Day 31 – Gray Day… Everything is gray.

I watch. But nothing moves today. – My Many Colored Days By Dr. Seuss

8. Today is 8 years since we lost our littlest one. My husband and I set aside the day to mourn together and simply be together.

We got some hot drinks, shared a breakfast burrito, and started talking through some of our sadness. We set aside the day we lost the baby (February 9th, 2015) and the baby’s due date (September 2015).

Though it’s been 8 years, it’s a precious time together to remember our littlest one and be grateful to God for the life we get to live with our 3 older ones… the ones you can see.

Today was such a gray day outside and SO VERY COLD (high of 28 F), but it was sweet and there were silver linings to the gray clouds surrounding us.

Keeping our Vision Clear

God gives me insight through my husband each time we mourn and celebrate our little one. Today we both needed to pick up new pairs of glasses. He said something like, “Ever since we lost the baby, we’ve worked hard to see clearly through our circumstances. Today is the perfect day to pick up our glasses as a reminder for us to continue to keep our vision clear and trust God to lead us.”

So, so good. I’m blessed to be married to the wisest man alive. I want to Leverage that Wisdom to propel me forward through days like these.

When disaster strikes and we lose someone we love, we lose focus and often stray off the path illuminated before us by God. No matter what we endure, we need to keep our eyes focused to be able to see Him and what He has for us in the midst of it all.

The Red Balloon

We let our red balloon go as is our tradition. I thanked God for the proximity of our sad day to Valentine’s Day to have red heart balloons readily available for these moments. Seeing clearly.

It wasn’t just a gray day in the sky today. It was a gray day for 2/3 you can see. Missing our littlest one sometimes makes us even more attentive to our bigger ones. And today was a good day for that kind of extra time and attentiveness. God cleared our schedule for us to be together as a couple and to be prepared for the extra texts and calls from them in the middle of the day.

The Silver Grays

Looking in the mirror through my new lenses today, I caught the sparkle of my silver grays beginning to cover my head. It’s a new season. I choose not to hide my sparkles, because I’ve earned them. All the hard things I’ve endured, the sadnesses, the losses, the challenges I’ve overcome… each one is a silver gray. Each one a reminder I’m becoming wiser. Each one reminding me to trust the One who counts all those hairs and is caring for my littlest one while I can’t.

Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely 1 Corinthians 12:13.

My Prayer for You

My prayer for you is that when the days are gray you’ll see the silvers. I pray you’ll see yourself growing through all you’ve endured. I pray you’ll see God’s hand in helping you see clearly.

A Prayer You Could Pray

Dear Lord, Please help me the silver lining to all the gray that surrounds me. Please help me see clearly what You are doing beyond this sadness. I love You and need You! In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Things to Ponder, Journal, and Pray About

  • What is something you can do to change your gray perspective today?
  • Who is someone in your life who could use a silver lining to their gray day/week/month/year? What can you do to bring that silver lining to their day?
  • If you can’t seem to see past the gray surrounding you, talk with God about it. Journal all you’re feeling, go on a prayer walk with Him, or ask someone else to pray with you about how you’re feeling.

Day 29 – Glory Baby Updated

“Glory Baby”

I remember the first time I heard this song when my husband bought me the Watermark CD. I cried and cried in fear that I might one day lose a child. Growing up with a mama who had 5 miscarriages instilled a pretty deep fear that it would be a reality for me one day, as well. I grew up terrified of dying, not of death because I had assurance of salvation, but of my loved ones being taken from me. I still wrestle with this fear, and now I’ve experienced it firsthand.

On the other side of losing a child, I get this song on a deeper level. You can read a cool article on Christy Nockel’s point of view of losing 2 children in miscarriage here.

After reading Christy’s powerful words and honesty, I realize that not all of us get to hold 3 children after losing a child (or children), so I want to be extra-sensitive. I ache for those of us who have empty arms reading this.

