Confession- I cried when I wrote this.
6 weeks have elapsed since the loss of our daughter. She would have been 26 weeks now and just beginning the last trimester of pregnancy. I’ve been doing well, body healing and mentally doing ok. Until I got an email. ‘WELCOME TO YOUR THIRD TRIMESTER!’ I’m not sure what was after that in the title, I quickly deleted it and considered never opening my email again. Then, later that day I got part of my Halloween costume in the mail a pink tutu-and every single image of baby girls, bows, fills and all assaulted my mind.
Then all at once the pain and defeat took over and I felt like a weight was on my chest and I couldn’t move. I felt totally deflated just like the day we had her memorial service. I will never forget walking to the front desk a bit frazzled with a basket of flowers in my hand and wanting the day to be over. The attendant asked in a somber and respectful tone, “What is your relationship to the deceased?” It took a moment to choke out the words “Her mother”. Suddenly everyone at the front desk changed their composure and the process of paperwork began.
It’s easy to want to stay in that place of hurt and pain, to let the darkness of grief envelop you and stay in that place of regret, what if’s and why’s. Then all at once, I realized I had to stop. I was going to quickly spiral into a depression if I allowed my thoughts to take over me. I had to stop blaming myself for what happened. I couldn’t save her. That night I kept repeating that over and over. I felt like I had to blame myself because I lost all hope. A few days after she passed, I struggled with not knowing why I was left behind and she was taken. I felt guilty for being alive.
I don’t think I’m ever going to ‘get over’ the pain and loss my child. But I do believe God will restore what was lost. He will bring healing and restoration in all of this.
How do I hope again? What does that even look like?
- Celebrate the wins. Celebrate when something great happens for you or those you know. It’s a snapshot of a blessing in their life you can hold on to.
A few weeks before we lost Phoebe, I was in the process of handing in all my paperwork to obtain my minister’s license. Just a few weeks ago I passed my final test and have one last interview left. This has been a dream of mine to complete this process I started so many years ago. God keeps his promises. No, you don’t have to call me Reverend. 🙂
- Celebrate progress. These stories may not have a resolution yet but there is forward movement.
I see my boys and they are a bundle of energy and love. I see hope in them. Isaac is in the process of getting help for his speech. He’s developing in the way God has planned for him and I’m thankful for resources that will build up and not limit him. I know he’s a brilliant boy and this next season for him is just going to unlock so many things for him. I celebrate my son for who he is, not for what he is currently unable to do.
- Look forward to new adventures.
The adventure can be something small like taking my kids to a park they love or baking something new. I made doughnuts for my family this past week and I’m convinced it helped my boys get better from a stomach bug. The adventure can even be blogging, or taking a class on photography, just something that you find exciting.
Where can you find hope when you don’t see it?
I’m glad you asked: Here are some verses to hold on to.
- Jeremiah 29:11-13 says 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
- James 1:2-4 says 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
- Isaiah 55:13 Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow. Where nettles grew, myrtles will sprout up. These events will bring great honor to the Lord’s name; they will be an everlasting sign of his power and love.”
‘Hope’ is not a false guarantee. It’s the rope you hold to while God’s promises are fulfilled. I know God is going to bring restoration to my broken spirit and heart. Day by day I hold on to who HE is and who he has created me to be.