10 episodes

1 in 4 women have experienced miscarriage, and yet the loss of life in the womb can be a particularly lonely grief. On the Held Podcast, we'll hear from friends who have been there. They'll help us think biblically and practically about the struggles and temptations that accompany this type of loss.

Held Abbey Wedgeworth

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 5.0 • 135 Ratings

1 in 4 women have experienced miscarriage, and yet the loss of life in the womb can be a particularly lonely grief. On the Held Podcast, we'll hear from friends who have been there. They'll help us think biblically and practically about the struggles and temptations that accompany this type of loss.

    Developing a Theology of Suffering with Abigail Dodds

    Developing a Theology of Suffering with Abigail Dodds

    In this episode of the Held Podcast, I chatted with Abigail Dodds about the importance of developing a theology of suffering. We talked about what a theology of suffering is, how to develop one, and walked through some common thoughts and reactions to miscarriage that cause us to doubt God’s goodness in the face of our suffering. What we believe about God shapes our experience of suffering, I hope this episode will be a true help in helping you to reconcile your hard experience with a good and sovereign God.
    About Abigail: Abigail Dodds is wife to Tom and mom to five great kids. She is a Regular Contributor at Desiring God, the author of '(A)Typical Woman' (Crossway 2019), an M.A. student at Bethlehem College and Seminary, a baking enthusiast, garden fanatic, and mediocre knitter. She writes at hopeandstay.com and on instagram @abigail__dodds .
    Questions in this Episode:  Would you start off by just telling us a bit about your own experience with miscarriage personally?
     
    Today’s episode is entitled “Developing a Theology of Suffering.” Can you explain for us what this means, and why it’s so important to have?
     
    I know that your miscarriage led to a much longer season of hardship. Can you tell us a bit about that and perhaps use that experience as an example to show us how what we believe about God and know about his word shapes our experience of suffering? How did that season challenge or shape what you believed about God? Or maybe how did what you believed about God impact your experience of that season of suffering?
     
    I received a message recently from a woman who has miscarried who said that that was the first time she had had to deal with “senseless suffering” personally… and by that she meant, a situation in which there was no one or nothing to blame but… well, God. The intensely personal experience of experiencing death within your own body can raise a lot of theological questions, it definitely did for me! Let’s think for a moment from the perspective of a listener who felt like they had a solid understanding of suffering but is suddenly feeling totally stumped by the problem of evil. If God is good, and in control, how can I reconcile the presence of evil, sickness, and death with his character?! What wisdom do you have for us here?
     
    What are some practical ways that we can develop a theology of suffering even in the midst of it?
     
    Maybe you could help us apply the truth to these real scenarios I have read online…
                a. “I feel like God is taunting me, pregnant women and big families everywhere, even at church…”
                b. I know God is trying to teach me something, but what is there left to learn? I mean really, four miscarriages?! Can we move on to another trial?!
                c. For a women for whom the process is taking forever or is having a season of suffering after loss that won’t let up… perhaps she’s saying “I’ve heard the expression “refiners fire” but I feel like I have been forgotten in the kiln, maybe God is punishing me for something.”
                d. I’ve done everything I’m supposed to do! I waited until I was married to have sex, we were prayerful about when to start trying, we have served God and attended church and worked with the youth group! What more could he want from us?! How are these teen girls and drug addicts that don’t even want their kids getting pregnant when I’m not?
                e. “It’s been a week since they told me the baby’s heart had stopped. I’m still throwing up, still have this bad taste in my mouth, still so exhausted and having food aversions… The baby is dead, the least God could do is take away these symptoms!”
     
    Questions for every guest: What’s one way God has used your experience of miscarriage to work in your heart and life?
    If you could encourage a woman to meditate on or memorize any verse or short

    • 43 min
    Receiving Help and Service with Irene Sun

    Receiving Help and Service with Irene Sun

    In this episode of the Held Podcast, I chatted with Irene Sun about help and service in the wake of pregnancy loss. We talked about everything from why it is sometimes difficult to ask for or receive help, to what we should do when the attempts of others to help actually end up hurting us, to where we can go when we feel like no one is offering to help us. Whether you’re wrestling with pride, acutely feeling your need, or experiencing disappointment over the lack of help from your family and community, I pray that Irene’s vulnerable reflections and biblical insights will be a help and a comfort to you.
    About Irene Sun: Irene Sun was born in Malaysia but has lived all over the world. She is the author of the picture book God Counts: Numbers in His World and His World. She studied liturgy and literature at Yale University (M.A.R.) and the Old Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Th.M.). She now teaches her four boys at home with her husband Hans, is the pastor of a Chinese Church in the Pittsburgh area.
     
