According to the March of Dimes, somewhere between 15 and 25 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage. Despite the fact so many women share a common loss, they endure the grief of miscarriage alone and in silence. Many feel a sense of guilt or shame, as though what happened was somehow their fault. Others simply don't want to burden others with their pain. No matter the reason, the dark season following the loss of a baby can shake the faith of even the most faithful believer. In Miscarried Joy: Moving Beyond Incredible Pain to Extraordinary Faith (Nyree Press), Tanika Fitzgerald offers hope for those dealing with incredible pain of loss, providing help to conquer discouragement and discover new purpose.
Q: We don't often see the words "miscarried" and "joy" together in the same sentence. How and why were you able to marry them as the title of this book?
When a woman is pregnant, she is often referred to as someone who is carrying a bundle of joy. When she miscarries, I believe that bundle of joy goes to be with Jesus Christ in heaven. When I was writing the book, the phrase "miscarried joy" came to me as something I had just lost—a miscarried bundle of joy.
Miscarrying is a devastating event in our lives. Our happiness fades, but our joy can be everlasting if we choose. So although I have lost three babies due to miscarriage, I am still able to reflect on the joy I had in those moments of expecting and the joy I still have as I wait for God to work another physical miracle in my life.
Q: What was the turning point for your faith amidst the pain of three miscarriages in a short period of time? Was there a Bible verse that opened your eyes to see your relationship with God differently?
The turning point for me happened when I began to dive into the Word concerning my situation. I looked up Scriptures related to miscarriage, and I studied the lives of Sarah, Rebekah, Elizabeth, Rachel and Hannah. What I noticed is God allowed the waiting season in their lives for a specific purpose. I also realized in each of their situations, God's timing was absolutely perfect. Had Elizabeth given birth to John the Baptist any earlier than God planned, he would not have been born at the set time to fulfill his purpose of leading the way for Jesus Christ.
The Bible verses that opened my eyes to see my relationship with God differently were as follows:
"No one shall be miscarrying or be barren in your land. I will fulfill the number of your days" (Ex. 23:26). This scripture helped me see the heart of God in the midst of my pain. If these miscarriages did not come from Him, then it had to be Satan attempting to destroy my faith and trust in God. That was when I decided to stand strong in what I believe God to do and to trust fully in His plan.
"In this you greatly rejoice, even though now, if for a little while, you have had to suffer various trials, in order that the genuineness of your faith, which is more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tried by fire, may be found to result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom, having not seen, you love; and in whom, though you do not see Him now, you believe and you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory, receiving as the result of your faith the salvation of your souls" (1 Pet. 1:6-9). This Scripture passage helped me still see God as a loving Father. He was allowing this pain to develop and prove the genuineness of my faith.
Q: In the book, you talk about a purpose for losing your babies. What do you think that purpose is?
It is not a purpose for losing my babies but rather a purpose for experiencing the pain. Think about Jesus Christ and His death on the cross. Without a death, there would not have been a resurrection, and none of us would have the privilege of receiving the free gift of salvation. It is the same with us. Every pain God allows into our lives is for a purpose. I think the purpose of my pain was to help me develop a more personal and imitate understanding of who God is in my life and what He is able to do. Throughout this season of waiting to become a mom, I have truly experienced God as my Comforter, the lover of my soul and my provider.
Having knowledge of God is very different than actually experiencing Him in your life. This pain has taught me to trust and believe in Him completely in ways I never have before. Many things have come easily in my life, but becoming a mom is something I am going to have to fight for spiritually to conceive and birth naturally. If I am able to take my prayer life to the next level here, surely I will be able to extend that to other areas in my life. So this pain has definitely caused me to grow and mature spiritually.
Q: How does the message of Miscarried Joy move beyond the loss of a pregnancy and offer application for all areas of life for men and women?
We all have to wait for something at some point in our lives. It could be a baby, a spouse, an open door of opportunity, healing or a variety of other things. Regardless of what a person is waiting for, it becomes frustrating. Miscarried Joy touches on principles of faith that can be applied in every area of our lives. Faith is all about trusting God's plan and timing above our own. It is not how long we wait that matters, but rather what we do while we're waiting. We can build our character or destroy our confidence in Christ. My book will equip all readers to push aside the disappointment and implement these faith principles in their lives—not just for the blessing, but because we want to deepen our relationship with Jesus Christ.