By Maria Silver Pyanov
In the infant and pregnancy loss community, we hear about rainbows – the babies born after the “storm” of losing a pregnancy or infant. In the infertility world, a baby is the goal, the miracle, the end of the fight.
But what happens when there’s no rainbow?
What happens if, for whatever reason, you’ve reached the end of the line without a rainbow?
Without any sign or hope of a future rainbow.
What’s your miracle?
Perhaps your miracle is simply surviving.
When You Don’t Get Your Miracle
In 2018, we welcomed an infant foster son just months after our fourth miscarriage. We knew he wasn’t necessarily going to stay forever, but he felt like our miracle. The chance to love another being. The chance to heal the missing piece just a bit, even if only temporarily.
He seemed like the perfect miracle. And in many ways, he was and still is. But when CPR failed, I wondered what happened to our miracle? Was the second miracle of CPR working simply too much to ask for?
Just like that, the miracle, the rainbow, slipped away.
Another chance, a new pregnancy, and at eleven weeks she also slipped away. And a few months later, another was gone.
What happens when you don’t get your miracle? Do you keep searching for another?
Or, must you realize that perhaps you’ve had your miracle all along?
When Your Miracle Feels Less Than:
We love a feel-good testimony.
We love rainbows.
We love extraordinary efforts paying off big.
We love to hear about the loud moments in someone’s life where it seems God Himself stretched out His hand to fix the impossible.
We hear about cured cancers. We hear about CPR working and saving lives. We hear about adoption and families feeling complete.
But for each feel-good testimony, there’s a testimony that feels less than.
There’s a mother who had to bury her child after chemotherapy failed. There’s a dad up at night wondering what he could have done differently to save his child. A woman is learning she can’t safely conceive. There’s a phone call telling an eager couple the adoption won’t go forward.
And you know what? Their not so feel-good testimonies matter too.
Their miracle? Getting up and facing the day even when it feels too hard. Their miracle is going on when their miracle feels less than.
Some people get rainbows, cures, and second chances. Some people get supernatural strength, peace which passes all understanding, and they push through what most say they could never survive.
“I could never survive the loss of a child.” No one really can, and yet, they do.
Their testimony? The quiet miracle others aren’t quite aware of.
The moments where it feels as if God Himself stretches out His hand to carry you through the impossible, where He makes sure you survive what no one can.
And that testimony matters too. Why? Because others need to know that their miracle isn’t less than, even when it feels like it is.
Others need to know they’re worthy of a miracle. I can’t tell you why your miracle looks so different than what you’ve hoped for, but I can tell you that YOU are your miracle.
You’re here. You’re breathing. You’re surviving. You’re showing up.
That’s a miracle.
But Why Not Me?
I’d be lying if I said I don’t question the lack of feel-good, miracle testimony. I feel like there were so many chances for a miracle to work out.
Pregnancies, fostering, donor embryos – I mean, can you hear the potential miracle there?
And yet, there wasn’t a lasting feel-good miracle.
Why do some have rainbows and others don’t? Why do some have ‘feel-good’ miracles and others have ‘feel-less-than’ miracles?
Why is my miracle just surviving?
I don’t know. I truly don’t. But I DO know it’s a miracle. Not the one I want, but a miracle nonetheless.
I planned a memorial service for an infant, and I didn’t permanently lose hope in living. I went to scan, after scan, after scan and four times heard, “I’m so sorry, there’s no longer a heartbeat.”
Twice I’ve heard that the blood work is off, I’m so sorry, but it’s not progressing.
And I still, for now, walk into my fertility clinic, check-in and respond to “how are you?” with, “I’m doing okay!”
My miracle looks nothing like I want it to look. And yet, it is SUCH a miracle.
Yes, I question. Yes, I’m indescribably sad at times. But I’m still going. I’m surviving.
Dare I even say, some days I thrive.
For now, maybe forever, THIS is my miracle.
It isn’t a book worthy, made for TV, tell strangers miracle story. It isn’t a feel-good, grow your faith miracle story.
But it’s a miracle worth telling.
Why? Because it’s real. It’s real life. It’s real faith. And others need to know that your miracle, though maybe not what you desire, matters.
Your miracle isn’t less than. You weren’t given less because you weren’t worthy. I don’t know why your miracle isn’t the feel-good one, but I know you matter and you’re loved.
I know you’re a walking miracle because you’re surviving losing a baby, a child, a hope.
I will never know why chemotherapy fails some children, and others miraculously walk away. I will never know why some have a rainbow with almost no difficulty, while others try for ten years.
I will never understand why some miracles are feel-good, and others are simply about surviving.
But I know this: your miracle matters. Your miracle is big.
You’re a survivor, and that’s amazing!
Maybe Surviving Is The Bigger Miracle?
Once upon a time, I had a rainbow. And it was a miracle. It was a hard road.
It didn’t take away the pain of losing pregnancies, but it was a feel-good end to a hard season.
It felt like a big miracle. It felt like the story you want to share with everyone. It felt like proof that good things can still happen in life.
But you know what? I can’t say it took a miracle to be happy when I had a rainbow.
It didn’t take extra energy to get out of bed. I didn’t need to pray my way through just basic hygiene, work, running a home, etc.
When surviving is your miracle, it’s a really big miracle. It means keeping hope when there’s no certainty of a feel-good moment soon.
It’s learning that you, the very essence of your being, can be okay even when your circumstances hurt.
It means you can come alongside someone facing a hard reality and tell them, “I know this is impossible, but you can survive.” It means letting another person know their miracle matters, their testimony matters, even if it doesn’t make for a good made for TV movie.
It means carrying the weight of the hope of a different, more desired miracle while knowing very well it may never happen.
It’s understanding that not all of us have extravagant earthside miracles.
It’s truly, truly learning and being able to tell someone you believe, “And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
The strength, so much more when your miracle is surviving. You’re given the strength to survive, long-term, the impossible.
If that’s not a REAL miracle, I’m not sure what is.