May God fill your emptiness with joy, purpose, and life. I don’t know how He will choose to do that, but I trust Him to answer that prayer. He is with our children, though we cannot be. I don’t know what it will be like when we finally get to see them face to face, but, sisters, I think about it often.

I choose to praise Him who makes all things glorious… the earth, the heavens, and our babies. Glorious defined is, “having a striking beauty or splendor that evokes feelings of delighted admiration.” That means that our glory babies are strikingly beautiful. There’s no surprise in that for us, is there, ladies?

When we give attention to God it’s giving Him glory. When we focus on Him and His purposes and best then we give Him glory. We can choose to give Him glory and attention even when we’re not feeling it. Even when our loss has left us confused and searching. When we focus our eyes and attention on Him, we are swept up into something greater than ourselves. We transcend our current pain and trust Him for the ceasing of that pain and loss.

My favorite Watermark song should be your next listen. It’s called “Take Me There” and it starts with “Take me there to the place where You are… I just wanna’ be where You are.” Here are the lyrics, so you can read while you listen to it!

When we choose to be where God is and not just hide out in our pain, He is our shelter. He covers us, comforts us, and gives us strength we can’t muster on our own. Talk to Him. Ask Him to take you to the place where He is in your life (which is really… everywhere, but maybe your mind needs to change so you can grasp the reality that He is with you in your grief).

Praise be to the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone does marvelous deeds.
Praise be to his glorious name forever;                                                                                       May the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen.  Psalm 72:18-19

My Prayer for you:

My prayer for you is that you will listen to these songs and realize God’s presence in your life means you can face anything. You have strength in Jesus and you aren’t alone.

A Prayer You Could Pray:

Dear Jesus, Sometimes I am jealous of you getting to be with my little one when I can’t. Thank You for the truth that my baby is alive with You and someday I’ll get to be with the both of you! Until then, I trust You, even when I don’t understand.  In Jesus’ name, Amen

Things to Ponder, Pray, and Journal about:

  • What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word “glorious”?
  • What would you like to say to Jesus today about this Glory Baby song, concept, or the feelings you are swimming in right now? Take some time and talk to Him.
  • Who is someone in your life who needs to see something glorious today? Take some time to paint a little picture of God’s glory for that person (literally, or figuratively by taking them somewhere that reveals God’s glory… or sending them a picture).

Day 28 – The Trusting Place

woman in red top sitting on bench
Picture by @fikrirasyid

At a Writer’s Conference a couple weekends ago, God placed me in a small group with two powerful and amazing women. Both of them lost babies. I shared this site with them and I hope they’ll use it to process losing their children.

A few days after that, I had tea with a friend and we realized the due dates for our babies lost to miscarriages were very close. We both lost babies at 8-weeks. That’s no coincidence, sisters. My friend could live in Florida where I’d never meet her or connect with her as friends, but God planted her right next to me. What a gift to be able to share this sadness together.

This hideously, awful club is SO large, too large. There are so many of us who have lost our babies and need to process our loss. If we can be honest at the right moments with other women, we’ll have opportunities to minister to their hearts through the loss we’ve experienced.

If we’ll let God use our pain…

If we’ll let God use our pain, aches, and longing, women’s hearts will be soothed and comforted and God will get glory through tears and hope. God is our peace. God is our joy even when we are hurting and confused. He is with us.

I wish my littlest was here. If (she) missed the cut-off for entering kindergarten, (she’d) be starting kindergarten this year… or (she’d) be in 1st grade. She’d be 6. I can almost hear her laugh on the playground at school and see her hair blowing in the wind behind her as she runs.

That thought just quieted me for a moment. Though I don’t know what (she) would choose to play at recess or which clothes she would choose, I do know God protected (her). Whatever the reason, He had (her) best in mind… and mine, too. And my friends who lost their babies, too.

