Some years after having my four wonderful children, I was listening to a radio program about healing after abortion. I never had an abortion, but I had five, perhaps six miscarriages. I had never thought much about my miscarriages because I understood and still do the verse in Job 21 that says, “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” However, on this day, one of the comments in the discussion caught my attention. It had to do with asking God to reveal the name of the baby since he knew the baby before the foundations of the world. I turned off the radio and began praying for the LORD to reveal the names of my miscarried babies.
My first miscarriage occurred after having two healthy babies. It was a shock, but not one that emotionally destroyed me as happens with some women. For whatever reasons, with each of my miscarriages, I had great peace and knew I was in God’s perfect will for my life.
Mary, the ‘wished-for one,’ Bitter
My first miscarried baby’s name was Mary. In Hebrew, Mary means ‘wished-for one’ and ‘bitter.’ I have known quite a few Mary’s in my life, but my paternal grandmother came to mind immediately. I didn’t really have a good relationship with her so I didn’t like that He had given that name to my baby. Why couldn’t He have named her the Hebrew equivalent of Mary – Miriam? She at least played the tamborine after the Israelites pass through the Red Sea. Instead, I was given a Mary. A memorial to my grandmother who lived in ‘bitterness’ nearly her entire life because she had a child out of wedlock – my dad. Her bitterness went deep as my dad’s father was the pastor of a Methodist church. His wife was ill that he hired my grandmother as a nanny for his children. My grandmother became pregnant during this time. It was never known if she mutually agreed or he raped her. Whatever happened, it changed her life forever and she went on to bear more ‘unwanted’ children. It seemed that God wanted her remembered with a name, but would not allow her ‘bitterness’ to infiltrate the next generation.
Being my first miscarriage, I was unsure of what was happening so I went to my doctor. After she examined me she said I most likely had a blighted ovum and would probably miscarry. I remember looking at her and saying what Job had said millennia before, “Well, God gives life and God chooses to take life.” Her expression was one of shock. I asked her why she looked at me that way and she explained that she tells women every day that they are going to miscarry and they get angry and blame her. No one had ever said what I had said. She was blessed. I didn’t know it then, but a journey with numerous unborn children had begun between me and her.
Michael, Like God
Michael was my second miscarriage. Micha’el means “Who is like God” in Hebrew. He was an archangel, and according to Daniel chapter 10, was the archangel who helped fight the prince of Persia so the messenger could deliver an answer to Daniel’s prayer. This miscarriage happened quickly. I took a pregnancy test in the morning of one day and by the morning of the next, Michael was gone.
During that day, however, a friend came to visit. She had been attending some dance classes at a Messianic congregation. She wanted to start a little dance group at our church and asked if I would join. She had given me the steps to a simple, traditional dance and wanted to teach them to me. By the time she arrived at my house, I had already taught myself the steps and the dance. So, as I miscarried Michael, we danced “As the Deer” together. Truly, who is like God who knows exactly where we are?
Martha, My Little Lady
My third miscarriage occurred at about 16 weeks. I had already heard a heartbeat and like my other babies, I had started a pregnancy journal. This little one’s name was Martha which means ‘Lady’ in Aramaic. The most-famous Martha in Scripture was Lazarus’ sister. It was to Martha that Yeshua said, “I am the resurrection and the life.”
I went to church one Sunday just before my four-month checkup. I was very excited. Our little dance group was dancing again during the worship service. For an evangelical-type church, this dance group was nothing short of a miracle. After the service was over, we decided to dance a fast, hopping dance to words from Jeremiah 31, “As David Did”.
Later that day, I noticed some spotting and realized I was miscarrying my Little Lady. I don’t believe it had anything to do with the dancing, but I know that the song was about being a warrior and celebrating victories.
The next day I had my appointment with my OBGyn. She didn’t have good news. There was no longer a heartbeat. I was going to miscarry this baby, too. While driving home up a dark, canyon road alone in my car, I did the only thing I knew how to do. I began to worship through a Rich Mullins song, and with the words tears flowed for my ‘little lady’. To this day when I hear that song, I remember the pain of that evening and the peace that my praise brought.
“Oh God, You are my God and I will ever praise You; Oh God, You are my God and I will ever praise You; I will seek You in the morning and I will learn to walk in Your ways; And step by step You’ll lead me and I will follow You all of my days.”
Rachel, The Lamb
Rachel. Little ewe lamb. She was the beloved wife of Jacob who gave him two sons: Joseph and Benjamin. With the birth of Benjamin, Rachel passed away. For me, Rachel was more than a simple fourth miscarriage. I developed a molar pregnancy. Without going into numerous details, my doctor thought I was carrying twins because I expanded so quickly. Instead, morning sickness not only lasted into four months into the pregnancy, it continued to get worse. I had not allowed a doppler to hear a heartbeat because there may have been a connection to the ultrasound and my miscarriages. It was discovered that I had a Hydatidform mole. In short, my body created a tumor around a failing placenta. With all of the dying going on in my body, I became seriously ill and went immediately into surgery. During the recovery process, the mole became malignant and cancer cells were still in my body. I needed chemotherapy. My three-month journey of healing through the ‘lamb’ became a testimony not only to my doctor, but to all the nurses who had to take my bi-weekly blood tests and administer the shots of chemo. This fourth miscarriage actually changed the course of my doctor’s career. After the birth of my third child she stopped performing abortions.