    Questions in this Episode: Would you start off by just telling us a bit about your own experience with miscarriage?
     
    What are some of the ways that people cared for you in the wake of your loss that were really helpful and meaningful?
     
     What do you think some reasons might be that people refuse to ask for help or decline it when it is offered after pregnancy loss or suffering in general?
     
    What word does the bible have for women struggling to allow others to help them?
     
    Are there good/ non-sinful reasons to refuse help?
     
    Maybe we’re overwhelmed by general offers of help like “let me know if you need anything” and even though we are overwhelmed and hurting, we don’t know how to respond specifically. What help/ suggestion would you offer here?
     
    Sometimes helping hurts. Maybe we feel violated or offended by the way someone helps us. How does God’s word and the Bible offer comfort and help when this happens?
     
    Maybe someone listening doesn’t feel like anyone has offered to help or maybe feels disappointed by her husband, her family, or her church or community’s response to her loss. What encouragement would you offer her?
     
     
     
    Questions for every guest: What’s one way God has used your experience of miscarriage to work in your heart and life?
    If you could encourage a woman to meditate on or memorize any verse or short set of verses in this season, what would it be and why?
     
    Scripture References: Psalm 73
    2 Corinthians 1:3-5
    Psalm 139
    Psalm 84
     
    Intro/ Outro Music: My Soul Will Wait (Psalm 62) [feat. Stacy Lantz], Hilton Head Presbyterian Church
    “Held” Book Purchasing Info: purchasing link  (discount code: heldpodcast10 )
    (or order from amazon)
     

    • 44 min
    Pregnancy After Loss with Courtney Reissig

    Pregnancy After Loss with Courtney Reissig

    In this episode of the Held Podcast, I chatted with Courtney Reissig about pregnancy after loss. We talked about common struggles and temptations that women face in pregnancy after loss including fear, anxiety, cynicism, blind optimism, triggered grief, and feeling guilt over not enjoying the very thing they’ve hoped for. I hope it this episode will encourage you to run to the Lord with whatever you may be feeling or facing, and find that he is compassionate and trustworthy.
    About Courtney Reissig:
    Courtney Reissig is a writer and bible teacher living in Little Rock, Arkansas. She is the proud mom of four sons, happy wife to Daniel, and author of three books: The Accidental Feminist, Glory in the Ordinary, and Teach Me to Feel: Worshiping Through the Psalms in Every Season of Life. They are members of Immanuel Baptist Church. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram (@courtneyreissig).
    Questions in this Episode: Would you start off by just telling us a bit about your own experience with miscarriage?
     
    How did your experience of loss impact your own subsequent pregnancies? Positively and/ or negatively? 
     
    Let’s walk through some of the common struggles or temptations that face a woman in pregnancy after loss. And talk about how the good news of the gospel and God’s word offer help in that place.
    a. fear
    b. anxiety
    c. cynicism
    d. blind optimism (not thinking about negative outcomes)
    e. triggered grief
    f. guilt over grumbling
     
     
    Practically speaking, what are some things we can do to fight this temptation/ remember the truth in those overwhelming moments? 
     