I can’t fathom it. I honestly don’t want to. I must leave (her) and them in God’s hands and just be here in The Trusting Place.

There are two family pictures we have hanging in our room that show the gap (she) would fit in. I feel a pang in my heart when I see them. Then I look to the left and the right at (her) siblings’ and realize I have who I need in this life and they have who they need, too.

I must focus on caring for them not longing for who God has waiting for me. I can look forward to meeting (her) and anticipate the joy we’ll feel, but I need to be here in The Trusting Place with them.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

My Prayer for you:

My prayer for you is you’ll sit in The Trusting Place with me, in the quiet. I pray you’ll release to Him all your disappointments and “what ifs”. I pray you’ll take a breath and know deep in your heart that He loves you and loves your child more than you can fathom.

  • Who’s the woman across from you at the park, the one who’s in our club and needs someone to be with her? Pray for God to sit her next to you so you can do this together.
  • How are you feeling RIGHT NOW? Tell God. Our emotions inform us that there’s something wrong that needs to be dealt with. They’re not meant to control us, but if we can name them, we can manage them.
  • Say or write a prayer about The Trusting Place and where you see God in that place with you.

A Prayer you Could Pray:

Dear Jesus, Please sit with me in this place. I do trust You that You know what’s best for all those I love and for me. Thank You that You and Your ways are beyond my understanding, and You love me enough to be with me here. I love You. I trust You. In Your Name, Amen

Things to Ponder, Journal, and Pray about:

Day 27 – Deliberate

Remembering our littlest

Today is the due date our fourth was to be born 5 years ago. If you have been reading through this devotional, you’ve seen this picture before and you know this is a special remembering day for my husband and me.

Things have been crazy and busy around here with doing a hybrid schedule for my older children’s schooling. I marked my special heart on this day in the calendar, thought about it off and on, and my husband and I even talked about going to our special remembering place, but we almost overlooked it with all the craziness.

It’s not that we don’t think of our youngest or aren’t reminded of what might’ve been if (she) was with us now, it’s that we emote differently than we did five years ago. In our quarantine fog, we realized yesterday that today was the day. My amazing husband rearranged his work schedule to take our family to lunch and then we hiked to our special spot. We couldn’t go there last year due to the weather, so we wanted to try today.

We must be deliberate in remembering our loved ones as time goes on.

On our way, my husband remarked that it was a cool spiritual connection that in order to go to our special place, it takes a lot of work. It is a deliberate decision to go, a plan for how and when to go, a sacrifice to make arrangements for our children’s care, and physical work to get there. We can’t just go to the basement where we have a shrine and, because of the work it takes, we can’t be dominated by mourning. We choose specific times, dates, and places to feel the full vent of our sadness and loss. We have to work to get there. I know I’ve written about this before, but it’s more tangible right now.

Being loved by and saved by God is His work. There’s no work that needs to be done for those things to exist. We love, miss, and long for our little one. There’s nothing that changes those realities.

To stay connected to and grow in our relationship with God, it takes work. We must make the daily decision to follow Him, to live for Him, and to become like Him. Making the decision to sacrifice time and energy to grieve and remember our little one is work. And it’s worth it.

The nice thing about the craziness of this year is that I didn’t have time to dread feeling the sadness over losing the baby. When we talked about it, we realized that both of us would have been ok to just acknowledge the day and continue to get things done. But we decided it was important to make the time and as we sat encouraging and listening to one another, we were reminded of the importance of the decision to set aside time remember together.

Sometimes it’s a burden I forget I carry until something triggers me (seeing a family of 6, kindergarten registration notices, and when the rest of the family partners up and I’m walking behind them without a little hand to hold). But each time I’m reminded of the void and missing puzzle piece, I give that burden back to the Lord to carry. He cares for us no matter what we’re dealing with, no matter how sad we feel.

Give your burdens to the Lord, and He will take care of you.
He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.
Psalm 55:22

My Prayer for you:

My prayer for you is you will continue to be deliberate in remembering your little one and being united with your husband, trusting God as you move forward deliberately together.

