Held (Book Review)
In this book, Abbey Wedgeworth reflects on God’s comfort and care in the sorrow of miscarriage.
Abbey writes these reflections on Psalm 139, with reference to other Bible passages, out of her own loss and sorrow with understanding and deep compassion. Others share their personal stories of miscarriage too.
This book will be a wonderful companion to the many women who grieve the very real loss of the children they will not meet in this life. The book is also a journal, with space to reflect on the questions Abbey poses and respond to the challenges given. It is beautifully produced and communicates love, care and truth. As you read the book, tears will no doubt come, as comfort is provided and challenges are given.
Comfort in Psalm 139
Psalm 139 reveals God as the creator who knows and sees all things. He is the sovereign Lord, who watches over us and his hand is upon us, even as we search for answers. God provides limitless comfort and we can pour out our hearts to him, lament and pray through our fears.
The psalm provides assurance that our suffering is not wasted: there is a bigger story, the story of redemption and hope focused on Jesus. As Christians, we long for the new heavens and earth, when the sound of weeping and crying will be heard no more. Never again will there be an infant who lives but a few days (Isaiah 65:19-20).
Cling to Jesus
Abbey writes helpfully about the “difficult dates”, “feeling guilty or responsible”, “marriage after miscarriage”, the need to “tether yourselves to God’s people”, and having “grace for your fumbling neighbour”. She addresses what is hard to hear but necessary to face when grieving: there is a choice “to allow circumstances to shape your understanding of who God is, or…allow what the Bible says about who God is to inform how you respond to your grief…it will have everything to do with the way you heal and move forward. This choice is not an easy one” (p15).
Regarding difficult dates, Abbey says “Even as you grapple with the words should be and would be, set your hope on the certainty of what will be. Cling to the finished work of Jesus, which has secured your inheritance, finally and forever” (p148). She writes so helpfully about our cry for justice; how we cope with bitterness, entitlement, and disappointment.
Commenting on Psalm 139:13-16, Abbey says that “the words … offer sweet validation to those of us who feel deep sadness over the loss of the tiny babies in our wombs. The God of the universe affirms there the personhood of these children. These beautiful words declare the significance to him of life in the women – the life of the child you carried in your womb” (p103).
Hope in the coming glory of God
Reading this book forced me to revisit my own experiences of miscarriage - I would have valued a book like this at the time. It made me pray again for women who have shared their loss with me and I trust that together we will set our minds on hope that “does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:5).
The book ends with these words: “So, sister, place your hopes in God’s character and promises … Hope in the current and coming glory of God … because in the death and resurrection of Jesus you and I find the absolute certainty that God’s plan of redemption can never be miscarried” (p214).
A review copy of the book was kindly provided by the Good Book Company. Their generosity hasn’t affected the content of this review.
You can order a copy from The Good Book Company's website.