Unbeaten by Pain: A Beautiful Life in the Midst of Miscarriage

If Lindsey Bell seems relaxed, it’s because she’s learned to focus on the important things in life in her quest to be Unbeaten by pain.

When you date your high school sweetheart, you don’t picture a future that includes miscarriage. Today’s blog is dedicated to four beautiful kids in heaven, Eden, Jesse, Ella, and Jadon.

As bride and groom swear to love each other in sickness and health. On your honeymoon. As you create your first home. When you decorate the nursery. When the invitation arrives for your baby shower. Couples dream about the joy life can bring, not the pain.

Most people avoid pain. But what if you can’t?

For Lindsey Bell life took an unexpected turn. A turn that included a lot of pain. First though, she and her husband rejoiced with the birth of a healthy little boy. 

“We had some complications with his pregnancy,” Lindsey says, explaining how the doctor successfully headed off an early delivery and the pregnancy “ended up going full term.” 

Lindsey shares so much more in this tender interview, including how to know when it’s time to forgive God and how to deal with envy when others seem to have an easy life. If you have pain in your life for any reason, please find her comforting insight here. For more podcastsclick here.

Her Baby’s Heartbeat

All was going according to plan. Two years after their first child was born, they found out she was pregnant again. 

“I was thrilled. Couldn’t wait. Told our family. Told our friends. We saw the heartbeat. Everything looked perfect,” she reports. 

At twelve weeks, she went to her regular volunteer time at a local pregnancy center. Just a regular day. The center needed some training hours for their ultrasound technician and Lindsey stepped up. 

“I said, ‘Hey, I’m pregnant. Let’s do one for me.’” They did an ultrasound and couldn’t find the baby’s heartbeat.

Not Exactly According to Plan

They rushed Lindsey to the hospital, where emergency room staff confirmed she was experiencing a miscarriage. (For her beautiful book, Unbeaten: How Biblical heroes rose above their pain…and you can, too, click here.) Lindsey learned pain can be harder to process than we might assume.

“With that first miscarriage, I think I just thought, ‘Yeah this is crazy painful, but I know God is going to use this. I’m going to be faithful through it.’” Determined to rely on her faith and what she knew to be true, Lindsey tried to be stoic. (For shortcuts to take care of yourself, click here. And for even more ways.)

“I don’t know that I fully let myself grieve like I should have that loss,” she explains, “I thought I did, but looking back there was still a lot. I was trying to put on the brave face.” (For how mindfulness can help the grieving process unfold more gently, click here.)

The Dream

Lindsey’s “love affair with Jesus began when she attended vacation Bible school with a friend in junior high,” as she shares in her devotional book, Unbeaten. She learned about a God who “adored her” and wanted to have a relationship with her. She gave her life to Christ as a teenager.

Her love story with her hubby began not long after as high school sweethearts.

“I love to point out to him that I drove us on our first date. He couldn’t drive yet,” she laughs.

They attended college together and married young.

“Of course, any marriage you have to work at, but by and large we had a good marriage,” she says. “We got pregnant within the first year of trying the first time.” (For solutions when marriage feels lonely, click here.)

It wasn’t long after the first miscarriage that she suspected she was pregnant again. Though joyful, this time there was a special kind of tenderness around her anticipation.

She put off taking a pregnancy test for a couple of weeks. 

The Reality

“I decided I was going to do it on January 1st,” she says, explaining how she felt about the coming year. Oh this will be a great way to start out the year. God’s going to redeem everything that happened in 2010. 

She was looking forward to a “rainbow baby”; that is, a child after loss.

“About three hours after I took that pregnancy test, I actually started miscarrying a second time,” she says. “And then six months later my husband and I found out we were pregnant again.”

Everything went well. They saw a heartbeat; a healthy heartbeat. Doctors reassured them, confident all was going as it should for a healthy delivery this time. 

But they suffered miscarriage again. The third time. 

God: The Miracle Specialist

“After our third miscarriage, looking back now I think I was probably in a deep pit of depression,” Lindsey says. With Lindsey’s pain clouding her perspective, she immediately assumed something terrible had happened when her mom asked for a Skype call.

“Someone’s died. There’s been an accident. Someone has cancer. All these worst case scenarios.” She can laugh about it now. 

But all was well with her parents. In fact, Lindsey’s mom wanted to know if they wanted to adopt. A birth mom contacted Lindsey’s parents, hoping to reach the grieving couple.

“Because of our miscarriages, when she decided she wanted to choose adoption, she wanted my mom to contact us and see if we would be willing to adopt her baby,” Lindsey says. The baby was due in two months from the phone call.

“God literally dropped a baby in our laps,” she continues. “We weren’t looking for adoption. We were still pretty much reeling from the third miscarriage and very, very discouraged. So, we hesitantly moved forward.” (For encouragement, sign up for my FREE weekly blog. Or, to sign up for Lindsey’s blog, click here.)