    Questions for every guest:
    What’s one way God has used your experience of miscarriage to work in your heart and life?
    If you could encourage a woman to meditate on or memorize any verse or short set of verses in this season, what would it be and why?
    Noteworthy Quotes: “I always describe [pregnancy] as, if you’re standing at the top of a black diamond mountain (and I hate black diamonds, I refuse to go down them), and you have no other way down. You’re up there and you’ve gotta go down, like you have to do it, and you could get really hurt along the way, but the only way out of this is down. And I feel like pregnancy, for me, was like that. I’m pregnant, and I have to deliver this baby, but it could go really badly and I could get really hurt along the way.”
    “One of the things that I think the Lord did in my life with having hard pregnancies… What the Lord did in all of those was kind of rescue me from thinking I had any semblance of control over anything. I don’t think I would have said, “Oh, i think if I do xy and z it’s all going to work out fine.” I wouldn’t have told you that, but I know in hindsight 10 years later that that was kind of where my heart was.”
    “It was a real test for me to have open hands before the Lord and say, “I have no control over this. I can’t keep a baby alive inside me. It sounds negative, but it's a positive!”
    “I struggled to find joy in being pregnant. Instead of giving it to the Lord I would often just spin my wheels, look at message boards, look at articles, try to have some semblance of things are going to be okay… and the anxiety was just really hard for me at times.”
    “Another negative that it was hard for me to process was that I would feel guilty over the fact that I didn’t like being pregnant.”
    “All of the difficulty we face in pregnancy is not how God intended pregnancy to be. So, it’s all part of living in a broken world. And so in the same way that we grieve over the difficulties that this world brings us, throwing up in pregnancy is not how God intended pregnancy to be. [It’s not a good thing.] And not being able to enjoy food, and being so fatigued that you can’t take care of anything else. I think often-times we idealize and idolize what it means to be pregnant,..but feeling difficulty in pregnancy is just part of living in a br

    • 37 min
    Thinking and Praying through "Trying" After Loss with Gretchen Saffles

    Thinking and Praying through "Trying" After Loss with Gretchen Saffles

    In this episode of the Held Podcast, I chatted with Gretchen Saffles about thinking and praying through “trying” after loss. We talked through some general struggles and specific scenerios that may confront a woman as she considers when to “try” or whether or not she and her husband should “try” at all after miscarriage. Gretchen shared her own experience thinking through this question, which she is still currently navigating, and helped us think through how to practice discernment about things that aren't clearly outlined in scripture. This episode is saturated with biblical encouragement and practical guidance. I hope it will encourage you as you think and pray through this question for your own family.
    About Gretchen Saffles:
    Gretchen Saffles is passionate about encouraging and equipping women to dig into the Word of God and find their identity and purpose in Christ. She is the founder of Well-Watered Women, an online ministry that reaches women worldwide. Through her online ministry she longs to meet women right where they are with the hope of the gospel and to ignite a desire in their hearts to know Jesus more. Gretchen lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, Greg, and her two sons, Nolan and Haddon.
    Questions in this Episode:
    1.    Would you start off by just telling us a bit about your own experience with miscarriage?
     
    2. I know that you weren’t necessarily “trying” for the baby that Greg lost to miscarriage, what was your experience like thinking and praying through growing your family after loss?
     
    3. How do you know when the “right time” to try again is or if it’s “right” to try again at all?
     
    4. What are some practical things we should do as we consider “trying” or “trying again?” What are some specific questions we should ask ourselves or ask the Lord?
     
    5. Let’s walk through a few scenarios of pregnancy after loss and maybe you can share some wisdom with us for each one…
    a woman wants to grow her family but is really afraid to lose another baby and doesn’t feel like she’s in a stable place emotionally or “ready” for that
    a woman doesn’t feel ready to try but her husband is really pushing to become pregnant again
    a woman is eager to try again because she feels like it will take her pain away/ help her to heal
     
    6.  Obviously “trying” and “getting pregnant” are not synonymous. Perhaps a woman listening has decided they won’t really “try” but they’ve stopped preventing, or maybe she and her husband are actively trying but the waiting is starting to get to her, what encouragement would you offer to the woman longing to be pregnant again for whom it is just not happening? Perhaps someone is listening who hasn’t started trying again yet but is fearful of infertility. What would you say to her?
     
