QUESTION: My 29-year-old daughter recently miscarried for the fourth time. According to medical exams, she should be able to conceive and have a successful pregnancy. This time, she is inconsolable. We are a very close family, and we’re doing all we can to help her feel better, but nothing is working. She seems to have lost her zest for life. Is there a spiritual way that we can help her besides praying? Our entire family is praying for her.
~ Bewildered Mom
Dear Bewildered Mom,
Prayer is sufficient for salvation. It is not always the only answer for unique life problems.
God uses our prayers to show us ways to seek assistance in areas of our lives. He guides us to necessary resources to help us in particular ways. A broken leg cannot always just be prayed for to heal. Most likely prayer, and a good doctor, leads to the repair of the leg.
Likewise, repeated miscarriages need medical assistance as well as psychological and emotional help. A miscarriage ends a pregnancy. And just as postpartum depression follows after a successful delivery and often necessitates therapy and medication, so the same hormones are present after a miscarriage. Add to that the emotional pain and grief after a repeated loss and you have a woman who would not be benefited by prayer alone, but by family coming around her, helping her to see and feel that professional help is necessary and to be recommended.
The best spiritual advice I can give? Ask the Lord to give you the right words to comfort her and encourage her to see a doctor and therapist for the psychological part of her loss. It is just as real as the physical part – and at this stage much more crucial to be treated to successfully bring her out of this inconsolable grief and depression.
Kimberlie Zakarian, LMFT
Thrive Therapy Center
Dear Bewildered Mom,
First let me send you our deepest condolences from everyone here at Spiritually Speaking. That is a loss few can comprehend not having experienced it. You, your daughter and the family are in our prayers.
Next, I just want to ask if you have had a second opinion from another doctor regarding your daughter’s condition. That would be my first consideration if she hasn’t. If that has been done, you are very intuitive to seek a spiritual solution. Raymond Charles Barker who led a large congregation in New York and wrote many spiritual books once wrote that “…Worry (and I might add fear and guilt) is the gestation period during which a negative situation is produced by our thought and appears in our experience as a problem.” When we can begin to let go of all the stuff that keeps us in the difficulty, we can begin to let the “Sunlight of the Spirit” into our lives. There is One Infinite and All Powerful Intelligence operating in, as and through life, and It is available to each of us at all times. That is not a theory.
But, we do have to seek it. That Infinite Source holds the Power to heal and make things whole again. I doubt if anyone can say how or why this series of sad events have occurred but there is One who has the Power to change the future. I had an aunt who tried for years to have a child to no avail. One day she and my uncle adopted a baby boy. The tension eased and a little more than a year later she gave birth to a baby girl. My two cousins are wonderful and happy adults today.
The grieving process is very important, so allow it to occur. When your daughter can, help her to let go of the suffering and Let God do the rest.
QUESTION: My husband is a workaholic and I’m a stay-at-home mom. He works 60 hours a week, and this is not an exaggeration. Our children are in junior high and high school, and for the most part he has been absent for ball games, recitals and other events in their lives. I have to admit, we have a nice lifestyle but our children barely know their father.
He seems to think supporting our family in grand style is his only responsibility. As the years go on, I’m realizing more and more that he’s missed so much. Although I’m not a nag and never have been, my heart hurts because of this one-sided parenting.
You may be asking why I’ve waited so long to try to change our family dynamics. This is because I really don’t know what to do. Any suggestions?
~ Loving Mom
Dear Loving Mom,
I am sorry for you and for your husband. Two things may be at work here: your husband may not realize what he has missed because he may be of the mindset that men don’t have to “relate,” they just have to “provide”. However, another possibility may be that he chooses to be a workaholic in order to avoid intimacy, both with you and his children.
What I would do is talk to him about it. You could open the conversation by saying what a good provider he is and how good your life with him has been because of his hard work. But then you might say that you miss him emotionally and so do your children. Ask him if there is any way he could cut back a little on the job and spend more time with his family. I hate to say this, but if your kids are in high school; it’s almost too late for them to love and appreciate him. However, it’s never too late for you and he to work on your relationship together. And who knows? If your kids start seeing some results of the “quality” time that you and he have together, they might warm up to him, too. But the first thing you have to do is mention your disappointment to him, and don’t be surprised if he reacts in anger or gets defensive.
Dear Loving Mom,
My mantra has always been “family first” – after our Creator, of course. I’m writing this not just to you Loving Mom; I’m hoping to get the attention of others whose families are not spending quality time together. And, yes, there are workaholic moms as well.
You may remember Cat Stevens’ song “Cat in the Cradle.” These are some of those profound lyrics:
My child arrived just the other day
He came to the world in the usual way
But there were planes to catch, and bills to pay
He learned to walk while I was away
And he was talking before I knew it and as he grew
He said, “I’m gonna be like you, Dad,
You know I’m gonna be like you”
This is the next to the last stanza of the song:
I’ve long since retired, my son’s moved away
I called him up just the other day…
I said “I’d like to see you if you don’t mind”
He said “I’d love to Dad, if I could find the time.
You see my new jobs a hassle, and the kids have the flu.
But It’s sure nice talking to you, Dad,
It’s been sure nice talking to you…”
And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me
He’d grown up just like me,
My boy was just like me…
Parenting is a sacred privilege. Our children deserve the time, love and attention of both parents. God bless those single parents who have to go it alone, although I know many of them who somehow make the place and space for quality time with their children. Any activities that take us away from precious family activities are only fleeting. Time spent with family is the glue that holds a family together in good times and those not so good times.