A Prayer you Could Pray:

Dear Jesus, I don’t always want to make the time to remember the pain of our loss. Please carve the time out for us to remember and be together in our sadness no matter what else is going on around us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Things to Ponder, Pray and Journal:

  • Think through (or journal about) a time you were deliberate to remember instead of letting an anniversary or special time slip by.
  • What is one thing you could do to grow closer to God this week?
  • Who is someone in your life who needs you to come alongside her and encourage her to be deliberate in remembering a lost one?

Day 26 – Stuck

Though I don’t normally write more than one devotional per “Remembering Day”, today was a day of thoughtful moments. My husband and I planned to go to lunch with our children after church and process with them a bit. Then we planned to let our heart balloon go. We have done this on the anniversary of finding out our little one’s heart had stopped beating each year. (It’s easy to find heart balloons because it’s the week before Valentine’s Day.) It’s a reminder to us that we give our baby to God and trust Him with all of our children.

Today it was snowing (if you zoom in to the top right picture with the sun, you can see the flakes), so I was concerned the balloon wouldn’t float, but my husband wasn’t. When we got back from lunch and our “bigs” were settled, we took the balloon to release it (just the two of us) and my husband prayed and thanked God for all four of our children. I mumbled a prayer (I feel very disconnected from my emotions today…) and we released the balloon. Because of the cold temperature it started deflating so I started getting even more nervous that it wouldn’t fly.

There’s this (weird?) thing I feel on this day each year. I don’t want any live plants, because I’m convinced I’ll kill them (but have no problem planting a garden in the spring…). However, I am grateful for the long stem rose and baby’s breath my husband got me (because it’s already been cut and will fade on its own – not my fault…). And I keep being afraid that the heart balloon won’t float away. It’s not because I want to move on not forward, but I think it is the symbolism of it all. I want to remind myself to continue to release the baby into God’s care by releasing the balloon. Now reading what I wrote it sounds like I want to do the work of releasing the baby instead of accepting that God already has our child. Another thing to work through, I guess.

ANYWAY, today, as you can see, the balloon got stuck in a tree. I stopped breathing and kept waiting and waiting for it to get unstuck. I was afraid it would get stuck and stay there as another reminder that we don’t have our baby anymore every time I looked up at the tree. My husband just stood there holding me as we waited.

Some days we just get stuck.

Some days are like that, sisters. Some days we just get stuck. We can’t move forward, we think about our loss, we feel our pain, and we just sit in it until God intervenes. That tree is about three stories tall. We do not have a ladder that tall for me to climb to pull that balloon out of the tree. I had no way to set that balloon free from its entanglement. God had to do it. I don’t remember silently praying anything other than, “Please, God. Please.” And then, suddenly, it broke free in the wind.

My brilliant husband thought to take pictures of this event for you ladies and said, “You need to write about this. You need to write about the times we feel stuck.”  They will come. You will feel like you won’t be able to move forward, but God is always there with us leading us forward reminding us that He can get us “unstuck.”

My Prayer for you:

My prayer for you is that you will just wait on God in those moments. I pray you’ll ask Him to intervene and just stand there holding on and waiting for God to do what only He can.

A Prayer you Could Pray:

Dear Jesus, I get scared that I will be stuck in remembering and not trusting You to intervene. Continue to be my Rescuer, Lord. Continue to set us free from anything that entangles us and keeps us stuck when we are trying to be free and move forward in You. In Your Name, Amen

In my distress I prayed to the Lord, and the Lord answered me and set me free. Psalm 118:5

Things to Ponder, Pray and Journal:

  • What questions do you have for God when you feel stuck or entangled?
  • What is something you can do when you are waiting on God to set you free?
  • Who is someone in your life who needs you to wait with her in a stuck place?

