In the months prior to Christian's passing, our pastor spoke of the loss by stillbirth that he and his wife suffered years before. I remember him saying that sometimes God has us go through trials so we can be a comfort to others.
Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
-2 Corinthians 1:3-4
I went home and pondered that thought. Would I ever be able to endure such a trial? Would I place my trust in God even when I don't understand? Or would I be a fair weather Christian, only following God when the road is easy?
As Christians, we HOPE we would respond a certain way when death and difficulty visits us personally, but we don't really know for sure until we go through it ourselves.
It is imperative to prepare yourself NOW. God always offers a way of escape when we are tempted to give up and turn back. I waver between strength and weakness. But God never wavers!
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
-2 Corinthians 12:9
When I was at a low, a crossroads on which way I would turn in my grief, God brought a new friend into my life and into my grief.
Daisy, someone I had never met before, emailed me. Out of the blue. I don't believe in coincidence, so I use that term loosely. :)
She shared with me the hurt in her heart from the loss of her son Mason two years prior. Most importantly, she encouraged me to stay strong in the Lord and testified that God is faithful. I was beginning to think that there was something wrong with me. Crazy thoughts like maybe I didn't love Christian enough because if I did, I would be grieving differently. What a relief to hear that yes, she hurt but she was not turning her back on God.
Oh how I needed to hear those words! Oh how I needed to know that I am not alone in my grief!
To see her two years further down the road living, breathing, smiling, crying, remembering and praising. She was living proof that I could have deep sorrow and still keep the faith.
If you have gone a little way ahead of me, call back;
'Twill cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track;
And if, perchance, Faith's light is dim, because the oil is low,
Your call will guide my lagging course as wearily I go.
Call back, and tell me that He went with you into the storm;
Call back, and say He kept you when the forest's roots were torn;
That when the heavens thundered and the earthquake shook the hill,
He bore you up and held you where the very air was still.
O friend, call back and tell me, for I cannot see your face;
They say it glows with triumph, and your feet bound in the race;
But there are mists between us, and my spirit eyes are dim,
And I cannot see the glory, though I long for word of Him.
But if you'll say He heard you when your prayer was but a cry,
And if you'll say He saw you through the night's sin-darkened sky,
If you have gone a little way ahead, O friend, call back,
'Twill cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track.
- Selected (Quoted in Streams In The Desert devotional)
Daisy called back to me.
My pastor and his wife called back to me.
I want to call back too!
Daisy and I are blessed to have been introduced to Susan
with Haven of Hope Ministries
. Susan also knows firsthand what it is like to suffer the loss of a child-- in fact, she has lost two.
I love this woman, y'all. She is real, she is smart, she is transparent with her struggles, and she has a passion for grieving mamas.
Together we are humbled and excited to announce the first annual Haven of Hope Retreat for mothers that have suffered the loss of a child.
"Our retreat is designed to bring together mothers from all walks of life that have suffered the death of a child regardless of that child’s age or circumstances. No matter where you are in your grief journey, we would love for you to join us for a weekend filled with encouragement, good food, and the comfort of new friends that understand."
We covet your prayers as we prepare for this conference. When God calls us to do something, He prepares the way. And when we obey His call, we can count on the devil to do his best to attack and make the way difficult. Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world!
THANK YOU, precious friends!
I am looking forward to sharing with other moms what God has done for me. And I am honored to listen to their own stories of loss and love and priceless memories. My desire is that God will be glorified in our conversation, that hearts will be encouraged, and most of all that those that do not have HOPE in Jesus Christ will come to know Him personally.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.