By Deborah Robertson.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. (Matthew 5:4)
I can’t remember exactly where I was last week when I realised that “that” feeling had gone. “That” feeling would overwhelm me especially when I was having a wonderful time with my son. “That” feeling was profound sorrow. I think we were at the kitchen table…
It was at the same kitchen table about eight years before that I couldn’t take it anymore. It was breakfast and my son was enjoying his cereal when I looked across at him and was overwhelmed with “that” feeling. I couldn’t help thinking, “You are such an amazing boy! Where is your brother? Where is your sister”? I must’ve gotten up to do something at the sink when I accidentally broke a cup. The sound of it smashing on the ground was nerve-shattering. Then I knocked my knee on the kitchen chair which really hurt. Somehow I stifled a scream and then drove my son to school. I got home and just kind of broke down at that same kitchen table.
I had been used to maintaining an image. I had been working as a model/actress but for about a year I couldn’t stop eating and I just stopped caring about keeping up appearances. I told my agent to stop sending me to auditions. I wanted to get going again and I used to scold myself over and over, “Just get up, stop stuffing your face with biscuits and chocolate, do some sit ups and go and earn some money again!” But somehow, “scolding” didn’t work. You see, I’d had some miscarriages and trying to just get on with life wasn’t working.
The first one was very difficult but I thought I could handle it. The second one…Ohhhhh the SECOND one! I remember straight after having the second one I was filled with fear. I lay on the bed with my partner immediately afterwards and went stone cold. Dr Deborah (I’m NOT a doctor) deduced from this that it meant that I was NEVER going to be able to have another baby. My partner couldn’t comfort me. NOTHING could comfort me. I was inconsolable.
Not long after the miscarriage we split up. Years went by. YEARS!!! The pain in my heart affected every part of my life. I remember deciding to myself that so many things had happened in my life that I hadn’t dealt with but that I was going to give myself some space to properly grieve this. My son and I moved to a less expensive home and that inner vow must have triggered an entire meltdown of my carefully constructed mask and brought me to that moment when I started writing down the song I thought no one would ever hear. The chorus goes like this, “I can’t say one good thing, and I pray ‘cos I can’t think, that the Lord above has you in His arms, He’s holding you close and He’s being your Mum”.
You see, somewhere in the midst of all of this I became a born again Christian. Everyone I went to church with seemed so “happy, shiny”. I wanted to be “happy, shiny” about everything but something inside me told me that I needed to start telling it like it was. To tell is EXACTLY like it was because if I didn’t begin with some honesty then I wasn’t going to stand a chance. I got an old exercise book out and started writing. “Broke a china cup this morning, knocked my knee upon a chair, I looked across the table at your face that wasn’t there.” That was accurate. “I can’t keep on hiding all the tears I should be crying, all the loneliness inside me and the way I still care”. THAT was the truth.
I turned to food a lot of the time while I was working through the grief but there were also times I’d write more songs. In fact, I wrote quite a few. I have an Arts background so I thought I might write a musical. Although I sing I didn’t have any keyboard skills so I rang the local University to see if I could get some lessons. The woman who took my call, Yanina, happened to be the Worship Leader of her church. I booked a lesson. Yanina is a beautiful, compassionate woman and I really enjoyed sharing some of my songs with her and learning some chords. Over the next couple of years we’d get together for lessons. Eventually I said that I’d like to do an album so she would give up her lunch hours and I’d run my songs by her to see which ones she thought would be right for it. The tune of “He’s Being Your Mum” came back to me. I told her I had a song about a miscarriage I’d had and that I didn’t really know if it was any good. She insisted that I sing it to her. So I did. By the end of it we were crying our eyes out. It was amazing. It was so healing to cry with this beautiful woman of God.
Yanina said that she wanted me to write a positive ending to the song. This is what came…”I can’t say one good thing. BUT I’ll pray and I will sing because the Lord above has you in His arms. He’s holding you close and He’s being your Mum”. Somehow that last chorus changed the whole song. Somehow that chorus has changed my whole life. There was HOPE in that chorus. I had a revelation. That my babies REALLY are with Jesus. That one day my son and I will meet the rest of our family. This was a tremendous comfort to me. My pain was cut in two. Once I knew this in my heart I could finally, albeit slowly, get on with my life again. I’ve sung the song at the UnitingWomen Conference and at outreach concerts and women as well as men have been reacting very strongly to the song. People seem to appreciate the honesty of the song. That the pain of losing your baby or babies is real but Jesus is there to comfort. As it says in the scriptures, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4). He is true to His word.
As I wrote at the beginning of this article, the more I seemed to enjoy my son’s company the more the sorrow in my heart was amplified. However, last week, at the kitchen table, I enjoyed his company without “that” feeling intruding. I experienced the joy of his company without the usual sorrow. It was an incredible feeling. It’s been 11 years since I had that second miscarriage but I feel like I’m on the way to complete healing. I look forward to one day meeting my babies but until then, I feel blessed. Very blessed that I have my son to love on the earth. Very blessed that Jesus is being Mum to my babies in Heaven. I find the words of another song God gave me around that time to be true, “Jesus can heal your life”.
Deborah Robertson is an Australian singer/songwriter. Her album “Have I Got News For You” (Newmarket Music) has recently been added to playlists on airlines all around the world and in 2015 she released the EP “All Praise to You Lord”. She believes in the healing power of God through His son the Lord Jesus Christ and her awe and gratitude to Him for His hand on her life inspires her to sing, write songs and share her testimony in churches and conferences. Copies of Deborah’s EP can be purchased from the Uniting Church Synod Office Resource Centre (08) 8236 4243 or from www.deborahrobertsonsinger.com.
Featured photo by Michael Brewer.