     
    Questions for every guest:
    What’s one way God has used your experience of miscarriage to work in your heart and life?
    If you could encourage a woman to meditate on or memorize any verse or short set of verses in this season, what would it be and why?
    Noteworthy Quotes:
    “We can make our plans, but ultimately it is God who brings life. It is God who is sovereign over every single little detail of our lives.”
    “A lot of times we can go to our planning stages without first praying, without first coming to God in humble submission to him asking him to fulfill in us the desires that he has, to give us his desires that are according to his kingdom and his will. So first, prayer.”
    “Seek wisdom. What is going on in our lives right now? How is our marriage? What has God called us to do?”
    “What’s really beautiful is the accounts in scripture that we have. Think about the story of Sarah who longed for a child, and yet we know that she was so past childbearing, and we see God’s greater plan in that child, to bring the coming Messiah, to show the people that our God is greater, that he can work beyond any huma

    • 38 min
    To Tell or Not to Tell with Kristen Wetherell

    To Tell or Not to Tell with Kristen Wetherell

    In this episode of the Held Podcast, I chatted with Kristen Wetherell about making the decision to share or not to share about your miscarraige, or how publicly to share if you choose to do so. Kristen and I made really different choices in this area. We talked about everything from reasons people choose not to share, to the benefits of sharing with a choice few or more publicly, to what to do if someone finds out about your loss later and feels offended you didn’t share with them. Her biblical encouragement regarding decision making and conscience is a freeing gift. I hope you’ll find it helpful as you consider whether or not to (or how privately or publicly to) talk about your own pregnancy loss.
    About Kristen Wetherell: Kristen Wetherell is a wife, mother, and writer. She is the author of Fight Your Fears and the co-author of the award-winning book Hope When It Hurts. Kristen lives in Chicagoland with her husband, Brad, who is a pastor. They have two children.
     
    Questions in this Episode: Would you start off by just telling us a bit about your own experience with miscarriage?
     
    Tell us a little about you and Brad’s personal decision regarding sharing (or not sharing) about your miscarriage? 
     
    What are some other reasons that you imagine might cause a woman to want to keep her miscarriage private? What are some of the cons of this?
     
    What are some reasons or benefits to sharing about your loss with a few friends/ family members…. or even more publicly?
     
    Can you walk us through a scenario where your miscarriage comes up in conversation and a friend is offended or hurt that you didn’t share about this with them. What might be a wise and loving way to respond?
     
    How can we discern if our reason for sharing or not sharing is sinful or if it is good/wise? (obviously this is a tricky question) How should we go about making that decision?
     
     
    Questions for every guest:
    What’s one way God has used your experience of miscarriage to work in your heart and life?
    If you could encourage a woman to meditate on or memorize any verse or short set of verses in this season, what would it be and why?
    Noteworthy Quotes: “Before I miscarried we made the decision to share about the pregnancy knowing that if anything were to happen, these were the people we would want to also weep with us if we lost the baby. We shared basically with our family and our extended family and our closest friends. These were people we knew we wanted to pray for us, and we knew we could entrust this to, and also who we knew would cry with us and walk alongside us well should anything happen. So when I miscarried we felt very surrounded by people who love us and truly care for us.”
    “God’s spirit has given us the gift of conscience and guides us… and it just didn’t sit well with us personally to share more publicly, say on social media or to have our parents sharing. It was a level of comfort or discomfort.”
    “Primarily, it feels so private because this life and then this loss has taken place in an unseen place. I could see a woman deciding not to say anything because it feels unseen. I think people may not share because it’s just too painful. Every time we share,... we’re revisiting and reentering the pain, and I think that women may not want to magnify it in that sense. Another reason I thought of is broken trust. I think if we’ve had negative experiences of sharing hard things with people and facing improper responses or insensitive responses, that could be with family or friends, it could be with the church [but] if we’ve been hurt by people I think we’ll be less likely to share in the future. And then finally, I thought about shame. Whether we don’t want to rehearse it again or we’re afraid that people will judge us or think that we did something to cause it, I think that shame is a reason people don’t share.”
    “In the realm of faith, I think we miss opportunities to proclaim our hope t

