Pretending to be a tooth fairy, losing sleep on feverish nights, reciting nursery rhymes; these come with the mommy package.
I expected them. I embraced them.
Choosing an urn small enough to fit within my fist, drifting away in a haze of grief, reciting Philippians 4:6 through labor like a mantra knowing that the child opening my eyes to a new world of painful reality would never open his eyes to meet mine; this also came with my mommy package.
This I did not expect. I embraced it like I might embrace a crown of thorns.
THE EYE OF THE STORM
The 37-week stillbirth of our third child changed everything: how we viewed the world, what we took for granted, how we saw God. Like a mighty storm making unexpected landfall, we were initially forced to seek safety deep within the cleft of the rocks.
In time we tentatively ventured out into the open, testing the ground, unsure if our legs could carry us across this new landscape. Rather than atrophy, we found unexpected strength from the One who gave His Son for my own salvation.
TREASURES AMONG THE WRECKAGE
Today, May 10, marks nine years of waves lapping on the shore of our loss. In that span of time our grief has slowly transversed from a life-altering storm to an accepted tide that has forever changed the landscape of our lives.
The beach was initially littered with debris that required endless hours of sorting and sifting. We stepped through shards of broken glass, looking for anything salvageable. At times thoughtless comments and unexpected hurtful actions cut deep and our pain bled out.
Over time however, we began to discover treasures hidden among the wreckage.
New friendships so intertwined with our loss that we could not have had one without the other began to blossom.
A faith that was untested found security in the God of Abraham and Jacob.
Heaven became a destination of supreme desire and longing.
HOPE IN THE DARKEST VALLEY
Desperate to discover hope and reclaim promise from the storm, raw words of transparent pain burst forth from my pen and splashed anew on the page. The story that was written on our hearts that day is still being told in pages of our days.
It is my sincere desire that the scars we acquired nine years ago are worn well. They speak of the healing power of our grace-filled God who, despite mankind’s attempt to deny Him, pursues us with relentless love.
Never would I wish to let go of the hand that upheld me in the darkest valley.
“In the eye of the storm, you remain in control. And in the war, you guide my soul. You alone are the anchor when my sails are torn. Your love surrounds me in the eye of the storm.” Eye of the Storm, Ryan Stevenson
FINDING JOY IN THE MOURNING
My story, “Finding Joy in the Mourning: a mother’s journey through grief to hope and healing” can be found in book form on Amazon both as a paperback or on Kindle (it’s free on KindleUnlimited). If you or someone you know has been met with the unexpected devastation of losing a child perhaps our story could be a friend found among the wreckage.
You are also invited to listen in on this radio show interview in which I discuss details of how to best help someone who has experienced a painful loss.
“When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs. The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings” (Psalm 84:6).