Why Hide? My Journey of Hope, Faith and Overcoming
Today’s guest post is from Kerstin Knaack. I was referred to this post about two weeks ago when it was posted on shelovesmagazine.com. It’s immensely powerful, so I asked Kerstin if she’d be willing to share her story here. Thankfully, she obliged.
I am ten weeks pregnant. It takes courage for me to tell you that.
Why? This is my fourth pregnancy–my first three babies are in heaven.
I am from Germany. There, we don’t usually tell people we are pregnant until the fourth month of pregnancy. But several weeks ago, I went to Brazil and found out the women there announce their pregnancies as soon as they have a positive test in their hands. I asked why they do this, considering most miscarriages occur within the first three months. They said that in their culture, they celebrate and mourn together. If something happens to the baby, they come to the mother’s side, offering everything from a big hug to cooking for her or massaging her feet. Whatever she needs, they journey with her.
My first miscarriage was in 2009 in the eighth week; the second was in 2011 in the 33rd week and the third was at the end of 2011 in the 12th week. All these losses were difficult, but to give birth to a dead baby in the ninth month of pregnancy was definitely the most painful.
After the third miscarriage, I wasn’t able to pray or worship. My heart ached, but I had good friends who carried me through. When I was far from God, they spoke life and truth over me. My church gathered around and carried me. When I couldn’t pray, they prayed for me; when I couldn’t worship, they worshiped for me.
I knew that death doesn’t come from God — He is love and nothing bad comes from him—but He did allow this to happen.
After several weeks, I reached a place where I was able to think about my situation in a different way. If God allowed this to happen, there must be something good within these situations. This was a turning point for me—I wanted to turn bad into good. It was a decision, not a feeling. I chose to no longer accept being bound by lies.
So many good things happened as a result of my miscarriages:
- my marriage to my husband Rainer became stronger and we decided to give 100 percent of our lives to God, stepping into His purpose for us
- the opportunity developed to do an internship at Relate Church, Canada, with Pastors John and Helen Burns
- my father returned to my life after 28 years of rejection
- friends put their lives into Jesus’ hands.
From now on, I will no longer hide. I have discovered that it is healthy for me to talk about how I feel and which thoughts and emotions have kept me away from God. If I don’t share my life and the difficult journey I have made, it will be harder for God to work through me. I want Him to use me to help other women and to fulfill His plan.
That’s why I am openly telling people that I am pregnant for the fourth time.
Is it easy for me to enjoy my pregnancy? Definitely not. Every day I am reminded of the past, the positive pregnancy tests; pictures of my big belly; the ultrasounds; the decorated nursery; the movements in my belly; memories of the day I was told our daughter had passed away; the pain of giving birth to a dead baby and the joy of having her in our arms; Rainer’s love letter to our new daughter; the invoice from the funeral parlor.
Stepping Forward in Faith
How do I deal with these images and the daily fear of possibly having the same pain again? There is no magic solution–it’s a journey every day. I think back to those Brazilian women, who understand what sisterhood means and I know that if I fall, my sisterhood will carry me. And I talk about it. If I am overwhelmed by fear, I ask my husband or a friend to help me.
The opposite of fear is faith. God holds my life in His hands. I trust Him.
Kerstin Knaack was born and raised in the city of Kirchheim, Germany. She and her husband Rainer are currently involved in an internship at Relate Church in Surrey, BC, where they are learning to be leaders and teachers in the area of marriage, family and sexuality. Their long-term vision is to teach on these topics and to raise a large family of their own.