Day 25 – The Empty Chair


Today we wanted our children to join us in remembering our littlest one’s life. We took them to lunch at one of our favorite places and processed together about losing the baby. My children and I are so blessed that God gave us my husband. He is so thoughtful, attentive, intuitive, and able to articulate what the Bible says about whatever we are going through. We had such a good conversation about how grateful we are that we don’t mourn as those who have no hope.

Our hope is Jesus.

He came to earth because of God, the Father’s unending love for us. He lived a perfect life and died in our stead. He died to pay for the wrong things we think, say, and do that separate us from God, the Father. Then the best part is He raised from the dead 3 days later proving He is victorious over sin, victorious over death. Our Savior, our Rescuer defeated death and that means, if we believe, we’ll be with Him and our loved ones for eternity. When He comes again, all that we dread will be defeated completely, even death.

‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21: 4

At lunch we talked about how, though we are sad that a member of our family isn’t with us, we are so grateful that we will see that child and sibling when we are with Jesus. We don’t know how old that child will be or what the circumstances will be for our family, but we are all looking forward to being a complete family when the right time comes.

We usually come back to the reality that our littlest one never had to feel pain in this life and just got to go be with Jesus right away. This gives us peace.

As we were enjoying our meal, I glanced up and realized that we had one extra chair at our table. The empty chair. And our son had placed his kid’s menu at that place. Though we don’t set an extra place at the dinner table each night, it was the perfect time to have that empty chair as a reminder that our family isn’t complete, yet. I’m hoping there will be spouses and grandchildren who fill chairs in our future. But there will always be one empty chair only to be filled with that special, sweet littlest one when the time is right.

My Prayer for you:

My prayer for you is that you will remember the good things and blessings when you are remembering your loss.

A Prayer you Could Pray:

Dear Jesus, though only one person can fill that empty chair in our family, thank You for the chairs You have already filled and will continue to fill. Thank You for Your blessings and for the things I don’t understand, yet. Thank You for Your mercy. In Your Name, Amen

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope… Therefore encourage one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:13, 18

Things to Ponder, Pray and Journal:

  • What are you thankful about that you DO have even in the midst of this loss?
  • What questions do you have for God about the empty chair?
  • Who is someone in your life who needs to be reminded of the hope they have (or can have) in Christ?

Day 24 – Moving Forward (not Moving On)

person walking on gray sands during daytime

Today promised to be a busy one with digging our church truck out of the snow, teaching Sunday school, and starting a new discipleship training study for our church. And smack dab in the middle of all of it is the time my husband & I have set aside to celebrate the life of our littlest one.

5 years ago on this day, we found out our baby’s heart was no longer beating. This year has been a VERY baby focused year. On our baby’s due date, we had a baby dedication at church for 3 new little ones which brought new life into our church and into our family! It was a very bittersweet (mostly sweet) day. I’ve enjoyed getting to know these little souls and praying their mamas through all the good and hard parts of parenting their individual children.

2 of my closest friends lost their babies within the same month and I’ve been walking through the awful with them. It has been absolutely terrible, but I realize that I am hurting for them and not hurting for me. It’s encouraging to see myself moving forward.

My husband just sat next to me while I was writing this to you. We started processing more of our sadness together. He said some very profound words (as usual) that I am going to try to summarize:

People are afraid to move on because it means we leave that thing behind and close the door on what it was or what it means. Staying and not moving forward means we are stuck in it and aren’t going anywhere with it or doing anything with it.

Moving forward, however, means exactly that – forward movement. We aren’t stuck where we are or leaving it all behind. It means that we choose to move forward with it. It doesn’t mean we can’t continue to process, but we move forward in what God has next for us in and beyond this pain.

Walking with others is part of moving forward.

It keeps us from being stuck and paralyzed. It also keeps us from totally moving on and forgetting what God has done and wants to do with that pain or loss. It helps us grab someone else’s hand and help them move forward through their pain and loss as we are moving forward through our pain and loss.