Lindsey and her hubby moved ahead one deliberate step at a time, looking for God’s leading. She describes God’s influence as “His fingerprints.” Yes, move forward with this. I’m in this. Keep going forward. This is Me. This is from Me. You just have to trust Me.

“Two months later I was in the delivery room with my son’s beautiful birth mom and I got to cut the umbilical cord,” she reports with joy. “Then, he got to come home with us. God just completely opened the door for that to happen because of our miscarriages.” Even thought God didn’t answer her prayers the way she expected, she loves His unexpected miracle! 

“He used that terrible awful situation that we were going through, the recurrent miscarriages, to bring us a baby,” she says, “He brought beautiful, beautiful gifts regardless. Just in a different way than I expected.”

The Medical Specialists

“At that point, we went and saw a specialist,” reports Lindsey. “I had a ton of blood work and all sorts of tests run. Everything looked fine. The doctors could never really figure out why I kept miscarrying.” (For more comfort when the sonogram is a diagnosis, click here. )

They put her on some preventative measures, fully expecting the process to unfold smoothly. 

Soon, they saw a heartbeat. She was going in every week to the specialist. Then, between ten and twelve weeks, they lost their sixth child.

Unbeaten by Pain

Besides the adoption of their son, another miracle resulted from the pain of their miscarriages. Her compassion for those who hurt deepened significantly. Her book, Unbeaten, came out of her own search for help as she struggled to understand the pain of her miscarriages. (For more about how God cares for you, click here.)

In her book, Lindsey collected the stories of over fifty Bible heroes who suffered and how God met them in their pain. This is no small project. Each day, she pulls principles from each hero for how we can cope with our own pain. 

Personally, my favorite thing about Lindsey’s book is the way she weaves her own personal stories throughout each day’s devotion. In particular, I like the way she highlighted people who comforted her. (For more about choosing friends wisely, click here.)

A Beautiful Life

“It is really neat to see God use the difficult things that we’ve gone through to help other people. I think that’s one of the beautiful things about the body of Christ.”

If you’ve just lost a child and don’t know if your heart will ever mend, Lindsey and I want you to know you are dear to our hearts. We hope her words will be a comfort to you as you grieve. 

Lindsey offers this encouragement; your life will be filled with beauty in spite of your sorrow.

“So my picture I had as a teenager of what my life was going to look like didn’t end up looking exactly like I thought it would,” she says, “but it still was a beautiful picture. It was just different if that makes sense.”

May we pray together?

Dear good Father in heaven, all around us people suffer and often we don’t know it. Open our eyes to see the pain others feel. Help us reach out and ask for comfort when we need it. We turn to You now, O Lord, because You comfort us Yourself. You meet us in our pain with Your own dear presence. When our hearts are broken due to loss, when we moan because words fail us, when we feel alone and afraid, You are there in the silence and the pain. We cling to You. In Jesus’s name Amen.

We LOVE to hear from YOU!

How has a friend comforted you? When has God influenced you in an unmistakable, yet gentle way? What experts would you like to hear from on Fireside Talk Radio?

Next week

Next week, Lindsey comes back to share with us how we can comfort others when they go through painful experiences, especially the loss of a child. She’ll pass along some tender ways to comfort others no matter their pain. These are real life examples of the many ways her friends comforted her. You won’t want to miss this tender and useful ideas!

If a miscarriage is breaking your heart, I offer the following links to more comfort from Lindsey: her posts on miscarriage, practical things someone can do to love on a woman who recently miscarried, and some things that someone who has miscarried might want you to know. Please pass these on to other women, so we can comfort each other.

For many of us, our stories include pain of a different sort. If your story includes pain from abortion, trauma, or mental health issues, we’ve interviewed experts. For interviews with heroic friends who’ve dealt with sexual abusedate rapedomestic violencebullying, and much more, click here. For more on making a parent feel at home or elder care, click here.

One More Thing—Save Mount Hermon

Save Mt. HermonMount Hermon is where I met the amazing Janet McHenry, my agent Karen NuemairSusan Stewart of Elk Lake Publishing (publisher of my upcoming book, The Well: The Art of Drawing Out Authentic Conversations) and so many other writing and publishing friends who are dear to my heart. For instance, I also met Tami Clymer of CrossRiver Media, the publisher of my marriage book there, too.

If you wish you could go to Mount Hermon’s Christian Writers Conference, there is still time to sign up for the conference. I signed up to go. If you sign up, we may save the conference. If the conference doesn’t fill up, there will be no charge. To find out more, click here.

Cathy Krafve, Columnist, Speaker, Blogger, Podcaster, and Christian Writer, invites your stories, ideas, and questions at CathyKrafve.com. Truth with a Texas Twang.

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