them and he weeps with them. You know my story might provide solidarity, but it is not going provide any lasting comfort you know, only the story of Jesus can provide us with healing and eternal absolute comfort. So I wanted to help men walk through the entire gospel in a month and be well acquainted with Jesus and see how much he loves the brokenhearted and is there for them and I think it's I know I've done this. It's easy for me to dismiss what you just said Jesus weeps specially when you're going through grief or loss you feel alone if you like God's abandoned, but the two things you just express are still happening in real time in our life. Jesus is weeping with us. He's also angry. This is not what he designed life to be. We live in a broken sin stained world bad things happen even to good people and he's weeping with us he's right there you can hear the whisper of the accuser that should be shut up and say well he's weeping with me and he's angry with me and it's okay that I feel the same things you did because there is a better story and there is hope in the end, so there's a listener right now.
That's feeling abandoned and I hope your you realize right now he is with you. He's weeping. You are sitting in his lap. I know may not feel like it may feel like he's a thousand miles away. That is not true.
He is right there holding you weeping with you and say and I feel just as bad as you do. But there is hope is with your wife when you can't be with her. He is going to be with her, to comfort, helper when you can't. And even when you can. He's doing a better that's David and Wilson with Eric Shoemaker on family life today we hear that and struggle to trust God when her sister passed away in just a minute.
The first maybe this summer you've glimpsed some character in your kids that need some help. But how do you tackle that cost. I love this quote from family life art of parenting small group study. It says this we had a very diverse study group from six different countries. It was an amazing experience of evaluating how culture and upbringing impacts our parenting styles. This course was instrumental in reorienting our beliefs and practices toward Christ centered parenting is amazing well right now. You can use the code 25 off to save on the art of parenting along with all of our small group studies, 25 email@example.com right now, back to David Anne's conversation with Eric Shoemaker and how and struggle to understand why God would let her sister passed away in her 40s.
I think all of us face the questions in those hard times of God. Why you like where are you and I don't know for ever get all those answers as were and this earth. My parents recently both just passed away in the last two years they were in their 90s and so I'm not questioning that I put large if given them a good long life that when my sister passed in her 40s, then I'm thinking I just don't see the point. That seems like a terrible mistake. But what you're saying is I remember doing that and told Jesus that like like this make it seem like a good thing for her four boys that are now without a non-that I didn't have a clear answer, except that I'm with you and I will be there mother and father for his so many times he won't even know about and that you can trust me. Not easy just to say okay I'm in a trust you, but the best thing that we can do with these words that you and Jenny spoke to each other. I me.
Did you need each other or talk about it together. We did need each other and we did talk about these sorts of things together.
I don't know that I talked about all the things I was dealing with with her.
I tend to stuff things and then I process through writing, and so is when risen, motherhood really asked.
They asked me if I would write an article for the website on how fathers experience miscarriage to help the mothers that come to their ministry and so writing that I really had to go back and relive those experiences and begin to name the things I was feeling you know like anger and shame and runs loss always things like questions, uncertainty, and that was really good for me and so that that enabled me to talk about this much more clearly which is what I hope this book does he know Elkins adore it does.
And there's a little journaling space you know for some questions and II think it will be helpful for men as they walk through miscarriage to be examining the experience, the sum which is paying attention to it, not even asking what's right and what's wrong. Just pay attention to it and write it down and you don't grief things in a week, especially the loss of a child at any stage is a manifold grief that you can't understand all at once because 18 years later, that child would've been graduating high school. There's a new grief. Now one of the things I think you said well you know but not having all the answers to her questions. I hope that comes through in this devotional because throughout Luke we find him encountering a lot of suffering people, and he doesn't give answers as to why they're suffering you might say it's not because anyone send. That's to protect the suffering person, but he still doesn't say why this person suffering this way and not this person. We don't get those answers this side of eternity and I don't know if we get them then.
But we do get Jesus and that's better than answers. Yes, I think I do stuff that you encourage a husband to talk to his wife about this when you said you you know Sarah found it yourself processing your grief through writing. I would do anything and avoid every sermon on it. I should like what you never heard this in my life and now you're looking for people because as a wife and is a woman. We long for the connection of knowing what our men are going through because we want to experience it together.
That's why your devotional is so brilliant jealous and I'm I asked Garrett to tell us men, should we be sharing it with her will. I know for you Dave you not processed it until you sat down. Maybe read a devotional and then journaled your thoughts about it. I don't think you are trying to stay away from it necessarily, although you don't like to feel bad in front to play basketball feeling bad, but if you brought me the page of the journal that you wrote. It brings tears to my eyes because we as wives want to know our husband's hearts. We long to know what they're feeling, we tend to tell our husbands but with a feeling if if you ask her. Sometimes you don't even need to ask me just tell you that as women we long to know our men and that's a beautiful way to know our men and it's not that you're trying to stay away from grieving is that you're not always sure how to process it so it could be an incredible gift. Eric this is been a gift to us and I think so many is not really talked about. So thank you for having the curries to enter into this world. Thank you for having me. You been listening to David and Wilson with Eric Shoemaker on family life to his book is called hours biblical comfort for men grieving miscarriage is a 31 day devotional for men processing miscarriage. You can get a copy at family life. The day.com also all this month when you help reach more families with God's truth by giving to family life we want to send you a copy of Jenny Allen's book called finding your people is our thanks to you when you give this firstname.lastname@example.org when you call with your donation at 800-3583 29, 800 F peasant family L as in life and in the work today, not tomorrow. David and Wilson are going to be with our very own Ron deal talking about excelling administering to stepfamilies. That's tomorrow on behalf of David and Wilson. I'm shall be added with you back next time for another edition of family life to family life today is the production of family life accrue ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most