Sometimes it feels as though we must help others through their pain, so our loss means something. I want to help as many people as I can in this awful club with me. It won’t bring back my baby, but the pain will be worth something, the suffering will have meaning, and the hurt will have purpose. The truth is the baby’s life, all our babies’ lives are worth everything and mean so much no matter who else we help. But what a gift we have to give others… comfort. We can comfort others the way God comforted us. We can walk someone else through their awful and give God our trust and sadness… and theirs.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

The righteous keep moving forward, and those with clean hands become stronger and stronger. Job 17:9

My Prayer for you:

My prayer for you is that God will show you whose hand to hold to keep you moving forward and to help that person move forward.

A Prayer you Could Pray:

Dear Jesus, Sometimes I don’t want to remember what and who we lost. It hurts so much and the void is still there. Sometimes I don’t want to think about anything other than the little one we lost. Please help me move forward from being stuck and not just move on. Thank you that mourning is a process not just a checklist and you walk with me every step of the process. In Your Name, Amen

Things to Ponder, Pray and Journal:

  • What questions do you have with God about moving forward?
  • What is something you would like to move forward into?
  • Who is someone in your life who needs you to take her hand and help her move forward from a loss (of a child, a relationship, a job, anything that has caused her pain)?

Day 23 – 4 Years & 10 feet forward

Quilled feet

It’s today again. I can’t believe it’s been 4 years since we lost our littlest one. It feels surreal and like a story I heard someone else tell.

I’ve had a busy day, gone most of the day taking our oldest to a babysitting training class, lunch with an old friend, and lots of quiet work time. On our way, I had to pass the Doctor’s office where I had the D&C surgery. All this time later, it still makes me queasy. I have to take my children there for appointments at least twice a year and I don’t like it. It’s like being in a movie and I have flashbacks and can feel the pain, but God is with me and I’m getting stronger.

I came home to a red heart balloon, daffodils, and Mini Eggs. My sweet, tender, and thoughtful husband sure loves me. He’s off picking up my favorite cheese sticks from Pizza Hut and I’ll get to cuddle the “3 You Can See” while we watch a family movie.

Today seems so far away from that devastating day when our baby’s heart was silent. I feel quiet today. I am sitting, waiting and processing today because it is the right time to do so.

A couple weeks ago, I walked a friend through a tough situation. Her friend is dwelling, letting herself drown in the grief of having two miscarriages last year. My friend is pregnant and didn’t know how to tell her friend. She waited. She prayed. And she talked to her friend face to face and not via text or email. I am so proud of her. I am not thrilled with the uncontrolled crying she was met with and the stifled “I’m happy for you” as she was leaving my friend’s home with her two older children… her “not enough” children.

Ladies, we grieve… deeply and with our whole selves… at the right times and with the right people. And we rejoice when life is created even in the midst of our own pain and loss. It’s so good to grieve and process and be honest with how we are feeling. God can handle all of it. Hopefully, your husband can handle all of it.

But when a friend is afraid to tell you she is pregnant because it might devastate you… you miss out on celebrating life and walking with your friends through personal life change. Responding this way disconnects you from the life right in front of you!

This happened to me, too. One of my dearest friends was pregnant and didn’t know how to tell me she was having a baby because of how deeply I’ve mourned our little one. I realized when I saw her beautiful baby bump that I’d failed with her. I did a good job sharing sadness and hopefulness with others as I explained my feelings, but I didn’t do that with her.

When we were able to talk about it later, it was healing for both of us and I ADORE her little girl. She’s very special to me!

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Romans 12:15

Today in the midst of mourning my little one, I am celebrating the lives of the three little ones on their way into our church family and the lives of my two pregnant friends’ children on their way. So today, as I mourn the life we lost 4 years ago, I celebrate the 5 new ones just getting started. There is always more to celebrate than to mourn. There is always a time to rejoice even in the middle of mourning. Celebrating with others helps your feet (and your family’s feet) move forward.