Then I had my son, Jacob. He needed a sibling so I got pregnant again.
Rebecca, the Binding
I had a fifth miscarriage. Her name was Rebecca and in Hebrew means ‘knotted cord’ or ‘snare.’ Rebecca was the wife of Isaac who had a sense of adventure – a willingness to leave her home and family to marry a man she had never met! This particular miscarriage happened in the early weeks like Michael, however, I found out the sad news once again at the doctor’s office. My 6-year-old daughter was with me at the time because she wanted to hear the heartbeat of her little brother or sister. There was nothing. Nothing.
I have considered the relevance of ‘snare’ because of its suggestion of capturing an animal. Yet, I could not understand how that fit into having a baby. So I decided to look up ‘snare’ in a dictionary and found one of the meanings to be a device for surgical extractions. That’s when I understood.
All of my previous miscarriages, except for Michael, had been ‘snared’. In other words, I allowed my doctor to do a DnC for extraction. The first one was so terrible the for the third one I requested to be ‘out.’ The molar pregnancy was full-fledged surgery so I had all of the bells and whistles with surgery, recovery and the rest of the adventure with cancer. Sometime during all of these miscarriages I became convicted of just allowing the miscarried baby to be born – not ‘snared’. So with Rebecca I chose to allow her to be born.
She arrived two weeks after the doctor’s appointment with an painful labor and delivery. My young daughter was with me again as we were preparing to host a baby shower at a friend’s house. I had to drive one hour home through a mountainous canyon in excruciating labor with a six-year-old coaching me through each contraction. Sadly, when Rebecca was ‘born’, I reacted and she was not given a proper burial even though she appeared fully formed and in her amniotic sac.
After being given all of the names of my unborn children, I noted something peculiar. None of them began with the letter J. We had named all of our living children with J-names: Jesse, Josi, Jacob, and Jemima. I asked the Lord, “Why are there no J-names?” His response, “I gave you the J’s.” At that moment I had a silly vision of five beautiful blonde-haired children all about eight years old sitting on a cloud tickling, laughing and punching each other in crazy, but imp-like ways.
As with the names of my birthed children, it seems that these also speak a testimony into my life from not being ‘bitter’, be ‘like God’, his Little Lady, who loves the ‘lamb’ and is not ‘ensnared.’ And, remember, Yeshua is the resurrection and the life and I will see my children again.
The Myrtle and the Remembered
As time has passed in my life, two more unborn children entered my heart. As I was not a moral young woman, I decided to go on the birth control pill in college so I would not get pregnant proving my immoral behavior. One time while playing frisbee with my future husband, I felt as though I was suddenly pregnant. It was the weirdest feeling that I had ever experienced. I told him that I thought I was pregnant and he commented that I couldn’t be because I was taking ‘the pill.’ I didn’t completely agree and noted a more intense period that month.
Several years later when I became pregnant with my firstborn, I had the same exact sensation. I knew that even though I had been on the pill, I had become pregnant as the birth control pill makes the womb’s environment antagonistic for a developing baby which is why I most likely miscarried with my next cycle.
What was that baby’s name? It was only when writing this little piece that I realized that God gave me her name many years ago, but I didn’t know why because I wasn’t having more children. Her name was Hadassah. As a Jewish woman, she faced persecution and certain death for her heritage. Yet, she exemplified great faith and courage and brought salvation to her people. I believe the LORD gave this baby the name Hadassah because he knew that since I was a little girl I loved the Jewish people. He knew before I did that I would understand my connection with Hadassah – her faith, courage, and the desire to bring salvation to the Jewish people.
There is another unborn baby who has a special place in my heart. His name is Zechariah. In Hebrew, Zechariah means “God has remembered” which can also mean that God has not forgotten. I cannot share details about this little boy, but God uses everything to His glory. Even the shortness of Zechariah’s little life has brought restoration to a rebellious, wandering and grieving soul.
Not long ago a Facebook friend nearly lost her daughter. She was playing in a park and disappeared. After a long and frantic search, her daughter appeared. Several nights later she had a dream about her young son who died by drowning. She dreams about him frequently, but she is never allowed to touch him. In her dream she she meets a young boy named Zechariah. He is obviously friends with her son, James. Zechariah runs to her and hugs her which her own son could not do. Then James begins to tell his mom that when his sister was lost in the park, it was Zechariah who found her and brought her back to his mom. My friend cried because she realized her son was not alone and blessed to have Zechariah as a friend. When she woke up, the Lord told her to tell me about her dream and Zechariah. She didn’t know why, but contacted me. She never knew anything about a Zechariah in my life until that very day and telling me opened the door for her to be set free from her past pain and look forward to her future – the birth of her daughter, Menorah Grace.
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