    • 38 min
    Degrees of Grief

    Degrees of Grief

    In this episode of the Held Podcast, I chatted with Jessalyn Hutto about the way we relate to one another based on how long we carried the babies that we lost. Drawing from her own experience with both an early and a later gestational loss, Jessalyn explored the differences and similarities between those two experiences and the numerous other factors that impact the way we grieve. We talked about everything from the temptation to dismiss grief over earlier losses to the importance of not making the grief of others about our own. I hope you walk away from this episode with more insight into how to best minister to women who are suffering, drawing from the comfort you’ve received in your own suffering. Her reflection on the work of Christ and the hope of heaven were an encouragement to me, and I pray it will be to you as well.
    About Jessalyn Hutto: Jessalyn Hutto is the wife of a pastor, a mother to four children, and the author of the book, Inheritance of Tears: Trusting the Lord of Life When Death Visits the Womb. She lives near Houston, Texas where she serves as the women's ministry director at King's Church. You can find her occasionally blogging at JHutto.com.
    Questions in this Episode:   Would you start off by just telling us a bit about your own experience with miscarriage?  
    Our episode today is called “degrees of grief.” Since you have experienced both, I wanted to have you on to talk about the experience of loss at various stages of pregnancy, as well as how we relate to one another based on how long we carried the babies we lost. Would you mind sharing a bit about how your later loss impacted your view of your earlier loss? What was similar about the experience? What was different? I would love for you to help us think through this both emotionally and physically.  
    After sharing that they lost a life in the womb, women are often asked “How far along were you?” This question can arise just from a desire to give a woman space to process and tell her story, or to seek to understand, but it can also be used to “measure” or “compare” grief. I’d love to hear your opinion here, would you say there are “degrees of grief?” What factors make the experience of miscarriage different than say a “stillbirth.”  
    In my experience, many women who have endured later losses wrestle with having grace/ understanding for women grieving early losses. Did you face this temptation in your grief? What counsel would you offer someone in this situation?  
    I’ve also witnessed those who endure early losses be dismissive of their own grief in light of the later gestational losses of others (or too quick to relate in a way that actually may feel dismissive of a later loss). What counsel would you offer a woman in this situation?  
    Questions for every guest: What’s one way God has used your experience of miscarriage to work in your heart and life? If you could encourage a woman to meditate on or memorize any verse or short set of verses in this season, what would it be and why? Noteworthy Quotes: “There are no many factors that go into a woman’s grief. Every woman is so unique, and every miscarriage is so unique, that it’s hard to just put into categories based on “early” or “later” miscarriages.”
     
    (9:49) “I think that with early miscarriages, the hardest part about them is what I call the invisibility factor. You don’t have a baby bump yet, so people don’t humanize your baby the same way they would if you did. And in reality, you may not have even told anyone that you’re pregnant yet. So it’s really hard for people to jump into your grief with you. In many ways the baby isn’t “real” to anyone else besides you,... and so when you lose that baby, its just really hard because you feel really alone…” (10:35)
     
    “...There’s also the way that it feels like your baby just disappeared like a mist. You have very little to hold onto when your baby dies e

    • 36 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
135 Ratings

135 Ratings

yogisoulsister ,

So grateful for finding this podcast!

I am currently going through the turbulence of emotions entwined with the experience of miscarriage. I’m grateful for the reminders of who God is and how we are guided as Christians to walk our path to Him in even these most trying of times. The contributors are well thought out and Abby offers comfort through her knowingness of what women experience through pregnancy loss. The questions are extremely poignant and helpful and the answers and biblical references offer a place to turn once the podcast episode comes to a close. Thank you Abby, and, especially, thank you God.

oh hey truther ,

A gift from God!

I have experienced God’s kindness and tender care through the conversations and encouragement shared on Abby’s podcast. As I listen to this podcast I just weep and I thank God for the courage, compassion, and wisdom of Abby and the other women who join her in speaking about their personal experiences with the sorrow of miscarriage. Rooted in the truth of the Bible and so deeply comforting.

Hannah....!!! ,

Hope during the deep Suffering of Miscarriage

I am not even being 2 weeks out from finding out that my 12 week old baby’s heart was no longer beating but some of the deepest comfort I have found has been the truth and stories shared on this podcast. Losing a baby before you can ever hold it is isolating, lovely and intensely painful. Through the words of the woman on these podcast it has given me community with complete strangers. Thank you, Abby!

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