My Prayer for you:

My prayer for you is that you will be able to rejoice today with those who are celebrating no matter what stage you are in grieving your little ones.

A Prayer you Could Pray:

Lord Jesus, sometimes celebrating others’ lives stings. Please help me celebrate anyway, rejoice anyway, and praise You anyway! I love you. In Your Name, Amen

Things to Ponder, Pray, and Journal:

  • Who should you be celebrating today?
  • What can you do to let that person know you are celebrating with her/him?
  • What does God want you to do with your hurt and sadness today? Cry? Journal? Take a hot bath? Whatever it is, obey Him. Grieve deeply and then make the effort to celebrate someone else. It will relieve some of the pain, sister. Truly, it will.

Day 22 – The Retired Jersey

Image result for #4 Football Jersey

Today our littlest one would have been 3-years-old if (she) had been born on (her) due date {which would have more likely have been tomorrow since my other 3 were all 40+1}. My husband and I took a couple hours to mourn together in our special place yesterday. It stings less, but it still stings…. 3. Years. Later.

It is like the 3rd day after you have scraped your knee and you don’t need a band-aid anymore, but you forget you are hurt and you bend down to grab something and you break open your scab and it stings again… even throbs. It’s healing. It’s better, but it’s still there. Still reminding me of the hurt.

I don’t mean to steal any hope from you ladies who are dealing with the loss of your little one more recently. Remember I have been mourning and processing for 3 years now. You may be reading this having been going through your grieving for a month or so or just a few weeks or even a year.

It’s a different kind of pain now. It’s not like a gushing wound you have to keep putting a fresh bandage on because it is bleeding so much. It’s not the throb of a concussion. It is now a healing scab. You can feel it, but you see it’s becoming more of a scar than an open wound.

I think most people would be surprised to know that we are still hurting over the loss of our little one. They would look at our owie and say, “It’s just a scrape. Why are you still talking about it?”

We are so quick to move on from others’ pain because it makes us uncomfortable. We don’t want to deal with it. We have other things to think about, do, and feel. We get done with other’s pain and loss so much quicker than we ought and then we expect them to do the same.

As we were grieving together yesterday, I brought up how some people have asked me (as I have mentioned before) about whether or not we are going to have another baby. It is as though people think we could replace our littlest one and then the pain would be lessened, and we could move on.

My husband said, “No. The jersey is retired. We felt we were supposed to have four children and we do. Our family is complete.” Complete.

Our Family is Complete

We talked about what (she) might be like now, what color and type of hair we think (she) might have had by now, and what things (she) would probably like to do. We talked about how (she) would probably sing (her) way through the day like our others did at 3-years-old and how (she) would probably want to dress just like (her) VERY cool big sister.

My husband reassured me that it is not strange to miss someone you never really met. I got to see (her) heartbeat and we got a picture of (her), so I know (she’s) real. The pain from the D&C and the first time we heard (she) no longer had a heartbeat are still real… When I think of those things, my heartbeat quickens, and I start to lose my breath. Loss.

How can our family be complete in the midst of loss? Because (she) still exists. People are eternal beings. (She) was created. (She) lived on earth, protected just under my heart. (She) died in her tiny earthly body, but (she) is eternal. Someday we will see (her). I don’t know how old (she) will be or any of the details, but I am very much looking forward to seeing our little puzzle piece. You know… the one who completes the puzzle?  The puzzle isn’t finished until the last piece is put in its place.

So, no, my sisters, (she) cannot be replaced. (Her) jersey is retired. If God gave us another one (which at nearing 42 I think I’m quite settled just as we are anyway) that little one would be #5 not #4.

If you are blessed with another little life… remember people may say you “only” have 1 or 2 or 3, but in your heart you will know to +1 to the number they say… because that little jersey is retired and your team will be complete when God says it is not when others think it should be.

