What Michelle Duggar’s Miscarriage Can Teach Us

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, Michelle Duggar miscarried in her second trimester what would have been her 20th child. She found out at her ultrasound to find out the sex of the baby. The baby, a girl named Jubilee Shalom, has had a funeral and is being mourned by the Duggar family.

Michelle Duggar is not a stranger to the loss of miscarriage. After the birth of oldest son Joshua, she suffered the first trimester loss of her second child, whom the Duggar’s named Caleb. She credits use of artificial birth control as the cause of the miscarriage.  Duggar went on to carry 18 more children to term including two sets of twins and nineteenth child Josie who was born extremely pre-mature and has endured many health struggles in her life thus far.

Michelle is now 45-years-old. The premature birth of Josie (born three months early) and the associated risks with her age made many question the wisdom of her choice to become pregnant again. True to her pro-life and pro-family roots, Michelle embraced this pregnancy as she has all her others. The announcement was made on the Today show in early November. The critics weighed in, questioning Josie’s health and Michelle’s, the likelihood of birth defects and genetic problems etc. Shamefully, the vast majority of Duggar defenders had these sentiments to share: well, as long as they can pay for all those kids…

Not to negate the importance of being able to provide for one’s family but REALLY??? That’s the best we can come up with to defend the Duggars’ (to use a term from the opposing side) reproductive rights?

But here’s the thing, as painful as losing baby Jubilee is for the family, it gives them the chance to share their faith in a new way. Suffering and death test the faith in particularly unique ways. The Duggars live a VERY public life and as a result this is the time the vultures may be circling to see how they “fail” in their faith. Instead, they have chosen to mourn the loss of their daughter and have a funeral for “a clump of cells” that they very much love as their own child. It shows that lives lived in faith, steeped in love, can still be tested by pain and loss. And that it doesn’t mean that one is being punished, or has a lack of faith but perhaps is part of God’s larger plan. Anna Duggar’s miscarriage between daughter Mackynzie and son Michael was very swept under the rug, whether this was by design or not, there was an opportunity that the family missed to address the spiritual and emotional side of pregnancy loss and trust in God’s will.

The first loss of a pregnancy the Duggar’s experienced they blamed on their sinful nature (using birth control). Since then the Duggar’s have become parents to many children and grandparents…what have they learned between then and now about the tragedy of pregnancy loss? While using birth control may very well have figured into the loss of baby Caleb, it doesn’t exclusively have to be the reason for the loss and certainly had nothing to do with this most recent loss. This loss illustrates that sometimes, even when we live faithful, God-filled lives, things will happen not according our plans but God’s. That a bad thing happening (“bad” according to our fallen-human understanding of the word) does not equate with our amount of faith, the state of our soul or any other human determination.

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4 thoughts on “What Michelle Duggar’s Miscarriage Can Teach Us

  1. What a great post. I was so upset about all of this – really? It’s about the money? I just couldn’t get why people who believe in “choice” could be so mad at people for using their rights to have a baby. Just goes to show that “choice” really means “dealth”

    I agree that the Lord is using them to show the world what is really means to be pro-life and to believe that a soul is a soul. Although they are in great pain, what they are doing is important. Thanks for sharing! Holly

  2. As the mom of eight, I really am hesitant to criticize anyone for their family choices, and especially when they pay their own way. It’s their business.

    While I don’t begrudge the Duggars for their large family, I place a lot of responsibility on Jim Bob for the death of Jubilee. I cannot help but feel that if were really a concerned and loving husband, he would either quit demanding sex from Michelle all the time or he would get a vasectomy and stop procreating. His wife and one child were in grave danger with Josie, and Josie is still medically fragile. Yet, he has no concept of the danger he put Michelle in with Jubilee?

    He needs to put his money where his mouth is and lead this family to where Michelle won’t be in danger pregnancy-wise, where she doesn’t have to suffer another loss the next time she miscarries, the kids don’t have to worry about losing their mother in pregnancy/child birth. Is it seriously going to take Michelle dying and being left with 19 kids alone for him to get that maybe it’s okay to get the swimmers out of the baby batter?

    There’s a lot of press given for the Duggars’ courage and faith through the loss of Jubilee, but what about Jubilee? SHE’S lost her life!!!! No one seems to grasp that reality. She lost her life because her parents refuse to acknowledge the danger she was in by being conceived in the first place.

    I get what it is to lose a child. I lost my son when he was 3 days old, but it seemed that I had to remind people that HE lost HIS life. He went through pain and loss too, much more than any of the rest of us did. Does the loss of life from Jubilee’s perspective have ANY bearing on Jim Bob?

    I can’t help but think that if it did, he would put a stop to his and Michelle’s unfettered reproduction. If he doesn’t believe in unnatural birth control or physical sterilization, then perhaps he should lay aside his libido and quit having sex.

  3. I feel for the Duggars and the loss of little Jubilee Shalom. I was raised Catholic myself and I cannot believe that the blame is on her husband for demanding sex. In the Catholic religion we were told we had to do our wifely duties even to make him up stain for sex for a week or so for the rut hum method. The look to be a very loving couple and how else for a husband to extend those affections is by intimacy. Like the both said it had been 2 yrs before she had a baby. But women in menopause do get pregnant so I really wouldn’t blame him. I also believe to take the pictures in the private service that should not have been leaked by Amy was wrong!! How come it’s ok for gang members or a lot of people take a picture of their loved one. Why because this was a tiny innocent baby so it touches your heart strings more? Or is it because you don’t believe that at conception is a life by 7 weeks your can hear a babies heartbeat– it’s not a blob of tissue like ambition doctors have been telling girls to talk them into an abortion. Good I’m glad she took those pictures for closure for her and her family but now I hope people can Jubilee had perfectly formed feet toes ankles even–and her little hands how can any body that looks at those pix accept the fact she was a real person like you and I we were all the same size at one time. They were not wrong to take those pictures with their strong faith in The Lord I believe the The Lord Jesus is using this for a greater purpose and Jesus wanted Jubbilee home with Him!! My prayers are with Duggars and little Duggars as they grow and try to understand this all . God give th and God take th away.

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