Pregnancy changes everything, anyone will tell you that. What most people won’t tell you, what most people don’t talk about, is how a miscarriage changes everything too. It changes how you see a little pink line that pops up in the window of a test. It changes how you feel leading up to telling your husband, and your friends, and your loved ones.

A miscarriage changes how you measure time; in days and weeks instead of months and milestones. It changes your attitude towards planning and your propensity to sit and daydream. It changes every sensation you feel inside, cramps, flutters, kicks, even heartburn all take on a new meaning.

Pregnancy changes how you look at yourself, your body, your husband as well. Miscarriage, miscarriage changes all these things and more. If you let it, it will change how you look at your friends, other pregnant women, God.

Pregnancy brings joy, excitement, a flurry of planning and activity and preparation, and yes some anxiety for all involved. Miscarriage? Miscarriage brings trepidation, hesitation, anxiety, fear, and doubt. If you let it.

What most people won’t tell you, because most people don’t talk about it, is that miscarriage doesn’t have to change all these things. Loss, the stinging burning pain that never fully goes away, does not have to color every moment and feeling associated with your next pregnancy. Heartburn can be just that, heartburn. Cramps are the wonderful business of your womb stretching to make space for the new soul God is bringing into the world. Kicks don’t need to be counted, simply welcomed and enjoyed. Your body can still do amazing things, and your husband, he can still love it despite it’s supposed inadequacies. Stretchmarks, roundness, puffy hands and face; he doesn’t see any of these when he looks at you anymore than he sees your failure to protect your last child. He simply sees the woman he loves growing and protecting and loving their newest blessing. Other pregnant women aren’t a reminder of how you tried and failed, more of an assurance that we ladies are in this together. Each woman with the same rounded belly, the same sigh, the same walk, knows the love and joy and yes, pain that you have felt and are feeling. She is a sister, not competition.

But how can any of this be? It seems impossible, improbable, unfathomable. The whispers in your mind tell you these things are lies. That there can’t be joy and peace, only fear and doubt. The whispers are wrong. They seem unrelenting, but they are weak. They are smoke that will dissipate with only the slightest breathe needed to start a prayer.

During pregnancy, you are protected. During a miscarriage, and after, you are protected. And throughout the course of a pregnancy after loss, you are protected. You are held secure and peaceful inside wings with unfathomable power. Arms that created the world will provide shelter for you throughout every moment of your 40 weeks, if you let them.

Yes, there is pain associated with pregnancy, and pain may envelop you after loss, but pain does not have to be the culmination of your experience. No one, no one but God, knows what it’s like to bring a life kicking and screaming into this world, no one but you that is. He has blessed you with this most precious gift, this most amazing experience, this beautiful baby.

Miscarriage seems like the perfect opportunity for the enemy to enter your mind and wreak havoc. But it doesn’t have to be. If you let Him, God will secure you so tightly in His arms that there is no room for the enemy’s schemes. There is no penetrable space. No weak link in the armor. No room for doubt.