Grief & Loss

5 Insights about Disappointment from Ainsley Earhardt’s White Chair Film

Doug Bender

May 10, 2019 | 3 minute read

National television personality, Ainsley Earhardt, opens up in a new White Chair Film about losing her unborn child. Here are 5 things I learned about disappointment from her story.

1. “I walked on the streets of New York and I see other girls with their carriages, their strollers, their babies and baby bumps. You just want it so badly.”

Loneliness is a close companion of disappointment...but it doesn’t have to be. Ainsley went to the sonographer for a regular check up with her pregnancy when the doctor told her they can’t find the baby’s heartbeat. She then finds herself walking around town watching everyone else having happy babies and healthy pregnancies. Disappointment doesn’t just come at the moment of loss, it also revisits every time you see someone who didn’t have to face that pain. It stirs up this sense of loneliness. This explains why so many times in the Bible when someone is facing hard times Jesus’s answer is simply, “Surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (Matthew 28:20)” Knowing at least God is with me, even if no one else is, gives me a path out of the loneliness.

2. “I started thinking, ‘Is this my fault? What’s going on?’”

I’ll be tempted to blame someone…but blaming won’t help. The first reaction Ainsley had after her miscarriage was to blame herself. But things in life happen without us always knowing the cause or the reason. This doesn't mean there is no reason, just that we don’t always know the reason. There is a story in the Bible about Jesus meeting a blind guy. Jesus’ followers see him and ask, “Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” They needed someone to blame for this man’s birth defect. I’m sure even the blind guy himself had asked the same question. But Jesus’ answer was, “Neither.” When bad things happen, blaming won’t help. There might not even be anyone truly to blame. And would it really help if there were? “Who’s to blame?” is rarely a helpful question.

3. “There are seasons in our life and [God] is teaching us through each of those seasons and in this season he is teaching me to wait, and to be patient and to trust him.”

“What can I learn from this?” is a better question. Ainsley didn’t know why God let this happen to her, but she did know that God wanted her to learn patience and trust. That’s exactly what that blind guy ended up learning. He spent his whole life blind only to finally be healed by Jesus. That’s a lot of patience. And in the end, the man says, “Lord, I believe.” He learned to trust in Jesus, something he may never have gotten to without going through a life of blindness. I can’t control what kind of life I am born into or 95% of what happens to me after I’m born. What I can control is what I choose to learn from it.

4. “I remember crying because I didn’t want them to take her away from me. I just thought I’m going to be separated from this baby until I go to heaven.”

Pain does not need to be the end of the story. Life comes with a fair dose of pain. That’s just the truth. There are paths we can choose that might have more or less pain, but every path has it. However, pain doesn’t have to be the end of the story. Ainsley could at the same time cry and look to a happier future in heaven. Knowing that Jesus offers a path to reunite with loved ones won’t stop us from missing them in the meantime, but it gives hope.

5. “It might not be your plan and it might not be what you want for your life. Just know that God has a plan and that God works it all out.”

God has a plan….and it’s better. Ainsley learned that the disappointment and pain resulted in an even greater joy. This is a pattern we see in so many stories. Rock star singer, Austin Carlile, found peace only after he lost everything he valued most. Fashion blogger, Lauren Scruggs, found a clearer purpose in life only after suffering a horrific accident that severed her hand and took her eye. Grammy Award winning artist, Tori Kelly, had to lose her record deal before finding her voice.

Doug Bender

Doug Bender

Doug Bender is an I Am Second writer and small groups coach. He developed many of the small group tools found at and has coached churches, organizations, and individuals to use I Am Second groups to share the message of Jesus with their friends and family. He also works with I Am Second's parent organization, e3 Partners, as a church planter and pastor in countries such as Ethiopia, Colombia, and the US. Doug and his wife, Catherine, have four children: Bethany, Samuel, Isabella, and Jesse.

Search for what you’d like to read about