My Prayer for you:

My prayer for you is “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

A Prayer You Could Pray:

Dear Jesus, I don’t want anyone to replace our little one. I am sad and I trust You with whoever you will bring into our lives. Thank you for our littlest one and I pray for grace when people say thoughtless things. Please give me hope that covers this pain so despair and depression don’t take over. Thank you that You love me, and You love my little one. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Things to Ponder, Pray and Journal:

  • What questions do you have for God about what is to come and how you feel about what is next in your life?
  • What is something you are hopeful about?
  • Who is someone in your life who could use some hopeful and encouraging words today? Maybe you could give that person some flower seeds or bulbs… in hope of what they will later become.

Day 21 – 3 Years Ago & Today

But you, O Lord, are a shield around me;
You are my glory, the one who holds my head high. Psalm 3:3

The number 3 is highlighted for me this week. 3 years ago today, we found out that our littlest one’s heart had stopped beating. This week 3 different friends from 3 different walks of life have asked me to remind them how to get to this website for a friend.

My prayer is that each of those women who are loved by my friends will be encouraged and helped by this devotional and find healing from our Savior on these pages.

A good friend texted me this morning that she’s praying for me… after 3 years she remembers that this is a tender day for me. What an amazing gift.

Honestly, I was trying to not let today hit me. My sweet husband planned to take the day off to be with me but didn’t want to tell me so he could protect my heart before our preset mourning time. We are trying to not let the mourning overtake us on times where God has other things and people for us to focus on. But on our days of mourning – the day we lost the baby and the baby’s due date, we set aside time to celebrate that sweet little life and mourn together. I don’t know how long we’ll set aside that time. It may turn into simply mentioning our baby in a prayer of thanks, but for the last 3 years we have set aside most of each day to just be together and think of our littlest one.

I have friends desiring to have children (or more children) and my heart aches for them. I long for their hearts’ desires to hold and nurture a little one to be answered with a heartbeat and long life.

I am 41 now and am really enjoying the life God has given us and the life stage we are in. There is much to be done and my arms do not feel empty today. My youngest son, my #3, came and cuddled me awake this morning (though I DID NOT want to get out of bed and face the sadness of today). He could tell I was sad and said, “Mama, I will tickle your sadness away.” And he did :). I am sad for you amazing ones who long for mornings like mine and I pray, again, that your prayers for a child you can hold will be answered.

On this day of sadness and reflection, my prayer for myself is that I will just sit in missing my littlest one and missing out on all the fun and challenging 3-year-old things in this lifetime. I pray that I will be able to just be sad and then think of all the things my child will miss – sickness, sin, heartbreak, loneliness and then remember that (she) is in the arms of our Savior not feeling the sadness of longing or missing me. That is a soothing, healing thought for me.

My Prayer for you:

My prayer for you is you will be able to think about thoughts and realities that lighten the pain and longing. I pray that today you are reminded of the joy and hope of seeing that little baby one day. My prayer is the hope of what’s to come will help you keep moving forward in what God has for you here and now.

A Prayer You Could Pray:

Dear Jesus, I don’t like this loneliness and sadness, but I am grateful for the little life You’ve given me to celebrate.  Please bring to mind all the things I can rejoice about in thinking of my little one. Be my Shield, Lord, and hold my head high… focused on looking at up at You and not down at my sadness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Things to Ponder, Pray and Journal:

  • What are at least two things you can rejoice about for your little one?
  • How would you feel most comforted in this time? What can you do to surrender that desire to God and let Him comfort you in His way today?
  • Is there someone in your life today who is experiencing sadness, mourning, sickness or is simply in need of some extra encouragement? What can you do to bring some joy into that dear one’s life today?  (Ideas – bring her some flowers, send her a card, text her some encouragement, drop a candy bar bouquet to work, take her to the movies)