The day I found out that I was going to be a mother changed my life forever. I remember the two red lines on the test, and that it was a Sunday, and my husband was wearing a white t-shirt. It was January 2015, and I was pregnant.

I’d imagined this moment countless times, yet nothing had prepared me for the mix of emotions that overtook me – amid the excitement and happiness, the sense that life as I’d known it was about to be turned upside down was overwhelming. I walked in the small park near our house in an attempt to settle my nerves; I prayed, and felt a quiet peace.

And life was turned upside down, but not as I expected.

At our 12-week scan, the ultrasound showed that the baby had died at nine weeks, a missed miscarriage. Everything was thrown into chaos, the grief all-consuming. The trauma of losing our baby had a devastating effect on my mental health, and I developed an anxiety disorder which tormented me for months. In what felt like a cruel twist, I watched friends and family members have healthy pregnancies and babies, born right around what should have been our due date.

Through the gut-wrenching pain, anxiety and anger, I felt God’s presence so deeply. I clung to every Bible verse that spoke hope, and drew immense comfort from the prayers and encouragement of friends. After months of suffering I went for therapy, and eventually started to break free from the fear that gripped me.

And finally, in October, I saw two lines again, and I cried and felt no joy, only unready and guilty. It was only when I saw the small, blurred shape of my daughter kicking around on the 12-week scan that I started to let myself feel joy again. We had our happy ending and she was born six months later, our sweet July baby.

Having a child changes you in a thousand ways, yet the loss of our first baby changed me more. I am not the person I was before, and I lost my faith as I knew it. I thought God had a good plan for my life, yet this terrible thing happened to me. God had not saved my baby despite my prayers, so how could I trust that prayer worked at all? All the Christian answers I’d once spouted no longer made sense. Just as my body changed and stretched to make room for a child, my faith too was irrevocably changed, as I made room for suffering and doubt.

The storm ceased, as it always does, and I found peace as I worked through my grief. But these days, I find it really hard to pray. I’m more questioning and more cynical, and wholly uncertain about what kind of Christian I am. And yet, I still love God. I believe He is good and He loves me to the very depth of me, and at the moment, that’s enough.

Recently, I heard a wise man say: “You’ve got to have faith to doubt with hope”. And that’s pretty much how I feel right now, a hopeful, faithful doubter, with fewer answers than I started with, but that’s okay. My faith is wider and more accommodating; less sure, but still hopeful.

We named our daughter Faith.

Written by Cat Gale // Follow Cat on  Twitter // Cat's  Website

Catherine is a 20-something college tutor with a mild addiction to cappuccinos and home decor. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, baking and exploring the great outdoors. She lives in Surrey with her husband and loves being part of her local church, The Journey.

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